Ethanol in unleaded tank


I put about 1 1/2 gall. of ethanol in my gas tank yesterday (2003 limited 4-runner). I then followed it up with an unleaded chaser. it’s a 22 gallon tank. I have not noticed any issue as of yet. I kinda wondered why the handle of the pump was a pretty yellow. should I expect any kind of lasting damage? I’m expecting to drive another few hundred thousand miles before all is said and done.


jacqui lewis

tucson, az

(formerly from Cape Cod)

You can’t buy pure ethanol at fuel pumps (not yet, anyway). What you may have gotten was E-85, which is 85% ethanol. If you only pumped 1.5 gallons of E-85 and then filled the tank with regular unleaded, you should have diluted the E-85 down to around 10% or less of the total tank.

<10% ethanol won’t hurt your vehicle, although you may notice a slight reduction in fuel mileage.

I try to avoid ethanol-blended gasoline, but it’s becoming more difficult all the time. E-10 won’t hurt anything, so it’s OK to use it if you can’t find anything else, but I suggest avoiding E-85, since only vehicles designed specifically to tolerate it can burn it. Your Toyota is not such a vehicle.

Absotively, posilutely 100% correct. No worries from the little mix-up.

I’m confused; I thought yellow hoses and handles were for diesel. I’m sure you read the label; what oil compny was it? Agree that the ethanol will happily work its way through the system, somewhat depressing your gas mileage. You could keep toppimg it up with gasoline as you go along, assuring maximum dilution. Tom and Ray recommended this to a poster who, in Italy put 1/3 of a tank of diesel in his rental car before noticing it.

Good point, Docnick. In my area the yellow fuel handle is for diesel fuel, too. There aren’t any E-85 stations where I live.

Either way, 1.5 gallons won’t hurt anything. If it’s diesel, I’d refill the tank frequenntly to keep diluting the diesel more and more.

I’m taking the OPs word that it was ethanol, and not diesel.

it wont run as good, but there is nothing to worry about because im pretty sure gas is 15% ethanol, and very little got in there

Diesel is GREEN handle here at the gas station (quickie mart) I usually frequent. Just filled up, almost certain that diesel is green. Rocketman

I think the nozzle on a diesel pump is too big to insert in the filler of a vehicle that takes unleaded.

No, gas is 100% gas. In my neck of the woods, however, all that is available is E-10: 90% gas, 10% ethanol. That’s the maximum percentage of ethanol recommended by most, if not all, manufacturers unless the vehicle is set up as flex fuel.