Things that infuriate me #1

I don’t know if this will actually be a series or not, though it looks promising as there are tons of things that make me angry, but as of right now, there is nothing that is making me madder than the government forcing gas companies to add up to 10% ethanol in all gasoline.

About 3 weeks ago, I started noticing that every few tanks I was getting significantly less mpg than normal. I reset my odometer every fill up, cause I like to know what kind of mileage I’m getting. Anyway, on a normal tank of 12 gallons I was getting about 350 miles before I was extremely low on fuel. However, I started noticing that every now and then, I’d end up with about 290-310 before I was forced to fill up fearing that my car was going to run out of gas. I wasn’t sure what to blame on this. Initially, I thought maybe there was a problem with my car… maybe I bought gas at a discount station, but then one day, I actually noticed the small sign above at the filling station at which I was buying gas. All of the sudden, it clicked.

I have a 96 Acura Integra, manual transmission, GSR (the fast kind). The manual says that you should put 91 grade unleaded in for best performance. Since 91 doesn’t really exist anymore, I tend to go every other tank with Plus Grade (89) and Premium Grade (93) which I figure balances out to a cool 91. The car has run fine doing this, except occasionally if I get Plus Grade at Kroger or another discount place, I will hear some pinging in the engine during acceleration.

But this Ethanol stuff is NOT MADE FOR MY CAR. Newer cars are built to handle the low quality fuel, but higher performance vehicles, especially older ones like mine, are definitely not. Ethanol is 85 Grade. And depending upon how much of it is added to the fuel at any given station (up to 10%) my gas mileage, as well as my engine quality, drop proportionally. Ethanol only gets 30% of the mileage of regular fuel, I found out in a news story the other day, so it makes sense as to why my MPG have been lower. I initially tried avoiding stations that put ethanol in their fuel, but I discovered, the government is requiring it. Thank you government. I am holding you responsible when my car breaks down because of the crappy gas you are forcing me to buy.

Note: I do not mind paying a little bit more to get, you know, real gasoline. I would gladly do it. And I imagine, refineries and stations would gladly produce it for my consumption, if , you know, the government wasn’t so freakin obsessed with trying to force the market to move to alternative fuels when they aren’t cost feasible yet. Not to mention, their tinkering with things has shot the price of corn through the roof, so, pretty much everything you buy at the grocery store is significantly more expensive than it was just 2 years ago. I used to buy eggs for 79 cents. They are 1.79 now. Someone please shoot me. Its just going to get worse.

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5 responses to “Things that infuriate me #1

  1. I hate to be a pessimist, but it IS going to get worse. McCain, Clinton, and B.O. all buy into the “man-made” global warming myth. I shudder to think of the ways they’re going to try to alter our lifestyle in the name of Saving The Planet.

  2. My car actually seems to be running *better*….weird.

    Thought you might want to see this link, though: http://www.wisebread.com/why-is-gasoline-so-cheap-a-cost-comparison-of-40-common-household-liquids

  3. agreed. horseshit. it’s making gas more expensive, it’s making all food more expensive (because corn is in EVERYTHING, but that’s a different rant) and it’s not better for the environment.

  4. Ethanol actually has a much higher “octane rating” than regular gasoline (somewhere around 115-120). The E85 you see around is an 85% mixture of ethanol with 15% gas. Only certain cars can handle that and it is not widely available here…yet. Ethanol gives lower mileage because it is less dense and contains less energy (BTUs) per gallon than gas. I would guess that varying driving habits and the occasional 89 gas would make your mileage vary more than the ethanol additive (which is usually much less than 10%, the signs just say that).

    Alternative energy needs to not be commodity-based but rather free resources such as wind, wave, solar, geothermal, etc.

  5. This is just silly. Yes ethanol provides lower BTU’s than pure gas, but the technology is getting better every day. Ethanol costs less, so a little less mileage is a wash. If it were pure gas that you are putting in your car/truck, you would be paying more per gallon. Plus ethanol replaced MTBEs which were really bad for the environment. (If you poor great quantities of ethanol into the ocean (like a taker spill) all you have is diluted alcohol and some drunk fish.) If you want some more info on the benefits of ethanol and energy independence, check out http://blog.alextiller.com.

    Post by Alex Tiller

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