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  #1  
Old 08/02/08, 10:16 AM
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Ethanol Damaging Small Engines

Sorry if this has been Posted before.I just find it one heck of a kick in the bud.

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  #2  
Old 08/02/08, 10:24 AM
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man, can I testify to THAT! We mistakenly put a 50/50 blend in the bike (older Honda Goldwing). Within 2 miles it was sputtering and coughing. Barely made it back to the place we filled up. The pump was "marked" with a cardboard that said "50/50 ethanol blend". completely ruined the engine. It needs to be rebuilt from the inside out. Ethanol just seems to eat rubber for breakfast.

On the upside (maybe) once we rebuild the engine, using new parts, maybe it will run perfectly for the next 10 years! (or not)

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  #3  
Old 08/02/08, 10:35 AM
 
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We've been using the ethanol blend here in Iowa since it first came out (many, many years ago - '70's?) and have never had a problem with it. In fact, we thought our vehicles ran better than before. Still using it.

We still use regular gas in our chainsaws, mowers, etc. however.

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  #4  
Old 08/02/08, 10:36 AM
 
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We got a tank of it in Boise last year and the car chugged and surged for the 250 mile trip thru the mountains. We got it diluted with good gas when we got home and the car took about a week to settle down. One station in town now sells ethanol, so we go to the other two stations.

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  #5  
Old 08/02/08, 10:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Norman View Post
We got a tank of it in Boise last year and the car chugged and surged for the 250 mile trip thru the mountains. We got it diluted with good gas when we got home and the car took about a week to settle down. One station in town now sells ethanol, so we go to the other two stations.
I'm wondering in your situation if you had made adjustment on the Carb would have helped.Plus it seems ethanol would be better in dryer climate,not saying it is any good at all.

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  #6  
Old 08/02/08, 11:13 AM
 
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I made an adjustment, I quit buying ethanol.

We have a drier climate here, but there is still a little humidity and that stuff is sucking it up all the time.

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  #7  
Old 08/02/08, 01:13 PM
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The worse thing about it is it reduces the mpg you get. A fill up with 10% alcohol will give you fewer miles than a fill up with 100% gasoline.

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  #8  
Old 08/02/08, 02:13 PM
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The stuff is great for killing old chain saws.

Both chainsaws are dead since using an ethanol blend.
The bad part....many of the stations here dont give you a choice...all have ethanol in the gas. We used the ethanol laced gas once in the saws...both died before they burned up that gas. They haven't run since.

We found a station a few miles away that has a high octane, but ethanol free gas.

So are ethanol killed chain saws repairable?

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  #9  
Old 08/02/08, 03:47 PM
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I believe that what causes the problems is the rubber...valves, gaskets, flaps, etc. The ethanol eats thru it. If you can replace those things with the new plastic/teflon/whatever....maybe things can be fixed up.

As to where to buy non-ethonal...I THINK that BP doesn't add ethanol. (at least the ones around here don't.)

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  #10  
Old 08/02/08, 07:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wisconsin Ann View Post
I believe that what causes the problems is the rubber...valves, gaskets, flaps, etc. The ethanol eats thru it. If you can replace those things with the new plastic/teflon/whatever....maybe things can be fixed up.

As to where to buy non-ethonal...I THINK that BP doesn't add ethanol. (at least the ones around here don't.)
The only ethanol free choice here is in Albany. I dont know off hand what station it is.
They have 93 octane in ethanol free, thats it.

My DH is going to try to fix the chain saws. Thank goodness he is good with stuff like that. I have hope.

I just don't know what people are suppose to do.

We have that one gas we can get, I hope the octane level will work ok in the saws, because if it doesn't, then what?
Buy new so they can break? There isn't a lot of options for chainsaws for heavy work. With burning woods for our heat, we need a heavy duty saw, not some little electric thing.
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  #11  
Old 08/02/08, 07:27 PM
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Central Oklahoma
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RiverPines View Post
The stuff is great for killing old chain saws.

Both chainsaws are dead since using an ethanol blend.
The bad part....many of the stations here dont give you a choice...all have ethanol in the gas. We used the ethanol laced gas once in the saws...both died before they burned up that gas. They haven't run since.

We found a station a few miles away that has a high octane, but ethanol free gas.

So are ethanol killed chain saws repairable?
Not from what my husband gathered last week when he took his chainsaws in for repair. One was fixable but not worth it, so we bought a new one; the other one he said wasn't fixable, could have been the gas.

But while he was in there, a guy came in with two trimmers or edgers complaining that they still weren't working right - the repairman took them again, but told the man he really thought the problem was ethanol-laced gas and likely there was nothing he could do. They even had an "ethanol test kit" on the counter, made by Briggs and Stratton.
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  #12  
Old 08/02/08, 10:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christine in OK View Post
They even had an "ethanol test kit" on the counter, made by Briggs and Stratton.
I believe that bit of information just took this from hearsay to fact. If Briggs is worried about it, there is a problem.

