Technical E85 in France

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Technical E85 in France

Maxcaddy

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Currently there is a fuel shortage in France (yes I know its not on the UK News as that's all about how bad the UK is and that there's nothing else wrong in the world), however a shortage there is, and the question is can I use E85 in a 2.4 Abarth ?.

Apparently some cars can use E85 from 2001, but as the Abarth is one of a handful of Fiats that shouldn't even use E95, but only use E98, I struggle to see that E85 would be okay. Especially if you listen to the horror stories about melting your fuel lines, dissolving your fuel injection system, etc, etc.

Whilst I know that E85 is unheard of in the UK, it's plentiful in France, and is half the price of E95. Allegedly it gives you a big power increase at a 20% extra consumption rate.

Anyone know any more ?
 

bugsymike

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Currently there is a fuel shortage in France (yes I know its not on the UK News as that's all about how bad the UK is and that there's nothing else wrong in the world), however a shortage there is, and the question is can I use E85 in a 2.4 Abarth ?.

Apparently some cars can use E85 from 2001, but as the Abarth is one of a handful of Fiats that shouldn't even use E95, but only use E98, I struggle to see that E85 would be okay. Especially if you listen to the horror stories about melting your fuel lines, dissolving your fuel injection system, etc, etc.

Whilst I know that E85 is unheard of in the UK, it's plentiful in France, and is half the price of E95. Allegedly it gives you a big power increase at a 20% extra consumption rate.

Anyone know any more ?
From the little I have read, unless your car is specifically designed for it, especially older vehicles including everything from your petrol lawnmower to your outboard motor, anything beyond E5 has potential risks, so E85 is not for me.(n)
 

jonti

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I'm running my 2.4 on E10 when the pump I drive up to doesn't have E5. No issues at all day to day. We'll see if anything results in the longer term. Is E5 going to be around in the future, won't it gradually disappear like leaded did back in the day?
 

bugsymike

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I'm running my 2.4 on E10 when the pump I drive up to doesn't have E5. No issues at all day to day. We'll see if anything results in the longer term. Is E5 going to be around in the future, won't it gradually disappear like leaded did back in the day?
Short term probably get away with it, long term may be different. I ran an old Fiat Uno on unleaded against recommended use, but as it only cost £300 I wasn't too concerned.
Do you recall I believe it was Shell that added larger quantities of silicon to the fuel and a lot of police Vauxhalls experienced excessive valve seat wear several years ago, so I was told.
 
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Maxcaddy

Maxcaddy

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If it weren't for FIAT specifically singling out the 2.4 Abarth (and a couple of others), I would be running it on E95 without a second thought. So there has to be something in the 2.4 setup that doesn't like running on even a small % Ethanol, and certainly wouldn't like running on a big wad of it.

When I'm next passing a FIAT dealer I might pop in an ask the question, but usually when a model is more than a few years old the main agents aren't interested in the slightest, and just want to sell you something else.
 

Ralf S.

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No.. E85 is a special fuel for vehicles that are adapted to burn it. It's "available" because you can't really use it in anything that's not a flex-fuel vehicle.

Don't confuse E85 (85% Ethanol) with 95- and 98-RON which are octane ratings, regardless of the ethanol content of the fuel. E85 has an octane rating of around 100-105 RON so in this one regard it's better than regular benzin.

I would not put 85% ethanol in a car as old as the Stilo. It can probably barely tolerate E10 so unless you have a load of new old stock fuel system components and like swapping them out when (if) they melt/dissolve then it's best to not risk it, and just use a bike until Pierre gets his refineries working again.


Ralf S.
 
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I'm particularly interested in fuels with ethanol in them because of my interest in old horticultural machine. Many of the carbs/fuel systems on these older machines contain several diaphragms which are "rubbery" (don't know precisely what they are made of) and have rubberized fuel lines and some even have rubber tipped needlevalves. From what I've read I believe that the corrosive and "rubber eating" effects of ethanol on these systems is irreversible. so if you put a tank full of E10 in it's probably going to run just fine on it, possibly several tanks full will have little noticeable result, but the damage is slowly being inflicted and you can't reverse it by then putting in a tankful of E5 for instance. The damage is progressive. The big problem is that the fuel gets everywhere in the fuel system so you're not just talking about replacing one diaphragm or supply pipe! I'm running anything not listed on the government's website on E5 premium fuel. There's also the fact that, although their fuel systems are pretty simple, many of the older machines I mess about with are difficult to get parts for and some manufacturers don't exist any more - Tecumseh engines for one. I have the same attitude towards the cars. Unless it's listed I'd run it on E5.
 
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Maxcaddy

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Here's the thing, it appears that the Stilo's made in Brazil (2006 - 2010) used a GM sourced engine, and they all ran happily on E85. The GM engine was probably chosen as it also appears that all cars manufactured in the USA from 1996 are under a Federal Mandate to be capable of using E85. However some/most need to be reprogrammed/tuned to do so, noting that those classed as Flex fuel are already tuned to take it.

It also appears that there's a load of scaremongering going on about using E85 especially around fuel lines melting, O rings failing etc. In fact while it wouldn't be a good idea to put it in say an old Austin with an SU carb etc, to use E85 in most modern fuel injection systems would probably be fine, with no more issues than say to what it is when running on LPG.

Anyhow, as my 2.4 engine is already unsuitable for E95/E10, the cost of getting to run on E85 will be far more than than any benefit that I'd get out of it. However, some more research is needed, as I want my next car to be E85 compatible :cool:.
 
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Maxcaddy

Maxcaddy

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Well after some research, there's always this site which alleges that using their kit will solve all :unsure: https://fuelflexeurope.com/kit-flex...manuelle-5-rapports-11-cv-fiscaux-annee-2004/.

If I was getting say 32 mpg, that's about 7 miles to the litre. Then if I did 4,000 miles (about a years worth for me) it would cost at €1.70 per litre ~€969 for E5/E98, whereas it would only cost €485 if using E85, therefore saving €484 ish, which is more than the €449 kit would cost, and be a 50% or more saving from then on.

OK, this all seems too good to be true. So being a real coward before commiting my wonga, I am keen to hear from anyone whose already done this, and how they got on.
 
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