Advantages/disadvantages of 5.4L Flex Fuel engine?
What are the advantages and disadvantages of getting the new flex fuel engine. I am shopping for a new Supercrew with the 6.5' bed and some of them now being delivered have the new engine. Is normal gasoline mileage any different? How available are the alternative fuels and how does the mileage and horsepower compare or is it just cleaner burning?
Gas milage won't be any different between a non-flex fuel and a flex fuel motor on regular pump gas. The difference will be that the Flex fuel motor will have stainless fuel lines, tank, and will have the ability to sense the amount of E85 in the tank, and adjust the fuel tables accordingly.
The flex fuel motors can run on E85 which is usually alot cheaper, but you won't get any better mpg on it.
Personally I wish I had a Flex Fuel motor as E-85 is usually $.50 cheaper per gallon in my area.
I read recently that E85 has about 30% less energy per volume than gasoline. Which means you'll probably get 30% less mpg while running E85. Also I believe that E85 is only available at about 500 gas stations in the US.
I had a flex fuel engine in my 04 suburban (ford innovation...yeah right). E85 has less energy per gallon than regular fuel. It is a bit cheaper, but for that you lose mileage and power. Also, here in Denver with the altitude and especially when it's cold in the winter there are starting problems. E85 is by its nature high octane and twice while in cold snaps the truck would not start with E-85 at 5am....had to wait for the temp to come up.
I would love to run bean gas personally, but it's my opinion that the compromise of being able to run one or the other makes E85 a pain. The engine needs higher compression to take advantage of the E85, and that would make it E85 only...which the public is not ready for. So, I won't be doing the E85 thing again...at least while living in the cold.
The only disadvantage to flex fuel is there are a "couple" more parts to break. I believe some units have an extra sensor in the fuel rail to "taste" the ethanol content.
E85 does make less HP. I forget the exact figures, but I saw a Crown Vic factory sticker that showed something like 400 mile highway range on regular gas, and 290 on E85. So what you need to ask is "is the juice worth the squeeze?" On the highway, that loss would be too big for me. Around town, no big deal.
Around here, E85 is getting a tax break from the state of ND. NO state taxes on it. So it's a lot cheaper. Like 1.69 vs 2.39. Basically trying to promote the ethanol industry since ND is a corn producer and has the ethanol plants.
I like the direction Ford is taking. It makes them look environmentally friendly, and it'll look good to help promote our own ethanol industry. I think when there are more cars out there that can use it, then more pumps will follow. It has to start some where, and I'm glad Ford decided to make the push. I'm sure the other car makers will follow soon.
Flex fuel Ranger was out quite awhile ago too. So GM is "still" behind on this one. They've just recently started advertising it, long after Ford stopped advertising it. So to make Ford look better, not only are they advertising it, they're taking it up a notch and offering it on vehicles they never did before. I'm guessing mostly because it doesn't cost them out of pocket much to work it into new vehicle plans.
Based on what am reading for E-85 to only 50 to 60 cents cheaper and only go 1/2 the distance, sounds to me there is no benefit. Looks like overall cost of ownership from the pocket book is still favored by regular fuel. Even if you figure the tax write off, which you do not get 100% back on the $2K 1 time deduction it would not take long to recoup that on regular fuel.
It sure seems there has to be a lot more dramatic changes other then Flex Fuel to not only weed the US off of petroleum, but a good reduction in price to something much less then gasoline. Do we really think the good ole Oil lobbiest are going to let this happen????????
i am not a big fan of e85 either from the stand point of a driver. as mentioned when cold even with additves added for low temps the e85 can be a bugger to start. all of our company cars are e85 and the milage sucks big time and when you step on the go petal theres nothing there gutless. here in missouri the stations have to much leway and even though they are gettting lots of breaks and encentives to sell e85 cheaper most are pocketing the proffit and not selling it that much cheaper.
you can convert most any EFI engene to run on e85 but it cost any were from 1500-2500 here in MO not worth it.