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Discussion Starter #21
Funny we're having this discussion. I wanted to post this now because I JUST talked to my storage tank contractor and he's replacing the sump lids on some of the storage tanks at one of our fuel stations. Why? The sump lids weren't tight, the sumps filled with water, and whenever the fueling contractor filled the tanks, all that water was dumped into the tanks. How much? Try 150 gallons. Now, these are 15,000 tanks (3 of them), so there's about 50 gallons in each 15,000 tank. That's about 1.5" of water at the bottom of one of these tanks, and the suction pipe is usually about 6" off the very bottom of the tank. Normally, not a problem with gasoline...the water sits at the bottom, gets sucked out periodically, and you get on with business. But if you have a higher percentage of ethanol than allowed (maybe they get something like E25 for some reason), and his tanks are leaky, you could very easily make a mess of your fuel, and potentially mess up a lot of customers' fuel systems.
 

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Jason - I conceded that it might not be the Ethanol itself doing it. but REGARDLESS absolutely applies. I still have to buy 20% more gasoline REGARDLESS OF WHY. before they switched to E10 I did not have this problem so whether its the E10 or some aspect of the PROCESS of blending in E10 (other additives reacting with ethanol water being absorbed whatever) the problem still remains. I am buying 20% more fuel.

IAFarmer

Ethanol is almost worse than Gasoline. YOU (if your nick means anything) might be an exception. If your a farmer and can make your OWN ethanol then YES ethanol makes perfect sense for you.

For those of us who are not farmers ethanol does nothing for us. Its not about National Independence its about FUEL independence.

It does not matter if the fuel comes from Iraq or Canada or Alaska. It does not matter if its foreign or domestic. Its fuel. WE NEED IT therfore they can charge anything they want for it.

We have more oil in alaska than saudi arabia does. POSSIBLY more oil in alaska than the rest of the world combined.

They won't touch it. For the same reason they would never make a wholesale switch to ethanol or anything else.

The american DOLLAR is physically and literally intertwined with "oil" If gasoline were $1 a gallon again we would go BROKE. No more foreign countries to buy our debt. THEY NEED them to buy our debt to remain solvent.

OH an IA Farmer there was no sticker. I noticed. I tore my van apart Spent a week with a meter testing anything I could shove a probe in. Check for a blown head gasket (I AM now that I think about it getting a LOT more water out the tailpipe hence why I checked for a head gasket)

Took it to my mechanic. Stuffed a computer probe up its but. I even went so far as to start taking things apart LOOKING for problems. SOMETHING to explain why my fuel economy suddenly went into the tank.

When you drive 40,000 or more miles a year 20% "REALLY FREAKING HURTS" Trust me I know I am the one paying for the fuel.

It was not until quite some time later that I HAPPENED to notice one of the stations had this "up to 10% ethanol added" stickers.

thats when I decided to find a station that did not have that sticker. THATS when I pretty conclusively figured out it was the GAS and NOT the car.

The solution to our problems is battery electrics but I can fill an entire other thread with information and ranting on that subject)

Oil goes after ethanol for the same reason they killed battery electrics and the same reason they want to kill anything else that comes along. It means they sell less oil. Duh :)

Its also why they are slightly less ambivalent towards hydrogen. Take a guess what the current most convenient method to MAKE hydrogen with is? You guessed it petroleum. Go Figure :)

Jason. I am trying to be fair. but in the mean time my mpg still sucks.

I assign blame on the FUEL. I had assumed the PORTION of the fuel to blame is Ethanol. You contest it could be something else.

Well if its water then thats ethanol's fault is it not. The ethanol is what attracts the water.

You say maybe its them screwing up the blending. Well if they did not have to blend ethanol it would not be an issue would it.

Either way its the FUEL you think its not the E10? OK scientifically I think its POSSIBLE you could be right. BUT I still have yet to see any conclusive UNBIASED science that supports you.

100% of all testing I have seen so far has been on Late model or FLEX FUEL vehicles which don't count. (because I am not driving a late model or flex fuel vehicle my newest vehicles is over 12 years old)

The rest of my vehicles are almost old enough to register as classic vehicles!! Van's 18 years old jeeps are 20 years old. 7 and 5 more years till I can reg them classic (no more emissions and no more expensive insurance ! yeah!)

