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Under the Hood: by Douglas Automotive

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Ethanol vs. Ethanol-Free

Q:  I have a question regarding grades of gasoline. We travel to Iowa about 1-2 times a month. At one gas station, they sell gas with 10% ethanol and gas without ethanol. The price difference is 40 cents more for ethanol-free. Is there an advantage of using ethanol free as far as performance and mileage, assuming a car gets about 30 mpg?

A: Thanks for the question. I don't know for sure if you would see a significant enough performance or mileage increase to offset the 40 cents per gallon. You may want to try it once and see if you notice any improvement. Today's cars tolerate the 10% ethanol just fine; it is when you put the 15% or higher in where you could start having problems unless it is a flex fuel vehicle. I do not recommend using the E15 in your car or truck unless it is a flex fuel vehicle. Using fuel with 15% or higher ethanol could damage your vehicle and in fact, if you put E85 in a non-flex fuel vehicle it may not even run. So, if your choice is between no ethanol and E15 go with no ethanol. I hope this helps.

Doug

Three locations:

Crystal Lake – 123 E. Virginia, (815) 356-0440

Barrington – 417 W. Main Street, (847) 381-0454

Fox River Grove – 416 Northwest Highway, (847) 639-4552

Visit www.douglasautomotive.com for more info.

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