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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
On my last road trip (5800+ miles), I noticed large differences in my computed gas mileage. I started from home on a tank of 87 octane BP gas and only got 23-24 MPG. Two of my worst tankfuls were through Minnesota and South Dakota, in the 20-21 MPG range. One tankful made the engine so anemic that it was downshifting a lot more than usual, especially in the hilly areas of Montana. I started buying either premium fuel or, where available, ethanol-free fuel, and was getting highway mileage up where it should be--25-27 MPG. I also stuck to the better stations like Conoco, Sinclair (my favorite--gotta love dinosaurs ?), Chevron, etc., and that made a difference also. (No more Casey's General Store...a gas/convenience chain out west. I got one of my worst MPG calculations from their gas!)

One thing I dislike about this miserable state I live in is that we are force-fed ethanol-laced gasoline. From what little I've read, gas stations have to apply for a waiver to sell ethanol-free gasoline and label it as "recreational" gas. As such, many of our "pure gas" pumps are out on the docks at the marinas (who don't sell to automobiles). And others who do sell to cars are priced higher than the top premium grade gasolines at the pumps.

Out west, it is so much easier to find ethanol-free gas. A few stations even have separate nozzles (like one of the Maverick stations I stopped at).

I mentioned in another thread here that there is a site that catalogs the ethanol-free stations in the US. Here it is:


No affiliation, but helpful for those who want to avoid ethanol as much as possible. The listings do have a few errors, but visitors can correct them.
 

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On my last road trip (5800+ miles), I noticed large differences in my computed gas mileage. I started from home on a tank of 87 octane BP gas and only got 23-24 MPG. Two of my worst tankfuls were through Minnesota and South Dakota, in the 20-21 MPG range. One tankful made the engine so anemic that it was downshifting a lot more than usual, especially in the hilly areas of Montana. I started buying either premium fuel or, where available, ethanol-free fuel, and was getting highway mileage up where it should be--25-27 MPG. I also stuck to the better stations like Conoco, Sinclair (my favorite--gotta love dinosaurs ?), Chevron, etc., and that made a difference also. (No more Casey's General Store...a gas/convenience chain out west. I got one of my worst MPG calculations from their gas!)

One thing I dislike about this miserable state I live in is that we are force-fed ethanol-laced gasoline. From what little I've read, gas stations have to apply for a waiver to sell ethanol-free gasoline and label it as "recreational" gas. As such, many of our "pure gas" pumps are out on the docks at the marinas (who don't sell to automobiles). And others who do sell to cars are priced higher than the top premium grade gasolines at the pumps.

Out west, it is so much easier to find ethanol-free gas. A few stations even have separate nozzles (like one of the Maverick stations I stopped at).

I mentioned in another thread here that there is a site that catalogs the ethanol-free stations in the US. Here it is:


No affiliation, but helpful for those who want to avoid ethanol as much as possible. The listings do have a few errors, but visitors can correct them.
Wildcat, Good story. And informative.

On my last trip from Maryland, which sounds like your state with essentially no ethanol-free gas for cars, I noticed in Oklahoma City Ethanol-free gas is widely available and is usually 3 to 5 cents higher than regular 87 octane. But, mileage is enough better to far outweigh that small increased price.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It makes me wonder what the auto manufacturers and EPA use for fuel when they do their evaluations. The only way I have been able to get the rated mileage in our 2009 CR-Vs and our Acura TL was by using premium and/or ethanol-free gasoline. And we really noticed it in the Acura, even in daily driving--that car would suck down gasoline like candy if we used 87 octane, but would get at least 5 MPG better on premium. (I had seen something similar on an Acura forum about using premium fuel, and didn't believe it until I saw it myself.)

Strangely, when my '97 was over 240,000 miles, I was able to get far better than the 22/25 EPA mileage rating. On one trip to Columbus, OH from here, I think I got nearly 30 MPG. (Mostly 2- or 4-lane state highways at 55-65 MPH with only an hour of Interstate highway). On a later trip to Maine, I was getting 27 MPG on average.
 

