Mixing Fuel

By: Laura Gibbs
By: Laura Gibbs

Everyday there is one mystery that can only be solved by comparing. What will the price at the pump be when you pull up???

It's a scientific equation that very few of us would get right. But the dollars that could be saved are enticing. $2.82 verses $1.99. So why can't we top off our tank with a little E85 gas? After all most vehicles sold in the United States can run up to 10% ethanol without any problems.

Blas Serrano who is a manager at Butitta Bros. says, "The E85 is corrosive to metal also corrosive with other plastic parts in the fuel injection system. It's very harmful to fuel injector."

While it may sound like a good idea to save a few dollars it's often going to cost even more because changing up the mixture means a trip to the mechanic.

R.J. Rymas who is Senior Director of Special Operations for Road Ranger tells 23 News, “Gas sold in Illinois is already 10% so to do the math to get it right is not easy. If you put too much in you void your cars warranty."

Some automakers are making cars with flexible fuel systems. Flexible fuel systems are where the engine computers dictate what mixture of gasoline and ethanol to put in the tank.

Rymas says, "If you have flexible fuel vehicles then it makes sense. It is definitely cheaper."

Now some drivers are throwing caution to the wind by choosing to go the 50/50 route and say even if their car isn't a flexible fuel vehicle there have been no bumps in the road. But experts say trying if you put E85 in a vehicle that is not designed for it the car will run extremely lean if it runs at all.

As we head into these cold winter months it's not a bad idea to get a tune-up. Mechanics say that's the leading cause of lost gas mileage. Other ways to save include tire pressure, dragging brakes and just bad driving habits.


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