As of this writing (March 1, 2014), I have put more than 50,000 E85 fueled miles on my flex converted Geo Tracker and about 30,000 miles on our unmodified 2005 Sebring with a 30% to 50% mix. I’m liking bio-fuel more and more, and gasoline less and less. Gasoline smells bad, and if it gets on your skin, you do, too. Gasoline and its exhaust are toxic. Ethanol, on the other hand, is what the nurse rubs on your arm before taking blood or getting a vaccination.
The use of a biofuel is better for the earth and everyone on it. Growing plants takes more carbon out of the air than is put back when it is used for fuel. Solar panels are good but they don’t purify the air while making energy.
Converting my car was easy and inexpensive. I had heard so much about problems that could occur, but decided that I would only add a $300 electronic converter to the fuel injection system ( 45 minute job) and replace things as they failed. I did advance the mechanical distributor about 18 degrees to take advantage of the much higher octane of E85. Newer cars have an automatic advance. I have had no problems related to using ethanol to fuel my vehicle. I changed the fuel filter after 1500 miles to get rid of all the crud the solvent quality of ethanol cleaned off. Nothing bad happened to the fuel system. Nothing failed and nothing needed to be replaced.
We have also found that gasoline mixtures with a higher percentage of alcohol than the 10% found at gas stations seem to work better in all our cars, lawnmowers and other small engines as well. My own tests and experiments indicate to me that E85, used in the lawnmower, cuts carbon monoxide emissions by about 90%. We have been using this, for four summers now without apparent wear on the machines.
In addition to being a nicer fuel to use, we find that the fact that we know we can make our own fuel for about a dollar a gallon takes away a lot of our worries about the unrest that is always happening in the Middle East. When you have a few minutes, watch our video where we make fuel from leftovers.
We believe that one very good answer to job creation and economic security is to create smaller, locally owned fuel plants that use resources from the surrounding area to provide fuel for the community. Doing so would be a surefire way to support the local economy. It would keep our money closer to home and reduce our dependency on foreign energy supply.