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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 05-25-2011, 02:16 PM
NZ BMW NZ BMW is offline
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Is anyone using fuel with a blend of ethanol?

Hi Everyone,

Here we're getting more and more ethanol in our fuel. I recall that there is a government initiative to mandate X% of ethanol in fuel after a certain date. At the moment it seems to be 10%. I recall some older Mercedes Benz have issues with blended fuels, will my 2001 530i?

It says here in the spec that all BMW after 1996 will be fine - however mine is imported from Japan not sold new in NZ. (I would expect it to be the same).

My question is then: Is anyone using these blended fuels and have you noticed any difference? Particularly with degrading rubber seals in the fuel system?

http://www.gull.co.nz/assets/Uploads/compatibility.pdf
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  #2  
Old 05-25-2011, 02:54 PM
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shenecke shenecke is offline
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In California all of our fuels are ethanol blends. I haven't seen any problems with my 8 years of use.
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  #3  
Old 05-25-2011, 03:03 PM
kmorgan_260 kmorgan_260 is offline
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That is all we can get here in WV as well. No problems that I am aware of. Years ago I had a 1986 Toyota pickup that would need a fuel filter change almost every time after I put ethanol blended fuel in it. I was told later that the ethanol acted as a cleaner and dislodged the crud in the tank and lines which then clogged the filter. Seems logical and that truck had a lot of miles so maybe that was the case.
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Old 05-25-2011, 04:22 PM
franka franka is offline
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Gas all across the US has ethanol in it.
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  #5  
Old 05-25-2011, 05:00 PM
NZ BMW NZ BMW is offline
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Fantastic - thanks for the info guys.
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  #6  
Old 05-25-2011, 05:32 PM
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bmw_n00b13 bmw_n00b13 is offline
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Canada has varying levels mandated by various provinces' corn lobby. When I can, I get corn-free. It's both bad for my car and unethical.

Provided it's under the level specified in the manual it should ok but there's a variety of problems that are possible to trace back to ethanol, including lower mileage and failure of some components of the fuel system. It is hydroscopic so it lowers the already short shelf life of gasoline in the tank.
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  #7  
Old 05-25-2011, 05:37 PM
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Jason5driver Jason5driver is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw_n00b13 View Post
Canada has varying levels mandated by various provinces' corn lobby. When I can, I get corn-free. It's both bad for my car and unethical.

Provided it's under the level specified in the manual it should ok but there's a variety of problems that are possible to trace back to ethanol, including lower mileage and failure of some components of the fuel system. It is hydroscopic so it lowers the already short shelf life of gasoline in the tank.
+1! This^^^!!!
I wish I could find a top tier gas without Ethanol.
It is just a gimmick to make more money and deteriorate a good engine/ fuel system...
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Old 05-25-2011, 06:00 PM
NZ BMW NZ BMW is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw_n00b13 View Post
Canada has varying levels mandated by various provinces' corn lobby. When I can, I get corn-free. It's both bad for my car and unethical.

Provided it's under the level specified in the manual it should ok but there's a variety of problems that are possible to trace back to ethanol, including lower mileage and failure of some components of the fuel system. It is hydroscopic so it lowers the already short shelf life of gasoline in the tank.
Can you expand on that? I often hear this and have actively avoided the one provider here who sells blended fuel for these reasons.

I would have thought that normal petrol would be as bad as blended given that it's a fairly high-power solvent.

I'm also surprised you see lower mileage from it. My understanding is that it gave the same or better mileage given its high octane rating.
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Old 05-25-2011, 06:29 PM
AH673000 AH673000 is offline
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Ethanol

Ethanol blended gasoline will get 5% fewer miles per gallon because it has a substantually lower btu value then crude based gasoline. Ethanol also is not something you want to let age in your fuel system. I have a Austin Healey that gets parked for months at a time...ethanol has done a job on everything from the SU carbs to the fuel pump. Needs to be stabilized with a commercially available product if the car sits for awhile . Bottom line is there is no redeaming value to ethanol...just a big political boondoggle which costs consumers coming and going.....if possible ,avoid using it. Some marinas may have straight gasoline...worth the trip . GL
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  #10  
Old 05-25-2011, 06:40 PM
occhis occhis is offline
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The Ag lobby here in the US is so strong that we are now burning well over 30% of all the corn we grow. It makes no sense at all that we are burning so much food and in the process the price of corn worldwide has skyrocketed as a direct result of this madness.
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  #11  
Old 05-25-2011, 06:54 PM
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nyclad nyclad is offline
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Originally Posted by occhis View Post
The Ag lobby here in the US is so strong that we are now burning well over 30% of all the corn we grow. It makes no sense at all that we are burning so much food and in the process the price of corn worldwide has skyrocketed as a direct result of this madness.
+1

I have relatives who own a farm in Wooster, Ohio. Due to their economic situation, and the fact that the corn grown for ethanol will fetch more money on the resale, they don't grow food grade corn anymore. They know it drives up the price on the corn based food products, but they need to make a living too.