People say well there BTU ratings say its 2-3% less power/ BTU's don't mean squat. The flammability of Oxygen and Hydrogen are well know yet we PUT OUT fires with water which is ?? Oxygen and Hydrogen.

Sometimes when you MIX or COMBINE things the end result is NOT a straight up sum of its individual parts.

and then you still have to mix in the parts.

I am curious about the DIRTY FUEL aspect of your argument. its seems to be supported by WATER coming out of my tail pipe. At least I assume its water I can't light it on fire so its not gasoline. even the minivan does this makes the ground slight darker and WET if I sit in one spot under the tail pipe.

Is there a way for me to test the gas for water content? Can I send a gas sample away somewhere to be analyzed like you can with oil?

maybe I really am just getting bad gas. but ALL the gas stations for over a year now? that seems a stretch but I have seen weirder so I am willing to take a go at it.

Water might also explain the dieing o2 sensors I imagine it would not be good for them :)

SO give me other options. I am willing to do the leg work its costing me $900 a year afterall its worth it to me to solve this problem.

Tell me what to do.

Do you want to hear what would be my MOST DESIRED outcome of all this? Take a guess? its to find out the problem is all 7 of my vehicles.

YES thats right I would like nothing better than to find out its my cars. Why? BECAUSE THATS SOMETHING I CAN FIX !!! :)


ahh so you own a gas station jason? HOW DOES one test for water? Ethanol is hygroscopic right ? it absorbs and holds water in suspension does not let it fall to the bottom?

Do you have a place where you can send gasoline to be tested? if so how much does that cost?
 

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I remember the first time I made the mistake of running E-10 in my old Dodge pickup.
I say mistake because it started having idle issues. It was vapor lock. It occurred even after compensating for it with the idle screws.
It hasn't had that crap in it since.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
ahh so you own a gas station jason? HOW DOES one test for water? Ethanol is hygroscopic right ? it absorbs and holds water in suspension does not let it fall to the bottom?
I don't own a gas station. I run the storage tank program for a major US military installation. You can check for water in fuel a number of ways. With conventional gasoline, you can stick the tank with a fuel/water paste that shows, on a long yardstick, the level of water and fuel in the tank. There are also water alarm sensors in the tanks.

Alcohol absorbs water, yes. This is a non-trivial challenge with E85, since most of it is alcohol. With E10, or what's supposed to be E10, it's only 10% alcohol. It's a relatively small percentage by volume. That's why I'm wondering if your fuel is not blended correctly.
 

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So is there a way to test it? BTW got 24mpg today (looks like the O2 sensor was behaving this week) Still going to replace it though so I don't get anymore 21mpg tanks :)

I still hope to get my 28mpg back :)

How do I test it to determine the alcohol content? is there someplace I can send a sample to for analysis?

Will the water "settle" or will the alcohol hold it in suspension? I have a 55 gallon barrel of gasoline nearly full its been sitting for at least a month. Would water have settled or remained suspended in the alcohol?
 

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Discussion Starter #26
So is there a way to test it? BTW got 24mpg today (looks like the O2 sensor was behaving this week) Still going to replace it though so I don't get anymore 21mpg tanks :)
Well now, that's more like it, or at least closer to it. You're at a 15% drop. Sounds like you've got an issue on the van that may be compounded by some excess water in the fuel (or something with the fuel).

How do I test it to determine the alcohol content? is there someplace I can send a sample to for analysis?

Will the water "settle" or will the alcohol hold it in suspension? I have a 55 gallon barrel of gasoline nearly full its been sitting for at least a month. Would water have settled or remained suspended in the alcohol?
Alcohol will hold water in suspension for a long time. For how long, I don't know. If your 55 gallon drum of gasoline is straight gasoline, water would have long settled by now. It wouldn't take more than a few minutes to maybe an hour for the water to collect at the bottom after the drum is shaken or stirred.

I'm not sure about sending a sample in for analysis. You could run the fuel through a fuel/water separator, and that would work for gasoline...but since water molecules "fit inside" alcohol molecules, you likely wouldn't get much water out. Try this sometime: pour 1/4 cup of isopropyl alcohol and 1/4 cup of water into a large measuring cup. You'll end up with less than 1/2 cup of liquid.
 

