Does Ethanol Really Make A Difference In Gas?

When you're at the gas station filling up the tank of your vehicle, you may wonder what impact does ethanol have on gasoline. After all, at most gas stations, you can get gasoline blended with ethanol or pure gasoline. Here is some information about the potential difference that ethanol can make to help you make your decision between pure gasoline and blended gasoline.

The Differences Between Ethanol And Gasoline

A gallon of ethanol will provide less energy than a gallon of gasoline. Usually, the difference in energy is about 33 percent.

Blending gasoline and ethanol at a ratio of 15 percent to 85 percent (B85) produces a fuel that is about 30 percent less powerful than 100 percent pure gasoline. In terms of cruising ability, acceleration, and power, ethanol is very similar to gas. However, the number of miles per gallon is the main difference between pure gasoline and ethanol.

Ethanol can damage engines and fuel systems in ways that pure gasoline will not. The main issues with the use of ethanol are fuel separation and water contamination. Ethanol absorbs and attracts water, and this includes water from the air. When the ethanol and gasoline blend absorbs a certain amount of water, fuel water contamination will occur in the gas tank of the car. This will impact the engine's performance. Fuel separation will occur if the car sits for a long time. Fuel separation refers to the formation of layers of gas and water in the gas tank. This can lead to serious and costly damage if the motor sucks the layer of water into the car's engine.

Ethanol is an alcohol, which means it can lead to the corrosion of the fuel system. Plastic parts can crack and become deformed while metal parts will rust.

Older cars can have a difficult time using ethanol fuel because ethanol is not an ideal fuel additive.

For more information about the difference that ethanol makes when it comes to gas, don't hesitate to contact us here at Elk Mountain Automotive.