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Does ethanol-free not have that familiar gasoline smell?

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  • Fuel System: Does ethanol-free not have that familiar gasoline smell?

    Luckily I think, I'm able to buy ethanol-free gas near me and I have been using it exclusively for a couple years now.

    I have noticed when I put the car in the garage after running it, I'll have an odor for a couple days or so, that is not the typical gasoline smell, but a smell I originally thought was a lubricant smell of some kind. I did have the carb rebuilt a year or so ago and it starts easily with minimal pumping of the gas pedal, and will start after sitting even three hours after running, with just a turn of the key.

    Just wondering if anybody who uses ethanol-free has noticed the odor is not the same as 'typical 'gas. Thanks. Trying to figure out what I'm smelling.
    Bill Pressler
    Kent, OH
    (formerly Greenville, PA)
    Currently owned: 1966 Cruiser, Timberline Turquoise, 26K miles
    Formerly owned: 1963 Lark Daytona Skytop R1, Ermine White
    1964 Daytona Hardtop, Strato Blue
    1966 Daytona Sports Sedan, Niagara Blue Mist
    All are in Australia now

  • #2
    I've used nothing but ethanol-free in my '63 Avanti for the last 5 years & my olfactory senses say "gasoline" whenever I smell it. When I used to keep the car at my shop, one tech liked the smell and named it "Old Car Smell." I couldn't agree more.
    "Every man I meet on the street is superior to me in some respect, and from that I can learn."
    R.W. Emerson

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    • #3
      I cannot say that the ethanol -free gasoline smells any different to me than gasoline from before the "ethanol era".
      Gasoline/ethanol blend stinks to me and especially exhaust fumes from non-catalytic converter engines.
      My 1963 Studebaker GT Hawk does very well with ethanol-free gasoline.
      Last edited by Ermine White; 11-08-2019, 05:58 AM. Reason: spelling error

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      • #4
        My studes, lawnmower, weed wacker, aircraft. etc. Anything not made specifically for modern gas doesn't get it. That stuff is hell on older fuel systems.

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        • #5
          Just a little side note here. I was looking through a you tube video posted on in the stovehuggers section. It was photos of old gas stations. As I was looking at them, one popped up that had a sign stating: Try Corn Alcohol Fuel, in small letters it said 10%. I guess it has been around longer than I thought. Was it just an experiment back then?

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          • #6
            Yes, Tom, I too took note of that when I posted the link. I had no idea they were playing with it back then when fuel was so cheap(relative to the times).
            Bill

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            • #7
              I remember when they first started using the blended gas I had new 1975 Olds with cat and the exhaust had sweet smell now the current blended stuff does not give off same smell when used in earlier cars with cats. Also remember older cat cars when driven hard up hill would give of smell rotten eggs . New cars have very little smell from exhaust

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              • #8
                IMO it doesn't seem to make any difference if the fuel has ethanol in it or not. I have been told, and it makes sense, that fuel all comes in to the fuel terminus without the additives. The source of the basic fuel seems to make the difference in smell, with the exception of the unmistakable alcohol smell. Every once in a while I will fill up, and get the whiff of what I used to take for granted, as the smell of gasoline. It is not that it doesn't have alcohol in it, it's rather that the source of the base fuel is different.

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                • #9
                  If you have been sniffing gas a lot your sense of smell may have suffered...
                  _______________
                  http://stude.vonadatech.com
                  https://jeepster.vonadatech.com

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Ermine White View Post
                    I cannot say that the ethanol -free gasoline smells any different to me than gasoline from before the "ethanol era".
                    Gasoline/ethanol blend stinks to me and especially exhaust fumes from non-catalytic converter engines.
                    My 1963 Studebaker GT Hawk does very well with ethanol-free gasoline.
                    You are most fortunate!.........here in the greater NYC "megalopolis" there is sadly no ethanol-free gasoline:-(..........last year I removed every piece of rubber fuel hose from the tank all the way up to the carb in my Avanti...........I replaced with SAE spec'd FI hose and special clamps. Additionally I will tell you that gas mileage is but a 'shadow' of what it used to be when the car ran on pure gasoline (pre ethanol)

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                    • #11
                      Additionally I will tell you that gas mileage is but a 'shadow' of what it used to be when the car ran on pure gasoline (pre ethanol)
                      That is because alcohol produces less power per gallon than gasoline. The optimum air/fuel ration for gas is 17 to 1. Most ethanol/gas mixtures are 14 to 1. Ethanol alone is 9 to 1.

                      But ethanol is pushed for a variety of reasons - (A) to give corn farmers another market segment, (B) because ethanol burns pretty cleanly, (C) because ethanol burns with a cooler flame.

                      It makes a great racecar fuel, but not a great daily transport fuel. And without getting into the political - but maintaining the truth of the situation, actual production of ethanol fuel pollutes 2 gallons of water for every 1 gallon of ethanol produced. It's a trade-off.
                      The only difference between death and taxes is that death does not grow worse every time Congress convenes. - Will Rogers

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                      • #12
                        that fuel all comes in to the fuel terminus without the additives.
                        Yes, but the "up to 10% Ethanol" is not a terminal added additive, it is blended at the refinery before the fuel enters the pipeline.

                        The additives added at the terminal are Shell Techron, Exxon Synergy, Sheetz whatever (french fires?), etc. So, if Exxon terminal is out of fuel, the Exxon truck can fill up at Shell terminal, just not get the Shell Techron additive, add the Exxon Synergy additive and there you go a tank truck full of Exxon.

                        I was buying Gasohol back in the late 70s early 80s in Virginia to get the highest octane available at the time for my '70 Buick 10:1 455. The '50 Champion did not need high octane.....
                        Frank DuVal

                        50 Commander 4 door

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Hawklover View Post

                          Additionally I will tell you that gas mileage is but a 'shadow' of what it used to be when the car ran on pure gasoline (pre ethanol)
                          A Petroleum Refinery Engineer told me how many BTUs were in ethanol vs. gasoline but I forgot the exact amounts. I vaguely remember ethanol was about 1/3 less BTUs than gasoline.

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                          • #14
                            Bill, I run ethanol-free gas in my '54 and I don't notice any difference in the gasoline smell. Of course, there are lots of other causes for smells from the car. Collectively, they form what I and many others call the "Old Car Smell". I only notice it when it's parked in the garage.

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                            • #15
                              Gasoline (base) 1 US gallon 114,000 BTU/gal
                              Ethanol fuel (E100) 1.5 US gallons 76,100 BTU/gal
                              Ethanol (E85) 1.39 US gallons 81,800 BTU/gal
                              "Every man I meet on the street is superior to me in some respect, and from that I can learn."
                              R.W. Emerson

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