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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
...you used a renewable fuel?

What is old hat to many of you is new and exciting to me. The stars and planets aligned today and I found myself at America's Fuels in Southern Pines, NC, staring down that glorious yellow fuel dispenser. How sweet thy product.

We were driving to Virginia today, and this is the first time we passed through Southern Pines on a day other than Sunday, when the station is closed. It's owned by Bill Smith Ford, and we saw them fueling a few new Grand Marquis cars while we were there. They only sell E85, B20, and E10 (which all vehicles can use). I paid $2.76 for E85 there today (normal 87 octane is running about $2.95 around here.

Since the tank wasn't quite empty, it only took about 12 gallons of E85 (or only about 2 gallons of gasoline). Combine that with the 8 gallons of gas that was already in there and we were running about E50 today. Unfortunately, there are no dispensers near where we are in Virginia so I won't be able to use this on two subsequent tanks. Oh well...

As far as mileage goes, it wasn't too bad, considering it was only E50. We drove for about 70 miles on US-220, at a steady speed of 69 mph with the cruise control. Mileage was about 21 mpg. Normal for that route would be about 25 mpg, so it was pretty close to a 20% drop. It's rolling hills, but generally uphill the whole way (elevation at the end is higher than where we started).

The next major different type of driving was the 7 mile uphill grade on I-77 near the VA/NC state line. I reset the OBC at the bottom and recorded an incredible 11.5 mpg for the 7 miles up the hill. I need to keep it in 3rd going up to keep it from running in OD outside of torque lock (and really heating up the trans. fluid).

When we got to the top, I reset the OBC again, and recorded a more respectable 23.5 mpg on the very hilly terrain of I-77 and I-81 in Virginia, this time without cruise control. I was surprised to actually see BETTER mileage there than on the flat road. I think there was a transition period where the fuel system was adjusting for the fuel and that may be why it returned only 21 mpg on a relatively flat stretch of road.

Unfortunately, I didn't have a chance to fuel the van when we got there. But according to the gas gauge, which is fairly accurate on our van, we burned through about 3/8 of a tank of fuel (or about 7.5 gallons) in about 170 miles. That's an average of about 22.6 mpg, which is close enough to the OBC's reported mileages for me to assume that's actually what we burned.

So assuming 22.6 mpg and $2.76/gallon, that's 12.2 cents/mile.

And for straight gas,

Assuming 25 mpg and $2.95/gallon, that's 11.8 cents/mile.

As far as the economics go, it's pretty close; not bad.

As far as the product consumption goes, we drove about 170 miles on less than 4 gallons of gasoline, about 3.76 to be more precise. As far as gasoline consumption goes, that's over 40 mpg!
 

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Yes, I sure do. It was a bit nerve racking, but in the end, I was pleased. I just filled up again today on my way to the Iowa State Fair. Sure feels good.....
 

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Wish I had the option. Now that I think about it, the lack of E85 compatibility is a big strike against us buying out the '06 SXT at the end of its lease. I really like this one though--it seems more nimble on its feet than the '02 did, and it seems to be a better sprinter as well. I also like the butane blue color and those cool "ingot" wheels.

But it won't digest E85...
 

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Yeah I remember my first time. It was not pleasurable. I was not even aware I was using "renewable" fuel. What I noted was my fuel economy suddenly went from 28mpg to 22mpg. when you drive 40,000 plus miles a year that hurts and hurts a lot. The fuel cost more than it did last week so I did not even see a dollar savings. This was my first experience and sadly not my last experience with E10. I officially hate the stuff.

NOW my second experience with a renewable fuel was a pleasure! I was doing some work in philly and I was driving my 300D and the station I parked at opened there Biodiesel pumps! It was a hair more than regular diesel but I was intrigued.

I got 2 mpg MORE than with regular diesel (went from 27 to 29mpg) and almost ZERO smoke!! in fact I think the little smoke I did see was the left over regular diesel.

I love biodiesel. I was hoping to mess with making my own Bio Diesel but alas I am getting rid of those 300D (I have 2) I really need 50mpg and these will not get me that.

