Shell Gas -- 10% Ethanol? - BMW M5 Forum and M6 Forums
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post #1 of 15 Old 17th November 2006, 06:50 PM Thread Starter
andrewsherman
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Shell Gas -- 10% Ethanol?

I don't disillusion myself about being anything but ignorant when it comes to types of gas and E85, but I was very surprised to see a sticker on the pump at Shell stating that the gas has 10% ethanol. I always thought U.S. gas was 5% ethanol and what we call E85 was 15% ethanol. It is my understanding that (i) E85 is corrosive and should only be used in vehicles with gas tanks specialy designed for it and (ii) that fuel economy with E85 is about 20% less than with standard gas.

Can anybody confirm that U.S. gas typically contains only 5% ethanol? Also, any idea whether the Shell 10% ethanol fuels can create corrosion issues with the tank on the M5 and/or reduce the already pitiful fuel "efficiency"?

Needless to say, I passed on Shell and have been filling up elsewhere for the time being.

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post #2 of 15 Old 17th November 2006, 06:59 PM
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I believe its a new federal law that all gas must contain 10% ethanol and since our gov't didn't give enough time for refineries to slowly adjust the process gas initial spiked up around 20% because of this. this was before katrina.
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post #3 of 15 Old 17th November 2006, 07:05 PM
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In WI most gas can be "up to" 10% ethanol and typically is. We also have "reformulated" gas, which is another matter entirely, in the urban counties.

E85 is 85% alcohol and 15% gasoline. It has a high octane rating, I think it is 105. Good for turbocharged engines, but the system must be designed to use it.

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post #4 of 15 Old 17th November 2006, 09:52 PM
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Funny you should mention this Andrew,
In NY they follow Fed. regulation about the 10% ethanol...BUT that is only between certain months...if fact if you read the fine print next time while you are pumping the gas you will notice...starts in Nov....goes through to Mar/Apr....even funnier though is this E85...or as GM calls it Flexfuel.....The stuff as of today does not exist in NY ....at least not yet...so thoise who buy these Flexfuel SUVS can't benefit from them by gassing up in NYS....What I would like to know is where in NY can you buy 100 Octane fuel....I remember Texaco Stations(and not all of them) used to carry CanAm Racing fuel 104 Octane...but no more???...anyone know???
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post #5 of 15 Old 17th November 2006, 10:01 PM
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post #6 of 15 Old 17th November 2006, 11:04 PM
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post #7 of 15 Old 17th November 2006, 11:06 PM Thread Starter
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I guess I am not only ignorant but also cixelsyd! I get it now: standard gas is up to 10% ethanol (at times) and E85 is 15% gas and 85% ethanol (not the other way around). That makes much more sense and would explain why the decrease in mpg does not completely negate the benefits.

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post #8 of 15 Old 18th November 2006, 12:12 AM
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If it's got ethanol in it, I believe they have to say that on the pump. My shell station states 10% ethanol, but my Sunoco doesn't have any reference to ethanol. I'll stick with the non-ethanol blends for this beast.

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post #9 of 15 Old 18th November 2006, 05:45 AM
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10% Ethanol began when the addative MTBE was banned in the US a few years back. Now it's all 10%. As a result of the change Sunoco gas station here in CT went from having 94 octane to 93. I guess it's a good thing though from the environmental POV. MTBE was a very powerful/nasty chemical. I remember reading an article about MTBE stating that 1 tea spoonful of MTBE contaminated 10,000 gallons of drinking water

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post #10 of 15 Old 19th November 2006, 05:11 AM
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BMW knows that there is a problem with the ethanol. However, they have not released the software upgrades yet because they have not been fully tested. If you use cars with ethanol you have 2 problems: car will not perform as it should and engines will idle rough when cold. As soon as I get a answer to this question; I will post a reply.

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