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It makes me wonder what the auto manufacturers and EPA use for fuel when they do their evaluations. The only way I have been able to get the rated mileage in our 2009 CR-Vs and our Acura TL was by using premium and/or ethanol-free gasoline. And we really noticed it in the Acura, even in daily driving--that car would suck down gasoline like candy if we used 87 octane, but would get at least 5 MPG better on premium. (I had seen something similar on an Acura forum about using premium fuel, and didn't believe it until I saw it myself.)

Strangely, when my '97 was over 240,000 miles, I was able to get far better than the 22/25 EPA mileage rating. On one trip to Columbus, OH from here, I think I got nearly 30 MPG. (Mostly 2- or 4-lane state highways at 55-65 MPH with only an hour of Interstate highway). On a later trip to Maine, I was getting 27 MPG on average.
Good question. If you missed the VERY long string of posts in the Hesitation thread for the 2010, it was a very BIG mess. I traded an '09 for one just to get the redesigned engine. Bigger valves, higher compression, total redesign of both intake and exhaust systems and it had a dangerous hesitation when starting from idle as from a traffic light. It would move slightly, far enough to get into an intersection then essentially quit! Fortunately the Service Manager at the selling dealer drove my car and almost got into a terrible wreck and really harangued Honda so they actually did something. Updated the firmware but not until December of 2010. I bought mine in July 2010 and truly hated it.

But then I drove it it Oklahoma City to visit family and put Ethanol-free gas and, voilà! No more hesitation! And mileage jumped several mph. This led me to conclude the Japanese are not stupid enough to pollute/corrupt their gas with Ethanol so all their testing in Japan was with unpolluted-with-Ethanol gas!

I think EPA does not do testing for such as mph. It looks to me like they take manufacturers test results. Recall the Volkswagen uproar when Volkswagen gave buyers better performance and more mileage by diddling the firmware in their Diesels and EPA discovered it years later and fined them many $Millions?
 

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Have never owned a vehicle that got actual EPA mpg......close, but no cigar. I’ve actually exceeded EPA highway mpg a time or two (amazing what a 30mph tailwind will do). Usually my highway mpg is similar to city numbers.....2-5 mpg less than posted EPA numbers.

We’ve been traveling to Norman, OK several times a year for the past 15 years and iirc, ethanol free gas runs about .25-.30 cents/per gal more than E10. I’ve tried the ethanol free gas several times on our return home trip and could not really tell a difference, so I don’t pay the premium price anymore.?‍♂
 

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There are many things that contribute to fuel mileage; the mechanical condition of the car, tire pressures, driver habits, geography/ terrain, etc - and yes (often the lesser) your selection of fuel.

Ethanol is a nationwide scurge that has been shown to lower mileage, however running a "higher" octane will Not contribute to better miles.

Two days ago I purchased 10 gal of e-free gas for my older yard equipment, it ran $2.90 gal. Locally I can purchase regular (E-gas) at $2.12 - or $2.04 if paying with cash. Even my diesel runs significantly cheaper than e-free gas.

Long story short ... generally this regular efuel stuff provides a cheaper MPG alternative over non e-gas.
 

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It makes me wonder what the auto manufacturers and EPA use for fuel when they do their evaluations.
The answer is ridiculous:

Automobile MFGrs. can use ANY fuel and ANY lubrication (oil) that they want...the engine only has to survive the EPA testing protocols.

Living in the mountains of Montana I only fuel up with ethanol free fuel (premium) and our vehicles work well - so does the lawn/snow equipment.
 

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we have no choice here in north east Illinois a lot of lakes here so you can get it at a marina that's $2 more per gal.so not worth it for a car but go an hour west or northwest and you can get pure gas in 91 octane at gas stations ,6 years ago when we went to Wisconsin dells is when I first noticed the increase in millage got 28 mpg on the way back from the dells with pure gas 91 and 23 on the way up with E10 corn gas,in the old 2003 CRV
 

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Auto Mfgs do their own fuel economy testing and report those numbers to the EPA. The EPA does random testing to verify mfg’s numbers.