If I ever get another Diesel vehicle (sadly they are so expensive) I will definitely enjoy putting biodiesel fuel into it. Great stuff

Ethanol on the other hand. It sucks. Big time and it saves us from using gasoline by using up an even more precious resource. Massive insane quantities of fresh water.

I mean if they made it from desalination and it cost a lower amount equal to its lower fuel economy. Great I would have no problem with it. But it costs MORE and gives me LESS while using MORE resources.

They replaced 10% of my fuel with Ethanol and now I am losing 15% to 20% of my fuel economy so I am now buying MORE foreign oil than before!

I know the science says I should only lose 2-3% from the E10 but I really don't care what the science says. The science is not giving me my fuel economy back in all 6 cars that I have tried with. Whats more likely the unsupported likely oil company science is right and all 6 of my cars are defective and just happened to go defective on the very first tank of E10 in each car (and 3 of them went back to NORMAL when I found non E10 fuel but alas thats impossible any longer ALL stations are now E10)

Or that the science is just wrong in this case. Maybe they only tried in NEW cars and did not try there "science" in 10-15 year old cars with 190,000 to 465,000 miles on them.

I am looking forward to solar battery electrics and hydrogen (if I can make it myself ZERO interest in buying H2 at the pump)

2015. Thats when the patent expires. Thats when Battery Electrics are going to explode!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
You lost over 20% using E10? That's not physically possible. I barely lost that much economy with E85. Subsequent tanks of pure E85 proved a 15-20% drop in economy.

Something else was amiss with your E10 experience. Some other variable not yet figured, like a weird fuel injector or oxygen sensor or something. I've never lost more than about 5% going back and forth between E10, which is all in sampling noise.
 

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You lost over 20% using E10? That's not physically possible. I barely lost that much economy with E85. Subsequent tanks of pure E85 proved a 15-20% drop in economy.

Something else was amiss with your E10 experience. Some other variable not yet figured, like a weird fuel injector or oxygen sensor or something. I've never lost more than about 5% going back and forth between E10, which is all in sampling noise.
I'm thinking that you should save your breath (or key strokes in this case), nerys is absolutely convinced that E10 causes huge reductions in fuel economy, regardless of what any of the rest of us (or the scientific studies) say or show.
 

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I believe you but what else can I check? Sensors are fine everything else appears to check out.

I really would love for it to be some "thing" overlooked that the E10 simply caused to fail that if I fix will bring things back!

Ship. Here are the facts. Put E10 in my cars 15-20% drop in economy. Period.

Thats not up for discussion. I have to pay the fuel bill afterall.

NOW I am open to it being "something else" wrong that was instigated by the E10. Absolutely. Please tell me what you think it could be?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I don't know why you would see such a difference in your mileage. Maybe your E10 isn't really E10 (maybe it's E30 or something). Or, because alcohol absorbs water, maybe the fuel tanks at your E10 station aren't tight, and rainwater seeps in and mixes with the water. If the same thing happened with straight gasoline, most of the water would pool at the bottom. Or maybe the environment where you live creates a lot of condensation in the tank or something. I don't know...it could be anything, really.

This article here reports owners with sour E10 experiences:

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/features/lifestyle/green/orl-gas2208sep22,0,7180511.story

I realize that laboratory testing doesn't always accurately represent the real world, but that said, I've not seen any controlled real-world testing that can show the results that some folks report. I don't argue that you're seeing that decline. But you shouldn't be...there have got to be other variables at play.
 

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I tend to agree with you but that belies the real world results I am seeing (and for a short time I was able to successfully test it by going to NON E10 gas stations but now they are all E10)

I am kind of siding with shipo that "something else" is wrong with the cars. I am thinking the E10 caused it but indirectly.

In the Minivan it might be the O2 sensor it just failed on me last week. I am wondering if maybe the E10 wacked the O2 sensor right away and it just took this long for it to fail enough to invoke a SES light.

