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Using E85 Fuel

I have a 2001 Ford Ranger that is a flex fuel vehicle capable of using E85 fuel. I’ve never used this in the vehicle but it is now available locally and much cheaper than regular gas (about 60 cents less/gallon). Can I just go ahead and begin using this fuel after more that 150,000 miles of using regular unleaded gasoline? Or would it be better to wean the Ranger off unleaded slowly? Thanks!

You can use it, but why? You’ll get 30% worse mpgs, which pretty much eliminates any cost benefit, and you’ll have to fill up 30% more often.

If it’s really flex fuel capable, you can use E85 right away.

The fuel economy rating with gasoline is 15 city, 20 highway,
with E85 11 city, 14 highway. You won’t save 60 cents.

Can you? Yes. Should you? Tough call. Ethanol is made from grade A american corn. Using E85 allows the US to import less foreign oil and that may or may not mesh with the US govt’s grand plan for world peace. If u like burning your “food” in the gas tank, than go ahead. It’s your choice.

I suspect you’d need a price about $1.00 cheaper to break even. If you decide to try it anyway, please post back with your results, in order to help others in the future.

Let’s use the average fuel economy numbers of 17 MPG for regular gasoline and 12 MPG for E85. Assume the price of regular is $3.50/gal; the price of E85 would be $2.90/gal. For every 10,000 miles you drive, E85 will cost $400 more than regular. Buy regular.

Forget E85. I, for one, don’t believe that ethanol should even be on the market.

Ethanol is a political payoff more than anything else. According to AAA here in OK, when factoring in energy/mileage loss Ethanol is about 70 cents a gallon more than regular unleaded.

Some very cool old pics. About 14 down, it can be seen that Ethanol is nothing new with others showing why things were checked under the hood on a regular basis. :slight_smile:

It’s not a cost savings thing, it’s a importing less oil thing. With that said the ONLY reason Ford, GM, and others offer E85 vechicals is they get a tax break for making alt fuel vechicals.

Don’t use it. Some cars won’t start the next day. You don’t want to be flexed right out of driving.

Out of principle, I won’t use it either, even if the mileage was as good as regular gas.

This stuff is far more political than environmental, and can only be justified if the country was at war and had no other sources of fuel.

Exactly, Docnick !

When when my wife got her flex-fuel car a couple of years ago I was ready to try some E-85. After a little research I decided I probably never would unless E-10 wasn’t available.

According to the Owner’s Manual the E-85 could make the car more difficult to start, not reach operating temperature easily, and possibly not supply adequate cabin heat in cold environments.
It also admonished against switching back and forth from E-10 and E-85. You should go with one or the other.

Since then I’ve read that car makers now offer these flex fuel cars in order to get “extra credit” in their fleet average MPGs. That’s basically the only reason as the manufacturers themselves don’t think much of running their cars on E-85, not even the flex fuel cars.

This is a political move, as Docnick pointed out. My corn is going to be on the cob and not in the tank.