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  • avatar ineedajob 04/05/10 6:23 pm PST


    You may have just gotten a bad batch of gas. If you don’t remember buying E85, it’s not easy to find and typically well marked. If you remember getting a GREAT price on gas one day, that was E85. Now, what you MAY have gotten is Ethanol (10%) which is NOT so clearly marked and much more widely used. A simple Ethanol test kit will confirm that, however I wouldn’t even waste my time with that. I would try and drain the tank with a siphon and get as much out as I could and then refill it with 92 (or better) Octane Premium fuel. I would even go as far as saying I would only put Chevron in for the next 4 or 5 fill ups. E85 can eat up you hoses (among other things), but one instance should not really mess anything up permanently, especially on a newer car. All cars built after 1995 are built to be able to run ethanol by law.

Answers

  • texases 04/05/10 3:45 pm PST

    Well, it's two different questions: 1) could E85 cause major problems on a car not designed for it? Yes, it certainly can.

    2) Is your dealer lying? If you know for an absolute fact that E85 has not been in your car, then he must be. You should take it elsewhere if that's the case, ask around for a good mechanic.

  • ineedajob 04/05/10 6:23 pm PST


    You may have just gotten a bad batch of gas. If you don’t remember buying E85, it’s not easy to find and typically well marked. If you remember getting a GREAT price on gas one day, that was E85. Now, what you MAY have gotten is Ethanol (10%) which is NOT so clearly marked and much more widely used. A simple Ethanol test kit will confirm that, however I wouldn’t even waste my time with that. I would try and drain the tank with a siphon and get as much out as I could and then refill it with 92 (or better) Octane Premium fuel. I would even go as far as saying I would only put Chevron in for the next 4 or 5 fill ups. E85 can eat up you hoses (among other things), but one instance should not really mess anything up permanently, especially on a newer car. All cars built after 1995 are built to be able to run ethanol by law.

  • morin2 04/05/10 6:52 pm PST

    Good answers. There have been a few cases in which the wrong fuel was delivered by refueling trucks to station's fuel tanks. One a year ago at a state of Maryland refueling station in Baltimore disabled about 5 dozen police cars that were filled with E85 from an E10 tank. I have an ethanol tester - they can be bought for about $15 and mostly use it for checking fuel for my boat. I've also used it to check the stations for my car & have never seen over 10%. But now, you might want to make such a small investment and check where you buy your fuel. Save a bit of the gas that's in your tank & test it when you get an ethanol tester.

  • texases 04/05/10 6:56 pm PST

    Since your car is still under warranty, I would get one of those ethanol testers. The dealer is trying to make this your mistake, and it might well be a problem with the Highlander that's not in any way your fault. You need to document this with the test results to show it's not E85.

  • morin2 04/05/10 7:11 pm PST

    Do a search for ethanol testers online. I've seen two types & they differ only in their scales - one reads 0-15% or 0-20% for checking E10 fuel and the other 50-100% for checking E85 fuel. You add water to an embossed line on the glass tube, fill it to another line with the gas to be tested, shake it and the ethanol combines with the water. You read the meniscus against the scale & see the % ethanol. They are available online and also at small airports - the FAA doesn't allow ethanol in aviation fuels, so pilots of small planes use them to test their fuel.

  • nachogirl 04/08/10 11:49 am PST

    Thanks for all the answers. It is going on my second week that my car has been in the shop. Still waiting for 6 of the 11 hoses he has to replace because of this. I am adamant that I did not put E85 into my tank, they do not sell it within a 100 mile radius of my town and I did not go out of town. No one else here has had any problems with there fuel systems so i makes me believe that the dealership is trying to make this my fault. I will have to pay the bill to get my car, but I will be writing some letters and visiting the BBB.
    Again thanks for your answers.

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Top Ethanol Experts View More

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