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15% ethanol -- bill in congress to prohibit...read on....

Mike Self

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From the folks at SEMA:

Legislation Introduced in U.S. Senate to Prevent Sale of E15 Gasoline

Legislation (S. 344) has been introduced in the U.S. Senate to prohibit the introduction of gasoline containing over 10% ethanol into the marketplace. Over a year ago, the EPA raised the amount of ethanol permitted in gasoline from 10% (E10) to 15% (E15) and the fuel may soon appear at a gas station near you.

We Urge You to Contact Your U.S. Senators to Request Their Support for S. 344

* Ethanol increases water formation that can then create formic acid and corrode metals, plastics and rubber. Older cars and certain high performance specialty parts are not constructed with corrosion-resistant materials or able to tolerate the higher temperatures at which E15 may burn.

* The EPA made it “illegal” to put E15 in pre-2001 vehicles. However, the EPA is willing to risk destruction of the vehicle/parts by relying solely on a gas pump label cautioning motorists not to misfuel their older vehicles. The EPA estimates that there are over 70 million such vehicles in harm’s way, along with millions more boats, lawnmowers and other gas-powered engine products.

* Auto enthusiasts have complained for years about damage caused by E10, which is now in over 90% of gas sold in the U.S. Ethanol has time to damage the engine, fuel line, fuel tank and exhaust systems when classic cars are infrequently driven and increases the risk of corrosion by 50 percent.

* S. 344 would prevent the sale of E15 and therefore protect automotive enthusiasts from the negative effects of increased ethanol content in gasoline.

DON’T DELAY! Contact your Senators immediately by phone or e-mail to request their support of S. 344. To identify your U.S. Senators, go to: http://semasan.com/lookup.asp?g=semaga



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Sounds intentional to me Mike.. The dirty, underhanded, car hatin' bastards!!!

But seriously. How better to rid the streets of smokey old cars. How far back does this planned obsolescence go? Mid 90's? Mid 2000's? I can imagine the effects of ethanol being a happy "accident" that "must be facilitated".

I often wonder how they intend for everyone to be able to afford hybrid electric or full electrics. But if there aren't viable used car options, folks will have to find a way. I think that the secondary market for hybrid electric vehicles is scarce as it is.. inheriting bad batteries and their high replacement costs is a valid concern for prospective buyers. Especially those programmed to believe that we are actually destroying the earth with our green house gases, so they must buy green.. but can't afford new. So they buy a used Hybrid to be chick, and then drive it like a bat out of hell. Believing that because 'its a hybrid' they can have a clear conscience. I have seriously thought about holding classes on hyper-mileing at Cars and Coffee, just because this phenomenon is far, far, too common.

Rant over, back to your regular.. programming.

2002 newbie, and dead serious about it.
Smart Audio Products for your 2002


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bmw's stand on gas:

1.0 Fuels for Gasoline Engines

Use only unleaded gasoline in vehicles equipped with a catalytic converter.

Fuels containing up to and including 10% of ethanol or other oxygenates with up to 2.8% oxygen by weight, that is, 15%

MTBE (methyl tertiary butyl ether) or 3% methanol plus an equivalent amount of co-solvent, will not void the applicable

warranties with respect to defects in materials or workmanship.

Although, usage of such alcohol fuel blends may result in drivability, starting, and stalling problems due to reduced

volatility and lower energy content of the fuel. Those drivability problems may be especially evident under certain

environmental conditions, such as: high or low ambient temperatures and high altitude.

Only specially adapted vehicles (FFV - Flexible uel Vehicles) can run on high alcohol fuel blends. BMW, for the various

technical and environmental reasons explained below, does not offer FFV models.

Usage of E85, or any other high alcohol content blend (e.g. E30) in BMW vehicles, will cause various drivability

complaints (cold start problems, stalling, reduced performance, poor fuel economy, etc.), may cause excessive emissions,

and may cause irreversible damage to engine, emission control and fuel delivery systems due to incompatibility of

materials with alcohols.

General Notes Regarding E85 Fuel.

E85 fuel contains 85% (by volume) of ethanol and 15% of gasoline. Ethanol can be produced chemically from ethylene or

biologically from grains, agricultural wastes, or any organic material containing starch or sugar. In the US, ethanol is

mainly produced from corn and is classified as a renewable fuel.

Similar to gasoline, ethanol contains hydrogen and carbon; with additional oxygen molecules build into its chemical chain.

This chemical structure makes ethanol’s burning process slightly cleaner compared to the gasoline (lower tailpipe


On the other hand, due to lower carbon content, ethanol provides 27% less energy (for identical volume) then gasoline,

resulting in the reduced fuel economy of E85 vehicles (approximately 22% higher consumption). Increased fuel

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consumption requires the appropriately enlarged fuel tank capacities (usually 30% increase), and the specific DME

calibrations for the E85 lower Stoichiometric air/fuel ratio (10 compared to 14.7 for gasoline engines).