We're not even growing food, we're growing the inedible ethanol corn in place of it!
There already have been studies that there isn't enough arable land in the United States to grown enough corn to make ethanol a viable gasoline additive (much less a replacement for fossil fuels) for the entire US. It's a farce, but as long as the pay for ethanol corn is high, farmers will continue to grow what makes money. I honestly think people believe that because corn is "green" (literally in terms of color and the fact it's grown) it must be the best additive...nevermind the negative effects due to refining it and the food price hikes.

Anyways...(stepping off my soapbox...)




But anyways, here in Southern California, it's 10% ethanol all the time.
05-26-11_1506

Last edited by nyclad; 05-27-2011 at 09:50 AM.
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  #12  
Old 05-26-2011, 12:39 AM
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Apparently California gasoline is 10% by volume ethanol ...
- FAQ about the California Reformulated Gasoline Program

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  #13  
Old 05-26-2011, 04:32 AM
occhis occhis is offline
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Every pump I've checked for the past year or more says "may contain 10% ethanol". It is a federal mandate, and unless congress changes it the farm lobby is not going to give it up. Five years ago corn was around $2/bushel, now it's $7.42
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  #14  
Old 05-26-2011, 05:00 AM
Burning2nd Burning2nd is offline
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We all are already using fuel with ethanol , also why your car will run on regular...

Being out of the states I'm.unsure of your energy laws there, but yes it will be fine

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  #15  
Old 05-26-2011, 07:44 AM
Jim Rolando Jim Rolando is offline
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Thanks to the Ethanol hoax, Eastern Montana, that used to be open virgin grassland for hundreds of miles now looks like Iowa. Another down side to the issue.
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Old 05-26-2011, 07:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AH673000 View Post
Ethanol blended gasoline will get 5% fewer miles per gallon because it has a substantually lower btu value then crude based gasoline. Ethanol also is not something you want to let age in your fuel system. I have a Austin Healey that gets parked for months at a time...ethanol has done a job on everything from the SU carbs to the fuel pump. Needs to be stabilized with a commercially available product if the car sits for awhile . Bottom line is there is no redeaming value to ethanol...just a big political boondoggle which costs consumers coming and going.....if possible ,avoid using it. Some marinas may have straight gasoline...worth the trip . GL
Quote:
Originally Posted by occhis View Post
The Ag lobby here in the US is so strong that we are now burning well over 30% of all the corn we grow. It makes no sense at all that we are burning so much food and in the process the price of corn worldwide has skyrocketed as a direct result of this madness.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nyclad View Post
+1

I have relatives who own a farm in Wooster, Ohio. Due to their economic situation, and the fact that the corn grown for ethanol will fetch more money on the resale, they don't grow food grade corn anymore. They know it drives up the price on the corn based food products, but they need to make a living too.

We're not even growing food, we're growing the inedible ethanol corn in place of it!
There already have been studies that there isn't enough arable land in the United States to grown enough corn to make ethanol a viable gasoline additive (much less a replacement for fossil fuels) for the entire US. It's a farce, but as long as the pay for ethanol corn is high, farmers will continue to grow what makes money. I honestly think people believe that because corn is "green" (literally in terms of color and the fact it's grown) it must be the best additive...nevermind the negative effects due to refining it and the food price hikes.

Anyways...(stepping off my soapbox...)
+1 to ALL of this! ^^^^!!!!
F'n pathetic IMO.
Obama 'green' push is a farce, and ends up really hurting us, the consumer in the end...
The rich get richer, the poor gets poorer...
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Old 05-26-2011, 08:01 AM
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Jason5driver Jason5driver is offline
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Originally Posted by Jim Rolando View Post
Thanks to the Ethanol hoax, Eastern Montana, that used to be open virgin grassland for hundreds of miles now looks like Iowa. Another down side to the issue.
This ^ makes me want to puke...
So sad...
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Old 05-26-2011, 03:16 PM
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MatWiz MatWiz is offline
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Here in New York everything is 10% ethanol. You can't get gas without it.

