Last month I went to my favorite gas station here in southern Ontario and found all 3 grades of gasoline had been labeled with “May Contain up to 10% Ethanol”. I used to be able to get pure gasoline in the Premium grade at this station. That made me a bit sad as I pumped fuel into my vehicle. I later read that at the start of the year the government had mandated ethanol in all grades of fuel.
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Most modern vehicles can handle that ethanol content and the fuel gets used up fast enough – I always seem to be filling my tank these days – that it doesn’t go stale or deteriorate too quickly. That may change for me though in the near future – stay tuned to more info about that!
Where ethanol really causes problems is in classic cars that don’t get daily driven and small engines which were never designed for alcohol content. Both categories often see more time in storage than use and suffer from stale fuel and incompatible materials.
Choosing supreme gas for an automobile that specifies regular won’t improve fuel mileage since octane ratings are for compression. You may see some improvements in fuel economy if you choose a fuel that has no ethanol in it since it’s energy content is lower than gasoline [wikipedia].
Sparkplugs last longer than a year. You may not want to go the full 160,000km on the same set and be sure to replace them with high quality plugs at or above OEM specs.
I would move the behaviour items further up the list too. Stops and starts as well as speeding can really increase your fuel consumption. Continue reading Save on Fuel
The article shows where most of the energy associated with a unit of fuel is consumed or wasted by a vehicle. The spoiler is that only about 12.6% of the fuel energy is passed through the system to drive the wheels of the vehicle. Think how your fuel economy could improve if you could decrease wasted energy by friction – even small gains in reducing friction will add up at the pump.