The new summer gas is here. The 93 octane we are getting has up to 10% methanol in it, I hear.
Is this affecting enyone's performance? If so, how?
I have noticed a slight decrease in power, but all I have is intake.
04-22-2006, 01:55 AM
actually you figure it'd be vice versa. I was told by one of my ford techs that the gas is worse in the winter because they add MORE methanol. It has like 15% in the winter to burn hotter or somethin. Then in the summer they drop it to 10 or somethin like that. So the hp in summer should be more than winter. At least that's what my FORD guy told me.
maybey it's the warmer air?? not used to it yet?
what do you mean is it the warmer air?
LOL, I wouldn't know, the car hasn't run since last year. It still has a mostly full tank of $1.90 gasoline in it.
04-24-2006, 09:23 AM
The ethanol in gas, especially in the midwest, is supposed to reduce carbon monoxide emissions due to the fact that it's "oxygenated". The truth is that ethanol doesn't have as much energy as gasoline and the "OH" part of the hydrocarbon shows up in the exhaust as O2, causing your O2 sensor to richen your mixture. Thus you burn more fuel than you would with straight gasoline. Ethanol does have a higher "octane", meaning that it is less prone to detonation so it is, in a sense, an octane booster.
The real reason for the addition of ethanol to your fuel, though, is to give a market to Archer Daniels Midland, largest corn farmers in the world. They get a sweet subsidy from the US government to grow all this damn corn. Since they've got to do something with it, they turn it into High Fructose Corn syrup that winds up in every food you can find in the US and they turn it into ethanol that craps up your mileage and performance on your car.
The worst thing about ethanol is that it takes MORE energy to make a gallon of ethanol than comes out of that gallon of ethanol. It's a net waste of energy, converting corn to ethanol as an alternate fuel source.
Brazil converts cane sugar into ethanol which DOES produce more energy than it consumes. Corn loses out in the conversion of corn grain into sugar, the fermentation and distilation are the same for both products.
So, you're stuck with paying taxes that go to ADM to make a fuel that uses more energy than it produces that forces you to burn more of it to get the same performance you would have gotten from good old gasoline.
04-24-2006, 09:51 AM
the alcohol in the gas makes it harder to burn which mkaes it easier for gasoline producers to effectivley raise octane ratings of fuel. Most 91+ fuels have alcohol added because it is cheaper way to raise octane ratings. In my home town the 89 octane at Casey's is 10% methanol and is also 2 or 3 cents cheaper than the 87. I would almost garuntee that the fuel is not causing your supposed loss in power. Like one person said it is the temperature of the air you are sucking in.
The warmer air causes the oxygen content to be not as dense per cubic inch. Less air less power. Also you get better gas mileage in the summer too. The intake air temp sensor sees warmer temperature and cuts the amount of fuel that is needed. Think of it as a trade off, last year I was able to obtain 34 mpg at 70 mph.
04-24-2006, 12:48 PM
I think it might have happened to me. I gassed up at the beginning of last week and eventually noticed a subtle power loss when traveling at a constant speed. The bogging below 3000rpm also seemed worse. Saturday the check engine light went on and I took it in to the dealer this morning. The dealer believes it was the tune I had (the Diablo SVT tune). Apparently the error codes that were thrown don't usually come from a Focus unless you've tinkered with the tune or chip. But I've had the tune for over a year and a half and the last mods I did were about 3 months ago. As far as I can tell the only thing different is the gas.
I'll reload the stock SVT tune tonight and hope that deals with it. I'm curious if it happens to anyone else too.
04-24-2006, 10:56 PM
think some updated research should be done by a few here to learn a little more about ethanol and the advances in production lately. have 2 new plants going up here which now use less energy to produce ethanol.
the higher octane reading of ethanol is due to its slower burning. gas burns violently, alcohol burns slower.
its one reason you lose milage when running e85, also some power. alcohol burns slower and more complete than gas does. the slower burn causes less power.
adm huh? lol
around here there are several ethanol plants, 5 to be exact within 20 miles of me. none are owned by adm. they are llc's owned by different cooperatives of farmers or investors.
good thing about ethanol is theres no waste. whats left (the mash) is sold or given to farmers as distillers grain for livestock feed.
04-25-2006, 02:29 AM
"what do you mean is it the warmer air?"
I meant just the warmer air of summer in general. It bogs down the car and your probably not used to it yet since it just warmed up.