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    Thread: Older Porsche + 15% ethanol gas = bad idea.

    1. Geriatric Member Obin Robinson's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 08:42 AM #1
      This was e-mailed to me and I think it's well worth sharing here:



      http://theporscheguys.com/2012/04/20...anol-gasoline/

      What a Porsche Owner Needs to Know About 15% Ethanol Gasoline

      Posted by: David Hurth / Category: Commentary, News, Porsche

      Not very long ago the EPA OK’d 15% ethanol in gasoline. They originally OK’d it in 2010, but a class action law suite delayed this. Unfortunately, they ultimately have been able to get it OK’d. It is debatable if adding ethanol in gasoline does more good than harm to both the environment and to your car. Because of the harm that this gas can do to your car, I decided to look into what can be done to avoid it and why it is so bad for some cars. I also, wanted to see what could be done to mitigate the effects of this on an old Porsche (like my daily driver which is a 1983 Porsche 944).

      Manufactures of various automobiles have come out saying that cars older than 2001 should not use the 15% ethanol gasoline blend (with some voiding any warranties on the car if the 15% blend is used on even some cars newer than 2001). The reason for this is that these fuel systems where not designed for ethanol use. Because they weren’t designed for it, many parts of the fuel system (especially rubber parts) can begin to fail due to the use of this fuel. Beyond this, if a car is not ran very often (for example a car that is mainly driven on the weekends) the ethanol can cause condensation to form in the gas tank and we all know water in your gas is never a good thing.

      So, what can we that own an older Porsche do to keep our cars from having trouble with this new higher ethanol fuel?

      First find out if your State makes gas stations put a notice if their fuel contains ethanol. Some states (such as California, where I live) do not require any notice that Gasoline contains ethanol (because of this most stations in the state do contain ethanol). Other states do require a notice although some states only require it if the ethanol level is over a certain percentage. If you live in a state that doesn’t require notice, you can purchase a testing system that will let you know if your gas does contain ethanol (I haven’t used any of these personally, so can’t recommend one). You can find a list of states that require ethanol labeling here (this site sells an ethanol tester, but I have never used it or bought from the site, so I can’t recommend this tester).

      If you live near water and are not able to get ethanol free gasoline at any local gas stations, you may be able to get it at a local marina gas location. Boaters have been very successful in keeping ethanol out of their gas, so most locations designed for filling up boats will not have any ethanol in the gas.

      If you can’t get gas without ethanol anywhere near you, try to do a few things to keep the affects on your car to a minimum. First, use an ethanol gas additive. These additives will help reduce the wear of components not designed for ethanol (Sta-Bil makes a very good ethanol treatment that I have used and it appears to have worked well). You may also want to buy your gasoline from a gas station that uses good additives. For example the Techron in Chevron gasoline may help reduce the affects of ethanol by reducing the affects of any condensation that forms in your gasoline. Another thing to do is to not have your car sit for too long. By at least starting the car every couple of days you will help reduce the chance of condensation building up in your fuel. Ideally a tank of gas will not sit in your car for more than 3 weeks as this helps reduce the affects on your gas tank elements. Higher octane gas will also provide some protection from water contamination in your gas (some people also recommend an octane additive to further compensate for this).

      Other things that can be done to deal with ethanol can get a bit pricey, but may be worth it in the long run. You can replace any wear parts in the fuel system or engine with parts designed for gas with ethanol in it. One problem with this is that parts designed to use ethanol may not currently exist for cars like an older Porsche, so you may opt to just replace the part with a new part to replace parts that will wear out more quickly when running ethanol. For example it is probably a good idea to replace all rubber fuel lines as these can get hard and wear very quickly. The fuel filter also may need to be changed more often when running fuel with ethanol in it.

      The last thing that could be done would be to embrace ethanol gasoline. By this I mean convert your car to run on E85. The conversion isn’t the cheapest thing, but you normally pay much less for the E85 fuel. The biggest problem with this is that E85 is not available in all areas, so you would need to live near an E85 station and not take any trips without planning your route based on E85 stations.