I have lots of old engines around here that I keep running, outboards, golf carts, mowers, trimmers. After you get done rebuilding a 1950 outboard, getting a new one so the new components won't dissolve isn't an option.
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  #13  
Old 08/02/08, 10:42 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Norman View Post
I believe that bit of information just took this from hearsay to fact. If Briggs is worried about it, there is a problem.

I have lots of old engines around here that I keep running, outboards, golf carts, mowers, trimmers. After you get done rebuilding a 1950 outboard, getting a new one so the new components won't dissolve isn't an option.
Yes, same here. All kinds of engines around here that get repaired as needed, and we certainly can't afford to run out and buy all new engine powered devices.

Guess I need to pay more attention to this, are the pumps marked with signs that indicate it is ethanol? I sure don't recall any new signs on the pumps, but admittedly I pretty much zone out during refueling once I'm sure I selected the correct grade of fuel.
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  #14  
Old 08/03/08, 01:21 AM
 
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We have discovered that our Jeeps run better and get better mileage on non-ethanol. Since this is usually 10 cents higher, we did the math, wondering if it saves money or not to buy the more expensive. Yes, it DOES! If we boost gas mileage anything over 1/2 MPG we are saving money. It figures out to be saving over $9.00 for a 25 gallon fillup. Crazy, I have always used the ethanol for the higher octane. Not any more.

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  #15  
Old 08/03/08, 03:03 AM
 
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Ethanol will not hurt small engines or large engines for that matter. What it does do is clean out all the gunk in the whole fuel system. Once you get it cleaned up it will perform better. You will burn more fuel as ethanol has less BTUs per unit. If there are problems its from another additive called (I think) rxg or rpg... Cant remember for sure. I have a friend who works for a local oil company that has among other things mini marts and supplies gas to lots of gas stations. Near Philly and that area they have to use the extra additive because of the >blend< to help with emissions. People report the same as reported here about engine problems.
Sunoco has used ethanol forever in its gas. Even in the 80s in CT I remember Gasahol (10% ethanol).
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  #16  
Old 08/03/08, 04:41 AM
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True 10% does NOT effect gas mileage~!! My '94 Buick Century gets 30 to 31 MPG and I use 10% mix all the time~! NOW the E-85 Does, BUT at 40 to 50 cents a gallon cheaper it still PAYS to use E-*% if one can use it.
Now also with using E-85 it DOES up the horse power~!
Now I have been using E-10 in everything I own from string trimmers to snowblowers to both vehicles. and not one of them including a 10 year old landowner has ever has one bit of trouble, and ow I just got a 12 year old 18 horse rider that has also never had a problem with a 10% mix of ethanol.
And my car a 94 Buick says right in the manual to use up to a 10% mix of ethanol.
I have a friend that has a '04 Ford pick up that now has over 110K miles on it and 89% of the gas they have used has been E-85~!
And my string trimmers are ten years old brush cutter the same.
I have never had a problem with a 10% mix in my chainsaw either.

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  #17  
Old 08/03/08, 05:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arabian knight View Post
True 10% does NOT effect gas mileage~!!
Can't prove that here.
Earlier this year mileage went from 21mpg to 18mpg. Then found out that the local gas station was using the 10% blend. Found a gas station that's using pure gas and the mileage went back to 21mpg.

Here in Ok, there was enough people that complained about the lower fuel mileage that a law was passed, all stations that has <10% ethanol must be label the fuel as having the ethanol added to it. If they don't have it labeled and the gas station tests positive for ethanol, they'll be shut down.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Domestic Fuel
The deadline has now passed for fuel station owners in the state of Oklahoma to have signage regarding ethanol at their faclities. They must now label their pumps indicating ethanol additives. This law will be in accordance with what was passed this last legislative sesssion.

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission will be inspecting pumps to be sure that the dispensers are labeled. Violators will face a $500 fine and will be shut down.

“They need to fix it immediately,” Commission spokesman Matt Skinner said, before adding, “We’re in a transition phase. We’re giving a little leeway.” The leeway indicates a short-term tolerance involving stations that right now “may” meet the spirit of the law if not the letter. And may is the operative word.
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  #18  
Old 08/03/08, 02:04 PM
 
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We use it all the time and did so in the 70s. We have NO problems with either mileage or anything else. Our cars run just fine on it.

