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I posted the following to another thread which wasn't really about running ethanol fuel but about premium. I think though after what I discovered with an older car that I ran regular in and let sit for extended periods of time it might be worthwhile to post some of the issues one might have with ethanol and long term storage of vehicles.

For some of us smart owners, we might not drive our vehicles all year round and this issue may at some point hit us. Maybe not, I really don't know for sure but worth pointing it out.

Makes me wonder what other reasons MB has for suggesting only using premium in our cars. However not all premium is ethanol free from what I am discovering.

an Extraius Socius Smart car getting 68+mpg
UK and Canadian gallons are measured in Imperial gallons which are larger than US gallons therefore we in Canada and those in the UK will always get 'better' MPG.

Running premium, theoretically you will also get slightly better mpg depending on how you drive as the fuel is more efficiently combusted, technically however with other factors thrown in it may or may not occur.

https://www.google.ca/search?client...F-8&gfe_rd=cr&dcr=0&ei=WMnUWa7COpOR8Qfqia_QCg

However if your question is actually more along the lines of wanting to justify using regular instead of premium I would think twice about it. I can tell you that if you let you car sit for extended periods of time running regular which has higher concentrations of ETHANOL will cause problems with your vehicle especially older cars that did not have their fuel systems designed to deal with the corrosive nature of ethanol in fuel. Therefore if you only drive your smart during the summer or worse if you only drive a car maybe once a year and do not run through the entire tank of gas you could damage your fuel system.

How do I know this???? Well my 86 T-Bird TC just came back from the shop, I only drive this car once or twice a year and as a result of letting it sit with regular fuel in the tank the ethanol mix became corrosive and ate away at my fuel pump, and fuel regulator to the point that they failed. When we took out the parts which were about 3 years old the fuel pump had large quantities of yellow sludge coating the filter and pump. The regulator was also damaged and required replacement. Since fuel pumps live in the gas tank on most new cars this is not a cheap repair if you have to drop the tank in order to fix the problem.

Here is a link to an article on what ethanol can do if left long term in a car. E15 and Engines - Can Ethanol Damage my Engine If you drive the car regularly and run through tanks of gas quickly I guess regular won't be the end of the world, however if you do not run through a tank of gas at least every few months you could cause damage depending on how our smarts fuel systems have been designed to deal with ethanol.

https://francetravelplanner.com/trans/car/fuel.html

British tourists warned over 'damaging' French fuel - Telegraph

Our smarts are made in France however I think that any car sitting with ethanol fuel in the tank for long periods of time may be at risk even when used with fuel stabilizer which I question it's effectiveness. For example the shop that services our snow blower, lawn mower and generator had me switch over to premium fuel that did not contain ethanol as it caused major issues with the carb in my Honda generator.

And to make things more complex not all premium gas is ethanol free from what I have discovered. This site tracks brands whose premium is supposed to be free of ethanol, however looking at the list some of the entries are pretty outdated....

https://www.pure-gas.org
 

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I don't know of ethanol free fuel here in CA, and our highest premium is 91. I've seen 93 in other states.... There is one station off the 10 FWY Citrus exit in West Covina that sells 100 as Racing Fuel. Don't know if there is any EtOH in that stuff. (No added sulfur from what I could sniff)....

Higher Octane doesn't necessarily equal higher energy content. That is left to be determined in other ways, ie. calorimeter.

But yes, it seems corrosive. Have one W126 that is disabled because it started leaking fuel at the hoses around the fuel tank. (Haven't gotten around to repair it).

Thanks!
 

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Actually rereading your post, seems like a terminology mix up. Premium is required because of the higher compression ratio of the engine, besides not being an Atkinson cycle.

Almost all fuel here, RON 87, 89, or 91, has a maximum 10% EtOH, which as far as I know is acceptable per smart.

Some other states have non EtOH formulas of the premium blend as a more expensive option. That doesn't seem to be the case around me here in California.

Fuel itself is a solvent, I guess that EtOH is stronger, because of higher oxygen ratio. Oxygen is reactive, think fire as a simple example.

To answer your question, yes, I would guess it may add some years of usability to your fuel system to get premium without ethanol added. But it seems like you are saying regular, aka 87 octane, has more EtOH than premium, 91 octane, there in Canada. EtOH by itself has an octane rating of 113. It is used to increase the octane rating of fuels, so kind of counterintuitive to your saying regular has more than premium....
 

