A lot of the Flex Fuel vehicles also recommended in the O.M. to get a special motor oil from the dealer to use, if you were going to use E85. Leads me to believe that E85 is NOT as easy on the engine as gasoline.
Yes, its NOT that hard to get alcohol to burn in your motor, the chemistry works out that the O2 sensor will respond the same way also. But, you need to burn almost twice the volume of alcohol as gasoline to get the same power (meaning half as much MPG), so E85 or pure alcohol will likely need larger injectors. Alcohol is much harder to get a cold motor started than gasoline, that is the biggest reason why E85 still has 15% gasoline, to help start a cold motor. And requiring special oil for E85 makes me suspicious its tough on the motor as well, at least on the motor oil.
The big problem is the damage the alcohol will do to the fuel system parts. I hadn't hard that E10 gasohol was damaging fuel level sensors, but I could see how it could be true.
Personally, I don't risk it, I stick with Gasoline, unfortunately now a days, all you can get is E10.
Definitely verify your engine is definitely flex fuel. I had a flex fuel mini-van and it clearly stated it on the build sheet, in the O.M. and decals underhood. Don't assume your motor is flex fuel, when you see no verification, and try to use E85, you could end up very sorry. Maybe NOT right away, because the motor may run fairly well, but 20k miles down the road you could find all sorts of problems it created.
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