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Local stations just started selling E85, since my van is flex-fuel I though I'd give it a try, but before I do I'd like to see who's running/ran it and what kind of results they've gotten.

It's cheaper then regular 87 octane, but from what I've heard you get less MPG from E85.
 

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Local stations just started selling E85, since my van is flex-fuel I though I'd give it a try, but before I do I'd like to see who's running/ran it and what kind of results they've gotten.

It's cheaper then regular 87 octane, but from what I've heard you get less MPG from E85.


This is a quote from factory shop manual


" If flex fuel oil is not used when using E85 fuel, engine wear or damage may result "

Sooo, First you'll need to change to flex fuel oil and engine oil is not cheap and mpg
is less so how much can you save. I have a flex van but wouldn't waste my
time.
 

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Unless their's no other gas for hundreds of miles, there's no reason to use E85.

It will also have to be priced 1/2 the cost of regular to make it worthwhile.
 

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$0.35 is the break even. If the E85 is $0.35 cents less than Gasoline, you can burn either one and there is no difference in your pocket book.
 

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This is a quote from factory shop manual


" If flex fuel oil is not used when using E85 fuel, engine wear or damage may result "
Interesting. Is that also stated in the owners manual?

Sent via Tapatalk 2
 

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AAA seems to be concerned about E15: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2012/11/30/aaa-e15-gas-harm-cars/1735793/

For E85, from a 2007 Caravan Owner Manual:
DO NOT use gasolines containing Methanol or E85 Ethanol. Use of these blends may result in starting and driveability problems and may damage critical fuel system components.
FLEXIBLE FUEL — FLEET VEHICLES ONLY
E-85 General Information
The information in this section is for Flexible Fuel vehicles only. These vehicles can be identified by the unique fuel filler door label that states Ethanol (E-85) or Unleaded Gasoline Only. This section only covers those subjects that are unique to these vehicles. Please refer to the other sections of this manual for information on features that are common between Flexible Fuel and
gasoline only powered vehicles.
CAUTION!
Only vehicles with the E-85 Decal and/or fuel filler door label can operate on E-85.
ETHANOL FUEL (E-85)
E-85 is a mixture of approximately 85% fuel ethanol and 15% unleaded gasoline. Your vehicle will operate on both unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 87, or E-85 fuel, or any mixture of these two.
STARTING AND OPERATING
For best results, a refueling pattern that alternates between E-85 and unleaded gasoline should be avoided. When you do switch fuels, it is recommended that
- you do not switch when the fuel gauge indicates less than 1/4 full
- you do not add less than 5 gallons (19L) when refueling
- you operate the vehicle immediately after refueling for a period of at least 5 minutes
Observing these precautions will avoid possible hard starting and/or significant deterioration in driveability during warm up.
NOTE: When the ambient temperature is above 90°F (32°C), you may experience hard starting and rough idle following start up even if the above recommendations are followed.
Selection Of Engine Oil For Flexible Fuel Vehicles (E-85) and Gasoline Vehicles
Whether operating the vehicle on an E-85 ethanol fuel or unleaded gasoline the engine oil requirements are the same. Refer to the “Maintenance Procedures” section of this manual for the proper quality and viscosity engine oil.
Starting
The characteristics of E-85 fuel make it unsuitable for use when ambient temperatures fall below 0°F (-18°C). In the range of 0°F (-18°C) to 32°F (0°C), you may experience an increase in the time it takes for your engine to start, and a deterioration in drivability (sags and/or hesitations) until the engine is fully warmed up.
Isn't the Chrysler MS 6395 spec related to flex fuel use?
 

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fix it if you can
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$0.35 is the break even. If the E85 is $0.35 cents less than Gasoline, you can burn either one and there is no difference in your pocket book.
Seems to me it's a bit more complicated than that.. The fuel itself is 33% less caloric than pure gasoline but there's also the fact that you'll be carrying the extra weight of the additional fuel to make up for the MPG difference. Also, if you have to make more refueling stops or look specifically for e85..

For those interested, there's a bunch of good info (both pro and con) on the wiki page for E85.
 

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I ran it in my '99. There was no difference in performance. IIRC, the "special oil" requirement has been rescinded and as long as you follow your oil change guidelines and run the recommended grade and API rated oil, you should be fine.

There will be a gas mileage decrease. The person who said it has to cost half of what 87 does is not even close to being accurate... I found it needed to be about 15% cheaper than gas in order for it to pay off (but most of our stations already sell E10, which would affect numbers slightly).
 

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Interesting. Is that also stated in the owners manual?