      Ethanol gasoline is one of those things that there is only so much that we can do to stay away from. However, by following the above tips you should be able to keep your Porsche running happily even with gas that contains ethanol.

      Do you have any tips to help keep an older car running well on gas containing ethanol? If so, let us know in the comments below.
      Very interesting. I'm already annoyed that I can't get real gas in the Houston area. Nothing but 10% ethanol "garbage gas" for hundreds of miles.

      obin
      "We're society's crowbar. They hate us, they never want to acknowledge the dirty jobs they give us to do, but when the job is done they never throw us away - they just slip us back in the toolbox until they need us the next time. And there will always be a next time."-Jim Hooper. Beneath the Visiting Moon: Images of Combat in Southern Africa

    2. Member digraph's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 08:47 AM #2
      What does the picture have to do with the topic?
      Not an enthusiast.

    3. Geriatric Member Obin Robinson's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 08:51 AM #3
      Quote Originally Posted by digraph View Post
      What does the picture have to do with the topic?
      Too much ethanol causes valves to gunk up.

      obin
      "We're society's crowbar. They hate us, they never want to acknowledge the dirty jobs they give us to do, but when the job is done they never throw us away - they just slip us back in the toolbox until they need us the next time. And there will always be a next time."-Jim Hooper. Beneath the Visiting Moon: Images of Combat in Southern Africa

    4. Member Dan92SLC's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 09:02 AM #4
      I heard CIS really doesn't like it. Also heard there are marine fuel additives that help.

    5. Banned roadtripper's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 09:03 AM #5
      my tractor doesn't like it either.

      thanks, george bush the little.

    6. 04-25-2012 09:11 AM #6
      carbed engines seem to fare worse than injected
      i bit the bullet and bought a 20 gallon drum of race 100 for my bikes that sit for periods of time.
      The carbed bike is a nightmare with pump gas, this white residue develops all over the jets from the water or additives and reacts with the metal. It's a nightmare if i forget to empty the float bowls

    7. Geriatric Member Obin Robinson's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 09:12 AM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by Dan92SLC View Post
      I heard CIS really doesn't like it. Also heard there are marine fuel additives that help.
      More info on this? I fill up at a Chevron station in the Boxster because I heard that Techron helps but the 93 octane they have there is still garbage gas. One thing I miss about the Middle East is that they had real gasoline in all the pumps. It's getting really hard to find it in the USA.

      obin
      "We're society's crowbar. They hate us, they never want to acknowledge the dirty jobs they give us to do, but when the job is done they never throw us away - they just slip us back in the toolbox until they need us the next time. And there will always be a next time."-Jim Hooper. Beneath the Visiting Moon: Images of Combat in Southern Africa

    8. Member Mike!'s Avatar
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      04-25-2012 09:12 AM #8
      Seen this discussed on Rennlist a bit. The general consensus is go somewhere that has ethanol-free 91, instead of somewhere that has 93 or 94 with ethanol in it.

    9. Member Roadkilled78's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 09:14 AM #9
      http://pure-gas.org/

      Good stuff. Around me the price of ethanol free isn't much higher, 2-3%, and the fuel economy is a solid 10% better, or more. It's worth it even in modern vehicles.
      Quote Originally Posted by Hogan View Post
      What kind of ass backwards world do you live in where your Miata is broken and your Alfa is your reliable source of transportation?

    10. Moderator rs4-380's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 09:52 AM #10
      this issue is not specific to Porsches.
      Dave

    11. Member soldierguy's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 09:59 AM #11
      Ethanol problems are rampant in motorcycles. Plastic gas tanks don't like the water in ethanol, and they swell up...cracks paint, causes leaks, and will gum up fuel systems very quickly if the bike isn't ridden a whole lot. Even if it is ridden a lot, the swelling can still happen and screw things up.