E85 fuel volatility is typically lower then gasoline (RVP 6-10 psi, compared to 8-15 psi for gasoline). Lower fuel volatility

will reduce vehicle evaporative emissions, but it may cause cold starting problems especially with lower ambient


Under certain environmental conditions, mainly lower ambient temperatures, ethanol separates from gasoline/alcohol

mixture and absorbs water. The ethanol absorbed water molecules are heavier then gasoline or ethanol, they remain at

the bottom of fuel tank and when introduced into combustion process they tend to form an extremely lean mixture

resulting in misfire, rough idle and cold starting problems.

Certain materials, commonly used with gasoline are totally incompatible with alcohols. When these materials come in

contact with ethanol, they may dissolve in the fuel, which may damage engine components and may result in poor vehicle


nonmetallic materials used in automotive industry such as: natural rubber, polyurethane, cork gasket material, leather,

polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyamides, methyl-methacrylate plastics, and certain thermo & thermoset plastics degrade

when in contact with fuel ethanol.

In order to safely and effectively operate a motor vehicle running on E85, the vehicle must be compatible with alcohol use.

Some manufacturers have developed vehicles called FFV (Flexible Fuel Vehicle) that can operate on any blend of ethanol

and gasoline (from 0% ethanol and 100% gasoline, up to 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline). Ethanol FFVs are similar to

gasoline vehicles, with main differences in materials used in fuel management and delivery systems, and DME control

module calibrations. In some cases, also E85 vehicles require special lubricating oils.

Aftermarket conversions of gasoline-powered vehicles to ethanol-fueled vehicles, although possible, are not

recommended due to internal materials and DME software incompatibility, as well, as the high costs of conversion.

TOP TIER Detergent Gasoline

Deposit-control additives have been required by the EPA in all gasoline from 1995, however, since the introduction of the

lowest additive concentration (LAC) most gasoline manufacturers have actually reduced the concentration level of

detergent additives by up to 50%.

Low content of cleaning additives results in an excessive accumulation of deposits on fuel injectors, the intake valves, the

exhaust manifold or inside the combustion chamber. Due to deposits build-up, customers may experience various

drivability problems (e.g. cold start problems, rough idle), increased emissions with Service Engine Soon light illumination,

reduced engine performance and poor fuel economy.

In order to increase the level of detergent additives in gasoline, the TOP TIER Detergent Gasoline requirements were

approved by four automotive companies (BMW, GM, Honda and Toyota).

Usage of the TOP TIER Gasoline will help keep engines cleaner, and will reduce deposits-related concerns.

A number of gasoline retailers have already met the TOP TIER Detergent Gasoline requirements and are offering this

product in all octane grades in all of their respective marketing areas. The current TOP TIER Gasoline retailers are:

QuickTrip®, ChevronTexaco®; ConocoPhillips®; 76®; Shell®; Entec Stations®; MFA Oil Company®; Kwik Trip®/Kwik

Star®; The Somerset Refinery, Inc.®; Aloha Petroleum®; Jiffy Mart®; Mahalo®; Trip-Par Oil Company®. All gasoline

outlets carrying the brand of the approved retailer must conform to TOP TIER requirements on products advertised as


BMW recommends using TOP TIER Detergent Gasoline of minimum octane rating of AKI 91 and with alcohol content of

less then 10% by volume (or any other oxygenates with up to 2.8% of oxygen by weight). Only the exclusive usage of

TOP TIER Gasoline provides the full benefit of reducing deposits build-up. BMW customers may find more information

related to TOP TIER Gasoline on the official website http://www.toptiergas.com.

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To my knowledge, there only 1 service station in Rochester that sells without

ethanol, a Mobil station in the town of Pittsford. The ethanol mix basically ruined the carburettor in a 2 year old Poulon walk behind lawn mower I have; cost to repair last summer was just over $80.00; fella that did the work told me the gas/ethanol mix really does a job on small engines; mowers, edgers, etc.. they sell a mix specifically for smaller engines, about $7 a quart.


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thank you very much for emailing that. Was able to get the information from the site and email each of them.

I really wish they would build an app that would just go and let you almost blast the emails to your senators. I think Mozilla did something like that for when they had a bill that needed passed...

Thanks again Mike.


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Verify the bill number before doing anything. When I GFGI'd S.344, it comes up as the Retired Military Pay Recovery Act of 2011 - no mention of ethanol or fuel in general. The SEMA site's search for ethanol gives no results newer than 2009, and again, no mention of S. 344, nor any imminent legislation. I'm not saying do nothing, just saying we need to know what we are petitioning for.


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clarification from the director of the SEMA Action Network:

Hi David,

Thanks for your inquiry. As you noted, the bill number S. 344 is not unique to ethanol. In fact, the bill numbers are recycled for every new Congress, hence why the 2011 Act shares the same designation. Here is a link from the Library of Congress to confirm this information: THOMAS - Bill Summary and Status - S.344

Your effort is appreciated by enthusiasts everywhere. Please continue getting folks involved, both in person and online. If you know of other resources in the state, especially club meetings, car events, social media channels, online forums and discussion boards or otherwise, please share the Alert with those folks. Ask them to stay informed by enlisting with the SEMA Action Network (SAN) free of charge at www.SEMAsan.com/Join. I invite each member of your staff to officially sign up as well.

Thank you again,

Colby Martin

SEMA Action Network (SAN) Director

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This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

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