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I remember the first time I made the mistake of running E-10 in my old Dodge pickup.
I say mistake because it started having idle issues. It was vapor lock. It occurred even after compensating for it with the idle screws.
It hasn't had that crap in it since.
In my area it is impossible not to buy E10. Every single pump I have seen says on it that it is 10% ethanol.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Around here, only the Murphy USA at Wal-Mart bears the ethanol sticker on it. Most pumps don't have the sticker on them, but they may still be E10, who knows. I don't notice any driveability or mileage differences with the different fuel. It all runs the same in our cars.
 

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24 was what I was getting when we switched to E10 the 21mpg tanks are only "recent" when the ses light started coming on. so I do not attribute the 24 to 21 mpg drop to E10 but I do attribute the 28-24mpg drop on E10 :)

so with a 15% drop in fuel economy I am not buying 5% "MORE" oil than before :)
 

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Discussion Starter #30
so with a 15% drop in fuel economy I am not buying 5% "MORE" oil than before :)
Absolutely. If my cars saw a 15% drop in fuel economy with E10, I probably wouldn't like it either.
 

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Well fingers crossed that its something wrong with the cars. Something I can fix myself :)

My latest tank ouch !! 16.2mpg! I did not think the minivan could GET mileage that bad. I know "that" kind of drop can not be from E10 at least I hope its not. I really need to get some of this fuel analyzed so I can see whats in it and need to order that damned O2 sensor so I can get some reliable consistent numbers.
 

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Hope you can find what's wrong here. Then lets run E10 again and prove it's healthiness as a fuel!!!

By the way, Dad has been running is 1974 Plymouth Cuda on E85 for a couple of years and it runs great!!
 

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if its the vehicle them tell me whats wrong? Give me a HINT that I did not already check?

my current daily ride is my 94 Metro. on E10 I averaged 46mpg at the time of testing. on E0 55mpg

thats a 17% loss in fuel economy and that was a very conservative test.

I wish I could drive my minivan again. I truly love my voyager. I keep hoping I will uncover a cheap VW Diesel and then I can convert my voyager to a 40+ mpg diesel hottie :)

Have to find me a new tranny too. it has started to fail on me so I have had to stop driving it though the MPG drop stopped that first. going from 28mpg to 20mpg just hurts too much. thats an extra $1600+ dollars in fuel a year.
 

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Two years and back at this? What engine do you have?

I only get e10 in Illinois and manage 24mpg highway and I drive fast and un eco friendly. My throttle pedal spends lots of time on the floor. I'm sure if I slowed down and calmed down, I could get 25-26mpg highway with a 3.8L. Now in the city I get like 17-18 during the summer and 12-13 over the winter.
 

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yup still trying to solve it too.

I have the 3.0 in mine. could the 3.0 and 3.8 be THAT different?

I used to get 28mpg without even trying. Just back and forth to work. when we switched to E10 It dropped to 17mpg !! now if I drive carefully I can squeeze 20mpg out of it very rarely I can tickle 21mpg.

O2 is good other sensors are good compression is good it runs like a top (well now the tranny is puking on me does not want to shift reverse sometimes slips) It has a new fuel pump (that puked 5 months after going to E10 like the rest of my pumps)

some suggested I might even have "bad gas" around here or a lot of water contamination. this might explain the pumps all going but i drive the van allover the country (the big van) and it gets the same cruddy mpg on E10 and the same great mpg on E0 everywhere I go. 19 on E0 13 on E10 (E150 cubwagon)

at this point I am just trying to figure out how to optimize the vehicles for the stinking ethanol so I can recover some of the mpg losses.
 

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I'm not sure, but I don't think my van has ever had anything but E10 and its on the original pump, at least in the 5 years I've been driving it. So there should be no mechanical problems from it unless you do indeed get bad fuel.

E10 should only net a 1-2mpg drop in most vehicles, and doesn't have any drop in E85 compatible vehicles as their fuel sensors tell the computer that it can do things that it normally can't do with E0.

To be sure, you replaced the upstream O2 sensor right? The only other thing (electronically, not you or engine condition) that can affect the fuel economy without causing noticeable running issues until it gets really bad is the MAP sensor.
 
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