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Mechanical Maintenance (Oil, Fluids, Break-In, Servicing) Everything related to the mechanical maintenance of the FR-S and BRZ


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Old 01-18-2018, 04:38 PM   #1
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Long-term effects of E85

I recently installed headers and the OFT with a tune for E85. I've read conflicting articles on how E85 is good/bad for your engine. I was wondering if anyone has had any problems with long-term usage of E85 in the FA20 motor. I like the power gain (~15HP) and cheaper price than 93 octane. However, I'm worried that over the long haul I won't get the miles out of my engine. Any input is appreciated.
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Old 01-18-2018, 05:57 PM   #2
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No problems so far with E85 for me, I've been filling up with E85 8-9 months out of the year for 4 years now. I've ran everything from E60 to E85. I don't track or race, just alot of spirited driving (especially when it rains/snows ).
I drive between 3K and 5K rpm mostly, and redline at 8K rpm!

I have a custom tune using Ecutek though, don't have any experience with OFT. But if you have a good tune, you're good for years to come. The only maintenance I've done for the engine is oil/filter & spark plugs. Plugs were fine when changed at 69K miles too. Haven't changed the fuel filter yet, but I'm not worried about it.
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Old 01-19-2018, 11:46 AM   #3
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Long term usage of E85 has been proven to reduce Depression. It will aslo increase Happiness, and well being!
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Old 01-19-2018, 12:03 PM   #4
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I doubt it's an issue for modern cars since gas has had small amounts of ethanol in it for years now. Older cars were not designed to run it so I've heard fuel line and pump issues but that's all moot now.
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Old 01-19-2018, 12:35 PM   #5
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Long term effects might be cleaner valves and less carbon build-up. Ethanol burns cooler than petrol but seems to thin the oil quicker than petrol, so who knows if it accelerates wear until we get more data.

Replace your oil more frequently when using ethanol

Check your fuel filter for deterioration once in a while, although most threads I've read report no problems with ethanol
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Old 01-19-2018, 01:32 PM   #6
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Been on e85 using an OFT for 4 years as well with no breaks in the winter. Engine runs like a clock. No extra wear anyplace (I've looked.) These cars handle e85 like a champ.
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Old 01-20-2018, 11:45 PM   #7
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I tried to upload my blackstone report after 10,000 miles of straight e85 on the OFT stage 2 uel tune. The interval included two autocrosses and a trip to the dragstrip, report came back great, no fuel contamination or anything lse to be concerned about. using mobil 1 0-20
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Old 01-20-2018, 11:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by housecat View Post
Long term effects might be cleaner valves and less carbon build-up. Ethanol burns cooler than petrol but seems to thin the oil quicker than petrol, so who knows if it accelerates wear until we get more data.

Replace your oil more frequently when using ethanol

Check your fuel filter for deterioration once in a while, although most threads I've read report no problems with ethanol
what is your reasoning behind shortening oil change intervals on e85?
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Old 01-21-2018, 07:47 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supercommode View Post
I recently installed headers and the OFT with a tune for E85. I've read conflicting articles on how E85 is good/bad for your engine. I was wondering if anyone has had any problems with long-term usage of E85 in the FA20 motor. I like the power gain (~15HP) and cheaper price than 93 octane. However, I'm worried that over the long haul I won't get the miles out of my engine. Any input is appreciated.
I'm not like others that believe e85 wont cause anything long term, cuz i don't see any data for something like 100,000 - 200,000 mile or 5 years+ use of only e85.

