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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi, I'm new here to this forum and just got my ATS a few months ago. I have a 2013 ATS 3.6L Performance RWD. When I or the dealer look up my VIN# it says Fuel Type: gasoline e85 Ethanol. My gas cap is a regular black gas cap not yellow. I've tried running e85 and it ran rough and have a check engine light until I emptied the tank and filled up with 87. Can someone explain to me why my VIN# says e85 Ethanol but my engine won't run it? Very confusing. Tried asking the dealer and they were just as confused as I was. Running 87 is fine no issues and I have not tried any other fuel type. Couldn't find anything online about this issue.
 

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2014 CTS4 Sport Wagon*2016 CTS V-Sport Premium
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I have a 2014 CTS Sport Wagon with a different engine but the same family of engines...my engine (and I'd bet yours) is listed as E-85 capable but it cannot run E-85 as configured...there are different parts required to convert your engine to E-85...hopefully you did not do any real damage to your engine or car by running E-85 in your car...

I believe you have the LFX engine and it should be E-85 capable but won't run E-85 without changing out some parts...

Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have a 2014 CTS Sport Wagon with a different engine but the same family of engines...my engine (and I'd bet yours) is listed as E-85 capable but it cannot run E-85 as configured...there are different parts required to convert your engine to E-85...hopefully you did not do any real damage to your engine or car by running E-85 in your car...

I believe you have the LFX engine and it should be E-85 capable but won't run E-85 without changing out some parts...

Bill
Thanks Bill I appreciate the help. Is it as easy as just installing an e85 sensor?
 

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If your ATS does not have a yellow cap, then you are not able to run E85. I have a 2013 3.6 AWD Premium that has both a yellow gas cap and stickers on the rear windows saying "Flex Fuel". I've run E85 most of this summer and never have had a problem with it.

I thought all 2013-2014 LFX V6's were E85-compatible, but perhaps not. I never heard of an engine being shipped as "E85 capable" requiring needing additional parts installed to allow usage of E85. I'm sure it's possible, but I don't think GM ever advertised such a conversion kit (someone prove me wrong!).
 

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I agree...I have not ever read of anyone doing a conversion except for those doing extensive engine modifications...I know of no "easy" conversion...

Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
If your ATS does not have a yellow cap, then you are not able to run E85. I have a 2013 3.6 AWD Premium that has both a yellow gas cap and stickers on the rear windows saying "Flex Fuel". I've run E85 most of this summer and never have had a problem with it.

I thought all 2013-2014 LFX V6's were E85-compatible, but perhaps not. I never heard of an engine being shipped as "E85 capable" requiring needing additional parts installed to allow usage of E85. I'm sure it's possible, but I don't think GM ever advertised such a conversion kit (someone prove me wrong!).
I've seen videos on YouTube of people installing e85 sensors to their ATS not sure if that fixes the issue or if this is safe to drive with. I guess I would have to contact the dealer to get more information but it seems like they don't know much about this issue.
 

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Unless you are planning to modify your car to take advantage of forced induction or increased static compression, there isn't much point in going to E85. BTU content is lower per gallon than gasoline so you are giving up MPG and more importantly range with a full tank.

I don't have the information as to whether ALL fuel system components in non-FFV vehicles are designed for E85 corrosion resistance but that is something you should check before making any changes to allow E85 usage. Because of the lower BTU content, injection volume is higher for equivalent power when running E85 and the high pressure pump, injectors, and ECM all have to support this increased volume. If the ECM is FFV specific, then adding the E85 sensor to a non-FFV engine isn't going to do anything useful.

Any savings in fuel cost once you account for the increased volume of fuel purchased is likely to be offset by the cost of required changes and modifications.

Ethanol produced from corn has long been a solution in search of a problem and its most significant contribution is in the form of a very inefficient welfare system for agriculture.

