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E85 experience?

Discussion in 'Stock 2011 - 2019 Ford Explorer Discussion' started by dont slow down, December 19, 2015.

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  1. dont slow down

    dont slow down Active Member

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    Does anyone have experience in running E85 in their Flexfuel Explorer? Looking for performance feedback, MPG feedback, anything really. Just wondering if it's worth using in ours. My search here didn't pull up much.
     
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  3. gatzdon

    gatzdon Active Member

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    Just remember, E85 has about 15% less energy than E10 (regular unleaded gas), so you will see a similar drop in mileage.

    Also, E85 takes a harder toll on your oil and heavy E85 usage will require more frequent oil changes.

    Not my Explorer, but I have a Focus that takes E85 and the couple months I ran it on E85, I didn't notice any meaningful difference in performance. The few months I ran E85, I had a gas station selling it for 80 cents cheaper than I could get E10 for. Now that gas has come down, I switched back to E10.
     
  4. K5OUN

    K5OUN Member

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    My 2015 has only had about five tanks of unleaded gas, I only run E85. Only issue I notice is mildly decreased fuel economy.
     
  5. stillmarried

    stillmarried Member

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    I am not looking only for miles per gallon, I am also looking at what does it cost per mile for gas.
    Here is an arbitrary example:
    if you spend $30 for a tank of regular gas and go 200 miles, it cost you 15 cents per mile.
    If you buy cheaper E85 tank of gas for $20 and go 100 miles, it cost you 20 cents per mile.
    I am doing some experiments on the cost of all the grades of gas to calculate mpg and cost per mile, to get some real world numbers. However I am still stuck with all other variables such as improved gas mileage during new vehicle break in period...then the cost of oil change issue mentioned above...
     
  6. BadHabit2Break

    BadHabit2Break Member

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    MPG is a big one with E85. you will be filling up more.

    There is also the exhaust smell. It does smell different than regular gas. The black on your exhaust tips will not be there with E85.

    My 2012 Mustang GT was tuned for E85. It ran very good on it, and could definately feel the power difference with it.
     
  7. dont slow down

    dont slow down Active Member

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    Thanks for the feedback! I have heard a few things about running E85 but haven't done any of my own research yet. You all have confirmed the lower MPG. I guess it comes down to what stillmarried said, cost per gallon. I understand that E85 is supposed to run cleaner and be better for the environment but unfortunately if the so called "bang for the buck" isn't there I don't see myself using it. Maybe just for running around town or something but for a long trip I don't see it being worth it. Right now the local station has it for only 5 cents cheaper than 87 octane. E85 probably has its time and place in the market but I just don't see it right now. Thanks everyone!
     
  8. BadHabit2Break

    BadHabit2Break Member

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    I was running it back when 93 was sitting above $3 a gallon. I made the switch cause E85 was like $1.85 a gallon. And since it is not everywhere in Houston, I would have to plan on where to fill up when driving around town.
     
  9. Limited02

    Limited02 Well-Known Member

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    When I run it in my wife's Milan, it seems more responsive. The owners manual actually says it gains 10 hp over regular 87 (from 240hp to 250hp with E85). However, it drops about 3 mpg average from what I recall.
     
  10. K5OUN

    K5OUN Member

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    Don't really know if it burns much cleaner. While the emissions it generates are of different substances than gasoline, they are still emissions. In the end, E85 was designed as a more renewable energy source. I use it because its cheaper, available close to me, and its my way to give the oil companies the finger. As for its carbon footprint being much smaller, that's debatable.
     
  11. edwx

    edwx Active Member

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    I'm probably late to the party, and please refer me to any other threads on this. My 2017 Explorer can use E85, and frankly I've never even seen it for sale anywhere here in southeast Georgia. We just got a new Fastrac and the gas pumps are amazing. They offer E85, E20, Regular Grades of unleaded, and Diesel. Has anyone tried the E85? It was .25 cheaper than 87 octane. I was wondering how my truck will run on it. Thanks, Ed
     
  12. Ntrain

    Ntrain Active Member

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    You will probably notice more power once the ECM adjusts timing for it but your mileage with it will drop significantly.
     
  13. peterk9

    peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Your thread was merged with this one found with the 'Search' Feature.

    Peter
     
  14. Woah322

    Woah322 Elite Explorer

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    Which motor on the Explorer can run the E-85? Don’t the flex fuel vehicles have yellow gas caps or yellow opening for the cap less vehicles
     
  15. KayGee

    KayGee Well-Known Member

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    Check your window sticker/build sheet to confirm if yours is e85 capable. I believe ford eliminated the yellow ring/opening on the 17+ because it interferes with some vapor recovery nozzles. My 16 has the yellow ring, but my 17 doesn't (even though both are flex fuel).

    E85 can be anywhere from 51% to 83% ethanol (varies by location and season), so mpg can vary greatly depending on the blend you get. Typically, it provides roughly 15-25% less mpg than regular gasoline.
     
  16. peterk9

    peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Do both still have the "Flex Fuel" badge on the liftgate?

    Peter
     
  17. KayGee

    KayGee Well-Known Member

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    No. I wouldn't rely on the presence/absence of a badge though. I would always confirm with window sticker/build sheet.
     
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  18. Woah322

    Woah322 Elite Explorer

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    I’ll check my window sticker. I have several E-85 stations local to me and always wanted to try it
     
  19. 08EddieCA

    08EddieCA Elite Explorer

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    Or Vin# K. I use the flex fuel for cost reasons. It's almost a buck cheaper. I haven't done the real world mpg to see if I'm really saving a buck per gallon vs appeasing my other half with reduced expenses.

    When I mix the tank with regular gas I seem to get the best performance. This could all be the power of suggestion too with no basis in reality. I need to keep stats for a few weeks for the flex mpg vs. regular unleaded.
     
  20. peterk9

    peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    What you save in fuel costs may be partially offset by having to fill up more frequently due to lower MPG on flex fuel. Any amount of ethanol added to gasoline will result in lower MPG.

    Peter
     
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  21. Explorer75

    Explorer75 Active Member

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    With e85 there are pros and 1 con. E85 has higher octane, if the PCM advances ignition there would be a performance increase, ethanol burns cooler, that also helps. The main con of e85 is that the air fuel ratio is around 9.7-10.1 and pure gas is 14.7, so you need more fuel with the e85. So it burns cleaner but needs less air, to fill the cylinder you need more fuel.
     

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