      The nearest ethanol-free station is about a 90 minute drive away. Planning on buying several gas cans, filling those, and running my motorcycles on that rather than that worthless pi$$ coming out of most pumps.
      soldierguy

      AWD wagon-ish thing

    12. Senior Member Air and water do mix's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 10:04 AM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by Obin Robinson View Post
      More info on this? I fill up at a Chevron station in the Boxster because I heard that Techron helps but the 93 octane they have there is still garbage gas. One thing I miss about the Middle East is that they had real gasoline in all the pumps. It's getting really hard to find it in the USA.

      obin
      Indeed. I have oxygenated fuel around here. If I want to take my Beetle on a road trip, should I re-jet the carb to run on non-oxygenated fuel or keep it as it is? Rich in some places or lean in others? (Yeah, rich is better than lean.)

      I'd love to ask the folks that decided to change the fuel formulas questions like that. It's another example of voting for/against things of which they either do not fully grasp or they don't care about "collateral damage". Hell, I've already had to rebuild the carb because the accelerator pump was leaking. I would wager that it's related to ethanol in the fuel. I think the diaphragms in the fuel pump are starting to let go now, too. I've bought a rebuild kit for that and found the proper one with all of the right markings, but should I have to rebuild it? What if it's someone unfamiliar with things mechanical? Repair bills for a carb rebuild and fuel pump replacement wouldn't be cheap on many cars, never mind some earlier fuel injected cars.
      Quote Originally Posted by Boyz in da Park
      Proletariat, Bourgeoise - Everybody smellin' my potpourri...

    13. Member 2.0T_Convert's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 10:05 AM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by Roadkilled78 View Post
      http://pure-gas.org/

      Good stuff. Around me the price of ethanol free isn't much higher, 2-3%, and the fuel economy is a solid 10% better, or more. It's worth it even in modern vehicles.
      Many of the pumps listed at stations there are designated to marine use.

      So in theory in states like CT if I were to use gas from a marina.... would than mean I'd have ethanol free gas?

    14. Senior Member Air and water do mix's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 10:05 AM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by rs4-380 View Post
      this issue is not specific to Porsches.
      The article clearly states that.
      Quote Originally Posted by Boyz in da Park
      Proletariat, Bourgeoise - Everybody smellin' my potpourri...

    15. Member Mk3TG's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 10:11 AM #15
      wow and i put that **** in my porsche maybe i should not fill it and leave it in my garage
      8v Society #20

    16. Member spitfirevr6's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 10:18 AM #16
      Damn I had no idea ethanol was this bad, I'm guessing carbed motors on cars are as bad as carbed bikes?

    17. Senior Member NoDubJustYet's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 10:19 AM #17
      E15?

      Wow and I thought E10 was bad. Here in Germany they eliminated 'regular' and replaced it with Super E10. So now, most stations have Super E10, Super and Super Plus... At least you have the option to avoid that garbage.

    18. Senior Member Hostile's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 10:20 AM #18
      If you live near water and are not able to get ethanol free gasoline at any local gas stations, you may be able to get it at a local marina gas location. Boaters have been very successful in keeping ethanol out of their gas, so most locations designed for filling up boats will not have any ethanol in the gas.
      In NH boaters also pay over $6/gallon for regular gas on the water... I can't imagine what it runs in states that have statistically higher gas prices.

    19. Banned roadtripper's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 10:20 AM #19
      this isn't about the guys that "mix the gas" whipping up some concoction like a shady bartender. this is the mandate that was given by bush and cheney when they ripped up US energy policy and retipped the scales to corporate, foreign, and special interests. that IS the deal with ethanol. that IS the deal with global corn markets and food prices.

      what's funny is the "green" impact this has had on ag.

    20. Member Roadkilled78's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 10:22 AM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by 2.0T_Convert View Post
      Many of the pumps listed at stations there are designated to marine use.

      So in theory in states like CT if I were to use gas from a marina.... would than mean I'd have ethanol free gas?
      It may, I believe ethanol-free is the standard in the boating world.

      But have you seen the prices for marine fuel at a marina? Also, pumps are sometimes located on a dock not accessible by car.
      Quote Originally Posted by Hogan View Post
      What kind of ass backwards world do you live in where your Miata is broken and your Alfa is your reliable source of transportation?

    21. Member dfischer1's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 10:22 AM #21
      I use this stuff in my old Porsche every once in a while.


