Chevy TrailBlazer, TrailBlazer SS and GMC Envoy Forum banner
1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
2005 chevy trailblazer_ls
Joined
·
274 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Which Is Preferred For These Trailblazers: Gas With 10% Ethanol Mix Or Regular Unleaded Gas With NO Ethanol?
I usually always go to Mobil and fill up; they have the 10% ethanol mixed in. One of my friends recently told me that there is a gas station about 15 miles away from me that sells Regular Unleaded Gas With NO Ethanol. Would I be getting better performance/mpg from the non ethanol? Whats all your opinions????? :undecided
 

·
Banned
2007 chevy
Joined
·
4,643 Posts
I've been using 100% gas almost the whole time that I've owned my TB. I personally notice that it responds better. Im not a fan if putting something in my car that's going to ruin something down the road.
 

·
Registered
2004 chevy trailblazer_lt
Joined
·
286 Posts
Not to argue but I have never noticed any issues running ethanol in any vehicle I have ever owned. As Voltage is sure to know here in Iowa ethanol is cheaper not break the bank differences but 10 cents less than regular unleaded. I just had a couple questions for everyone, when you run the regular non ethanol what octane is it? I know here if it is non ethanol it is 87 compared to the 89 octane ethanol. Also in other states what is the differences in price ethanol vs non?
 

·
Registered
2003 chevy trailblazer_lt_ext
Joined
·
967 Posts
I've yet to see evidence that E-10 damages fuel systems, especially those that are engineered to handle it, like the GMT360s. We've had to use it here for well over 15 years. I typically run my vehicles to 150k+ miles. Then they end up in the hands of other family who then run them past 200k. They'll rot away long before there are any major mechanical or fuel system problems.

Would I rather have straight gas? Yes. But on the whole, I'm not convinced E-10 is causing any tangible problems either.

As far as performance and mileage, you really have to test it out for yourself. Some report dramatic differences between the two. Others, like myself, have only seen marginal decreases in performance and mileage. You have to be your own tester and judge.

EDIT: The higher octane may be due to the fact that ethanol has a higher octane than gasoline. You'd think that would be a good thing, but the downside is that ethanol has less energy, which means your engine uses more to do the same work as it would with the equivalent quantity of gasoline.
 

·
Registered
2003 chevy trailblazer_ls
Joined
·
62 Posts
so what gas stations do not use ethanol??

i usually fill up at shell and chevron:thumbsup:


is there some where else i should be filling up at??
 

·
Basic Vendor- Skid Plates
2007 chevy trailblazer_ls
Joined
·
3,700 Posts
Ethenol (E) dries out rubber... all rubber... Some rubber is more resistant to it than others, but E degrades it all at some level. I've lost a couple of in-tank rubber fuel lines (the 2" ones that connect the fuel pump to the sender unit)... Both were very brittle, and had cracked. E is also hard on fuel pressure regulators, in particular (we don't have them on the GMT-360... at least the later ones)... Motorcycles have seen a hit in fuel pressure regulators, and are on nation-wide back-order here in the states, and other places around the world that still use MTBE haven't seen the issues... same bikes, made in the same factory, with the same parts...

People get confused about octane and energy... MTBE was used to adjust the octane of gasoline until it was found to be bad for the baby seals or something... Ethenol takes that place as an octane adjuster... It has a higher octane than gasoline, so they add more or less to get a consistant octane rating. Octane rating is the resistance of a fuel to self-detonate. Energy contained in a fuel is completely different. E10 fuel of 87 octane has the same resistance to detonation as "regular" fuel with 87 octane. The difference is, MTBE has a larger difference in octane, so it has a very small effect on the total BTUs held in a gallon of gasoline. It takes more E to adjust the octane of the fuel, and since E has much less energy per gallon compared to gasoline, the gasoline has slightly less energy.

I remember the first time I put E10 into a car... It was my '87 Bonnie 3.8L... I was heading back through IL (this was 8-9 years ago), and got gas (I was just below 1/4 tank). shortly after I got going again, I actually pulled over to check the vehicle, because it had lost a substantial amount of power, and thought something was wrong... In that car, the difference was much the same as running the A/C compared to not running it...

In my bike, I pretty consistantly get 7% lower fuel mileage on E10 than I do with MTBE gasoline... It weighs 490# and has 150hp, so I don't notice the difference in power...