With regard to the CRV, something tells me the EPA is going to do their testing using using 87 octane E10 gas to verify Honda’s published mpg numbers.

If ethanol free gas was far superior to E10 and E0 was only a .05/gal more, that would be a no brainer. I don’t think either is the case.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Automobile MFGrs. can use ANY fuel and ANY lubrication (oil) that they want...the engine only has to survive the EPA testing protocols.
That's not too encouraging.

But, I will also say that for the most part, our Hondas have typically delivered the advertised mileage. My old '92 Civic was rated 30/37; I used to get 35 MPG with nearly every tankful in my mix of highway and city driving. Highest I ever had was 40.5 MPG when we drove around Old Mission Peninsula for the day, averaging 45 MPH. My '97 CR-V (rated 22/25) started exceeding the EPA rating the older it got. I was still impressed it was getting 26-27 on the highway when I took it out to Maine with 240,000 miles on it!

Living in the mountains of Montana I only fuel up with ethanol free fuel (premium) and our vehicles work well - so does the lawn/snow equipment.
If I had that option here, I would use it. And it was nice being up there in Montana where I could more easily find ethanol-free gas. ?? Just one more thing I like about being "out west." Other states offer it also. One thing I noticed (along I-90) through a hilly portion somewhere between Billings and Three Forks was being on the tail end of some of the "cheap" gas and the transmission was downshifting constantly, trying to keep up with traffic. I forget where we stopped along that stretch but, once I got some of the "good" gas in the tank, the engine ran a lot better and downshifts were far fewer, and it had no problem getting up the hills.

For the rest of the trip, I filled up with ethanol-free wherever I could find it, or premium (with questionable ethanol content); I only had one premium tankful that was underwhelming but all the rest were fine and I got great mileage using them. All it says on those premium fuels is that they "can contain up to 10% ethanol."

I know the gub'mint is pushing for 15% ethanol in gasoline now. I guess the corn farmers are hurting or something. ? It's not worth it to pay close to $4/gallon here to get it at the very few stations that offer "recreational" fuel.
 

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Buying E-free gas for better gas mileage is futile. While ethanol has lower BTU content per gallon, the typical 10% ethanol blend only results in lowering gas mileage by 3 to 4 percent. This isn't worth the cost premium for E-FREE gas. And, Honda tunes the engine to run on E-10.
 

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On my last road trip (5800+ miles), I noticed large differences in my computed gas mileage. I started from home on a tank of 87 octane BP gas and only got 23-24 MPG. Two of my worst tankfuls were through Minnesota and South Dakota, in the 20-21 MPG range. One tankful made the engine so anemic that it was downshifting a lot more than usual, especially in the hilly areas of Montana. I started buying either premium fuel or, where available, ethanol-free fuel, and was getting highway mileage up where it should be--25-27 MPG. I also stuck to the better stations like Conoco, Sinclair (my favorite--gotta love dinosaurs ?), Chevron, etc., and that made a difference also. (No more Casey's General Store...a gas/convenience chain out west. I got one of my worst MPG calculations from their gas!)

One thing I dislike about this miserable state I live in is that we are force-fed ethanol-laced gasoline. From what little I've read, gas stations have to apply for a waiver to sell ethanol-free gasoline and label it as "recreational" gas. As such, many of our "pure gas" pumps are out on the docks at the marinas (who don't sell to automobiles). And others who do sell to cars are priced higher than the top premium grade gasolines at the pumps.

Out west, it is so much easier to find ethanol-free gas. A few stations even have separate nozzles (like one of the Maverick stations I stopped at).

