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e85 Fuel Gas Station
updated: Jan 02, 2014, 11:32 AM

Does anyone know of a gas station selling e85 fuel in the greater Santa Barbara area?

An extensive search online shows a single station in Ventura-Oxnard, but I'm hoping someone had spotted E85 for sale in town.


 COMMENT 481896 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-02 11:43 AM

There are none.


 COMMENT 481909 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-02 12:01 PM



 REXOFSB agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-02 12:09 PM

What is it?


 COMMENT 481918 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-02 12:20 PM

OP wants to put corn in his car


 COMMENT 481923P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-02 12:24 PM

Good for you, OP. Today I'm riding the bus. Every little bit helps.


 COMMENT 481924 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-02 12:24 PM

909 - Because to be cost-efficient versus gasoline it must be priced nearly 30% lower due to lower gas mileage per gallon of E85.

Not enough E85 vehicles sold here to make it worthwhile.


 COMMENT 481926 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-02 12:36 PM

There are many of E85 (85% ethanol fuel) vehicles in the area (mostly Chevy trucks). However, there are no large corn crops or ethanol refineries around here to supply the fuel. Add in decreased fuel density of E85 and there is no supply plus little demand here (It takes ~1.5 gallons of E85 to produce the energy of 1 gallon of gas. So if your car goes 400 miles on a tank of gasoline, you'll only get about 265 miles out of a tank of E85, what 924 is referring to). For the most part, ethanol fuel has been a bust.


 COMMENT 481967 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-02 02:40 PM

In addition to what 926 explained, another major issue with this type of fuel is the impact it has on the poor.

When corn for fuel pays better than corn for food (or food for food, as the case may be) then there are direct impacts on the poorest among us. Here in the states such corn isn't eaten by people and many analysts poo-pooed this argument, but in Mexico? Yeah, there were riots over corn prices.


 COMMENT 481972 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-02 02:49 PM

Try mccormix on Ceasar Chavez


 COMMENT 481979 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-02 02:56 PM

Don't accidentally fuel a motorcycle, boat, or lawn mower with it - it will mess up the engine. It's a crappy solution that creates more problems than it solv(ents).


 COMMENT 481990 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-02 03:11 PM

In my experience, any presence of ethanol will make most most internal combustion engines run subpar. Doubley true if the gas is stored for any amount of time. We add fuel stabilizer to all cans of gas and see a big improvement starting, idling, and in fuel efficiency when the fuel is used. For a vehicle capable of being converted, natural gas is so much more efficient versus bio-fuels if looking for alternatives to gasoline or diesel.


 COMMENT 482010 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-02 03:47 PM

E85 is desirable for performance tuning.

Burns cleaner, not as easy to get detonation, cooler intake charge. Allows for higher compression, more boost, or more aggressive timing.


 COMMENT 482071P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-02 07:06 PM

We recently rented a UHaul GMC truck and it had a sticker specifically advising not to use e85 fuel. Somehow growing corn just to burn it up after expensive oil-fired processing doesn't make much sense right now. Better to do everything possible to reduce consumption and find alternatives to the clunky old internal combustion engine.


 MESARATS agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-03 06:37 AM

I'm staying away from the political and environmental hot potato of E85 but Iowa is a perfect example of 926 comments about supply and infrastructure for refining. Most gas stations carry it and the most of the rental cars have the ethanol sticker. Another useless tidbit is that Santa Barbara used to have a station in the 70s that used to sell a gas/ethonal mix. It was called Gasohol as was located on San Andres where the hardware store is now.


 COMMENT 482122 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-03 07:52 AM

Ethanol is an all around bad idea. Ethanol uses far more energy to grow, process and get to market than it saves. It drives up the cost of food, is not particularly good for engines and decreases gas mileage. Other than that, it is great.


 REXOFSB agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-03 08:21 AM

A few years ago while driving through Utah, our Volvo needed gas in a county where ethanol was all you could buy, so I very grudgingly filled up (and boy, can I grudge!) Within a very few miles, it was seemingly running at less power, and the next time I turned the engine off, it "dieseled" for about 20 seconds--something it continued doing until I refilled when the tank was near empty again.

For completely different reasons I never intend on setting foot in Utah again, but if someone held a gun to my head and told me I had to, I'd certainly research what county/counties are the ones that sell ethanol exclusively and would plan my gasoline-buying accordingly. NO ETHANOL!!


 COMMENT 482128 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-03 08:25 AM

I would imagine that the air pollution control districts in So Cal would make it pretty tough on anyone selling E85, so the extra vapor control/recovery costs might not be worth it to very many sellers.

E85 is a great fuel for certain high performance engines that were designed and built from the ground up for use with the stuff. It burns faster, cooler, and with less detonation - a magic combo for dragster-type engines, and its a lot cheaper than nitro-methane. But since it has less energy per gram of fuel, the engine must be bigger and burn a lot more fuel to give the same power as one running from petro-based fuels. Put E85 in a Chevy and you'll get lower mileage AND less power which can be a problem for an underpowered car merging onto 101.


 COMMENT 482154 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-03 10:44 AM

Not to mention that corn is a crop that needs tons of fertilizer and herbicides to grow, and contributes to erosion of the land surface during the plowing/planting/harvesting cycle.

The only reason we still have it is because Archer Daniels Midlands and ConAgra are huge contributors to both political parties.


 COMMENT 482160 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-03 11:07 AM

Don't forget also that you can't move ethanol by pipeline because it absorbs water, so railroads are a big winner too. Most, not all, of the ethanol in California is imported and arrives by rail car.



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