In my 5.3L TB, I pick up right at 1mpg (5%) on the highway with "normal" fuel, compared to the E10 that we get around here. (I have mileage logs on the TB from 100 miles all the way up to the 40,000 that we're currently sitting at)

Mike
 

·
Registered
2004 chevy trailblazer_lt
Joined
·
286 Posts
Ethenol (E) dries out rubber... all rubber... Some rubber is more resistant to it than others, but E degrades it all at some level. I've lost a couple of in-tank rubber fuel lines (the 2" ones that connect the fuel pump to the sender unit)... Both were very brittle, and had cracked. E is also hard on fuel pressure regulators, in particular (we don't have them on the GMT-360... at least the later ones)... Motorcycles have seen a hit in fuel pressure regulators, and are on nation-wide back-order here in the states, and other places around the world that still use MTBE haven't seen the issues... same bikes, made in the same factory, with the same parts...

People get confused about octane and energy... MTBE was used to adjust the octane of gasoline until it was found to be bad for the baby seals or something... Ethenol takes that place as an octane adjuster... It has a higher octane than gasoline, so they add more or less to get a consistant octane rating. Octane rating is the resistance of a fuel to self-detonate. Energy contained in a fuel is completely different. E10 fuel of 87 octane has the same resistance to detonation as "regular" fuel with 87 octane. The difference is, MTBE has a larger difference in octane, so it has a very small effect on the total BTUs held in a gallon of gasoline. It takes more E to adjust the octane of the fuel, and since E has much less energy per gallon compared to gasoline, the gasoline has slightly less energy.

I remember the first time I put E10 into a car... It was my '87 Bonnie 3.8L... I was heading back through IL (this was 8-9 years ago), and got gas (I was just below 1/4 tank). shortly after I got going again, I actually pulled over to check the vehicle, because it had lost a substantial amount of power, and thought something was wrong... In that car, the difference was much the same as running the A/C compared to not running it...

In my bike, I pretty consistantly get 7% lower fuel mileage on E10 than I do with MTBE gasoline... It weighs 490# and has 150hp, so I don't notice the difference in power...

In my 5.3L TB, I pick up right at 1mpg (5%) on the highway with "normal" fuel, compared to the E10 that we get around here. (I have mileage logs on the TB from 100 miles all the way up to the 40,000 that we're currently sitting at)

Mike
Very interesting, thanks for the info! Like I said I have never had any issues but have heard a lot of things negative about Ethanol. Being here in Iowa it is Ethanol Country so the majority of people run it. I actually ran 91 octane Premium with no ethanol in the TB once and noticed a slight difference but not much. As compared to my wifes Impala SS I always fill it with 91 otherwise it is a pinging away (thats what I get for putting a smaller supercharger pulley in:woot:) I may have to try running the regular gas the next time I go fill up and see how it does. Again thanks for the info!
 

·
Registered
2004 chevy trailblazer_lt
Joined
·
997 Posts
Political issues aside - some people say, and I believe them, that it takes MORE fuel to till, plant, weed, harvest, transport and manufacture ethanol than they can extract from it - E10 should only have a minor effect on your mileage. (E85, when tested back to back against gasoline, has resulted in 20 to 25% less mileage, so it stands to reason that E10 should lose 3 to 4% in mileage.)

In my mind, it would be FAR better to think about burning only Top Tier fuel than to worry about a small amount of ethanol.

(Sadly, many of us don't have a choice anymore anyway. There are lots of very smart people who think ethanol is a scam foisted on us by knee-jerk environmentalists who don't see the big picture beyond their comfortable little noses.)
 

·
Registered
2004 chevy trailblazer_lt
Joined
·
286 Posts
Political issues aside - some people say, and I believe them, that it takes MORE fuel to till, plant, weed, harvest, transport and manufacture ethanol than they can extract from it - E10 should only have a minor effect on your mileage. (E85, when tested back to back against gasoline, has resulted in 20 to 25% less mileage, so it stands to reason that E10 should lose 3 to 4% in mileage.)

In my mind, it would be FAR better to think about burning only Top Tier fuel than to worry about a small amount of ethanol.

