E15 Ethanol Mixed Gas is Spreading into Your Neighborhood

Last year, the EPA approved the use of E-15 gas in all vehicles 2001 and newer. The blended gas started selling sporadically in the Midwest and really did not move from there. There are now two news articles relating to the sale of E-15 gas. According to a news article aired on channel 7 in Ft. Myers Florida, E-15 is now in the Ft. Myers area. Another news article from the Chicago Tribune, tells how Chicago is trying to require the top 25% of its gas stations to sell the E-15 Blended gas.

One common point between the two articles is that the E-15 gas is going to be slightly cheaper. However, that old saying comes to mind, “you get what you pay for.” Many people do not realize that the more ethanol that is in the gas the less efficient it becomes. That is because ethanol does not have the same BTU’s that gasoline has. One gallon of ethanol has approx. 76,000 BTU’s whereas gasoline has approx. 125,000 BTU’s. All of this means that the lower the BTU content the less power there is when the gas is burned in the engine. The less power, the less fuel efficient the vehicle becomes. In other words, if a car got 25mpg using E-10, it may now only get 23mpg on E-15. It comes down to the question, are you saving enough money at the pump to justify the loss in mileage?

If you have been following my blog or reading any of the Lawn and Garden industry news reports, E-15 has been the scourge for many people. Most Lawn and Garden manufacturers and organizations involved in the industry have come out and denounced the use of E-15 in any equipment. Even some car manufacturers jumped on the band wagon as well. The common thread amongst everyone is that E-10 is terrible on fuel systems and E-15 will be even worse.

Let’s take a step back and look at the whole picture. Ethanol in the gas is a good thing from one perspective. It does lower our dependency on foreign oils, it is a renewable source of fuel, adds American jobs to the workforce and it is a clean burning fuel. These things are all good, right? However, another perspective is that it is the worst thing in the world, ever!

Some folks believe (and rightfully so) that ethanol at the E-15 ratio will be even worse on fuel systems. We already know that E-10 will cause negative side effects throughout the fuel system, and destroy a carburetor in a very short amount of time. How long will it take with the E-15? If a lawnmower sits over the winter with unprotected gas, will there be a carburetor left on the machine come spring time?

Even some car manufacturers have said not to use E-15 while others have said it is ok. The main thing is to check your owner’s manual before using it. The EPA has said that it is ok for all cars 2001 and newer however, they do not have to stand behind the cars when they fail. All lawn and garden manufacturers have said not to use the E15 in their power equipment. But how does the average consumer distinguish between the right gas and wrong gas. We are in luck! The EPA has designed a decal to go on the pump warning people not to use E-15 in power equipment. This miracle decal is about 3”x4” and I am sure that it will be lost among the other decals on the pump. But hey, Thanks for trying EPA. If you walk up to the pump and E-15 is 20 to 30 cents cheaper what will you buy???

Whichever gas blend you decide to use, remember to treat your gas with Ethanol Shield Fuel Stabilizer for full protection. And to answer your question, yes, Ethanol Shield will work just as effectively in the E-15 blended gas but remember it is unlawful to put E-15 in any power equipment. Due to these changes in today’s fuels we have improved our Ethanol Shield formula and updated the mix ratio. Be sure to read the bottle to determine which ratio to use. For more information on the changes, please refer to our website,