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  #19  
Old 08/03/08, 03:37 PM
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This ethanol non-ethanol discussion sure does seem to come up a lot around these forums.
Yes, your mileage goes down with E10 or E85. That's because there's more energy in a gallon of gas than a gallon of ethanol. Depending on your car/truck it may or may not be worth the cost difference. Your mileage from your neighbor may vary depending on your driving style.
Yes, ethanol blends will ruin a small engine that is designed for a fuel/oil mix. Why? Because ethanol and oil do not mix. Mix up your favorite ethanol blended gas and mix it with some 2 cycle oil, place in a jar. In about a day the oil will seperate from the gas. Your owners manual will tell you that you will void your warranty on your 2-cycle engine if you use an ethanol blend.
I've heard stories about regular 4 cycle engines going bad on ethanol blends. I put on over 50,000 miles a year on vehicles and have been doing that for 30 years and have yet to have an issue with it. But again, my mileage will vary from yours.

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  #20  
Old 08/03/08, 03:55 PM
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let's see...2 weedwacker carbs, 2 tiller carbs and 2 push mower carbs i own have fouled up in the past year. something funny is going on. while i support ethanol production and usage as a suppliment to our current fuel infrastructure, a little more research and notification of problems found would be nice. that said, ethanol fouling small engines isn't the only fuel issue i have experienced this year. i had a real hard time keeping my kerosene heater burning last winter. my wicks kept gunking up. i replaced it 3 or 4 times. i have used kerosene heaters for decades and have never had issues like i did last winter. i am not the only one who had issues with kerosene heaters last year either. i remember discussing it here on HT wit hfoolks who also had issues and with neighbors here at home as well. i hear that vegetable oil is being added to fuel oil and i assume it could be added to kero and possibly diesel as well. i think my heater issues were a result of adulterated kerosene.

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  #21  
Old 08/03/08, 08:35 PM
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It is a problem in the marine industry too. Evidently ethanol attracts water somehow and when boats sit for a while the ethanol blends are tearing up boat engines.

http://boatingsailing.suite101.com/a...ms_for_boaters

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  #22  
Old 08/03/08, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Kevingr View Post
This ethanol non-ethanol discussion sure does seem to come up a lot around these forums.
Yes, your mileage goes down with E10 or E85. That's because there's more energy in a gallon of gas than a gallon of ethanol. Depending on your car/truck it may or may not be worth the cost difference. Your mileage from your neighbor may vary depending on your driving style.
Yes, ethanol blends will ruin a small engine that is designed for a fuel/oil mix. Why? Because ethanol and oil do not mix. Mix up your favorite ethanol blended gas and mix it with some 2 cycle oil, place in a jar. In about a day the oil will seperate from the gas. Your owners manual will tell you that you will void your warranty on your 2-cycle engine if you use an ethanol blend.
I've heard stories about regular 4 cycle engines going bad on ethanol blends. I put on over 50,000 miles a year on vehicles and have been doing that for 30 years and have yet to have an issue with it. But again, my mileage will vary from yours.
The alcohol seperates the oil from the gas and you get a dry mix in the engine
on 2 strokes and burn up the piston. I know first hand.
Missouri I think it is manditory to sell an ethanol blend, but the highest price has none.
Also, the alcohol absorbs moisture and you get a lean burn if you have alot of water in your fuel resulting in rotten fuel mileage. That is what "HEAT" fuel additive is. It works, but for a price.
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  #23  
Old 08/04/08, 02:39 AM
 
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I can't get anything but an ethanol blend here. I have to run it in everything and so far haven't had a problem. My chainsaws are still running but I make sure I shake the tar out of the gas can before I add it. Do the same to the saw. I was told that helps a bit.

I think a lot of the problem is people running E-85 in their stuff trying to get by cheaper.

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  #24  
Old 08/04/08, 06:32 AM
 
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Since I started using a gas station that usesd up to 10% blend, I have been getting BETTER MPG than with straight gas.

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  #25  
Old 08/04/08, 09:41 AM
 
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I had the opposite experience, pookiethebear. I had noticed over the last few months my gas mileage had gone from around 14 - 15 mpg to more like 11 or so. When the new law coonexpress mentioned went into effect, I switched to a station selling 100% gas, and my mileage has gone back up. Honestly, if my car got 30 mpg anyway, I probably wouldn't make such an effort to buy 100%, as the difference between 27 mpg and 30 wouldn't have such a tremendous affect on my pocketbook, but the difference between 14 and 11 does. It's particularly noticeable on a 40 gallon tank like I have - with ethanol I was getting around 400 - 425 miles on a tank, with 100% I get at least 500 in town, better on the highway.

I have a friend who ran his own test. Filled his motorcycle up with 10% ethanol and ran it to empty, then put 100% and did the same. He got around 42 mpg with the ethanol, but around 55 with the 100%. Convinced him!

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