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Ethanol free gas

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Jasper View Drop Down
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    Posted: June/23/12 at 8:06am
Hi, 

I recently was wandering around looking for the meaning of life and stumbled into a gas station that offered ethanol free gas - I couldn't figure out how to rotate the picture below so you might need to tilt your head.  

It got me thinking, I'll give ethanol free gas another try - 92 octane with no Ethanol.  I had a rental car when I took the picture so I didn't care what gas I dumped in there.  

After using three full tanks of ethanol free gas I noticed I'm blowing out more dark smoke when I accelerate, usually when I jump onto the freeway.  Initially I thought it was funny because there were a few instances someone was tailgating me - I'm being passive.  

How often should I be using seafoam?  Or maybe I shouldn't be using it?  Should I ignore it and it will eventually go away as I think the ethanol free gas is burning the carbon buildup and pushing it out?  Heck, maybe this is a warning sign of another expensive repair bill?

Thanks,
Jasper    


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jasper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/23/12 at 10:32am
I think I might have answered my own question.  My check engine light kicked on this morning.  So maybe the dark cloud coming out of my MINI is a sign of more headaches.  I guess I should be grateful I got a functional car for at least 23 days - *sigh*

Factoring in my last repair bill, that means I paid $35.04 per day (last repair bill was ~806) to drive a MINI that was not having problems.  I'm not including my thermostat bill...    

Jasper
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote no.9 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/26/12 at 4:24am
Bumping this month old thread for updates!
 
Ethanol free should be better, not causing damage to fuel lines and such. Unless newer cars are actually tuned and built for ethanol?
 
Just in case, here is a link I found with ethanol free pumps all over the country (link is WA specific).
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote catlvr2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/26/12 at 9:16am
Thanks, that's good to know. We just found some ethanol free gas the other day in Orofino, ID, of all places!
Leanne

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HammyGirl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/26/12 at 4:21pm
I just put ethanol free gas in my mini on Sunday I found some on South Hill in Puyallup, it's not on the list.  The station is past the am/pm and Chevron when you are heading up the hill just past best buy on the right, there is a taco bus in the parking lot. I only put 3/4 of a tank in because that's the only cash I had, but my MPG is up.  I'm going to fill it up next time and see how much of a difference it makes. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote johnf36 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/26/12 at 8:27pm
Leanne , not surprised, they know what your suppose to use corn mash for :-)
If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jasper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/29/12 at 5:34pm
Trying to keep the focus on ethanol free gas but the dark smoke coming from the back of my car was related to carbon build up.  The dealer did there thing and ran walnut shells through the engine.  
The first time they had to do this I was exclusively running Costco gas as it was cheap.  Right around 40K I had carbon build up.  After that I ran a combination of ethanol free gas from 76 and Chevron gas. Only recently did I switch to all ethanol free gas.  At roughly 80K miles I had carbon buildup.  

I've used the fuel treatment that was recommended by the dealer at frequent intervals and I tried Seafoam around the 60K mark.  I have been told many times by the dealer to use the "good stuff" when it comes to gas.  At this point I'm inclined to believe gas is gas.  Yes, some of the name brands are adding stuff but its not helping as I still have carbon buildup.  Ethanol free gas also costs more than regular gas, I tried to justify it by wanting to believe MPG would go up but I'm hitting the same numbers as regular gas.  

In my opinion carbon buildup is just another cost of ownership - its going to happen no matter what you do and spending time trying to find "good" gas is just a waste of time unless you like to do those things.  I suspect MINI is trying to cover itself but if they were transparent with owners I would like to believe there would be less noise online about owners trying to find that mythical answer.   

If the gas is really bad you are not going to make it out of the gas station and if I'm really putting bad gas in my car, I-5 should be littered with abandoned cars as we are all using the same gas - its coming from the same refineries.  

I read about the catch can but another more experience MINI owner will be able to say if that is the answer.  

Jasper 


Edited by Jasper - July/29/12 at 5:36pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DneprDave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/29/12 at 8:31pm
It has nothing to do with the gas you're using, it is the direct injection engine. Most cars have port fuel injection, in which the the gasoline is injected into the intake manifold. The gasoline then can wash any oil introduced by the Positive Crankcase Ventilation system off of the backs of the intake valves and the intake ports.

A direct injection system, that our turbocharged MINIs have, injects the fuel directly into the cylinders, much like a diesel engine, this gives more precise control of the fuel and improves emissions. But it also doesn't wash the oil residue from the PCV system from the backs of the intake valves, so it burns there, leaving a carbon residue that slowly clogs the intake ports. This can only be removed by mechanically cleaning the valves and ports by blasting them with walnut shells.

An Oil Catch Can, intercepts the oil mist before it can get into the intake ports and valves, and so helps prevent the build up of carbon in the intake ports.

An N-14 MINI engine has two PCV lines, one goes from the head cover to the throttle body, this is the main source of oil vapor. When installing an oil catch can, it is important to block off that line, so there is no path for the oil vapors to get to the intake ports. The other PCV line goes to the turbocharger inlet, this is the hose in which the the oil catch can is installed, to catch that oil mist. 

Oil catch cans will prevent or significantly reduce carbon buildup in N-14 MINI engines.

The jury is still out on 2011+ N-18 engines, but, so far, it looks like MINI has fixed the carbon build up problem on the newer engines through a combination of the new VANOS system and ECU changes.

I hope this helps.

Dave
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FIZGIG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/30/12 at 8:56am
I was wondering how many different motors have the Cooper S had since 2002 to present?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ipeverywhere Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/30/12 at 9:03am
In Aug '10 MINI extended the warranty on the high pressure fuel pumps on the '07, '08, and '09 MCS models with turbos. The big rumor was that the ethanol content of gas in the US was causing them to wear prematurely. There is also rumor that some stations around this area have higher than the 10% limit. Ethanol is more corrosive than petrol. That's a good reason to use ethanol free gas. I think there is an ethanol free station in Issaquah. Maybe I'll start alternating my fill-ups to get insure the ethanol content in my tank stays low. Normally, I use Chevron because it's close and I trust it. I was using Shell but after Tracey had a problem and I was getting a "smell" I switched back to Chevron and now try to use it exclusively. Tracey's '08 actually registered mis-fire codes and her engine was walnut blasted under warranty after using Shell. I suspect it really is simply a problem with the station we were using.

The catch can seems like a good idea. I may simply pay to have my engine walnut blasted every 50,000 miles.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jasper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/30/12 at 10:55am
Thanks Dave - very good explanation.  

But it goes back to the debate, is ethanol free gas or "good gas" really worth chasing?  In theory the extended warranty on the fuel pump will cover using gas with ethanol.   

The dealer implies carbon buildup is tied to the gas you use - which is why I'm referencing carbon build up in this thread.  Dave's logic supports the idea that gas isn't going to help you with carbon build up, I'm assuming those expensive bottles of fuel treatment are no help either.    

The numerous occasions I've had to bring in my car to service I've heard the "you need to use the good stuff with respect to gas speech" being told to another MINI owner.  I guess I'm starting to believe, gas is gas ideology unless someone has a compelling argument to spend 10 to 20 cents more for ethanol free gas.  



Edited by Jasper - July/30/12 at 10:58am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote swpars Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/01/12 at 6:28am
I have never used ethanol free gas and have never had fuel system problems with any car I've driven. Granted, they are all port-injected cars - no DI, yet.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LeonK Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/21/18 at 12:43pm

Do you know that ethanol is used for ethanol fireplaces? See at https://www.store.planikausa.com/ they produce no ash and smell



Edited by LeonK - September/30/18 at 2:24am
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