Latest Reader Question: Ethanol vs. Gas

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Here is the latest reader question, along with my reply: 

Judith asks: My 2015 Honda Civic runs well on the cheapest gas but I always wonder what cars will do on pure gas with no corn additive? Is my car unable to burn this fuel? The corn lobbyists are busy people, selling us crap with no long term benefit. I love your writings and hope that my car is the last car I ever buy. What a mess we have made.

My reply: First, using 100 percent gasoline (no ethanol) will not harm your 2015 Civic in any way whatsoever – and you may (probably will) see a noticeable uptick in mileage, because 100 percent gas contains more energy than 90 percent gas plus 10 percent ethanol (E10).

Your car will also not be harmed by using E10 as it – and all cars of its vintage – was designed to burn it.

Ethanol is, however, problematic for older cars (generally, those made before the 1990s) not designed to handle it. I refer here to the fuel system in particular – the tank and lines, fuel pump, gaskets, o-rings and so on.

Also, ethanol doesn’t store as well over time – but again, that should not be an issue for you!

. . .

Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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  1. Ethanol has absolutely no benefit to the customer at all. That’s why they have to mandate it. At least its a little cheaper then regular, unlike electric cars.

    It’s like social security. Nobody thinking for a second would sign up for it willingly.

    We stopped being an “opt in” society a long time ago. And the few times they allow you to opt out, they make it as hard as possible to do so. How are mandates even tolerated in a “free” society?

      • The only way they could collect the “opt out tax fine whatever the hell it was” was if you sent them too much income tax. I never paid the “fines” I was supposed too. Why? Because I never let them hold my money. It was a loophole, I never thought would last, but it did. I am guessing it will be gone when it returns (yes, it will return, that you can count on).

        We need to stop people from letting them have free loans. Stop over paying your estimated tax. Don’t wait for a “refund”!! It’s not a refund. DON’T LET THEM HAVE YOUR MONEY TO BEGIN WITH”!! Don’t pay it until you have too. Not one minute before.


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