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Possibly jz, I wasn't really looking into the boost ethanol might give to octane ratings but that is interesting.

What I have been reading at least up here is that not all of our premium is ethanol free, and that was what I was really trying to figure out and mention.

https://www.pure-gas.org/index.jsp?stateprov=CA

Has a fairly outdated but extensive listing for stations that sell ethanol free fuel, I won't say just premium because they have a disclaimer that states it could be premium or could be 100 octane but using that list I found that up here and by checking the pump at my local Shell that I can buy Premium 91 octane that does not contain ethanol and that is what I need so that I don't have another expensive repair on my T-Bird. I'm actually thinking of selling it as I don't drive it enough to keep it from deteriorating and I kind have want to free up that space in my garage for a Hemi Challenger....
 

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Ethanol actually hurts gas mileage but finding Ethanol free gas in the US is not easy. Mercedes recommends at least 91 octane; many threads and discussions on the pros and cons - it's your car, but for the few dollars difference in cost, using 91 octane Top Tier gas seems to be money well spent. :)
 

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Ethanol actually hurts gas mileage but finding Ethanol free gas in the US is not easy. Mercedes recommends at least 91 octane; many threads and discussions on the pros and cons - it's your car, but for the few dollars difference in cost, using 91 octane Top Tier gas seems to be money well spent. :)


We have been using 91 religiously in all our cars except the wife’s C-MAX Energi, which gets 89 most of the time. What we don’t always use is top tier. We have an ‘08 BMW 335xi which we continued the trend, and then it started having startability issues. Only top tier for that one....
 

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Since the formulation of gas is a mix, it is hard to say how much energy is in it with or without EtOH. I do believe there is relevant info that higher octane fuel tends to have less energy in it. I’d have to look up heat of formation of EtOH to see how much energy it contains, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it is less than regular fuel.

You keep the Challenger in the cold? Well, I don’t know the value of the T-Bird I must admit...

The manuals of the E85 cars: I looked at one once, and those flexfuel cars have a complicated process come around oil change time. Seems like if I recall correctly you need to run one tank full of non-E85 and have non-E85 in the tank when you get an oil change. So there seems to be concern even with cars designed for 85% EtOH/gasohol...

Yes, I’ve read that one can find the Premium without EtOH. Use the 100 if you can (afford it). I got some a couple years ago I think because my wife put ‘89 in my beloved ‘92 190E, to pull up the octane. It had absolutely no smell, I guess why it is sold as Racing Fuel. Almost $10 USD/gallon at that station I referred to. Otherwise I’d be happy just finding premium without EtOH. Thanks Len and Niteshooter, I guess I’ll look into it here in California...
 

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I live in Jacksonville, Fl. All of the stations selling ethanol free gas is either 89 or a few has 90 octane. I have always used Shell 93 octane in my '09 smart which is readily available all over town.

Would I be better off switching to a lower grade to go ethanol free or stick with 93 octane with ethanol?
 

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Since smart advises to use only 91 or higher, I would not dare use anything lower. I know I know, the knock sensor will take care of you. But that sensor is listening for knock, and retarding timing to prevent it from continuing or getting worse, the key words are "listening for knock", meaning knock event.

I do believe most cars nowadays have been designed to work with up to 10% ethanol just fine...

Funny but the ethanol free list around me mostly sell racing fuels....
 

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This is an age old debate. Personally my car does better on ethanol free gas, which is available in premium at QuikTrip and has a 91 octane rating. I get the best fuel economy when I use this. The few times that I was unable to get ethanol free gas, I got some of the lowest MPG so I can only assume that the ethanol made the difference.

However, your local supplier may be different and your driving needs also may vary.
 

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This is an age old debate. Personally my car does better on ethanol free gas, which is available in premium at QuikTrip and has a 91 octane rating. I get the best fuel economy when I use this. The few times that I was unable to get ethanol free gas, I got some of the lowest MPG so I can only assume that the ethanol made the difference.

However, your local supplier may be different and your driving needs also may vary.
Nah, you/I mean the car were/was just drunk on the fumes.... :D Works perfectly fine, gets your mind off of your troubles, or so I've heard....
 

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On the drive to the nationals in Denver, had the misfortune of having to fuel up in either Iowa or Nebraska, only fuel available was 89 octane with ethanol. Lost close to 100 miles or range on that tank. I was convoying with a cdi owner and they had a bad tank of diesel in the same state.
 
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