Corn Juice (E85)

Interesting outing on Saturday.

Obviously, my car has been sitting for the past 2 weeks due to my injury. I did start it up a week ago and let it warm up. I also put the car from P-R-N-D and back a few times.

Fast forward to this past Saturday (7/1/2017). I wanted to get out and I knew I was getting low on fuel and needed to fill up. Took the car out and go cruise it up and down the road for about 15 minutes. I used the paddle shifters in manual mainly because it’s cool 😎 but also to keep the AFM (Active Fuel Management aka Displacement On Demand) from kicking in, so I could run the tank down as far as possible. At the time, I was running a mix of E85 & Premium that gave a reading of 45% ethanol.

I pull in to the Country Store (Valero) gas station to fuel up at the E85 pump. Top off with 16.5 gallons total and while pumping, I noted that the pump had a sticker that read minimum 70% ethanol content. I’m guessing the pump was at the minimum because that 16.5 gallons plus the 2 remaining gallons of E45 yielded a 65% ethanol content. Ugh and disappointing.

I’ll try the nearby RaceTrac to see if it’s any better; otherwise I guess I’ll be going back to Kroger for my corn juice as they seem to consistently read about 80%. I really need to get at or above 75% to do one last log for my tuner before Drag Week; which is just a couple of months away.

Followup (7/9/2017): I bought a Holley Ethanol Content Tester to test the different pumps/stations and drove around this morning testing the various pumps. The Valero & Racetrac pumps were consistently 70% and Kroger was right at 85%. I know where I’m getting my corn juice from now on. 😉

Not sure why the other vendors are shorting the ethanol % because (based on govt subsidies) it’s cheaper having more ethanol.

Also, I used this No-Spill 1.25 gal Gas Can. It’s got a pretty cool push button spout.


On a side note, when I went to leave, my car triggered a CEL and it wouldn’t move. Luckily, I had a code reader because I was monitoring my ethanol % so I was able to read and reset the codes. One was a P0700 which would explain why the car wouldn’t move. The other was a U0073 which I still haven’t figured out. Once I reset the codes, I drove around for another 30 minutes without an issue. I’ll just keep an eye on it for now.

Also, I was only able to reset because I was carrying my Android tablet with TorquePro on it. Reminder to install an iPhone app that works with my OBDLink MX Bluetooth OBDII reader just so I can read and reset codes. Well apparently that’s not possible. Probably worthy of a separate post.

Author: bigsapper

Software Engineer

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