Monday, December 8, 2008

E85 and gas

Well, I haven't update this in awhile, but I have still been using E85 up until a few weeks ago. E85 has been very positive for me, especially when gas prices this summer were outrageous. E85 was consistently priced 20%-30% lower than gas. 13-14 mpg on 2 tanks of gas, and 11-12 mpg on E85.

The cool thing is that my truck will run on either, and with gas near $1.50, E85 is no longer priced 20% less, per so I am running on gas, which is more cost effective for me. The way gas prices fluctuate has always bothered me. Who can figure it out? Global economy, supply, demand, taxes, tariffs, etc. Now that I have a choice, an alternative, who cares. I'll go with the cheapest, but then the 'buy American' ideal goes out the window. It is similar to those new house furnaces that run on both electricity and natural gas and can switch between the two depending on the cost per therm.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Spark Plug change

Ok, I went ahead and changed all 8 spark plugs with AC Delco 41-985 gapped at ".040. All of the ones I pulled out were AC Delco/NGK and looked real normal and looked to be original. So, I have full synthetic Pennzoil, new plugs, all drivetrain fluids serviced, synthetic in rear, filter changed in tranny, and I had all the dents popped out of the doors, too.

A white fleet Chevy Uplander van from Diebold filled up at the E85 station behind me last night. And the last time, I saw a new Jeep Liberty? getting E85, so it seems popular.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

First E85 oil change

Ok, this past weekend, I changed the oil, upon recommendation from the 'Change Oil' light. This will be the first time since last July. I've always done my own oil changes, never had anyone else do it on any vehicle I've ever owned. (DIY home improvement projects, bag your own groceries, check yourself out of the store, pump your own gas, generate your own solar electricity, grow your own fuel, but then pay for car washes and oil changes?? Whole other topic.)

Anyway, I pulled the AC Delco PF61 filter off and replaced with NAPA Gold 1522. Drained the oil and replaced with Pennzoil Platinum Synthetic - almost 6 qts! The dirty oil that came out did not smell like normal dirty oil. Can't quite describe it here, but I could tell this was different. Dirty though, no doubt.

When I started it to back off the ramps, my dad noticed the E85 exhaust smell. It's obvious this vehicle runs on something different - E85.

Might have to tackle the spark plugs, next. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

E85 in the News

I filled up yesterday at 91st and Huron in Denver for $2.09. 11.5 mpg. I think the next tank might be gasoline to test the mileage difference. But, that's 60 cents more per gallon! Argh!

Corvette Indy pace car to be E85. Cool, why not make all of them like that?

I went to the boat show here in Denver. Malibu has a Corvette boat.

With all the new boats and boat technology, why not an E85 boat? Ethanol is water soluble. I'd like to go to one pump and fill up my truck and boat with E85.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Normal Fuel Fill up with E85

I filled up yesterday with fuel - notice its called fuel as it is not gasoline. 17 gallons for $36, I believe. That's about 11 mpg. I thought cold air delivered more power because it is more dense, but then your tires also lost 1 psi for every so many degrees, so that adds rolling resistance. I also heard they add more gasoline to E85 during the winter so it is more like E70, but that doesn't seem so in this case, or else my gas mileage would be improving.

Here is the emissions link and a 1996 isn't a factory flex fuel vehicle.

A co-worker of mine wishes his Subaru ran on flex fuel. His dealership wouldn't even address his questions and warned him it would void his warranty, of which, he still has 2 years left. Too bad Subaru. Get with it.
There is a flex fuel conversion company out there that has been EPA approved for fleets but the kit is $1,000 and they add $200 if the transmission store installs it for you.

I thought I saw Volvo adding flex fuel to its line up in 2008. Hopefully, in the USA.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

E85: $1.99 Oil: $100 per barrel

I filled up yesterday at $1.99 with E85. Fortuitously, oil reached $100 a barrel. Hmm.

Plus, there is a surplus of corn. Ask a Colorado corn farmer, the Colorado Corn Growers Association, or the NCGA.

My mileage was 11 mpg probably because of the snow we've had and the frequent use of 4wd.

For emissions, I thought I had a chart bookmarked which compared a 1996 Chevy on E85 and on gasoline. E85 was the winner, but I can't find the bookmark. 1996 wasn't a flex fuel model year vehicle.

One thought I had about the decreased mpg with E85- what if a car ran on water and got 3 or 4 mpg? Well, we'd need a lot more water. We could set up desalination plants on the coasts. Since the ice caps are melting, there's plenty of water now. We could save the beaches from being flooded, too.

About 25 years ago, I had a water powered watch using simple tap water from Edmund Scientific, I believe. It was great! I got a new one for Christmas from a different source and the instructions say to add some salt to the water. Ok. My consternation: our demand or technology for water powered devices for the past 25 years hasn't progressed past a time-keeping device?

Friday, December 7, 2007

E85 Cold Weather Test

I filled up today, the first time in a month!! I had 2 people start asking me questions while I was filling. It was very positive. You can tell if your vehicle is Flex Fuel by gas cap, VIN, Internet ( or the dealer.

The performance of E85 tested in 10 degrees F has been a success here in Colorado. My Great White Tahoe starts and runs fine. E85 cold weather test: Passed.

Let's see, E85 was $2.19 so ~20 gallons was $43. Gas at the same station was $2.90 I believe. So, gas would have cost me $58.

The debate continues in the news including diesel. These studies are mind boggling, which is fine for people who don't want to use E85. If you don't want to use it, then don't - it keeps the demand and the price low. If everyone switched, demand and price would increase. So, keep the price low for me, please. Wired had a good article on cellulosic ethanol in October 2007 issue. Great ideas, very, very exciting. I'm not corn crazy, but it is a step in the right direction. Choice is good.