I mentioned in another thread here that there is a site that catalogs the ethanol-free stations in the US. Here it is:


No affiliation, but helpful for those who want to avoid ethanol as much as possible. The listings do have a few errors, but visitors can correct them.
We recently drove 4900+ miles from Springfield, MO to San Diego. Then to "Devil's Tower", Scottsbluff, North Platte and Lincoln, NE and back home.
Our 2013 CR-V started out with 98,000 miles on the clock and I put nothing in it but minimum 87 octane. In states where 87 was not sold, I opted for 88 and 89. Running all highway miles on "Eco Mode" we got as high as 31+ mpg with a low of 24 when I opted for "Maver***" 88 ethanol free (in NE.) only got 24 on that tank and 26 on the next with Conoco.
From North Platte to Lincoln, it was back to 26 ½. Overall mileage was 28 mpg.
Ethanol free was the worst, 88 was the best.
 

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We recently drove 4900+ miles from Springfield, MO to San Diego. Then to "Devil's Tower", Scottsbluff, North Platte and Lincoln, NE and back home.
Our 2013 CR-V started out with 98,000 miles on the clock and I put nothing in it but minimum 87 octane. In states where 87 was not sold, I opted for 88 and 89. Running all highway miles on "Eco Mode" we got as high as 31+ mpg with a low of 24 when I opted for "Maver***" 88 ethanol free (in NE.) only got 24 on that tank and 26 on the next with Conoco.
From North Platte to Lincoln, it was back to 26 ½. Overall mileage was 28 mpg.
Ethanol free was the worst, 88 was the best.
Note: Should have mentioned MOST of the trip was driven at 70 - 75 mph - posted speed.
 

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Buying E-free gas for better gas mileage is futile. While ethanol has lower BTU content per gallon, the typical 10% ethanol blend only results in lowering gas mileage by 3 to 4 percent. This isn't worth the cost premium for E-FREE gas. And, Honda tunes the engine to run on E-10.
My 2018 CRV EXL AWD has averaged 28 MPG in town driving this summer. I use 10% ethanol mix in Iowa. I usually buy the gas from Quick Star stations. I am pleased with this average. I only have 11K miles on the CRV so far.
 

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2017 CRV EXL: Are you guys BS ing me about the gas mileage? My 2006 gets 25 mph no mater the speed. My 2017 get 33-34 mph with or w/o ethanol. Are you sure you know how figure gas mileage?
 

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I know this is a CR-V forum. My 2015 CR-V is rated for 33 on the HiWay and I never get that, usually only about 30 if I am lucky (only twice out of many 500 mile trips), my average and I am not lead footed is 24.5, usually drive the speed limit, (I have the State Farm tracker now so I have to).
Now on E0 or no ethanol gas. I have a gas (two cycle) powered weed wacker that has different attachments, I have the chainsaw one. This unit ran horrible, try to give it full throttle and it would die. I called the manufacturer and they suggested E0 or Ethanol free with oil pre-mixed, you can get 1 qt cans in most hardware stores. This 100% improved the power of my weed wacker. (I think I get around the yard with 1 cup of fuel, so that's only about 1/2 mpg). Its a useful tool now as a weed wacker and as a chain saw.

The question, sicnarf, is do you? I have a speadsheet on my phone that I keep track of it since I bought the car in 2015. I track: date, trip, Odometer, gallons, what the car said MPG, calculated MPG from Trip/gallons, and a short explanation for the type of driving the trip was for, including if ECON mode was off or on. Its updated after every fill up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Buying E-free gas for better gas mileage is futile.
My experience, and that of others who have posted here, proves otherwise. Especially when I consistently noticed the difference on my last road trip.

I'm done with this thread. No longer following.
 

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It makes me wonder what the auto manufacturers and EPA use for fuel when they do their evaluations. The only way I have been able to get the rated mileage in our 2009 CR-Vs and our Acura TL was by using premium and/or ethanol-free gasoline. And we really noticed it in the Acura, even in daily driving--that car would suck down gasoline like candy if we used 87 octane, but would get at least 5 MPG better on premium. (I had seen something similar on an Acura forum about using premium fuel, and didn't believe it until I saw it myself.)

