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E85 gas in Tahoe


anchor man

Question

I'm not too familiar with the E85 gas that my Tahoe can accept. The $$ savings is attractive, but I don't want engine problems down the road. Is it best to avoid this lower octane fuel??

BTW-2004 Tahoe 5.2 V-tech

thanks

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I'd say that if the manufacturer states that it is okay, go for it. I surely would if I were you. Wish I could run it in my Accord.

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It is perfectly safe for the engine and definetly much cheaper. You will probably loose about 1 - 2 MPG and a little (very little) HP depending on what you are hauling. Still the cost to fill up outweighs the loss in HP and MPG.

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If The manufacturer says that your vehicle is equipped to handle E-85 Then by all means give it a try. You should follow the manufacturers instructions for making the switch. For instance, Chrysler advises to make the switch to E-85 or back to regular fuels while the fuel tank is near 1/2 full and then not to switch back and forth with every fill. I haven't researched other Manufacturers as of yet.

"E85" fuels have disadvantages. The biggest being fuel economy, or lack there of. For example I own a vehicle that can use E85. With regular gas I get around 20 on the freeway doing 70 up to Duluth. With E85 I get around 17 on the freeway doing 70 up to duluth. E85 has to be at least 40 cents cheaper before I break even(Reg. gas $2.19 - E85 $1.79). At 50 cents I start saving 1 penny per mile or $1.00 every 100 miles.

So the prices look attractive (saving 40 to 50 cents at the pump) but when you break it down to the price per mile your still paying the same. Most places in the metro have a fourty cent spread.

The economy of other vehicles can be better or worse, so figuring out your mileage and cost per mile can help you find out if your losing money or saving money!

P.S. are you refering to the 85 in E-85 as the octane rating? E-85 is actually 85% ethonal and 15% gasoline. The addition of ethonal makes the fuel harder to burn and actualy increases the octane rating of regular gas (I'm guessing that this is a low number)

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Check out the national E85 website (Do a google search on E85 Fuel), they have very good info to answer most of your questions, and it looks to me like your vehicle is listed as OK for E85. Like Airjer says, test it out and find out if you are really saving money. In my case, I am getting the same mileage (withing .5 mpg) on my 200 Dodge Caravan so the $ 0.45 - 0.65 price difference is a big incentive.

Thanks for asking the question... They have updated the site with newer vehicle info and it looks like my truck will accept E85 also! I'll have to give it a test next week. Also, your owners manual should mention if it is a "Flex Fuel" vehicle.

Good Luck!

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I think you mean 5.3. Anyways check the eighth digit in your V.I.N., if it's a T then maybe not run E85, but if it's a Z then by all means run E85. The 5.3Z is a dual fuel engine.

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I have friends that have treid this out and they find that they go thru a tank quiker with the e85 opposed to regular gas and that they actually didn't save any cash!!!

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Lower fuel mileage (about 15%-20%), at a lower cost. That's fair. That's the deal.

Don't run it below 50 degrees unless you really want to start sucking the fuel, it burns cooler, so it eats fuel in the cold to maintain optimal engine temps. So, for 6 months a year, you could run E85, and feel good knowing your fuel was grown here in the Heartland (and will be grown again next year, too! Try that with petroleum), instead of shipped all the way around the planet from a region with shakey US political relations.

That's what you will get out of using E85 at this point - to some (like me) it's worthwhile to support, in the hope technology and politics to produce ethanol get better. There's no cost savings to the consumer at this point in time. In fact, our tax dollars subsidize production of Ethanol (still), and 0.6 gallons of oil are burned to produce one gallon of ethanol - so we're actually getting a big discount on E85 at the pump. The same economics surround biodiesel, too.

E85 is still an emerging technology. Use it to support it's future benefits, not to save money today.

And I said all that without being a tree-hugger! Amazing. smile.gif It does burn a lot cleaner, to boot.

-Jim

We have a 2002 Voyager that runs E85

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