With gas prices these days, everyone is trying to save money at the pump. We are used to seeing the 87, 89 and 93 but what are these new 88 and E-85? What is the difference and why are they so cheap? Keep reading to find out more about these numbers and what you should or even if you can use these in your automobile.
With most gasoline the prominent numbers you see (87, 89 & 93) are the fuels octane rating. The rating measures how well the fuel burns and can affect the way the engine runs. It will not hurt to run a higher octane fuel than recommended by the manufacturer but you should never run a lower octane fuel as it can possibly damage the engine.
So what is this 88 E-15 and E-85?
The E is for Ethanol, this is a fuel made most commonly from corn. Ethanol has been used to some degree since the 1970’s. Its use has become more common in the effort to reduce the use of oil to make gasoline and to reduce carbon emissions. E-10 is in almost every gas pump today. This means that the gas that you pump can contain up to 10% ethanol and E-15 is up to 15%. E85 is generally in the range of 51%-83%.
Can I use Ethanol fuels and should I?
The best part for us is that the process to make ethanol fuel is easier and cheaper. This is great because it makes the gallon of gasoline cheaper as well. But wait, we can’t all just run out and use E-85 fuel. Just like with octane rating we need to check with the manufacturer to see if we can run these higher ethanol content fuels. This is actually the easy part. All 2001 and newer gasoline vehicles can run the 88 E-15. This alone can save you $ 0.10-0.30 per gallon. Now if you have a “flex fuel” vehicle you can run the E-85. Right now we are seeing about $0.80 cheaper per gallon. Now that’s a big savings on a fill up. Also when you open your fill door to fill up look around the fill tube or inside of the door and it will tell you what fuels you can use.
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