      It's cured the chronic coughing and hesitation I used to get if I filled with ethanol gas.

    22. Member Roadkilled78's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 10:29 AM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by NoDubJustYet View Post
      E15?

      Wow and I thought E10 was bad.
      Furthermore...

      [tinfoilhat]

      A friend of mine has a new GM vehicle intended to run on gas or E85 or anything in between. The ECU determines what the ethanol content of the fuel is and adjusts accordingly. When reading that bit of info with the scan tool, on a vehicle that has only ever filled up with "standard" gasoline, i.e. E10, he sees ethanol content numbers around 15-17%. Maybe it's a sensor error in his year old truck? Or maybe the amount of ethanol blended into fuel is prone to 'mistakes'?

      [/tinfoilhat]
      Quote Originally Posted by Hogan View Post
      What kind of ass backwards world do you live in where your Miata is broken and your Alfa is your reliable source of transportation?

    23. Member 2.0T_Convert's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 10:32 AM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by Roadkilled78 View Post
      It may, I believe ethanol-free is the standard in the boating world.

      But have you seen the prices for marine fuel at a marina? Also, pumps are sometimes located on a dock not accessible by car.
      I don't own a boat but if I did I'd be crying over marine fuel prices.

    24. Geriatric Member Obin Robinson's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 10:33 AM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by Roadkilled78 View Post
      Furthermore...

      [tinfoilhat]

      A friend of mine has a new GM vehicle intended to run on gas or E85 or anything in between. The ECU determines what the ethanol content of the fuel is and adjusts accordingly. When reading that bit of info with the scan tool, on a vehicle that has only ever filled up with "standard" gasoline, i.e. E10, he sees ethanol content numbers around 15-17%. Maybe it's a sensor error in his year old truck? Or maybe the amount of ethanol blended into fuel is prone to 'mistakes'?

      [/tinfoilhat]
      WHOA! I really hope your friend's truck sensor is wrong because that scares the hell outta me and it should scare others as well.

      obin
      "We're society's crowbar. They hate us, they never want to acknowledge the dirty jobs they give us to do, but when the job is done they never throw us away - they just slip us back in the toolbox until they need us the next time. And there will always be a next time."-Jim Hooper. Beneath the Visiting Moon: Images of Combat in Southern Africa

    25. Banned 20aeman's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 10:35 AM #25
      I ran e85 on my old GTI for 1 year straight...never had any valve build up (it did kill a fuel pump however).

    26. 04-25-2012 11:15 AM #26
      the black stuff was proved in an experiment where someone had access to a lab hood. when you are injecting an atomized spray of ethanol molecules into a source of heavy vacuum (like that you would see in a port injected intake manifold) and heat, this black buildup is the result.

      e85 tuner guys have this same black sticky buildup and are supposed to run a tank of 93 every 3 or 4 tanks of e85 to dissolve and burn all the junk away. I will find the thread. Usually it just builds up on the manifold right under where the injectors fire, but it can happen on valves too.
      these look like evo injectors for e85



      Well, here is what I did just so everyone is clear. I filled a 40mL vial with E85 and blew it dry with nitrogen gas and mild heating (about 150*F). After there was no fuel left, I placed it under high vacuum to remove any remaining volatiles for about an hour. I was left with a clear sticky residue that smelled bad - like nasty frying oil. I dissolved this sample in the NMR solvent and analyzed it and it IS the same goo that was on the injector. There was smaller amounts of some other stuff in it as well, but the same peaks I saw in the black goo were in this residue. The black goo IS coming from the E85. It isn't naturally black, though. I suspect it just has soot mixed in with it that is giving it the color.

      So the next challenge is figuring out why is this crap in our fuel, and if it is in everyone's fuel (particularly people who aren't having this problem).
      http://codsm.org/forums/showpost.php?p=29606

      and
      Ok, it isn't chewing gum, of course. I think gum is a generic term for high MW sticky solids. Anyway, if you look at table 1 in this article, it mentions that there is up to 5mg of "solvent-washed gum content"/100mL and up to 20mg "unwashed gum content"/100mL. It think this might be what is sticking to our injectors.

