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Thread: E15 gasoline and how it might effect the Mitsubishi Mirage

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    E15 gasoline and how it might effect the Mitsubishi Mirage

    For those here in the United States, you may or may not know this but sooner rather than later our gasoline is changing yet again. The Environmental Protection Agency has mandated an increase of ethanol in our gasoline. Right now, a majority of the fuel available is E10. This means there is 90% gasoline mixed in with 10% of ethanol. Well, pretty soon there will be a transition over to E15. This will be 85% gasoline and 15% ethanol.

    Well, that's only a 5% increase in ethanol so no big deal, right? Not quit. It is a rather very big deal. Look in your owners manual and you will see a warning stating that use of fuel containing more than 10% ethanol can adversely effect your car, and ANY damage caused from using fuels with more than 10% ethanol WILL NOT be covered by your warranty.

    Yes, that's right folks. E15 can cause problems with our cars, and any problems associated with E15 will not be covered under the Mitsubishi warranty.


    So what exactly can E15 do to an engine that is not designed for it? For starters, ethanol causes rubber to break down. So ANY rubber in the fuel system can be damaged. This includes any rubber fuel lines (I need to check to see if the Mirage has any rubber fuel lines) to rubber O rings on the fuel injectors to rubber O rings and seals in the fuel tank. E15 can also make your car run lean, as in the air/fuel ratio is not in the ideal area. When a vehicle runs lean, you can burn up valves, it can cause over heating of the catalytic converters which can cause them to melt down, and it can even cause the engine to over heat.


    So, what can we do about it? I am researching this and will have to get back to everyone but I would appreciate if any one has any ideas. The main point of this post is to inform our board members and try to get this figured out before it becomes an issue.


    Here is a link where you can read a little more about this.

    https://www.yahoo.com/autos/feds-pus...164706945.html


    Here is another link, but the statement at the top of the page in contradicted by the article;

    http://www.petroleumsolutionsinc.com...e-Fuel-Volumes

    "(The)EPA has taken a significant step in the right direction by using its waiver authority to lower ethanol mandates, acknowledging the market limitations of the ethanol blend wall,” he said. “However, the agency must do more to protect consumers. EPA’s final rule relies on unrealistic increases in sales of higher ethanol fuel blends despite the fact that most cars cannot use them. Motorists have largely rejected these fuels.”



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    I think it likely be ok, but what will happen with warranties??


    here is another article in PM:
    http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars...-e15-15096134/
    One study conducted at Kettering University found no remarkable degradation in fuel systems all the way back to 1995 model years. But the main issue is whether or not your vehicle will be covered under warranty for any damage caused by E15 usage, and in many cases the answer is no.
    Will this damage my lawnmower, boat, jet ski, snowmobile, or four-wheeler?

    It sure will if you don't pay attention. Generally, small engines are not designed to deal with the more corrosive E15 blend. And, as we mentioned in 2010, ethanol forms a brown goo when left in a fuel tank too long, which can clog fuel-system components. Two-stroke engines run hotter with an ethanol blend, which accelerates the potential damage. And ethanol can wreak havoc on fiberglass fuel tanks in older boats.
    Last edited by cyclopathic; 12-04-2015 at 03:19 PM.

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    Senior Member mitsumi's Avatar
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    knowledge is power! better be safe than sorry

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    Sheesh...we (and the world) can eat our corn, or we can burn it in our cars. We can't do both. More energy is used making and transporting ethanol than it saves when used as a motor fuel, not to mention the amount of potable water it requires. The ethanol mandate is a joke, and is really nothing more than a gift to the corn lobby to keep prices up. Wanna know how European cars get such good mileage? They are running 100% gasoline, not gasoline cut with vodka and a bunch of other crap.

    It was a neat idea, but it's time to abandon it.

    As to damage to rubber parts, natural rubber isn't really used anymore. It's just too expensive. Since the mid 1990s manufacturers have used 'viton' or some other kind of synthethic rubber, which is highly resistant to ethanol.
    Last edited by Cobrajet; 12-05-2015 at 08:35 AM.

