Avoid E85 Like A Plague Of Corn-Eating Locusts

Illustration for article titled Avoid E85 Like A Plague Of Corn-Eating Locusts

Filing up your E85 vehicle might initially feel better due to prices that are, on average, about 20% cheaper than regular octane, but the joke is on you. Because gas engines burn the typically corn-based fuel less efficiently, the adjusted cost of E85 is $4.321 per gallon compared to gas that averaged about $3.962 on Friday. Even in states that subsidize the cost of the fuel, like New York and Iowa, the difference still results in prices that are equal to or worse than the price of regular gasoline. Though this still means you are using less dino juice, we feel that this is offset by the disruption of food crops and the fertilizer runoff that is impacting the Gulf of Mexico. Maybe you should look into Algae power. [Kicking Tires]



LandofMinos: ...sent down to strike the unroadworthy!

I twice got caught out by ethanol...

First a few years back when ethanol was first allowed to be put into petroleum, I filled up at a gas station that had 'With Ethanol' written on the bowser. I filled my Holden Kingswood with half a tank. About 2 miles down the road the car started to play up.

When I came to a red light or put my foot on the clutch, the engine would just die in the arse. It had bugger all power and the fumes smelled all wrong. I was driving home to Sydney from the Central Coast (approx 50 miles).

By the time I got to Sydney, I was in heavy traffic and the constant engine stop and start at every intersection flattened the battery.

I proclaimed to never fill up with ethanol ever again...

Then another time I was out camping out west at a place called Hill End near Bathurst. An old gold mining ghost town, not totally deserted though, it had a general store that sold gas. This time the barsteds didn't advertise that they had ethanol in their gas.

I filled up and headed home via Bathurst (where the great race was being held). The car started to play up on the Bridal Trail, an old convict built goat track through the mountains where nobody goes. The car barely making it up some hills, with the same stench as the previous time.

I got as far as Mount Panorama, the race track where the great race was being held and decided to drive up to the Skyline part of the track in time for the last lap. I parked the car down a slight incline facing the track. Watched the final lap, smoked a couple of cones and tried to back out of the space I was in.

Cough Cough splutter, the engine kept on dying. The Holden sounded limp, It couldn't back out, up a slight little incline. Race fans everywhere around us (particularly Ford fans) were treated to a laugh as my pathetic attempt to wring the 202ci six to redline and feather the clutch only to be rewarded with another cough, splutter and an engine note likened to the sound of Droopy Dog having a bad day.

I finally backed the car out with the help of some concerned Holden fans who got fed up with the Ford fans laughter (and I'm a Ford fan). I finally nursed her home. I called to general store where I bought the gas and was told (in a nice way) to bugger off.

Time for action! The next long weekend, we headed for Hill End with trail bikes on board. On the first night, we rode up from our camping spot for a ninja mission on the general store. My electrician mate switched off their power, removed the fuses from the fuse box AND removed the cradle the fuses go into, while I cut the fuel line to their diesel generator. I guess a days business lost on a day when the town is full of tourist is not the nicest experience for a store owner, but then again neither is nursing a sick Kinsgwood for a 150 miles.

I don't mess with ethanol and ethanol doesn't mess with me.<