      Later in the article it also mentions that mixing E85 and pump gas WILL cause additives to crash out and stick to the injectors and intake runners. I don't think this is what we are seeing since I saw the molecule in a clean sample of E85, but it does open that possibility for others who are mixing.

      http://www.lubrizol.com/press-room/m...onProc2-08.pdf
      there is much more good read to this thread, and sources linked elsewhere that makes internet forums great at communicating information and research. This may be the case for e85, but when you have e10 almost everywhere, it is almost certain you will see some of this junk
      Last edited by DrFrisker; 04-25-2012 at 11:51 AM.
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    27. Senior Member Air and water do mix's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 11:41 AM #27
      Quote Originally Posted by 2.0T_Convert View Post
      Many of the pumps listed at stations there are designated to marine use.

      So in theory in states like CT if I were to use gas from a marina.... would than mean I'd have ethanol free gas?
      Well, if condensation is a real problem for ethanol, it certainly makes sense that most boat fueling stations wouldn't want/have it. That's also probably why they've been successful at keeping it out of their pumps.
      Quote Originally Posted by Boyz in da Park
      Proletariat, Bourgeoise - Everybody smellin' my potpourri...

    28. Global Moderator David@vwvortex's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 11:44 AM #28
      Quote Originally Posted by Dan92SLC View Post
      I heard CIS really doesn't like it. Also heard there are marine fuel additives that help.
      It's something I'm definitely watching on my Rabbit which runs CIS and it's not run about too much. When I do run it I try to get it at least worked over pretty well and warmed up so hopefully some of this junk burns off.

    29. Member Dan92SLC's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 11:52 AM #29

    30. Member
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      04-25-2012 12:09 PM #30
      Quote Originally Posted by Roadkilled78 View Post
      http://pure-gas.org/

      Good stuff. Around me the price of ethanol free isn't much higher, 2-3%, and the fuel economy is a solid 10% better, or more. It's worth it even in modern vehicles.
      Thanks for this. Turns out there is a station no more that 10 miles from my house. I will be filling all of my lawn equipment tanks, the Corrado and when it's running, the old 911 as well.

      Thanks to Obin as well for a great, informative post.
      Last edited by Geesixty; 04-25-2012 at 12:11 PM.

    31. Member U n i o n 0015's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 12:11 PM #31
      Ethanol has been a huge problem for the motorcycle community.

      I've had to replace two gas tanks because the ethanol attracts water into the particular type of plastic tank Ducati uses and it causes the tank to expand and warp.


    32. 04-25-2012 01:02 PM #32
      Try "Marine Formula "Stab Bil" - seems to do a pretty good job for both the boad & Boxster (when I've had to fill w/E-gas).
      Note that NO additive can negate the effects on rubber/plastic parts nor "recombine" already separated water in the fuel system...

      Oh, and thanks for nutt'n, GWB...

    33. Geriatric Member Obin Robinson's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 01:07 PM #33
      Quote Originally Posted by 2VWatatime View Post
      Try "Marine Formula "Stab Bil" - seems to do a pretty good job for both the boad & Boxster (when I've had to fill w/E-gas).
      http://www.amazon.com/STA-BIL-22240-...5373477&sr=8-1

      32oz treats 160 gallons (about 10 complete tanks of gas). Not bad. I'll order some asap. Thanks for the heads up!

      obin
      "We're society's crowbar. They hate us, they never want to acknowledge the dirty jobs they give us to do, but when the job is done they never throw us away - they just slip us back in the toolbox until they need us the next time. And there will always be a next time."-Jim Hooper. Beneath the Visiting Moon: Images of Combat in Southern Africa

    34. Member Cousin Eddie's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 01:11 PM #34
      This is why I only run V-power 91 octane from Shell in the Datsun.

    35. Member adrew's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 01:29 PM #35
      I have looked for it around here, but the only place that sells non-ethanol gas is by Texas Motorsports Ranch about 45 minutes away.

      >10% is not allowed in my MY2012 car:
      Improving the signal-to-noise ratio

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