Strangely, when my '97 was over 240,000 miles, I was able to get far better than the 22/25 EPA mileage rating. On one trip to Columbus, OH from here, I think I got nearly 30 MPG. (Mostly 2- or 4-lane state highways at 55-65 MPH with only an hour of Interstate highway). On a later trip to Maine, I was getting 27 MPG on average.
Today on my tank from around Watertown, NY to my house in Rochester, I got ~ 30.2 MPG. Almost completely Interstate and 2 lane highway driving, but through some small towns and villages where for short stretches the limit was 30 mph. I’m pretty conservative about speed and practice semi “hypermiling”.

All of this was on 87 octane, 10% ethanol fuel in an ‘09 AWD EX. I will try a tank of high octane ethanol free for comparaison. I am skeptical, but it will be an interesting test!
 

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Running "premium" gas with 10% ethanol will make no difference in fuel mileage than regular 87 octane 10% ethanol gasoline, other than possibly lower the mpg. Yes, I said lower. If your vehicle was programmed to run on 87 octane fuel, the spark map (ignition timing table), etc. in the computer/PCM is optimized for that fuel. Running a higher octane fuel will lower fuel economy because the higher the octane number, the slower the fuel burns. That's why when an engine would "ping" or detonate with lower octane fuel, putting premium gasoline would eliminate the detonation because it burns slower.

Running non-ethanol gasoline DOES increase fuel mileage because by volume, ethanol has lower BTUs than the gasoline it replaces; which translates in the engine producing less power so you'd have to use more throttle to produce the same power output, hence using more gasoline. The whole idea of adding ethanol to gasoline was to help "clean up the air" in cities with serious air quality (all the cities with emission testing basically, L.A., Seattle, Portland, Vancouver, etc.) This is a scam because gasoline producers are forcing everyone to use this ethanol-laced gasoline even in places that have no air quality issues from vehicles (no emission testing required by EPA). For example, Hawaii's gasoline has 10% ethanol in it when there is no need for that there. Of course, some of the dealers have a dedicated pump that has ethanol-free gasoline primarily for use in small engines (mowers, generators, pressure washers, etc.) which are ruined if you use the ethanol fuel you put in your vehicles. I know because I had to strip all my small engine carburetors apart and clean out the rust and such from the fuel bowls and plugged jet with rust formed from the water that the ethanol got from the air. Now that I use ethanol-free gas in these engines, not a single problem for years. But, as someone stated, our ethanol-free gas is more expensive than the premium 92 octane ethanol-laced gasoline. However, at least it's at a regular pump at the station so you can fill your car's tank with it unlike someone who posted earlier that they can't because they're at a marina or whatever and won't sell it for you to put in your car.

Depending on where the ethanol is obtained from, there could be a case where the 10% ethanol by volume is more expensive than the gasoline it replaces. If that's the case, we're paying more money at the pump for a fuel that's less efficient due to lower BTUs available in the fuel which results in lower fuel mileage. So we get punished by having to pay more for the fuel and getting less distance out of it. What a deal!

Perhaps those of us who live in states that don't require emission testing to lobby our State politicians to repeal putting 10% ethanol in our gasoline. (Our state is so dumb they want to increase it to 15% and we don't even have an air quality problem, except when we get the volcanic "vog" from the Big Island. Maybe we should tell them to stop messing with our gasoline and spend the money to solve the "vog" problem.)

Anyway, just my two cents worth from my 44+ years in the automotive repair field (and my early days in racing).
 

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Before undertaking a trip of 1500 to 2000 miles, I always add a fuel system cleaner containing Techron or PEA (nitrogen- based cleaner). During trips, I've made a point of buying name brand fuel. I like Shell for their Fuel Rewards card which helps lower the price some. I usually save anywhere from three to five cents per gallon. Cleaning the fuel system helps in restoring the good highway mileage that the car was originally rated (2013 CRV EX 23 city/31 highway mpg). Of course with the higher speed limits (70 mph), there will be a drop in mileage to 28-29 mpg. When I'm not traveling, I add the fuel system cleaner on a quarterly basis.
 
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