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Is Your Auto Technician Up to Date on Ethanol?

Today, I received an e-mail from the Renewable Fuels Association announcing the publication of the newest in the ongoing series of “Changes in Gasoline” manuals. Published by the Renewable Fuels Foundation, the “Changes in Gasoline” manuals focus on the auto technician’s areas of interest and address current topics.

But, “Changes in Gasoline IV” (you can view it at is worth a look even if you’re not an auto technician. And, if you’re a grower whose corn is going into ethanol production, you may be really interested in what the manual has to say about fuel economy. The publication’s quick reference guide notes that the addition of ethanol will usually result in a fuel economy loss of just 2-3%, which has been confirmed by numerous tests. The manual discusses the fuel economy issue at more depth as well.

A lot of consumers have dismissed ethanol because their mechanics say it hurts vehicle performance. This manual points out that over the last couple of decades, there have been numerous compositional changes in gasoline other than just ethanol. “Many of those changes have not been brought to the attention of the technician. This results in a perception that the major difference in today’s gasoline is ethanol content when, in fact, many other changes have also taken place.”

“Changes in Gasoline IV” helps put some misconceptions to rest and can help ethanol supporters strengthen their case, especially if they are talking with a skeptical auto technician!

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