Sent via Tapatalk 2
This is a quote from factory shop manual


" If flex fuel oil is not used when using E85 fuel, engine wear or damage may result "

Sooo, First you'll need to change to flex fuel oil and engine oil is not cheap and mpg
is less so how much can you save. I have a flex van but wouldn't waste my
time.
AAA seems to be concerned about E15: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2012/11/30/aaa-e15-gas-harm-cars/1735793/

For E85, from a 2007 Caravan Owner Manual:



Isn't the Chrysler MS 6395 spec related to flex fuel use?
Thanks Jeepman, the OP did say his was a 2011 and so is mine,
that's why I asked. I never read that in my manual, I thought
maybe I missed something.:)
 

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2009 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT (3.8); 2003 Dodge Grand Caravan eL (3.8)
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Isn't the Chrysler MS 6395 spec related to flex fuel use?
I believe that is correct, based on this quote from the 2011 manual

Selection Of Engine Oil For Flexible Fuel Vehicles (E-85) And Gasoline Vehicles

FFV vehicles operated on E-85 require specially formulated engine oils. These special requirements are included in MOPAR engine oils, and in equivalent oils meeting Chrysler Specification MS-6395. The manufacturer requires engine oils that are API Certified and meet the requirements of Material Standard MS-6395. MS-6395 contains additional requirements, developed during extensive fleet testing, to provide additional protection to Chrysler Group LLC engines. Use MOPAR or an equivalent oil meeting the specification MS-6395.
George
 

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I believe there are some motor oils on the market that don't claim (certified in writing) to meet the Chrysler MS 6395 spec, Mobil being one of them.

From http://www.mobiloil.com/USA-English/MotorOil/Car_Care/AskMobil/Mobil_1_and_Chrysler_MS-6395.aspx
Chrysler’s latest revision to the MS-6395 specification calls for a field trial spanning multiple seasons over two years. While we fully expect the exceptional performance of Mobil 1 synthetic motor oil to meet Chrysler’s specification requirements, at this time we are in the process of evaluating our timeline to start this testing.
I don't know that "high mileage" oils claim to meet the MS 6395 spec either.
 

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Selection Of Engine Oil For Flexible Fuel Vehicles (E-85) And Gasoline Vehicles

FFV vehicles operated on E-85 require specially formulated engine oils. These special requirements are included in MOPAR engine oils, and in equivalent oils meeting Chrysler Specification MS-6395. The manufacturer requires engine oils that are API Certified and meet the requirements of Material Standard MS-6395. MS-6395 contains additional requirements, developed during extensive fleet testing, to provide additional protection to Chrysler Group LLC engines. Use MOPAR or an equivalent oil meeting the specification MS-6395.



I believe that is correct, based on this quote from the 2011 manual



George
After researching Mobil 1 and Shell, I get the feeling it's kinda like
Harley Davidson, "Use only our oil." The main thing I see different
in their spec is a two year test requirement.:)
 

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I wouldn't want a receipt anywhere in the vehicle stating Mobil 1 was bought for it or placed in the engine if I had to bring it in for warranty work on the engine that was oil related.
 

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I wouldn't want a receipt anywhere in the vehicle stating Mobil 1 was bought for it or placed in the engine if I had to bring it in for warranty work on the engine that was oil related.
I agree, no need to "borrow trouble".

Check out what it says on the container as to what specification it meets.
 

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I've occasionally run E85 in my '98. I find it really has to be something like 25% cheaper to break even, depending on summer vs winter blends (winter blend is about E70). Other than the MPG difference, I noticed no behavior or performance differences with E85.

I heard somewhere that the main issue with the "special oil" is that burning E85 is more likely to create some acidic combustion byproducts or blow-by, and so the oil needs more ability to neutralize those acids (in part measured by the TBN of the oil).

Ditto on the Mobil 1 issue -- there is a reason Mobil came out with Mobil 1 EP. There are a lot of better oils out there than regular Mobil 1.

- G
 

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My 05 GC has the 3.8L, but my 2000 Ranger pickup has the 3.0L flex fuel engine. My normal mpg is 22-25. When using E85 it drops to 14-16. Using those ratios E85 has to be at least 75 cents cheaper per gal to net the same dollars per mile.
 

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Supposedly newer (2011+) vehicles are more efficient when running on Ethanol than those made at the turn of the century..
But unless we're talking direct injection or other specific adaptations for higher octane rating, E85 is 30% less energy dense than E15 (that does not include any 'tuning'/motor control efficiency losses)
 
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