E-85 Fuel, What It’s All About?
E85 is a fuel that has been around for awhile and has been standard in the U.S automotive manufacturers since 1998. E in E85 stands for Ethanol, most common ethanol production in the U.S is corn, and 85 stands for 85% Ethanol in the fuel. E85 has a higher-octane rating than normal pump gas 91-93 octane, but Ethanol is roughly 30% less efficient than gasoline due to a lower burn rate, which also intel’s more fuel consumption. E85 is a perfect match for higher boost and modern high compression engines. The alcohol content in E85 actual keeps engines cooler by cooling down the incoming air/fuel charge which is necessary in high heat forced applications. The cooler the air, the denser the air which relates to more power.
Can I Use Pump E85?
You can use pump E85, however NEVER use pump E85 in any off-road vehicle without testing it first. You can purchase a E85 fuel tester at any auto parts store for a few dollars. You can use a range of 80%-88% Ethanol, nothing under or above that rating. The U.S Department of Energy allows refineries to use 51% to 83% Ethanol in pump E85 fuels. Depending on geography and seasons in the U.S. each gas station will vary Ethanol ratings. For example, in Wisconsin during the winters it can reach -30-degrees Fahrenheit and on-road vehicles will not start on high Ethanol so the refineries will add more fuel making it E70. If you use incorrect pump E85 in your off-road vehicle you can damage the engine.
Where Can I Get Off-Road E85?
There are many performance fuel companies out there that refine the correct blend of E85 that off-road vehicles need. Performance fuel companies blend E85 with exactly 85% Ethanol and 15% top quality hydrocarbon race fuel. Off-road E85 will have an octane rating of 100+, depending on the manufacturer. For example, VP Racing Fuels has X85 with an octane rating of 101.6 (R+M)/2 and 108 RON. SUNOCO Race Fuels has E85-R with an octane rating of 99 (R+M)/2 and 104 RON. Because race E85 is highly oxygenated and requires increased fuel flow, consult with your motor builder or specialty ECU tuner before you switch over.