But I would suggest that you get ecutec & run flex fuel, that way you can run with mix gasoline which will decrease the effect e85 has on the fuel line and fuel pump in the long run.
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Old 01-21-2018, 08:48 AM   #10
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So if e85 cause something in long term like 200,000 mile or 5 years+.
Then I don't care. it's time to rebuild for Turbo LOL.
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Old 01-21-2018, 06:52 PM   #11
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long term effects include, but are not limited to;

* getting excited at the smell of burnt e85
* enjoying fueling your car up from jerry cans
* looking forward to your ECA gauge telling you its at E87
* enjoying the VPracing cherry scented fuel additive
* feeling smug when you run high boost
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Old 01-21-2018, 07:05 PM   #12
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* enjoying the VPracing cherry scented fuel additive
Didn't even know that was a thing!
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Old 01-21-2018, 07:10 PM   #13
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Didn't even know that was a thing!
http://www.vpracing.com.au/product/vp-m2c try about 300ML in 1 tank of E85
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Old 01-22-2018, 04:21 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Submarinesonce View Post
what is your reasoning behind shortening oil change intervals on e85?
I found a good read-up here: http://www.tundraheadquarters.com/bl...-running-e-85/

In case the link breaks, here's a copy-paste:
Quote:
Last week a Toyota dealership dropped a link on Twitter with the warning “Did you know you have to change your oil twice as often if you’re running E85?” (or something like that ).

The link went to a page that advocated a 2,500 mile oil change frequency for truck owners using E85. Of course, there was no explanation as to why E85 users needed to change their oil twice as often, just that they should. THAT, ladies and gentleman, is why dealership service departments get a bad wrap. Instead of explaining why 2,500 might be a prudent choice (and it might), they make a blanket statement. I say p-shaw. This recommendation is, at best, paranoid.

First, here’s why this recommendation was made. We all know that E85, when compared to “normal” gasoline (which is about 10% ethanol), is fairly acidic. This acid has the ability to neutralize some of the lubricating ability of normal engine oil, but only mildly so. In fact, I would guess that regular old motor oil would breakdown more from heating and cooling over the course of 5,000 miles than it ever would from the acid inherent in E85. Normal E85 isn’t much of a threat to engine oil – the issue occurs when normal E85 becomes contaminated with water.

The combustion process of water-contaminated E85 will lead to the formation of a strong acid (formic acid, to be exact). This acid, left unchecked, has the ability to cripple an engine because it can 1) dramatically reduce the lubricating ability of normal motor oil and 2) eat away at the high-tolerance metal engine components. E85 with water contamination, in a normal engine, is dangerous stuff. Changing the oil frequently is a good insurance policy for a normal engine running E85, and this is probably the basis of this recommendation.

HOWEVER, if you’re running E85, you’re probably not driving a normal engine! Vehicles that are factory capable of running E85 have specially coated pistons and valves that are less susceptible to acid wear. Unless you’ve installed an E85 conversion kit on a “normal” gas motor, you’ve got some built-in protection. Moreover, if you’re driving your factory flex-fuel vehicle with E85 and you’re using the factory recommended E85 oil blend, your oil has an extra dose of detergents that designed to neutralize any acid that might form.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, water contamination in E85 is pretty darn rare. Keep in mind that water contamination levels of 1% or less do not cause a significant problem, and anything above 1% is readily preventable. Between tank storage regulations and testing equipment and frequent fuel testing (check out the state of Minnesota’s E85 water contamination procedures for an example), finding E85 with any significant water contamination is almost impossible.

Therefore, the recommendation that drivers using E85 should change their oil more fequently is, at best, paranoid. Any dealership service department that makes this recommendation is either ignorant, overly cautious, or after your wallet. If you’re running E85 in your flex fuel truck, stick with the standard 5,000 mile oil change interval, make sure to use the recommended E85 oil blend, and don’t worry about it.
TLDR; E85 is acidic, hygroscopic, and more acidic when water-contaminated. Acid in the oil can hurt lubrication ability and corrode metal parts. Since the 86 isn't E85 compatible from the factory, it may not be as resistant to acid wear (citation needed). Frequent oil changes is good insurance when running E85, but likely not necessary in factory flex-fuel fitted vehicles.

From a personal experience, I can smell ethanol in my oil during an oil change. I don't have oil analysis data, but the smell is obvious. The presence of ethanol doesn't necessarily mean it hurt my car, but I'd rather be safe than sorry until we have more data about E85 reliability in the 86.
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