I just filled up a Shell Gas Station with Regular and noticed that there was a sticker on the pump that said it was 10% Ethanol. I wound up checking things on the web and read that NJ is switching from 10% MTBE to 10% Ethanol in mid-April 2006. Has anyone noticed in other gas stations? Is there any hit to gas mileage? How about any risk to the car?
The gas wasn't any cheaper than any other gas station. I never noticed the sticker before. I'll check again when I fill up again in 3 days - I go through a tank every three days (160 miles/day PA to NJ).
I'm debating filling up in PA instead of NJ since the price difference is less than 4% if there was any risk of using 10% Ethanol.
Cars manufactured today are perfectly capable of running 10% ethanol in their gasoline without any harm done whatsoever. (Check your owner's manual for confirmation). You might see a tiny FE hit on the order of 3%, which is negligible to most drivers. Going out of your way to fill up over the state line would likely be a waste of money and fuel. Just be happy that they're replacing that MTBE (VERY unfriendly to ground water) with Ethanol (much less of a risk).
Every engine made since the switchover from leaded fuel in the 70s is required to be able to handle E10- its written in your owner's manual. It is a nonissue.
Ethanol has been used, even in MTBE regions, by several suppliers as the 'secret sauce' in the premium fuel. It is often the 'detergent additive' as well as octane booster.
Specifically Shell is on record as such, via the 'toptier' marketing program that they voluntarily are part of. The voluntary 'toptier' standard mandates use of ethanol in all grades. http://www.toptiergas.com/deposit_control.html
You may run into the same fuel in PA very soon if not already. There is no more MTBE-laced fuel being made in the US. Anything left residual stock at the local tank farm. Some regions that choose not to keep oxygenated fuel since the EPA lifted the requirement may use straight RFG gasoline, but that's only good for 87 octane most of the time.
You will see about 3% hit in fuel economy with E10.
Now that the Tour de Sol is over, I tried to research New York, Maryland and Pennsylvania dealers who sold just straight gas, no ethanol content. At one time, Arco was good about having just straight gas. But I didn't have a whole lot of luck in my research. So my question is for those folks along I-81 and routes to western New York, what brands (at least today) carry straight gas?
Would I fill-up with straight gas for a mileage contest, YES. Heck, if I had a portable calorimeter, I'd test every gas available to identify which one, grade not withstanding, had the greatest heat of combusion.
chances are good that any (non-'toptier') station's 87 grade will be straight RFG nowadays as long as there are no local requirements for oxygenation, tier2/ultralow sulphur or other boutique fuel. NY probably has some rega in place, but not sure about the Western part of the state...
The wholesaler/unbranded fuels tend to have the lowest additives --> straight fuel, since it is not in a distributor/refiner's interest to add stuff into a product that won't be sold under their name. In the Mid-Atlantic, the 'generic' stations are branded as 'Osprey' or 'Spirit' and such.
I like your calorimeter idea... now THAT would be a conversation starteer at the pump.
New York prohibited the use of MTBE in gas, effective January 1st, 2004. We've been running 10% ethanol for a while now.
Interestingly, while I was looking that up, I read that there's another option out there that uses "new, cleaner, cheaper and safer blends of reformulated gasoline, which meets air quality standards." Now, I'm curious.
The (very old!) piece is likely referring to what has become "tier 2" gasoline, or maybe California's "CBG clean-burning gas" which I think meets CO, and ozone formation requirements without explicit oxygenation?
Tier-2 gas is ultra-low-sulphur, mostly. It's what allows the same car to get kicked up a notch in emissions ratings for CA, NY, etc. (see here for my HAH:http://www.epa.gov/emissweb/E-HONDA-AccordHybrid-05.htm)
But that's independent of any oxygenation which was a Federal requirement, superceding the state.
All cars built since 2004 meet tier 2 standards when using tier 2 fuel.