Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Better Fuel Economy at 5300' elevation??

Just a side note to all that's going on here.

My fuel economy has improved by approximately 1.8MPG.

The only thing I can think of is the quality and type of gasoline going into the tank.

Most of the pumps here, and all of the pumps we refueled at during the trip, have the disclaimer "May Contain Up To 10% Ethanol" on them, so it's not like I'm getting 100% gasoline all of a sudden.

I've read in reputable publications for 20 years or more that gasoline in Kalifornia is very strictly regulated, and blended quite differently than that sold in other states.

Either Kalifornia uses some zombie-blend that kills fuel economy, or the 1100 mile trip pulling a dual-axle trailer really loosened up my engine!

11 comments:

  1. Gasohol makes an engine run lean. The volume of alcohol needed to run an engine is maybe 2X gasoline. Most engines are not set up to adjust for this alcohol addition, to make the same hp. So, less power, you step on it harder, fuel mileage suffers.
    I suspect that the lower air pressure at that altitude gives you a better Air/Fuel mix with gasohol. In addition, you are not used to driving around the new area, so driving more gently.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's way more than 2x if you run straight alky.

      Delete
  2. One of my local gas stations has 100% real gas (90 Octane). My little truck averages 18 city and 20 highway with the 10% ethanol blend. On a whim I switched over to 100% gas on the last spark plug change and I am getting 20.4 city and 23.5 highway.

    The ethanol has trashed 3 carburetors in small engines I have (lawnmower, pressure washer, and chainsaw). It also destroyed the entire fuel system in my '74 Corvette (tank, tank components, fuel line, fuel pump and carb). Ethanol has cost America millions in reduced mileage and damage to systems that were never designed for it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree 100%! It also an energy SINK, as the cost of producing the Ethanol far out weighs any "benefit" it has in stretching the gas supply.

      Delete
    2. We have it here also, called Rec 90 (recreational, mostly boaters use it). I make sure to use it in my 5500 W generator. It is more expensive. Do an online search for non ethanol gas.

      Delete
    3. I generally go to puregas.org when I want that info.

      There's 4 or 5 station here that sell 100% gas, one being the marina on Horsetooth Reservoir, but marina gas is always $$$$$.

      Delete
  3. I noticed the same thing on a mountain west trip from sea level- I think (WAG) the fuel injection computer is compensating for lower air density by reducing fuel flow- same reason aircraft get better fuel economy at higher altitude.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I get better gas mileage in both my ol Ford 150, and the Rav4 when I fill up outside of California.

    ReplyDelete
  5. At 7000' or so elevation half of the atmosphere is below you (AF Pilot Training). You are still under that mark; however fairly high up. The stociometric ration of air to fuel is 15 to 1. So I guess less fuel is used. I know the airplane I used to own got better fuel usage at altitude than down low. And then too, it just may have been crappy gasoline by regulation that is sold in California.

    ReplyDelete
  6. We took a road trip from Texas to Michigan and had great mileage on a2004 Yukon averaging 20 to 21 mpg. I made the mistake of filling up in Michigan and mileage drop to 18 mpg and loss of power was notable. The tail pipe went from grey to black and it took three tanks of gas to return it from black to grey. I use ethanol free gas in Texas when I can find it usually at propane dealers and farm coops.

    ReplyDelete
  7. BTW, Chevron is not gasohol. That's the only gas I run here in CA. My turbo'ed car hates gasohol.

    ReplyDelete

Keep it civil, please....