I guess I will find out when I replace it :) but on the other vehicles the O2's appear to be fine. So who knows.

I just wish I could fix it. that 6mpg loss is costing me roughly $876 a year at $3 a gallon. Thats a lot of cash :-(
 

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Oh and thanks for the article!

Hey shipo let me QUOTE for you

"Ethanol proponents argue there is virtually no difference in fuel economy between unleaded gasoline and the new blend. Yet, few entirely unbiased studies have been done on the effects on gas mileage."

So where are these scientific reports you keep claiming and battering me with. I have yet to see you post a URL to one?
 

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Oh and thanks for the article!

Hey shipo let me QUOTE for you

"Ethanol proponents argue there is virtually no difference in fuel economy between unleaded gasoline and the new blend. Yet, few entirely unbiased studies have been done on the effects on gas mileage."

So where are these scientific reports you keep claiming and battering me with. I have yet to see you post a URL to one?
Studies that you'll have to pay for:
http://www.sae.org/technical/papers/2008-01-1768
http://www.sae.org/technical/papers/922378
http://www.sae.org/technical/papers/2005-26-034

Freely available articles and studies:
http://www.ethanol.org/pdf/contentmgmt/ACEFuelEconomyStudy_001.pdf
http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/ethanol.shtml
http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/flextech.shtml
http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/cu-press-room/pressroom/archive/2006/10/0610_eng0610e85_ov.htm?EXTKEY=SP72CR0&CMP=KNC-CROYPIBRAND&HBX_OU=51&HBX_PK=pi
http://www.biofuelsbusiness.com/feature_stories.asp?ArticleID=89900
http://www.motortrend.com/features/newswire/33057/index.html
http://domesticfuel.com/2005/09/19/ethanol-fuel-economy-study/
http://www.agriculture.com/ag/story.jhtml?storyid=/templatedata/ag/story/data/1147098565893.xml
http://factsaboutethanol.org/?p=135

Please note, even in the studies that are highly critical of ethanol, the worst fuel economy reduction I way was 5% when using E10 and 28% when using E85.
 

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I do not have time this second (maybe later tonight) either way you took the time to find and post those links the least I can do is take the time to read them.

a few are suspect immediately (ethanol.org fueleconomy.gov and biofuelbusiness.com catch my eye as immediately suspect) but I will read every one of them.

Hopefully they actually tested the mixture of gasoline and ethanol IN vehicles and not just the mathematical values of the mixture. :)
 

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I checked them out.

Starting at the bottom. Facts about ethanol. They only tested on NEW vehicles (2001 and newer fleet vehicles and only 12 of them)

So that ones no good for our problem

The next one. The agriculture page. Only talks about E85 (with numbers) and ONLY in "FLEX FUEL" vehicles. IE vehicles "DESIGNED" with ethanol in mind. ZERO discussion on older conventional vehicles.

The next one is Domestic Fuel

"The research tested unleaded gasoline, a 10% ethanol blend (E10), a 20% ethanol blend (E20), and a 30% ethanol blend (E30) in three late-model vehicles. The Chevrolet Impala, Ford Taurus, and Toyota Camry were not flexible fuel vehicles, and no modifications were made to them for this research."

At least they tested on NORMAL cars but they used all "normally high" mpg vehicles (diluting the differences) and all LATE model vehicles.

I contest that it effects newer vehicles to a smaller degree for some reason. ie "something" about older cars pukes on ethanol.

Motor Trend is next

"Previous assumptions held that ethanol's lower energy content directly correlates with lower fuel economy for drivers. Those assumptions were found to be incorrect. Instead, the new research strongly suggests that there is an "optimal blend level" of ethanol and gasoline--most likely E20 or E30--at which cars will get better mileage than predicted based strictly on the fuel's per-gallon Btu content. The new study, cosponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE), also found that mid-range ethanol blends reduce harmful tailpipe emissions."

Note the part where it says based STRICTLY on the fuels per gallon BTU rating. if we based the combustability of Water strictly on its constituent components it would start fires not put them out. Thats my point. What the science says based on BTU's alone ignores the real world ramifications of mixing the liquids together and putting them in a cars engine.

