Why Does E85 Pump So Slow

Are you frustrated with the slow pumping speed of E85 fuel? You’re not alone. Many drivers who opt for this alternative fuel source have noticed that it can take significantly longer to fill up their tanks than with traditional gasoline. But why is this the case?

To understand why E85 pumps so slowly, you first need to have a basic understanding of its chemical makeup. E85 is a blend of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline, and this combination results in a fuel that has different properties than standard gasoline. These differences contribute to the slower pumping speed, but there are also other factors at play.

In this article, we’ll explore the various reasons why E85 pumps slower, as well as some tips for faster fueling and the pros and cons of using this fuel source. So, let’s dive in and take a closer look.

Understanding the Chemical Makeup of E85

Let’s dive into what makes E85, the fuel that’s causing our pumps to move at a snail’s pace.

E85 is a blend of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. Ethanol is produced from crops like corn, sugarcane, and barley, which are fermented and distilled to create a high-proof alcohol. The alcohol is then mixed with gasoline to create E85.

The production of E85 has an environmental impact, as growing crops for ethanol production requires large amounts of land, water, and energy. Additionally, the process of converting the crops into ethanol often involves the use of pesticides and fertilizers, which can have negative effects on the environment.

Despite this impact, E85 is often touted as a more environmentally friendly alternative to traditional gasoline, as it produces lower emissions and reduces our dependence on foreign oil.

Factors Contributing to Slow E85 Pumping

One reason for the sluggish flow of E85 fuel could be the pump design, specifically the smaller diameter of the fuel nozzle. E85 has a higher ethanol content than regular gasoline, which means it has a lower energy density and requires a greater volume of fuel to reach the same amount of energy. This increased volume of fuel requires a larger diameter nozzle to allow for a faster flow rate, which isn’t always available at E85 pumps.

Another factor contributing to slow E85 pumping is fuel temperature. E85 is more sensitive to changes in temperature, and as the temperature drops, the fuel becomes more viscous, making it harder to flow through the smaller nozzle. It’s important to keep the fuel temperature consistent and within the proper range for optimal flow. Colder temperatures can cause the fuel to contract and become denser, which can also slow down the flow rate.

Tips for Faster E85 Fueling

Want to fuel up with E85 faster? Here are some tips:

– Use a larger diameter nozzle to increase the flow rate of the fuel. This is especially helpful for those with larger vehicles or tanks, as it can take longer to fill up.
– Keep the fuel temperature consistent for optimal flow. E85 can be affected by changes in temperature, causing it to expand or contract. This can lead to slower pumping times and even pump shut-offs. To avoid this, try to fuel up during cooler times of the day and keep your tank at a consistent temperature.
– Pump maintenance can also play a role in faster fueling times. Regularly checking and cleaning the pump’s filters can prevent clogging and ensure that the fuel flows smoothly.

Remember, these techniques can make a significant difference in the speed of your fill-up.

The Benefits and Drawbacks of E85 Fuel

Discover the pros and cons of using E85 fuel for your vehicle’s performance and environmental impact. E85 fuel is a blend of ethanol and gasoline, with the ethanol component derived from renewable sources such as corn, sugarcane, and switchgrass.

The use of E85 fuel can significantly reduce carbon emissions and help promote sustainable energy sources. Additionally, E85 fuel has a higher octane rating than regular gasoline, which can potentially improve engine performance and power.

However, there are also drawbacks to using E85 fuel. One of the main issues is the lower energy content of ethanol compared to gasoline, which can lead to decreased fuel efficiency. In addition, not all vehicles are compatible with E85 fuel, and retrofitting older vehicles can be expensive.

Finally, the production of ethanol requires a significant amount of energy and resources, which can have a negative environmental impact. Overall, the use of E85 fuel can be beneficial in certain situations, but it is important to weigh the pros and cons before making a decision.

Future Developments in E85 Technology

The future of E85 technology looks promising with advancements in ethanol production and engine design. As demand for alternative fuels continues to rise, researchers are exploring new ways to make ethanol production more efficient and cost-effective. This includes using waste products like corn husks and straw to produce ethanol, which reduces the need for traditional feedstocks like corn and sugar.

In addition, engine manufacturers are designing vehicles that are specifically optimized to run on E85 fuel. These engines have higher compression ratios and advanced fuel injection systems that allow them to take full advantage of the high-octane properties of ethanol. As a result, these engines can provide improved performance and fuel efficiency compared to traditional gasoline engines.

With these advancements, the future of E85 looks bright, and we can expect to see more widespread adoption of this alternative fuel in the coming years.


In conclusion, you’ve learned that the slow pumping of E85 can be attributed to a few factors. These include the chemical makeup of the fuel and the design of the pump. However, there are several tips you can utilize to make your fueling experience faster and more efficient. For example, using a higher flow rate pump and ensuring your vehicle’s fuel system is properly maintained.

Despite the challenges of slower pumping, E85 still offers numerous benefits. These include lower emissions and reduced dependence on foreign oil. As technology continues to advance, we can expect to see further developments in E85 technology. This may include more efficient pumps and improved fuel formulations.

Overall, E85 remains a promising alternative fuel option for those looking to reduce their environmental impact and support domestic energy production.