Rodger
 

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You are absolutely correct about the cost vs. benefits with E85, normally it's not worth it. However, after the high gas prices this summer, the engineer I am has to add "it depends". 😁

Case in point, in northwest Pennsylvania the average cost of 87 octane has been about $4.29 to $4.49 all summer long. The lone gas station around here that sells E85 has had it stuck at $2.99 since June. I average about 18-19 mpg using E85 while I get about 21-22 on regular. Doing the math for an average 270 miles I go between fill ups, E85 costs up to 7 dollars cheaper per tank despite the mileage loss! Even today with regular being $3.99 a gallon, $2.99 for E85 is still cheaper to run (the math says 4 dollars).

Another benefit with having the E85-hardware installed is you can happily run E15 (also known as Regular 88 at some stations). The same station that sells E85 here also sells E15 for about 30 cents less a gallon. In "normal" times it was usually 10 cents less. Multiple tanks of E15 in my car showed virtually no mileage loss compared to regular, so that right there is a savings too. I've run all sorts of blends of E85, E15, and regular and have never had a hiccup from the engine.

Granted, none of this will probably ever pay back the cost of the parts and labor to install E85 hardware and tuning. But if you already have an E85-capable machine, one should do the math and see. You just might be lucky and have VERY cheap E85 near you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Unless you are planning to modify your car to take advantage of forced induction or increased static compression, there isn't much point in going to E85. BTU content is lower per gallon than gasoline so you are giving up MPG and more importantly range with a full tank.

I don't have the information as to whether ALL fuel system components in non-FFV vehicles are designed for E85 corrosion resistance but that is something you should check before making any changes to allow E85 usage. Because of the lower BTU content, injection volume is higher for equivalent power when running E85 and the high pressure pump, injectors, and ECM all have to support this increased volume. If the ECM is FFV specific, then adding the E85 sensor to a non-FFV engine isn't going to do anything useful.

Any savings in fuel cost once you account for the increased volume of fuel purchased is likely to be offset by the cost of required changes and modifications.

Ethanol produced from corn has long been a solution in search of a problem and its most significant contribution is in the form of a very inefficient welfare system for agriculture.

Rodger
Rodger I'm definitely going to look more into this because I'm hearing and seeing online that it's flex fuel e85 capable but I don't want to damage my engine. I don't commute far for work and I don't really go anywhere after work or on my days off so fuel consumption is not really deal breaker for me. I live in northern California and out gas prices are still pretty high in most places out here. Thank you for all this great information.

Sumeet
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You are absolutely correct about the cost vs. benefits with E85, normally it's not worth it. However, after the high gas prices this summer, the engineer I am has to add "it depends". 😁

Case in point, in northwest Pennsylvania the average cost of 87 octane has been about $4.29 to $4.49 all summer long. The lone gas station around here that sells E85 has had it stuck at $2.99 since June. I average about 18-19 mpg using E85 while I get about 21-22 on regular. Doing the math for an average 270 miles I go between fill ups, E85 costs up to 7 dollars cheaper per tank despite the mileage loss! Even today with regular being $3.99 a gallon, $2.99 for E85 is still cheaper to run (the math says 4 dollars).

Another benefit with having the E85-hardware installed is you can happily run E15 (also known as Regular 88 at some stations). The same station that sells E85 here also sells E15 for about 30 cents less a gallon. In "normal" times it was usually 10 cents less. Multiple tanks of E15 in my car showed virtually no mileage loss compared to regular, so that right there is a savings too. I've run all sorts of blends of E85, E15, and regular and have never had a hiccup from the engine.

Granted, none of this will probably ever pay back the cost of the parts and labor to install E85 hardware and tuning. But if you already have an E85-capable machine, one should do the math and see. You just might be lucky and have VERY cheap E85 near you.
Gas out in northern California hasn't dropped by much but we definitely have e85 at almost every gas station out here and it's a lot cheaper and I don't commute too far for work either.
 

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our cars are listed as E-85 capable but we cannot run E-85 in them without modification unless you bought one of the ones with the yellow cap that already had the modifications done...of course YMMV but use at your own peril (for your car)...

Good luck,

Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
our cars are listed as E-85 capable but we cannot run E-85 in them without modification unless you bought one of the ones with the yellow cap that already had the modifications done...of course YMMV but use at your own peril (for your car)...

Good luck,

Bill
Thank you Bill. I'll try and get more information as to what needs to be done in order for me ATS to run e85 and I will update as soon as I find out.
 
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