Running E85

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by WE0H, Feb 24, 2012.

  1. Gary in NY

    Gary in NY Member

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    78 stations out of probably thousands in the state? I guess that's why I never happened to notice any. I'd have to go out of my way to find one.
     
  2. WE0H

    WE0H Senior Member

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    Some states are slim pickins but others are thick like flies on a poop pile :p Around here there are E85 stations about every 10 miles. West of here is where those blender pumps start showing up. I have never wandered around to find those yet :D I prefer the station that is near our son's school which also has some yummy donuts in the morning hours. I'm retired so I have time to sit around munchin down donuts after I drop my wife off at the train and our son at school ;)

    Mike :thumb:
     
  3. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    ^^^
    A couple of years ago in CA, per e85fuel.com, there was a whopping one publicly accessible E85 station in the entire state. I'm pretty sure it was Pearson Fuels in San Diego, a whopping 452 miles away from me, one way.
     
  4. WE0H

    WE0H Senior Member

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    That's nuts. One would think the US government would promote made in the USA fuels so we lessen our dependency on foreign oil. We seriously need alternative fuels that we can make in our own country and get away from this buying oil from other countries. A possible way would be to provide some incentive for having alternative fuel pumps at most every station in every state to promote it's availability. Then get with the auto makers and get them moving toward providing all vehicles with the option of running old fashion dino fuels or modern bio fuels.

    Mike :)
     
  5. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    At least there are more now. I put in my CA zip code and 15 show up within 200 miles of me. There are 4 in my city (San Jose w/a population of ~950K) w/only 1 semi-close to me.

    I agree that it would be good to have non-petroleum based fuel sources or ones that we don't need to import. Unfortunately, it seems we run into the problem of the debate of higher corn prices: using it as food for ourselves or livestock vs. vs. burning it.

    CNG seems like a reasonable bridge fuel. There also need to be more EVs. Utilities and governments need to encourage them rather than discourage them.
     
  6. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    They said mpg was lower in the gen I prius using e85. This isn't surprising since the energy content is lower, but in this experiment it appears that e85 is more efficient. Since there have been major changes to the engine in the genIII, I doubt this is still the case. From your observations on your other vehicles, it appears that they were not tuned well for gasoline:mad:, so you may have gotten more of an improvement.

    Yes, that surprised me. They measured in service mode on a dyno. Once you allow the hsd to work you can't get that extra power out at the wheels. The other thing I didn't think about, is the prius may be using the same injectors as its otto counter part, which means there is enough flow from e85. This is probably programmed into the closed loop, so the computer will work fine too.

    The gen III prius is extremely low emissions, and the new cooled egr was only introduced with it in 2009. I would not expect e85 to actually make much difference. It would make a difference in start up routines, and a sensor for fuel type as well as reprogramming might help reduce emissions further.

    That Minnesota State study clearly stated they did not test for long term damage. You shouldn't run e85 in a prius unless you replace those parts that will have undue wear, or are willing to have the repair costs. I would expect that E85 increases evaporative emissions, and it is likely toyota did not want to redesign the fuel tank, filler/vapor control, etc. These may be expensive items to replace if alcohol damages them. Again this is pure speculation.
     
  7. David Beale

    David Beale Senior Member

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    Here in Alberta we also have some "blender pumps", but we don't have E85. Most newer Husky/Mohawk stations use blender pumps and two tanks. One contains their 96 octane "up to 10% ethyl alcohol premium" fuel and the other contains their "up to 10% ethyl alcohol 87 octane" fuel. You can buy four grades, 87 octane, 89 octane, 92 octane, and 96 octane rated fuel. Prices bump up rapidly with the increase of octane rating.
    We have a plant here that makes the ethyl alcohol (it's beside Baseline road and Anthony Henday for those locals interested). Our Amateur radio site is beside it and I watch tanker trucks entering with 90% loads to "finish" the fuel with ethyl alcohol (top up). It mixes as they drive to the stations I guess.

    -I- use the Husky/Mohawk premium in my lawnmower and other engine powered appliances because it is much more resistant to fuel degradation with time (some of those devices might be forgotten for 6 months or longer though I do try to drain them all before winter sets in). The drained fuel goes into Pearl. The rest of the time Pearl uses the least expensive "regular" fuel I can find, now always with "up to 10% ethyl alcohol". The Provincial Govt. forced all "regular" fuel to use ethyl alcohol about a year ago with almost no notice from the public. The station I buy my fuel at (Hughes Petroleum) posted notices on the pumps, claiming if you didn't want to have ethyl alcohol in your fuel you could buy the premium.

    I did notice my mileage drop a bit, though before this I was using the "up to E10" from Husky/Mohawk, and only switched to the Hughes a few months before they also started supplying "up to E10". I have not yet removed the air cleaner to see how effective the alcohol is in keeping Pearl's intake clean.

    Yup, Pearl is an appliance, running without problems. Just add fuel and change the oil once in a while. ;)
     
  8. WE0H

    WE0H Senior Member

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    Hey I didn't know you had your license :p You might be able to figure out my callsign :eek:

    Mike
     
  9. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    How about...nah, you'll never go for it. Ok, I bite and I'll give it a try, but how about having more economical vehicles?

