As the world continues to drive car owners to ethanol-based fuel, a lot of people continue to wonder how beneficial the E85 gas is. And with many claims and assumptions about E85 gas, it can be confusing whether or not to use this fuel in your vehicle.
If you want to know the difference between E85 gas and 87 (regular gasoline), you have come to the right page. Here, we’ll compare E85 with 87 to help you know which is the best option for your vehicle.
What is E85 Gas?
Also known as flex-fuel, E85 gas is a blend of gasoline and ethanol. It’s renewable energy designed for flex-fuel cars. E85 is the most popular gas for flex-fuel vehicles that comes with an internal combustion engine. Such vehicles can operate with different types of oil.
Flex-fuel vehicles have been around for many years as it was used in Ford Taurus in the early 1990s. Research conducted by the US Energy Information Administration reveals that pure ethanol contains a lower heating value than regular gasoline. It’s also an excellent option for increasing the vehicle’s performance and creating more torque, provided your vehicle can use more than one type of fuel.
What is 87 Gas?
E87 refers to the regular gasoline that many vehicles use, and it’s available in most fuel stations. It’s also known as regular unleaded gas (RUG). Regular gasoline is a by-product of gasoline and is highly flammable. The rating 87 refers to the number of octanes present in the fuel. The 87 gasoline usually has a lower ethanol level of about 10% compared to E85, which has up to 85% ethanol.
E85 vs 87
The main difference between E85 and 87 gas lies in their composition, whereby E85 has more ethanol than regular gasoline. Regular unleaded gas is blended with only 10% ethanol which gives it the standard 87 octanes.
On the other hand, E 85 contains up to 85% ethanol which means it has a higher octane number than 87 gas. There is also a significant difference when it comes to fuel economy.
The 87 gas offers a better gas mileage than E85 since it has more energy when used on vehicles designed to use regular gas. But some flex-fuel vehicle experts reveal that E85 offers similar gas mileage as regular unleaded gas, depending on the geographical conditions such as humidity levels.
The Benefits of Using E85 in a Flex Fuel Car
When using E85 in a flex-fuel vehicle, you will enjoy these benefits that you may not gain with regular gasoline:
- Reduced Fuel Cost: E85 is cheaper than regular gas as it’s sustainably produced in the US from ingredients like corn and sugarcane.
- Lower Emissions: Vehicles running on ethanol fuel help conserve the environment since they release fewer air pollutants than standard gas. Hence, you’ll be able to drive your flex-fuel car with confidence, knowing that you are using a greener fuel option.
- Increased Performance and Horsepower: E85 contains a higher octane number which will improve your vehicle’s performance and power. This fuel is also more resistant to engine knock compared to regular gasoline.
One downside of using ethanol fuel is that it’s not available in all areas. Luckily, more and more ethanol refining stations are opening to solve this problem. Its lower fuel economy shouldn’t be a concern as the less refilling cost will compensate for the mileage loss.
Related: 91 vs 93 Gas
E85 vs 87: Which is the Better One to Use?
The best fuel to use between E85 and 87 will depend on the type of your car and your preferences. Other factors that should influence your choice include geographical conditions since E85 does give the best performance in wet and humid areas.
If you live in a warmer place and want more torque and increased performance, E85 is a great option. It will help you save a few bucks and improve your flex-fuel vehicle’s performance.
However, 87 will deliver a better performance and fuel economy when used on cold areas in vehicles optimized to run on regular gasoline. Overall, E85 is a better way to conserve the environment and save money for those operating flex-fuel vehicles. It’s made with infinite resources and gives fewer emissions to the environment.
Can You Mix E85 with 87 Gas?
There is no harm in mixing E85 with 87 gas as your vehicle will freely adjust for up to 85% ethanol. However, it’s essential to keep in mind that mixing E85 and 87 isn’t beneficial in any way.
Should I Switch to E85?
A: Yes, you can switch to E85 if you want a better option for the environment. Its price per gallon is also lower than other types of fuels. However, it would help if you kept in mind that E85 comes with a few drawbacks as well.
E85 flex fuels are usually hygroscopic, which means reduced tank life and storage. So, it’s essential to consider a few factors before switching from 87, regular gasoline to E85, including the humidity level of where you live and your vehicle’s model.
Does E85 Get Better Gas Mileage Than Regular Gasoline?
No, E85 doesn’t get better mileage than regular gasoline since it contains less energy per gallon. A gallon of this flex fuel has about 27% less energy than a gallon of regular gasoline. The lower energy level in flex fuels results in a reduced fuel economy when using your car.
However, E85 contains a higher octane number than 87, which will increase your vehicle’s power and performance. That’s why it’s preferred for race cars. Its lower price also makes it a great deal.
Conclusion on E87 vs 85
The use of E85 fuel has increased rapidly over the years as many people are running to sustainable and environmentally friendly ways to get their cars running. Both 87 and E85 have their own advantages and drawbacks. So, the best oil for you will depend on your needs and the type of car you have. If you want to switch from regular gasoline to E85, you’ll need first to check the availability of this fuel in gas stations near you.
Robert Anderson is a world class motorhead who rebuilt his first carb at age 10, his first engine at age 15, and completed his first full hotrod build when he was just 18! Previously, he has ran a part warehouse, delivered pizzas, and managed the service department for a $20 million/year revenue dealership. Robert knows cars like few others and he is passionate about sharing his knowledge.