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2012 Chrysler Town and Country
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This van is new to me; 90k at purchase. Was using E85 in Colorado because price so much lower. Now, traveling in another state with NO E85 or even 85 octane, I've noticed much higher mpg. Is this typical and to be expected? The fill-up was over $80 with 87 pricing - quite the shock after E85 in Colorado. Is 87 better for my engine?
 

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Regular gas will get better mileage, and the cost difference more or less makes up the difference.
 
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Your engine is made to use both. I typically experience a drop of 20-25% in MPG. With 87 octane unleaded, my typical city/highway (mixed) MPG is about 20-21 and pure highway is roughly 26. With E85 that drops to 15-17 mixed and 21 highway. If the price is right I will use E85 all day long. On a recent trip to Texas I found E85 in Arkansas for 2.19. Absolute no-brainer with unleaded at 2.99. Got 404 miles on that tank, which was about 21.5 MPG.

A local station here in the St Louis area has E85 for a dime less than unleaded. Hard pass.
 

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2013 Dodge Grand Caravan
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E85 is not the same as 85 octane. E85 will give you poor gas mileage. 85 octane may give you harmful engine knock. I personally won't use E85 because it tends to clog injectors.
 

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Your mpg with E85 will be approximately 30% lower than with regular E10. Taking the lower mpg into account e85 would need to be 30% cheaper for you to break even. For example, if e10 is at $4.50 a gallon, e85 would need to be under $3.00 a gallon to make it worth buying.

Interesting note, coming back from KC stopped in Hannibal for gas. Reg e10 was $3.25 but there was a premium grade with NO ethanol for $4.10. The extra 2-3mpg for no ethanol was real tempting but I resisted due to the $10+ difference for a fill
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you all for replies. I'm now in an area which does not offer either E85 or even 85 octane so I'm only able to utilize 87 octane. I'm not happy at the pump but am loving the higher mpg numbers I'm seeing!
 

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Thank you all for replies. I'm now in an area which does not offer either E85 or even 85 octane so I'm only able to utilize 87 octane. I'm not happy at the pump but am loving the higher mpg numbers I'm seeing!
Never put 85 octane in it. Minimum rating for the van is 87. 85 is for old carbed stuff high up in the mountains only.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
When I'm in Colorado I get gas at Sam's & they offer only 85 octane listed as regular unleaded. Does it matter that I live at 5280' above sea level? I've never heard that I wasn't to use 85 octane! Will have to look into that! TY.
 

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Go 87 or higher. Knock doesn't play.

 

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When I'm in Colorado I get gas at Sam's & they offer only 85 octane listed as regular unleaded. Does it matter that I live at 5280' above sea level? I've never heard that I wasn't to use 85 octane! Will have to look into that! TY.
I’m in Colorado. 85 octane is perfectly fine. Due to lower air density we have lower cylinder pressure, reducing octane requirement. Supercharged or turbocharged engines likely still require higher octane fuel.
 

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If E85 isn’t $0.35 or more cheaper, don’t run it. I’m a huge fan of it, but won’t pay too much for it due to reduced mileage. I’ve run extensive mileage tests to figure out the break even on an 07 Silverado, but don’t use it enough in the van for much data. My favorite mix is filling at half a tank E85 and 87. Mileage reduction is minimal and it keeps the fuel system clean.
 
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