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E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 12-07-2012, 12:12 PM
Betsy Beemeup Betsy Beemeup is offline
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Fuel question

I am concerned about using ethanol "enriched" gasoline in my 1994 325i. Please advise as to whether it is better to pay more $ for ethanol free fuel.

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 12-07-2012, 12:44 PM
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I believe ethanol is a federally required oxygenate, finding ethanol free fuel would be nigh impossible.

You should be fine up to 15%, though BMW officially limits to 10%.

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  #3  
Old 12-07-2012, 01:41 PM
SCJon SCJon is offline
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Actually if you are intent on running ethanol free gasoline, you can find it near bodies of water. Sounds strange but boaters will not use ethanol gas because it breaks down into water and gas over time and many boats sit for long periods of time. So if you want ethanol free gas look where boaters are always stopping to get gas. I bet they have it. We have 4 gas stations in my section of Charleston with it, so I'm sure any bigger area will too. It will run about 20% more than regular ethanol gas in terms of cost but your fuel economy will also go up about that same amount (20%). I buy it just because it keeps me from having to get gas as often with the larger range of the ethanol free gas. But it won't hurt your car to run ethanol gas, so long as its still 89 octane or higher. Don't get the cheap gas!
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  #4  
Old 12-07-2012, 02:08 PM
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Interesting about the gas stations which cater to boaters.

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But it won't hurt your car to run ethanol gas, so long as its still 89 octane or higher. Don't get the cheap gas!
You can still harm your engine, even when using mid or high octane gasoline if the ethanol content is higher than 10%. I'm actually starting to get a little concerned about this, since there is a 100% chance that ethanol content in gasoline is only going to continue going up. I think I read recently that there has been a moratorium on the current plan to increase it while they reassess the implications of raising the ethanol content.
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:28 PM
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I can tell you I've never seen an ethanol free gas station for cars in CA since they started sticking it in there, and tons of boaters that don't want to pay $6/gal fill up at regular automotive gas stations. Now in a 35' motor yacht that would be a different story, but all the normal pumps here are E10.

I hate it, but it won't damage the car to run E10.

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Last edited by E36 Phantom; 12-07-2012 at 02:30 PM.
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  #6  
Old 12-07-2012, 02:36 PM
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I'm sorry, you're right E36Phantom. Only five stations in all of CA have it! I stand corrected! For anyone interested
www.pure-gas.org has a list of all 5k gas station in the US selling ethanol free gasoline. From what I understand the biggest problem of the ethanol gas is the ethanol attracting water as it ages. I spent some time talking to Sta-Bil rep I ran into in Lowe's one day and he said it didn't matter too much in your car because the gas gets cycled quick enough to not have time to bring water in. But in a lawn mower, boat, blower, etc that might sit for weeks without use it would break down.
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  #7  
Old 12-07-2012, 02:40 PM
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Last edited by southpark11235; 12-07-2012 at 02:41 PM.
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  #8  
Old 12-07-2012, 02:46 PM
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I'm sorry, you're right E36Phantom. Only five stations in all of CA have it! I stand corrected! For anyone interested
www.pure-gas.org has a list of all 5k gas station in the US selling ethanol free gasoline.
Woot we have FIVE! And those are all seriously in the sticks.

I filled my SeaRay with Chevron 87 all summer long and just ran it down mostly empty before leaving the water. Only fill up with what you need, even with straight gasoline no need to leave a full tank sitting there to gum up.

I believe you're right about marinas being ethanol free even here but I think they'd frown on you driving on the docks.

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  #9  
Old 12-07-2012, 02:48 PM
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I hate it, but it won't damage the car to run E10.
I'm not worried about E10, but if (when) all the blender pumps start getting installed in the next few years, which will bring E15 and beyond.
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Last edited by ZeGerman; 12-07-2012 at 02:49 PM.
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  #10  
Old 12-07-2012, 02:57 PM
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I've never understood the benefit from an environmental standpoint since it decreases the efficiency of the fuel by such a large margin causing us to use more of it. Doesn't that negate the point? It's still the same amount of gasoline being used. Of course I didn't notice a price drop when E10 came out either so that could be the reason...profit.

SC has 296! Holy crap, I wouldn't have guessed that many.
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  #11  
Old 12-07-2012, 03:06 PM
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I'm a big time environmentalist, and even I think it's a total scam. The only reason ethanol based gasoline exists is because Washington is in bed with Big Agriculture. Unfortunately, it's all about politics, and has nothing to do with the environment.
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Last edited by ZeGerman; 12-07-2012 at 06:33 PM.
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  #12  
Old 12-07-2012, 03:19 PM
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Karl is 100% correct. Nothing to do with environment. The corn lobby in the US is out of control. Unfortunately, we don't have an excess of corn supply in the US either, which means nearly all food products go up in price (have you ever tried to buy food products that aren't made with corn? It's nearly impossible. Everything is either raised on corn or contains some form of corn product)

Diverting much more of our farmlands to ethanol production will drive food prices up sky high which hurts the poor the most.

Luckily, since we don't grow much corn here CARB is in no hurry to approve E15 or higher.

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Old 12-07-2012, 04:15 PM
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Corn built this nation as an agricultural monster.


It's not so bad, though. I love corn.
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this jared guy sounds intimidating lol.
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  #14  
Old 12-07-2012, 04:38 PM
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Corn is good. I like it on the cob or at bbqs or many other things.

But, I don't like it in my cattle feed, chicken feed, soda, drinks, as a sugar replacement, in my gasoline, etc etc ad nauseum. It messes up our diets and boosts food prices. There's no reason for corn to be in nearly every damn thing we eat.

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Old 12-07-2012, 04:43 PM
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All this corn talk reminds me of one of my favorite T-shirts I've ever seen.
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Old 12-07-2012, 06:32 PM
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Now THAT'S funny. Corn poopie!
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Old 12-07-2012, 07:29 PM
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I'm a big time environmentalist, and even I think it's a total scam. The only reason ethanol based gasoline exists is because Washington is in bed with Big Agriculture. Unfortunately, it's all about politics, and has nothing to do with the environment.
^This^. While ethanol from corn is a "renewable" source as opposed to dino oil, the push for ethanol is political, not environmental. Adding 10% home grown ethanol theoretically reduces oil imports by 10% and reduces our trade deficit along with dependence on foreign oil. At least that's the rhetoric.
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Old 12-07-2012, 07:35 PM
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I only use ethanol free gas. Fortunately I have a plethora of places to choose from to get it at
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Old 12-07-2012, 07:41 PM
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I only use ethanol free gas. Fortunately I have a plethora of places to choose from to get it at
You need to buy some of our corn.
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Old 12-07-2012, 07:45 PM
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Are you kidding me? Have you been to Southern Ontario? Alberta? Saskatchewan? Manitoba? Tons of our own freaking corn. Likely as much as you folks grow, except that we have 1/10 your population so guess where we sell our excess?

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Old 12-07-2012, 07:51 PM
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Are you kidding me? Have you been to Southern Ontario? Nope! Alberta? Nope! Saskatchewan? Nope! Manitoba? Nope! Tons of our own freaking corn. Likely as much as you folks grow, except that we have 1/10 your population so guess where we sell our excess? North Korea.

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