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Flex Fuel Accidently put in Camry

I just filled my gas tank with Flex Fuel accidently (it’s late, I’m tired, and I usually just grab the nozzle on the left). My son said, “Drain that tank before you drive another mile.” My friend who works at a gas station said, “I don’t think it will hurt it, just drive it and don’t do it again.” Who’s right? Thanks!

The proper thing to do is to drain the tank before there is damage. Your smog stuff doesn’t like that fuel at all. If you like flashing dashboard lights…

What year Camry? How much did you put in?

The “Flex-Fuel” is corn-based ethanol, which most gas contains a certain percentage of these days. The main problem with using it on non-flex fuel vehicles is that it is corrosive to some of the fuel components, but this is more of a long-term risk and a single partial tank shouldn’t cause serious problems. Draining the tank would definitely be playing it safe, but I’d say if you made it home from the gas station okay, you’ll be fine just burning it off and slowly diluting it by frequently refilling it with regular gas.

If you were near empty, and you filled it all the way up, I’d drain it. Better to spend $100 now, and not worry about your car.

Draining the tank doesn’t have to be done the hard way. Just buy a cheap siphon pump at the auto parts store and get as much E85 out as you can. Then fill it up with regular fuel. If you can find pure gasoline (without 10% Ethanol), that would be better for filling up. If you can’t find pure gasoline, E10 should be fine. If you can, drain the E85 into a metal gas gan and use it up slowly by mixing it with gasoline.

E85 should not hurt the engine. The danger is that E85 can disintegrate exposed rubber and plastic parts that are normally exposed to fuel in a non-flex-fuel vehicle. I disagree with both points of view. I think you should either siphon it out or burn it up ASAP.

Most new cars can’t be siphoned this way. There is a check valve in the fuel fill line that will prevent the siphon hose from entering the tank.

I pump tanks out by disconnecting the fuel line and affixing an extension hose (sometime not easy due to weird fuel fittings). Then you just need to pull the fuel pump relay and jump the terminals with a wire to run the fuel pump.

One of our caravans (92) actually had an extra hose sticking out of the sending unit that was specifically for pumping out the tank?at least that was the only purpose I could find for it:)