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Certain ethanol-based gasoline could damage vehicles

The alcoholic base of ethanol makes it dangerous for some cars and could cause mechanical issues
The alcoholic base of ethanol makes it dangerous for some cars and could cause mechanical issues.
Published: Jun. 7, 2022 at 4:30 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 7, 2022 at 6:40 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - Ethanol is a component that a lot of consumers are looking at due to the higher prices at the pump, but that doesn’t always translate to saving money.

“It doesn’t get as good of gas mileage as the E10, so in the long run you end up spending more or about the same,” said Tyler Freyberg, vice president at Freyberg Petroleum. “It doesn’t save you any money, maybe at the pump at the time it saves you money, but you will be filling up more often because the efficiency goes down.”

Freyberg says that E15 and other ethanol substitutions aren’t always the answer that people are looking for.

“With the bill being passed to go to E15, it’s not like there is a whole plethora of ethanol out there. There is a big chance that we are going to run into supply chain issues with that as well. So I think that is going to be our next hurdle to get over.”

There could also be underlying mechanical issues with filling up a vehicle with certain types of ethanol.

“Repeated use on an engine that is not made to handle it can cause big problems and big, big costly repairs down the line,” said Jeremy Stoner, an automotive technician at TGK Automotive.

Stoner says the alcoholic base of ethanol can deteriorate the rubber seals in the engine, which can cause leaks that would require a hefty bill to repair or replace.

Certain vehicles can take E20-E85, known as ‘Flexible-Fuel Vehicles.’

“Compatible both ways so cross-compatible. You can run E-85, you can run gasoline, you can mix them together and whatever blend is in the tank is fine,” Stoner said.

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