(Sadly, many of us don't have a choice anymore anyway. There are lots of very smart people who think ethanol is a scam foisted on us by knee-jerk environmentalists who don't see the big picture beyond their comfortable little noses.)
Agreed, I know that I have had the discussion with a lot of farmers lately about the rising price of food, corn in general. The majority of farmers aren't making any more than they ever did, the rising price is instead due to the conflict of buyers between fuel and food use. And with all the government throws back to the fuel companies they can afford to buy the corn at a higher price than what the food companies would LIKE to thus raising the price in general. Probably a horrible description of how it works but I don't want to type the whole conversation. Regardless I think it is a pain in the ass but as long as the fuel is cheaper with ethanol I will most likely buy it. I did have to laugh a few years ago when I drove to Florida and the sold ethanol but it was 20-40 cents higher than the regular:eek:, not what this Iowa boy is used to seeing.
 

·
Banned
2003 gmc envoy_slt
Joined
·
7,190 Posts
The last time I checked E85 was only 10-15 cents cheaper than E10 in my area. Definitely not worth the 20%-25% drop in mileage.:m2:
 

·
Basic Vendor- Skid Plates
2007 chevy trailblazer_ls
Joined
·
3,700 Posts
The last time I checked E85 was only 10-15 cents cheaper than E10 in my area. Definitely not worth the 20%-25% drop in mileage.:m2:
Plus the fact that no Trailblazers will run on the stuff... We run fine on E10 (now "regular" in most places), but E85 GM vehicles all say "flex-fuel" on them...

Mike
 

·
Banned
2003 gmc envoy_slt
Joined
·
7,190 Posts
I know what you mean. Just saying for any vehicle that can run E85, unless there was a gas shortage, a 10-15 cent difference would be a waste of money.:thumbsup:
 

·
Registered
2006 chevy
Joined
·
87 Posts
Ethenol (E) dries out rubber... all rubber... Some rubber is more resistant to it than others, but E degrades it all at some level. I've lost a couple of in-tank rubber fuel lines (the 2" ones that connect the fuel pump to the sender unit)... Both were very brittle, and had cracked. E is also hard on fuel pressure regulators, in particular (we don't have them on the GMT-360... at least the later ones)... Motorcycles have seen a hit in fuel pressure regulators, and are on nation-wide back-order here in the states, and other places around the world that still use MTBE haven't seen the issues... same bikes, made in the same factory, with the same parts...

People get confused about octane and energy... MTBE was used to adjust the octane of gasoline until it was found to be bad for the baby seals or something... Ethenol takes that place as an octane adjuster... It has a higher octane than gasoline, so they add more or less to get a consistant octane rating. Octane rating is the resistance of a fuel to self-detonate. Energy contained in a fuel is completely different. E10 fuel of 87 octane has the same resistance to detonation as "regular" fuel with 87 octane. The difference is, MTBE has a larger difference in octane, so it has a very small effect on the total BTUs held in a gallon of gasoline. It takes more E to adjust the octane of the fuel, and since E has much less energy per gallon compared to gasoline, the gasoline has slightly less energy.

I remember the first time I put E10 into a car... It was my '87 Bonnie 3.8L... I was heading back through IL (this was 8-9 years ago), and got gas (I was just below 1/4 tank). shortly after I got going again, I actually pulled over to check the vehicle, because it had lost a substantial amount of power, and thought something was wrong... In that car, the difference was much the same as running the A/C compared to not running it...

In my bike, I pretty consistantly get 7% lower fuel mileage on E10 than I do with MTBE gasoline... It weighs 490# and has 150hp, so I don't notice the difference in power...

In my 5.3L TB, I pick up right at 1mpg (5%) on the highway with "normal" fuel, compared to the E10 that we get around here. (I have mileage logs on the TB from 100 miles all the way up to the 40,000 that we're currently sitting at)

Mike
Actually ethanol is a great fuel if an engine and fuel system are set up to use it and it is available at a price that compensates for the lower btu content, about 70% that of gasoline. I agree that distilling ethanol from a food crop is not the way to go. In fact, using a distilling process to produce ethanol is counter productive because of the energy consumed. Eventually they may develop large scale catalytic conversion of garbage or something to ethanol and we'll have something. And yes, any alcohol product will deteriorate rubber, many types of plastic, and certain types of nickel plating. That was the reason for the Federal mandate for all 1987 and newer vehicles to be compatible with E20 fuel. I don't know how the rubber got in your fuel tank, but the manufacturer would have been responsible for the repairs if it came with the vehicle - that mandate is part of your emissions system!