Later they go on to test vehicles but there results are so all over the place they are immediately suspect with some vehicles doing BETTER on ethanol than unleaded alone which based on your "science is right" attitude should be "impossible" since it physical contains fewer BTU's

biofuel business website

"Research findings released Dec. 5 show that mid-range ethanol blends—fuel mixtures with more ethanol than E10 but less than E85—can in some cases provide better fuel economy than regular unleaded gasoline, even in standard, non-flex-fuel vehicles."

another immediately suspect article. I have yet to encounter a SINGLE SOUL who gets "better" fuel economy with ethanol. NOT ONE.

Consumer reports. ONLY discusses E85 NOTHING relevant on E10.

Fuel economy .gov

"FFVs experience no loss in performance when operating on E85. However, since a gallon of ethanol contains less energy than a gallon of gasoline, FFVs typically get about 20-30% fewer miles per gallon when fueled with E85."

another one that ONLY talks about E85 and another one with NO TESTING at all they simply "ASSUMED" what the reduction was based on the potentially flawed math of the two fuels BTU content.

and your last link (first in the list)

"MPG. FFVs operating on E85 usually experience a 20-30% drop in miles per gallon due to ethanol’s lower energy content."

another one based purely on the math and ONLY discussing E85 and FLEX FUEL vehicles ie DESIGNED to use ethanol.

SO not one of the links you gave me "scientifically" validates anything you have said. its all anecdotal data or testing no better than testing I can do myself IE according to you NOT scientific.


I await some scientific data and NO I am not going to pay money for what will likely not even give me what I want (e10 tested on a variety of OLDER non flex non high mpg vehicles IE what most of us are driving)

Oh forgot one. the first one is a PDF

first its FROM ethanol produces (instantly suspect) second again it only tested LATE MODEL vehicles and only vehicles that already do pretty good on mpg (same as one of the other reports actually same vehicles and all so likely the very same "study" ie not scientific and NOT on older normal vehicles.
 

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nerys, you're real good at dumping on things you don't want to believe, and it's certainly your prerogative to do so, however, I've yet to see you come up with anything more concrete than your completely irrelevant anecdotal reports. If you want to continue this discussion, do some leg-work of your own for a change.
 

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Fwiw, Years ago my Dad decided to try something. 1970 Dodge Wagon. He stopped in Nogales, MX after clearing customs, and fueled up on the family's way SOUTH for a vacation. On his way back, he stopped in Nogales, MX. side of the border and topped off his tank, then went through customs. For the next week, running around Phoenix, he got more MPG than he'd EVER gotten with that car on US gas. Of course, our gas contains about 30% non-flamible additives that are supposed to keep our engine and air clean (?). Mexico gas doesn't .......

Nerys, what you asking for the 300D's ?
 

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$1200 for the 76 $800 for the 75 $2000 for both and I will toss in the shop manuals I have for them.

shipo. Let me get this straight. You post a bunch of URL's that have absolutely ZERO scientific value at all except MAYBE possibly the first URL (the pdf and its suspect because it contains only the results and not much of the science)

Clearly you did not READ the url's you gave to me lest you would have chosen NOT to post them at all.

I take time out of my life to give you the respect to fully READ every single stinking url you give me.

I find a logical FLAW in each and every one of them that INVALIDATES them for our argument and your responce to this is to simply ignore/reject my responce?

WHO's being delusional here shipo?

I HAVE give you CONCRETE evidence to support my claims.

1988 Cherokee 465,000 miles. average for my commute 24mpg (yes I was able to reliably achieve that figure my commute is 90% highway and its long 54miles one way)

Post Ethanol. 19mpg. I take some 3+year old gasoline PRE ethanol out of my dad's motorhome and I get 23mpg on it (it is 3 years old afterall)

I go back to ethanol and I get 19mpg.

Short of me going 4 wheeling or taking a trip up a few mountains NO DRIVING CHANGES ARE POSSIBLE within reason that would result in such a MASSIVE difference in mpg.