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    For most newer cars... 15% or any higher mix of ethanol mainly comes down to this question: is the engine tuned to run it. Basically if it's not flex fuel, then no it is not. I can have my engine (aftermarket) tuned to run e85 and gain 30+whp literally (not worth the hassle of mixing imo), with no adverse effects on anything else. Of course if your mix I incorrect the engine will run like ****.

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    It is my understanding that E15 is going to be offered alongside of E10 for the foreseeable future. E10 isn't going away.

    So the question for the greenies becomes, "Do I want to pay MORE for fuel that I will get LESS mileage out of?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cobrajet View Post
    It is my understanding that E15 is going to be offered alongside of E10 for the foreseeable future. E10 isn't going away.

    So the question for the greenies becomes, "Do I want to pay MORE for fuel that I will get LESS mileage out of?"

    Only gas stations that want to invest in new pumps and tanks could do this so that really narrows down which gas stations could even afford to do it.


    Greenies have had a choice for several years. E85 has been around for quit some time and readily available, but it has been an utter failure. If I have time I'm going to look into a very, VERY small water injection system that will help to cool off the combustion temps, assist the computer in advancing the ignition timing, and helping to cool off the intake and exhaust valves. The big key though is to find an injector that is small enough.
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    @91cavgt agree unless it is mandatory across the board and replacing E10 it would be another E85. Something to avoid not to buy.

    BTW If someone wants to run E15 they can do it now all they need is .6gal of E85 for every 10 gal of already mandatory E10. But why?

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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclopathic View Post
    @91cavgt agree unless it is mandatory across the board and replacing E10 it would be another E85. Something to avoid not to buy.
    From what I have read about the EPA mandate, they are mandating an increase in ethanol usage, and the only way to meet their goals is to mandate a switch from E10 to E15, but even with that switch there is no guarantee of hitting the mandated amount used. Multiple manufactures have petitioned the EPA to not do this switch for fear of problems caused from the increase of ethanol. Those problems would of course not be covered by any warranty. If there were virtually no risk for damage then the manufactures would not have put warnings in most of the owners manuals of new cars.


    Yet another problem that has not been discussed yet is ethanol is hygroscopic, meaning that it absorbs water. This does not have to be liquid water that ethanol comes in contact with, but just water vapor in the air can be absorbed. As long as gasoline suppliers, refiners, and gas stations implement E85 techniques to keep water out of the fuel then all will be well. But if that does not happen then there will be more fuel filters clogged with water, fuel injectors damaged, and engines miss firing because of the water in the fuel.
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    My gut feeling is this is a big talk issue. When it comes down to problems it'll actually create, its probably going to be quite small. I know of a few guys running HIGH blends of ethanol (around 50%) in their 1980s or 1990s vehicles without any issues at all for years now. Rust on metal lines is probably a bigger deal.

    Do you get lower mileage? Yes. Unless your engine is designed for a higher blend of ethanol your mileage will be lower as will your power output. Some of this can be mitigated with tuning (advancing ignition timing mostly), but ethanol really requires higher compression ratios to fully take advantage of it. Is it going to be noticeable? Probably not.

    Does it cause issues? This is my speculative opinion, but I'm doubtful of it. Modern fuel systems are already designed for ethanol. That means all the seals and fuel lines are made out of a rubber alternative that can handle it.

    Is it worth it to run E10 vs E15 vs straight gas? This will change with the price of gasonline and ethanol. There are cellulosic ethanol plants that are WAY better at making ethanol vs the old corn conversion way. I don't think there are many built yet, but its the next evolution in ethanol production. Here is one example where they are using corn stalks, cobs, and leaves to make ethanol, not the edible corn itself. This should drive the price of ethanol down as they build more plants.

    Personally, I like ethanol. Its a great fuel that you can really have some fun with, its made locally so you can support your own country by using it versus relying on countries with crude oil. With turbo or supercharged cars you can really get a boost in power. For other cars, you really need an engine that is designed for it to take full advantage of it though.

    I do however really dislike how our country has handled implementing it. Its really been given a bad stigma by them trying to ram it down our throats. Also, as mentioned, the old way of producing corn ethanol just isn't an efficient or cost effective method.


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        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Mirage DE 1.2 manual: 47.2 mpg (US) ... 20.1 km/L ... 5.0 L/100 km ... 56.7 mpg (Imp)


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