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Piston Slap: Tolerate the Government's Ethanol Boondoggle?

Brighton, MI Sunoco Ethanol-Free Pump Options, REC 90, Image: 127driver/Wikimedia Commons

David writes:

Hi Sajeev,

Is it well worth the extra 40/gallon to go for 91 octane ethanol-free gasoline based on its?durability merits?

Hy-Vee grocery stores in Kansas City?have gas stations that sell fuel at a discount with a grocery store card. Apart from shopping there for the family anyway, it’utes the only station close to me that sells ethanol-free 91 octane gasoline. Aside from the political boondoggle I won’t support, I have heard from lore that ethanol isn’t good for internal-combustion?engines, particularly the rubber as well as plastic bits. This was confirmed by my personal lawn mower repair place that’s been in business 30+ years, scooter mechanic, and my motorcycle dealership service department.

The political boondoggle is enough of an answer for me, but how about the potential service issues? Are they real? My personal thought process is simple: when higher octane’s efficiency is tallied, put into the fact that ethanol-free does not appeal to water and degrade fuel lines, the real cost difference is actually minimal.

Your opinion matters to me more than most, son! What state you?

Thank you in advance. I enjoy reading your column.

Sajeev answers:

I’m no fan from the ethanol-blending boondoggle (that we’ve talked about in painful detail years ago), but my personal decade as a?blacklisted auto journo (i.at the. no press vehicles) proves that?my own rides run good sans?ethanol-free gasoline.

Let’s discuss the recognized problems with ethanol blends talked about on this website?on our own automobiles. I’ll go very first (obviously): I possess a?1988 Mercury Cougar with Two hundred,000 miles (150,000 miles on a stock Mustang 5.0L engine) and a 1995 Lincoln Mark VIII (100% unique) with 178,Thousand miles. Both sitting in various states of disrepair for one to?two?years with E10 in their fish tanks, at least once in the past decade.

  • Wear and damage of inner engine parts: The actual Cougar is weak from high rpms, but valve float is a problem for worn Mustang E7 mind. Ethanol problems get a pass!
  • Damage to metal, rubberized, and plastic areas of fuel system: As mentioned in a recent Piston Slap, the Cougar required new injectors, maybe?ethanol-blended fuel killed them.
  • Gumming-up of fuel injectors, carburetors, etc. due to release of accumulated build up in engine through ethanol alcohol’s solvent qualities:?See above.
  • Corrosion associated with metal parts in fuel system as well as engine:?The Cougar appeared fine when I upgraded the fuel pump and when I removed?the upper intake.?
  • Deterioration associated with elastomers and plastic components:?See?above.?
  • Drying, softening, stretching and/or cracking associated with rubber hoses,?seals and other rubber components:?The actual rubber hose between the Cougar’s fuel pump motor and the fuel line split like an?arterial dissection?this year.
  • Oxygen sensor damage:?Perhaps,?the Cougar gets mediocre?mileage unless I drive 67 miles per hour on the dot and the exhaust does scent funny. ?
  • Damage or premature disintegration of fuel pump: Nope.?
  • Carburetor damage, such as clogging: This is the just reason I hate my personal lawn mower.?
  • Dirty and clogged fuel filters: Nope.?
  • Clogging and plugging of fuel injectors: Maybe that’utes why the Cougar required fuel injectors!?
  • Piston/bore failure via knock/pre-ignition: No, but in a few days is a brand new week!
  • Unsuitable ignition timing leading to ignition failure: Sounds like a personal problem to me.?
  • Piston ring sticking:?HOW DARE YOU INSINUATE Which … I’M ALL MAN!

So while I don’t care for the decreased fuel economy (10-percent reduction on the Mark VIII) as well as loathe the boondoggle, We ain’t been burned by ethanol?in the last 10-ish years.

Conclusion: I am less than inspired for?you to invest that extra $0.Forty … unless you drive the carbureted vehicle.

Don't be shellfish...
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