MTBE was added to gasoline as an oxygenator to reduce emissions. The biggest user was California for their "reformulated" gasoline until the EPA declared it a carcinogen and California went exclusively to ethanol as an oxygenator. They were soaking up most of the domestic production and all they could get from South America for several months - man was E10 expensive at that time and E85 went through the roof!

Yeah, ethanol is high octane, ~114, so a little goes a long way as an octane booster. I've got a '00 Silverado with a modified 6L that's been running on 91 octane E20 for 9 years and over 100k miles - never a problem. It actually does a little better now on fuel economy. Part of that is the tune and part is the oxygenation resulting in better combustion of the gasoline. Yeah, E20 has ~ 7% less Btu, but remember, your engine only burns 30 to 35% of the gasoline you put in it and almost all of the alcohol burns!

Actually, the biggest problem with ethanol is its affinity for moisture. It has to be under 1% water to be fuel grade. Otherwise moisture laden alcohol can corrode your fuel system and eat holes in your pistons from the acids formed during combustion. Flex-fuel vehicles have an anticorrosion coating throughout the fuel system and combustion chamber (as well as greater band width injectors) to handle the E85 which is even more susceptible to picking up some moisture. Every so often you hear about all the cars pumping gasohol at a particular station stalled down the road (plugged fuel filter) and it turns out the station had a leaky tank pulling in ground water.

So what's my take on ethanol? I don't like paying more for meat and dairy products because they turned the feed into fuel. I don't like paying taxes to give the oil companies tax breaks for blending it. But as long as I paying for it anyway, I'll use it in any manner that's to my advantage. I don't use it in my TBSS unless I have to fill up where they're charging an arm and a leg for 91 octane. Typically the fuel cost savings and lower fuel economy are a wash, so why bother.

John
 

·
Basic Vendor- Skid Plates
2007 chevy trailblazer_ls
Joined
·
3,700 Posts
Yeah, E20 has ~ 7% less Btu, but remember, your engine only burns 30 to 35% of the gasoline you put in it and almost all of the alcohol burns!

John
I don't think they'd pay for a fuel line on a 15 year old car... IIRC, emissions stuff only has to last 10 years...

Your engine burns close to 95% of the fuel (unless you're in open loop, then it's around 85-90%) ... Your engine is just "~25-30% effecient", because of the pumping losses of having a throttle, and because a lot of the heat produced goes out the exhaust pipe and is taken away by the radiator... A 100% efficient engine wouldn't have a radiator, and would have room temperature exhaust.

Mike
 

·
Registered
2006 chevy
Joined
·
87 Posts
I don't think they'd pay for a fuel line on a 15 year old car... IIRC, emissions stuff only has to last 10 years...

Your engine burns close to 95% of the fuel (unless you're in open loop, then it's around 85-90%) ... Your engine is just "~25-30% effecient", because of the pumping losses of having a throttle, and because a lot of the heat produced goes out the exhaust pipe and is taken away by the radiator... A 100% efficient engine wouldn't have a radiator, and would have room temperature exhaust.
Mike
Yeah, that's what we really need. You're right of course, they don't have to do anything for a vehicle over 10 years old - I guess I wasn't paying attention to dates. The fact that it was an 87 model would account for it still having rubber in the fuel system.

Technically you're right about the burn ratio as well, I used that term too loosely, and heat is indeed the greatest waste of energy from combustion. However, a burn ratio of 95% is ideal. It would be rare for an engine to have a fuel/oxygen mixture to produce that type of burn ratio. That’s why there's CO in exhaust (along with a lot of other crap) and the government requires catalytic converters. That's also why California started requiring MTBE in gasoline and now requires ethanol to be added, and why a lot of other states give tax breaks for its use - to oxygenate the fuel mixture, improve combustion, and reduce emissions. The wide spread use of ethanol as an octane booster is a more recent development.

Standard Oil and others did try this back in the 70's when the lead came out of gasoline, but the lack of provisions to keep moisture out killed that real quick, but it was a real pisser for awhile. For years now, the oil companies have used toluene (paint thinner) along with some compensating lubricants to boost octane. But with toluene getting more expensive, ethanol getting cheaper, plus the tax breaks, why not boost with alcohol instead, and they are more and more. I don't know about other states, but in Iowa the Dept. of Agriculture requires all fuel containing ethanol to be labeled accordingly. I see more and more of those labels popping up on 91 and 93 octane fuel. The one that surprised me was Shell oil and their "V Power" fuel HA!

John
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top