1992 Ford E150 Clubwagon. roughly 200,000 miles 5 liter V8

Typical highway mileage average over ONE WHOLE YEAR before I was even aware of what "eco driving" was was 18-19mpg

I fill up with ONE TANK of ethanol (its a 35 gallon tank so its a lot) and my mileage was 12mpg. I fill up again my mileage is 13mpg

I fill up at a different station my mileage is 17.5 (some ethanol fuel still left inside)

I go back to that station AGAIN 18.5mpg

AGAIN 18.4mpg

AGAIN 13mpg. HEY buddy when did you get ethanol ? He looks at me funny and says HOW did you know that? I reply my MPG is in the tank again. Thats how. he got ethanol 5 days earlier (I filled up this tank 2 days prior)

After that I am UNABLE to find non ethanol fuel any longer. TODAY I can ALMOST get 16mpg out of it with some extreme eco driving. Sadly driving VERY carefully has only really helped the Clubwagon the other vehicles see improvements small enough to ignore as anomalies and thats ONLY with PURE highway driving. On my commute I can not surpass 14.5mpg on ethanol.

1996 Plymouth Voyager 189,000 miles.

ROCK SOLID mpg average OVER 26mpg with 28mpg achieved more than 50% of the time. and this is data from almost 3 years of driving that van. I believe my max was 29.5mpg but that was a one time measurement so I eliminated it as a fluke IE did not fill up all the way or something.

I fill it with ethanol and I am getting 22-23mpg SOLID for the last 8+ months almost NO CHANGE in mpg (my driving really is pretty boring its the exact same route at the exact same time every day it almost never changes)

My Dad's 94 Lumina FI 3.8 I believe. When I was driving HIS van (IE ME driving) I was able to get 24-25mpg out of it reliably every time.

HIS max now is 20-21mpg (almost always 20mpg) I thought it was just his lead foot so we switched vehicles for the day. I managed the 21mpg. that was 3 days or 6 times at 54miles. I kept it for another 3 days (another tank of gas) again 21mpg.

My Mom's Lumina 94 Lumina (but carburated or throttle body) she was averaging 23-24mpg (just slightly less than my dad's Lumina I attributed this to the lack of FI)

After ethanol 20-21 MAX

NOW here is some new data for you. I have never calculated this information before lets check the percentages.

Mom's Lumina lost 16% of her fuel economy
Dad's Lumina lost 16-20% of his fuel economy

My Club wagon lost 23% of its economy and thats only by adding eco driving post ethanol.

My Voyager lost 21% of its fuel economy
My Jeep lost 20.8% of its fuel economy.

ARE YOU NOTICING A TREND HERE SHIPO.

YOU tell me what is the probability that all my vehicles are just by CHANCE losing 16-20% of there fuel economy ALL at the SAME time ALL on the SAME stinking fuel.

oh and not one tank fill is less than 200 miles driving most over 300 miles between fills. So its not like I am doing it every 50 miles where "fill" discrepancy can have a large impact.

I record my info so reliably and drive so consistently that I can with over 95% accuracy determine HOW MANY GALLONS the guy is going to get into the tank as I pull into the station.

YOU explain that to me.

Sadly I can no longer TEST vehicles because I can no longer GET non ethanol fuel.

So there is some reliable empirical data for you. Now your turn.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
It sounds to me as if there's an anamoly in your area for some reason. All of your vehicles seem to consistently get hit much harder than everyone else's when using E10. Unfortunately, it's impossible to know why. Weather conditions, fuel station quality, who knows (I don't). One variable which you cannot address or measure is the true ethanol content of the fuel you're buying at the station. Who knows what it is, how many impurities there are in it, how much water it has soaked up in transport or in the pipe line, etc. That's a fairly BIG variable in my opinion that we'll never be able to decipher. Even though the fuel might be labeled as "E10", who knows what it really is.

