For the past two years I've been more conveniently located near Spinx gas stations here in South Carolina. Because of my gas purchases, I have noticed a 10% decrease in gas mileage, a noticeable loss in power, and louder idling/knocking engine in my car.
Spinx uses a 15% Ethanol blend for all of their gas offerings, and even pumps 85% ethanol as well.
For those of you saying ... 'Just go to another gas station" ... It's pretty hard when one company controls nearly 50% of all stations in your area, is the closest station to your house, and usually wins in price wars. Go to MYSPINX.COM and you'll see what I mean.
I found this article interesting.
The undeniable shift towards E15 continues, but not everyone is liking it. Business Week's Ed Wallace has collected a series of anecdotes that shows what he calls the "unpublicized trend" of ethanol destroying fuel systems in America's cars even without the increase to E15. A lot of mechanics are repairing a lot of fuel systems at around $1,000 a pop, and Wallace writes:
Not one mechanic I've spoken with said they would be comfortable with a 15% blend of ethanol in their personal car. However, most suggest that if the government moves the ethanol mandate to 15%, it will be the dawn of a new golden age for auto mechanics' income.
For Wallace, the problems with corn ethanol (the net energy loss, the increased smog, the reduced mileage) are notable but not as important as the trouble that ethanol gives today's non-flex-fuel engines. And potential engine trouble will be here no matter if the biofuel is made from corn or another process. The Minnesota Ag Department and Underwriters Laboratories both says the higher blend is OK for gas station pumps, but it's looking like we're going to need another round of debate on the value of putting E15 in vehicles not designed for it.