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Ethanol Free Gas in Santa Barbara
updated: Jan 09, 2012, 10:08 AM

By Edhat Subscriber

Does anyone in the Santa Barbara area sell ethanol free gasoline? What is it called and how much does it cost?

A couple of years ago Edmunds.com did a test and found that fuel economy was 26.5 percent worse when using E85.

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 247238 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-01-09 10:15 AM

It has to be included in the mix by law. Thank the econuts and politicians.


 COMMENT 247241 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-01-09 10:31 AM

There's a site that lists all ethanol-free gas stations in the US and they only list 5 in all of CA...all in Northern CA.


 COMMENT 247265 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-01-09 11:35 AM

E85 is 85% Ethanol and %15 Gasoline. You should only use this fuel in a car that is designed for this ethanol ( ethyl alcohol) based fuel. If you use this fuel in a car that is not designed for its use, you will have some expensive repair issues. Gasoline in California has no more than 10% Ethanol and will not cause any mechanical or fuel economy issues.


 COMMENT 247297 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-01-09 01:16 PM

Just like MBTE was thought to be okay for the environment just before they had to ban its use because it was contaminating groundwater.

Ethanol can't be transported by pipeline, and has a lot of bad environmental effects because the crops it comes from take a lot of fertilizer, exhaust the soil, and need pesticides as well.

Probably the biggest beneficiary of the ethanol program is big agri-business, and just by coincidence the give money generously to the politicians that enacted the ethanol mandates.

Just another bail out for corporate America.


 COMMENT 247344 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-01-09 03:40 PM

297... Funny isn't it that it costs $1.15 to produce $1.00 worth of ethanol based fuel. Meanwhile the cost of feed corn has gone up resulting in higher meat and poultry prices. Unfortunately this is the kind of thing the "small govt" politicians such as Mr. Romney see as a role of government: to create new markets.


 COMMENT 247354 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-01-09 04:14 PM

I'm looking for organic oil-company-free / range-free gas. For free, of course. Any suggestions? I know, I know: a bike.


 COMMENT 247396 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-01-09 06:58 PM

E85 (85% ethanol and 15% gasoline) is actually pretty hard to find in CA. The closest to SB is ONE station in Ventura. Because ethanol is made from corn it's more easily found in the midwest.

Most of our gasoline in CA has just 5 or 10% ethanol and isn't called "E" anything. According to a quick Google search only 5 stations in CA offer pure gas and none are in SB county.

And yes, if your car doesn't specify "flex fuel" or that E85 is OK to use, DO NOT USE E85 in your car.

I'm curious about this post and wonder if the OP would mind speaking more about their intent? If they have an E85 vehicle then ethanol fuel is fine and beneficial to use. If they have a non-flex fuel car they shouldn't be considering E85. If they want pure gasoline I'm curious what's up.


 COMMENT 247415 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-01-09 07:43 PM

When I moved to California from Virginia my toyota corolla's average mpg dropped from 36 to 29 just because of the fuel difference.


 COMMENT 247481 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-01-10 07:27 AM

Ethanol in any amount in fuel causes corrosion of the fuel systems of some (very) old cars, such as those that have brass tanks or a copper fuel line going into an aluminum carburettor body. It also evaporates from these older cars and causes a lot of extra smog (ironically, its was originally added to fuel to reduce smog forming emmisions prior to the common use of exhaust oxygen sensors). Unless the car is rare or a precious classic, its normally best just to use the stuff from the local pump, live with the smog factor, and watch carefully for leaks and fix them as they crop up. Any alcohol free gasoline you do find (airports, race tracks, etc) in the local area will be rather high octane for a normal car and quite expensive, plus if you are a law abiding citizen, you will need to fill out a few forms and pay extra taxes to use it legally on a road vehicle.


 COMMENT 247543P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-01-10 09:23 AM

Try Clear Gas - A new California distributor of ethanol-free fuel (mostly to marine and aviation stations/distributors): cleargas
Clear Gas, LLC, 815 S. 3rd Street, Chowchilla, CA 93610 (209) 322-1474

A link to their website and other "finding ethanol free gas" resources can be found on fuel-testers web page.


 COMMENT 247616 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-01-10 02:21 PM

You could probably use Coleman fuel. Hope you don't need much though. I think KMart carries it.


 COMMENT 247874 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-01-11 12:08 PM

Part 1: I'm sorry to hear about our mileage reduction, but a 20% reduction in mileage can't be just from the ethanol. I was hoping a Biochemist would step in and explain some of the silly misconceptions that are being presented here, but since none did, and I used to be one...... 1 gallon of Ethanol has 34% less power than 1 gallon of "pure" gas (which you couldn't run in your car anyway because the octane number would be too low) BUT, since it only makes up about 5% (usually in regular grades) to 10% (Super) of each gallon, that means that using a 10% mix would give you 96% of the power of gas using additives that DON"T have 34% less power.


 COMMENT 247948 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-01-11 03:46 PM

Part 2 And you DO need some sort of additives to both raise the octane (resistance of the fuel to burn prematurely at a given engine compression) and to burn completely, which lets you use all that energy in the gas. In the old days lead was popular, it raised octane nicely, and helped the fuel burn a bit more efficiently and didn't reduce the power in the fuel very much. It also dumped lead into the air. MTBE, which is what you probably used in Virginia, dropped the power more than lead, but did a better job of raising octane and making the fuel burn more efficiently (oxygenating)(which lets you use more of the power that is in the gas). Ethanol raises octane about the same as MTBE, but drops he power in the gas down to about 96%.


 COMMENT 247960 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-01-11 04:27 PM

Part 3 So why the drop? Well, I'd need to speculate. First, the Edmunds test was valid. But the reasons have more to do with the massive compromise that it takes to make an E85 engine (capable of running15% ethanol). Amongst other things, Ethanol runs poorly at low compression because of its high octane. but without the low compression, you couldn't run the low octane gas that you get in a lot of places. So the Dual-Fuel (E85) engines need to have very low compression which makes them run less efficiently than a non-DualFuel car, especially with E85. Now, you probably have a somewhat low compression in your Toyota, that might account for a few economy percentage points with ethanol, especially if, for some reason, you use a higher octane fuel (fuel designed for a higher compression engine) but still not nearly the 20% you are reporting.


 COMMENT 247981 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-01-11 05:55 PM

Part 4. My guess is it is more geography and driving condition based. I know that I drive the same 6 cylinder car in Santa Barbara and in LA on alternating weeks. In LA I routinely get 28MPG because of the longer trips, higher overall road speeds, and fewer hills. On weeks in Santa Barbara, I'm lucky to get 19MPG. It's probably the one advantage that LA has over SB. Average temperature and humidity also have an effect. But I would stop chasing the gas and start looking at how it is used for your answer.


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