    Just a though. But if more people bought more efficient vehicles you wouldn't need to import as much oil from Venezuela and Iran and all would be well in the world?

    Nah, better we carry on with our 12 mpg guzzlers and just run them on something else instead and if that fails we could always heat up that tar sands stuff in Canada.

    Your grandkids and their kids and going to just love our generation! :eek:
     
  10. David Beale

    David Beale Senior Member

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    Ohhhh, sarcasm! ;)

    Hey, global warming has it's upsides. More entertaining violent storms. Warmer (on average) winters. Flooding out those pesky poor people.

    Just kidding. Notice the insurance companies are now lobbying to reduce carbon emissions and to have people start preparing for disasters? There's a reason. They could loose a bundle.
     
  11. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    ...you can change your Prius name to EtOH (which is what I thought you were playing off of)
     
  12. WE0H

    WE0H Senior Member

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    I use my Amateur Radio callsign as my username ;)

    What is EtOH?

    Mike
    WE0H


    iPhone :)
     
  13. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    ...you know, ethanol
     
  14. JamesBurke

    JamesBurke Senior Member

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    2 people like this.
  15. WE0H

    WE0H Senior Member

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  16. David Beale

    David Beale Senior Member

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    There are quite a few countries that limit exports. Malaysia is another. Taxes are about the same as the purchase cost, so it doubles the price. They are all trying to encourage having the cars built locally. Let me rephrase that. They are all -STRONGLY- trying to encourage having the cars built locally. ;)
     
  17. stripedrex

    stripedrex Junior Member

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    Running e85 on other cars that are factory tuned for regular gas is no new thing. I'm not a tuner but I do know the right way to run e85 is to have the ECU or car's computer tuned for it as it does have to run leaner (more fuel to air) to maintain proper ratios. I come from the Subaru world (I have an STI converted Forester, my sleeper =) and use alternative mix of fuel now with Methanol injection for over 40k miles and looking to remove that system for a simpler e85 tuned setup (A lot of e85 pumps on Long Island where I live). That being said I'm trying to find out if we can tune the Prius cars ICE like other cars do. I know people are able to tune the 1.8 carollas which should be a similar engine. I've already emailed a few tuners with no response yet =(. Going to start picking up the phone at some point.

    If you read through this there are many Subarus (along with other turbo cars like Mitsubishi Evos) that have been running HIGH hp/tq cars for thousands of miles with no issues. Us tuner guys love the fuel because it's equiv to 105 octane and is cheap =).

    Some interesting info on the FAQ here and some crazy numbers for Subaru tuning enthusiasts =):
    The E85 Army Thread - NASIOC

    Also, note the linked article / study linked earlier in this thread is proof to me it's worth tuning for e85. Check out the section on HP / Torque. I believe if properly tuned you could squeeze out more power:
    http://www.greenenergynetwork.com/media/studies/prius-e85.PDF
     
  18. szgabor

    szgabor Active Member

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    Well he doesn't say what his MPG actually is because if it is low then the ethanol will be less of a factor ...

    I do not think this is proportional ... if your driving sucks you waste so much "energy" already ... the ethanol less energy density will have a LOT less impact.

    I am sure someone can even use math to show this...

    Cheers
     
  19. stripedrex

    stripedrex Junior Member

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    I can not find 1 vendor with a product to tune the ECU or even provide a piggy back solution for the Prius. With the amount sold you'd figure there might have been a need or aftermarket effort towards it!? Unbelievable =). The oddest cars in the world that sell no where near as many cars as the Prius can have some kind of software to access the ECU. With things like being able to manipulate EV limits, MG1, MG2, and ICE etc you'd figure someone would have put some effort into it.
     
  20. WE0H

    WE0H Senior Member

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    I own a Change2E85 converter with Toyota connectors but as other's have said it will destroy the fuel system :p I also own a couple others but they have other connectors on them :) Interesting fact my Saturn Vue AWD V6 got 23 mpg yesterday driving it 65 mph down I-94/I-90 from Minneapolis to Madison WI. I had 11g E85 and 2g 87 E10 in the tank. It previously got 23.4 mpg running country roads around Minneapolis on the same ratio E85/E10. It usually gets 16 mpg on E10 87 octane on those same country roads around Minneapolis. It's never been to Madison before so I can't say how it would have done before on this trip. I filled up with a E85/E15 blend last night so Saturday night I'll see how that does. Now that it is spring I can pull the upper manifold on my Vue & install my E85 converter so I can run it straight :D A couple weeks ago I was caught in an area where all I could fill up with was 87 octane E10 so I did and my mpg dropped to 18.x mpg which wasn't way bad but still not as high as running the lower cost E85/E10 blends which cost me $3.50 to $6.40 a tank less depending upon where I fill up at. That's a jug of milk & a donut or two depending upon how hungry I am when I fill her up in the morning :p

    Disclaimer: Your mileage may vary, your fuel lines & pump may fall off your car and fail. Your intake may stay cleaner & I can't recommend running any specific blends ;)

    Mike :thumb:
     
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