E85 Flex Fuel Myths

When it comes to ethanol flex fuels like E85, there is a LOT of misinformation out there. Some is old or out-of-date information; some is from a simple misunderstanding of ethanol; some is from interest groups and the oil industry that regard renewable fuel as a lower-quality fuel.

We've listed several of the most common myths about ethanol flex fuels below. If you have a question about ethanol or E85 - or about one of the myths we bust below - please check out our FAQs page or contact us.

Myth: E85 Causes Corrosion

Fact: Not Really

E85 is a mix of ethyl alcohol (a/k/a ethanol) and gasoline. Both gasoline and ethanol are solvents, both are in most of the gasoline sold in the USA, and both can cause corrosion in the right set of circumstances.

However, since 1994, US federal law requires all new vehicles to be resistant to both ethanol and gasoline. So, as long as your vehicle is 1994 or newer, ethanol will not cause corrosion inside your fuel system or in your engine.

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Myth: E85 Eats Rubber In Your Fuel System

Fact: Yes, But It's Not What You Think

If you were to put plain, natural rubber in your vehicle's fuel system, it's likely it would dissolve in a matter of weeks. That's because gasoline breaks down natural rubber. And because E85 is 15% gasoline, it will eat rubber...only not as quickly as regular gasoline.

Ethanol, on the other hand, does not eat natural rubber. In fact, ethyl alcohol is safe for use with most types of rubber.

Myth: E85 Will Damage Your Car

Fact: Not Unless You Make A Mistake

If you were to put E85 into a gasoline-only vehicle, it would cause problems. E85 is not the same as gasoline, and engine computers must be reprogrammed to be E85 capable. You never want to put E85 in a vehicle that isn't E85 capable.

However, if you install an eFlexFuel E85 capability kit on your vehicle, E85 will not damage your vehicle.

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engine with kit installation in progress
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Myth: E85 Will Make My Engine Run Hotter

Fact: No Way

When used inside your engine, E85 has a significant cooling effect. Most engines run cooler on E85 than they do on regular gasoline.

When E85 is injected into the cylinder, it changes from a liquid to a gas. Because changing from a liquid to a gas requires heat, the ethanol in E85 takes the heat it needs from the combustion chamber. This reduces engine operating temperature, air intake temperature, and even exhaust gas temperature.

Myth: E85 Can Go Bad

Fact: All Fuel Expires

Let any fuel sit too long and it will degrade. E85 is no different.

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Myth: E85 Is Harmful To The Environment

Fact: E85 Is A Renewable Resource

E85 contains fewer harmful aromatic compounds than gasoline. Plus, E85 is made mostly with corn, a renewable American-grown product. But don't take our word for it - the US government has published numerous articles about the environmental benefits of E85, even accounting for modern industrial farming methods. You can learn more on the U.S. Department of Energy website. https://afdc.energy.gov/fuels/ethanol_e85.html

Myth: E85 Conversions Are Permanent

Fact: eFlexFuel Kits Don't Have To Be Permanent

No. In fact, in most circumstances, you do not need to make changes to the fuel pump, fuel injectors, or fuel lines when installing an eFlexFuel compatibility kit. If for any reason you change your mind, all you have to do is remove the kit.

Ready To Debunk More E85 Myths? Read This Article Next
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Myth: E85 Damages The Catalytic Converter

Fact: Nope

We don't even know where to start with this one. Catalytic converters are damaged when oil or coolant is present in fuel, when there is a large amount of unburned fuel in the exhaust, or when the catalytic converter is struck by debris on the roadway. None of these problems are specific to using E85 - they're all a symptom of an engine problem, a failing oxygen sensor, dirty or fouled spark plugs, and so on.

Any engine with these problems will cause catalytic converter damage. Whether or not the engine is burning E85 is irrelevant.

Ready To Try E85? Here's What You Need To Get Started

  1. Find Out If There's An eFlexFuel Kit For Your Vehicle
  2. Choose between the eFlexPlus and eFlexPro kit
  3. Install the kit, and start filling your tank with E85!

eFlexFuel kits can be added to most newer vehicles - and a lot of older vehicles too!

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Attention Californian customers!

eFlexFuel products are not legal for sale or use on pollution-controlled vehicles in the state of California. Every reference to on road highway use on this site applies to other markets. We insist that our customers always make sure to follow their local rules and regulations.

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