It's fine. My car still runs on it. However, it is not as good as strait fuel. IF you still have a choice in NZ, avoid those gas stations like a plague and use the others. If you don't have a choice, then don't lose sleep over it. What can you do? It is what it is. It's like living in a city with low air quality - what are you gonna do, not breath?

This ethanol is a stupid political hoax. But nobody wants to speak up against it because he/she will risk losing the next election since most voters are just too plain stupid to understand this.

mw
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Old 05-26-2011, 04:05 PM
occhis occhis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason5driver View Post
+1 to ALL of this! ^^^^!!!!
F'n pathetic IMO.
Obama 'green' push is a farce, and ends up really hurting us, the consumer in the end...
The rich get richer, the poor gets poorer...
Not to get all political, but this federal mandate was launched long before obama, though he won't oppose it because of the political consequence.
Between the farm and oil lobbies, we don't stand a chance to get this changed.
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Old 05-26-2011, 04:14 PM
NZ BMW NZ BMW is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MatWiz View Post
Here in New York everything is 10% ethanol. You can't get gas without it.

It's fine. My car still runs on it. However, it is not as good as strait fuel. IF you still have a choice in NZ, avoid those gas stations like a plague and use the others. If you don't have a choice, then don't lose sleep over it. What can you do? It is what it is. It's like living in a city with low air quality - what are you gonna do, not breath?

This ethanol is a stupid political hoax. But nobody wants to speak up against it because he/she will risk losing the next election since most voters are just too plain stupid to understand this.

mw
I did not realise in the US that you have no choice - when I'm there I'm driving a rental so don't really care what goes in it as it's not my car and I'm not paying for fuel.

Here we do have a choice, I went to the supplier who carriers the blended fuel the other day and didn't fill up because I didn't want to use it.

Also agree - it's a disgrace that the supposed solution to our energy crisis is creating a food crisis in the rest of the world.
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Old 05-26-2011, 05:12 PM
dvsgene dvsgene is offline
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A few years back, I used to try and avoid filling too much during the winter months (between end Oct to begin Mar) due to the winter mix of 10% ethanol, as the V8 guzzles gas and with ethanol gets even worse mileage. Sems it's year round now so there's not much choice.

Moreover, it's a double edged sword: increasing ethanol content means using less real GASOLINE from refined OIL stock which helps to keep price of oil down (when the speculators or OPEC isn't meddling) but then food prices go up due to less edible corn as a food ingredient.

Less ethanol means more reliance on OPEC oil. Which is the better of two evils?

Last edited by dvsgene; 05-26-2011 at 05:14 PM.
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  #22  
Old 05-26-2011, 07:39 PM
occhis occhis is offline
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Originally Posted by dvsgene View Post
A few years back, I used to try and avoid filling too much during the winter months (between end Oct to begin Mar) due to the winter mix of 10% ethanol, as the V8 guzzles gas and with ethanol gets even worse mileage. Sems it's year round now so there's not much choice.

Moreover, it's a double edged sword: increasing ethanol content means using less real GASOLINE from refined OIL stock which helps to keep price of oil down (when the speculators or OPEC isn't meddling) but then food prices go up due to less edible corn as a food ingredient.

Less ethanol means more reliance on OPEC oil. Which is the better of two evils?
I'm in the natural gas camp. We have a few hundred years' worth of the stuff right here in the USA. Engine conversion is not only possible but is done every day on 18 wheelers. If they can run on it, cars can too. It's clean and we don't need to mine rare earth elements to make batteries that will be a disposal problem when they expire. In 1973 I was in Japan while in the service, and many cars, mostly taxis, were run on LNG back then. Big OIL has had a stranglehold on this in the US for decades.
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Old 05-26-2011, 08:00 PM
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bmw_n00b13 bmw_n00b13 is offline
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[offtopic]I've driven a truck that was on natural gas. Ran like crap, had 200km range (this was a F350 with the entire rear end stuffed with high explosives aka gas. Cars do nor have the storage capacity of this truck. It got twice the mileage with gas) and could hardly move itself let alone the 5 tonne trailer it was supposed to be able to pull. Still, given a choice between shipping corn overproduction to African villages and shipping corn to ethanol refineries... I'm far from a bleeding heart (I've been told I'm right of hitler :/) but it's just stupid to have a government program to starve people. [/offtopic]

Everyone in this thread should write their representative in goventment at several levels and complain about this waste of production. I have...
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Old 05-27-2011, 03:32 PM
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10% ethanol here in Massachusetts.
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Old 05-27-2011, 04:15 PM
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10% ethanol here in Massachusetts.
Its been covered several times already that its all across the US. That means it includes Massachsetts.
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