I do hope that you'll at least acknowledge that your negative experiences with it are not common, and that, in general, most people's experience with E10 is largely no different from that with gasoline. There's only E10 where I live, and I consistently exceed the EPA MPG standards with my vehicles, even the "old" EPA standards. With my Dodge and Toyota, I'm almost getting the "new" EPA highway MPG with them on my commute, which is mostly city/suburban driving. The Chrysler is pretty close to the "old" EPA standards of 18/25.

In fact, E10 was not in general use where I used to live in Virginia, but it is in North Carolina. When I moved down here 5 years ago, my MPG actually increased when I did. Now, much of that increase was due to the difference in terrain (mostly flat here, hilly in VA). But it also goes to show you that in all the vehicles I've owned, E10 itself makes a pretty negligible difference in fuel economy. As I stated earlier, even running E85, I'm just barely getting the hit you're getting.

I suspect the fuel in your area. It's not E10's "fault" per se...but possibly poor fuel quality in general. Maybe the pure gasoline you get is piped in from afar, but the E10 is blended close to you in what may not be a very accurate process. I don't know.
 

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Hmmm I don't know. Either way it boils down to bad fuel whether its E10 or not.

I get fuel from a pretty big seperation of distance. I live in 19057 PA but work in 08215 NJ I think there is a refinery in NJ somewhere which is likely where my fuel comes from.

Is there anyway to test it? Now interestingly enough when I went out to Naram in Virginia that was the 2 times I managed above 14mpg I got 16 and almost 17 (16.7 iirc) mpg but once I came back home it was back down under 14mpg again.

It was also slightly "more" city driving out there than I do here at home.

I wonder if I got regular gasoline down there. It was quite a distance from home but not that far only about 6 hours drive.

Next year Naram is actually farther away but still instate (pittsburg pa area) so I am betting I will be getting the same fuel.

I just wish I could find some non E10 fuel to test with.

There are hundreds if not thousands of other people "also" getting hit as hard as I am but YES "we" do appear to be the exceptions and not the norms. At first I thought well would it not be all over the news I mean you would not be able to not notice the kind of "hit" I am seeing. If others were hit like that they surely there would be a big stink about it. But then I saw this Election race on the news and realized just how much control the media companies have over what gets aired and what does not get aired. If its not on the news it does not exist for all intents and purposes.

Either way E10 being at fault or sloppy processing or water in the fuel whatever the causes It does not solve my problem. the "new" fuel sucks :) regardless of why it sucks.

I just wish I could fix it.

I am still thinking the "fuel" is doing something to my O2 sensors. I mean all my vehicles are near or over 200,000 miles. maybe the fuel is just nastier to older sensors. I guess I will find out when I replace them in the voyager alas they are so stinking expensive. I just can not afford to "replace" them all to see what happens I physically do not make enough money to do that. I still have not ordered the one for my voyager got to wait till my next payday to do that.

Is it possible for an O2 sensor to flub enough to cause this fuel drop yet NOT enough to invoke a SES light? Maybe all my o2 got crapped on with this fuel but not enough to cause a fault ?
 

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Nerys, Please post your non-biased scientific papers that quote what you are stating. The oil companies are out to destroy ethanol, as it saves us form purchasing millions of gallons of gasoline each year.

There is virtually no difference in fuel mileage from E10 to Regular (1-2% tops). I would suspect if the sticker did not say 10%, you wouldn't have noticed. As much as you drive, you have burned more E10 than you even know, as it is required in most states due to MBTE causing cancer.

My Flex Fuel Silverado pickup truck gets better mileage on E85 than my Dad's 01 Ram pickup gets on regular gas. Which is better?

As for E85 production, I suspect your numbers are outdated as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Either way E10 being at fault or sloppy processing or water in the fuel whatever the causes It does not solve my problem. the "new" fuel sucks :) regardless of why it sucks.
No, it's not "regardless of why it sucks". Your earlier statement was that E10 sucks because it reduces your fuel mileage by 20%. My point is, I don't think it was E10 that was doing it. It's something else. Let's at least be fair and understand what the difference is before we assign blame.
 
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