What Happens If I Use E85 In My Car

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you filled up your car with E85 fuel? E85 is a blend of gasoline and ethanol that contains 51% to 83% ethanol, depending on the season and location.

While E85 is a great option for some vehicles, it can cause problems in others. In this article, we’ll explore the risks associated with using E85 in non-flex-fuel vehicles, as well as the benefits of using it in flex-fuel vehicles, so you can make an informed decision about whether or not E85 is right for your car.

Before we dive into the potential problems associated with using E85 in non-flex-fuel vehicles, let’s take a closer look at what E85 actually is. As mentioned, E85 is a blend of gasoline and ethanol, with the percentage of ethanol varying based on the season and location.

Ethanol is a renewable fuel made from crops such as corn and sugarcane, and it burns cleaner than gasoline, producing fewer greenhouse gas emissions. However, ethanol has a lower energy content than gasoline, which means that vehicles running on E85 may experience reduced fuel economy.

So, while E85 may be a more environmentally-friendly option, it may not be the most cost-effective choice for everyone.

Understanding E85 Fuel

If you’re not familiar with E85 fuel, you’re missing out on a potential way to save money at the pump while reducing your carbon footprint.

E85 is a blend of gasoline and up to 85% ethanol, which is made from renewable resources such as corn or sugar cane. E85 production has grown in popularity in recent years due to its potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on foreign oil.

Compared to other alternative fuels, such as biodiesel or electric, E85 has a lower environmental impact. The production of ethanol emits less greenhouse gases compared to traditional gasoline, and the use of renewable resources for production helps to reduce our dependence on non-renewable resources.

Additionally, since E85 is a blend of gasoline and ethanol, it can be used in flex-fuel vehicles without any modifications.

Overall, E85 is a great alternative fuel option for those looking to reduce their carbon footprint and save money at the pump.

Vehicles That Can Use E85

You can fuel up your flex-fuel vehicle with E85, which is a blend of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. One of the biggest benefits of using E85 is that it’s a cleaner and renewable source of energy compared to traditional gasoline.

E85 produces fewer emissions and is better for the environment. Additionally, E85 can help reduce our dependence on foreign oil since ethanol is primarily produced in the United States.

The future of E85 technology looks promising as more and more automakers are producing flex-fuel vehicles. These vehicles are designed to run on both E85 and gasoline, giving drivers more options at the pump.

As E85 becomes more widely available, it’s likely that we’ll see an increase in the number of flex-fuel vehicles on the road. This will help reduce our carbon footprint and move us towards a more sustainable future.

The Risks of Using E85 in Non-Flex-Fuel Vehicles

If you use E85 in a non-flex-fuel vehicle, you run the risk of damaging your fuel system, engine, and exhaust system. The higher ethanol content in E85 can corrode and erode fuel lines, injectors, and other components of your fuel system. This can lead to leaks, clogs, or other fuel system failures.

Additionally, the higher octane rating of E85 can cause engine damage if your car isn’t designed to handle it, as it can cause higher combustion temperatures and increased wear on engine components. Finally, the different combustion properties of E85 can also cause damage to your exhaust system. The higher ethanol content can cause excessive heat and moisture buildup, leading to rust and corrosion.

Damage to fuel system

Using E85 in your car can be damaging to the fuel system because it is highly corrosive. This can cause damage to the fuel lines and other components over time, leading to leaks, clogs, and other performance issues.

In addition, E85 contains more ethanol than regular gasoline, which can dissolve certain materials like rubber and plastic that are commonly used in fuel systems. This can cause damage to certain types of fuel system components, resulting in expensive repairs and reduced fuel efficiency.

Therefore, it is important to only use E85 in vehicles that are designed to handle it, as using it in a non-flex fuel vehicle can negate any potential environmental benefits.

Engine damage

Ethanol’s corrosive properties can cause serious engine damage when used as a fuel. The high alcohol content in E85 can cause the rubber and plastic components in the engine to deteriorate over time, leading to leaks, cracks, and other mechanical failures.

This can result in a host of problems, including reduced fuel efficiency, decreased power, and increased emissions. The potential consequences of using E85 in your car can be significant, and can result in costly repairs and decreased performance.

If you do decide to use E85, it’s important to be aware of the risks and take steps to minimize the damage. This may include regular maintenance and inspections, as well as using high-quality fuel additives to protect your engine from the corrosive effects of ethanol. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide whether the potential benefits of using E85 outweigh the risks and repair costs.

Exhaust system damage

The corrosive nature of E85 can harm not only your engine but also your exhaust system. The high levels of ethanol in E85 create a chemical reaction that can corrode and damage the exhaust components.

The exhaust system is responsible for managing the harmful exhaust fumes created by the engine, and if it’s damaged, it can lead to dangerous emissions entering the cabin of your car. The catalytic converter, which is a crucial component of the exhaust system, can also be severely affected by E85.

The chemicals in the fuel can cause the catalytic converter to overheat and fail, leading to a decrease in performance and potential emissions violations. So, while E85 may be a cheaper alternative to gasoline, it can ultimately do more harm than good to your car’s exhaust system.

It’s best to stick to the fuel type recommended by your car manufacturer to avoid any potential damage.

How to Avoid Problems

To steer clear of any potential issues, it’s best to stick to regular gasoline instead of E85 in your car. However, if you’re set on using E85, there are a few steps you can take to avoid any problems.

Firstly, ensure that you’re storing the fuel correctly. E85 can absorb more water than regular gasoline, which can lead to corrosion in your fuel lines and tank. Make sure that your fuel storage container is clean and free of any water or debris before filling it up with E85.

Secondly, proper fuel system maintenance is crucial if you want to use E85 in your car. E85 is a more aggressive fuel than regular gasoline and can cause damage to your fuel system if it’s not properly maintained. Make sure that your fuel filter is changed regularly to prevent any contaminants from entering your fuel system. Additionally, it’s a good idea to have your fuel injectors cleaned periodically to ensure that they’re functioning correctly.

By following these steps, you can avoid any potential problems when using E85 in your car.


So, what happens if you use E85 in your car? If your vehicle isn’t a flex-fuel car, using E85 can cause a lot of problems that can damage your engine and fuel system. Ethanol, which is the main component of E85, has a lower energy content than gasoline. This can cause your engine to run less efficiently, leading to reduced power, decreased fuel economy, and rough idling.

In addition, the higher ethanol content in E85 can corrode and damage certain materials in your fuel system. This can lead to leaks, clogs, and even complete failure of your fuel system over time. To avoid these problems, it’s important to only use E85 in vehicles that are specifically designed and approved to use this type of fuel. If you’re not sure whether your car can use E85, check your owner’s manual or consult with a professional mechanic.

In conclusion, while E85 can be a great alternative fuel option for some vehicles, using it in a non-flex-fuel car can lead to a host of problems. It’s important to understand the risks associated with using E85 and to only use it in vehicles that are approved for its use. By doing so, you can ensure that your car runs smoothly and efficiently for years to come.