Is e85 Good in Cold Weather? (Checked & Explained)

You’ve probably heard rumors about the problems with e85 in cold weather. As someone who has lived in cold weather all my life, I can help clear up any confusion about e85 and cold temperatures.

Is e85 good in cold weather?

E85 is not good in cold weather. As a flex fuel, the functionality of e85 drops considerably in the winter. E85 it is not as cold-start friendly as gasoline and reduces gas mileage. In older vehicles, engine damage is possible. Plus, not every fueling station offers e85.

In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know to answer the question, “Is e85 good in cold weather?”

What Is e85? (Simple Definition)

E85 Flex Gas Pump—Is e85 Good in Cold Weather
Image by the author via Canva—Is e85 Good in Cold Weather?

E85 is a type of fuel that can be used in flexible-fuel vehicles (FFVs).

It is a mix of 50% to 85% ethanol and 15% to 50% gasoline. FFVs are designed to run on any mixture of these two fuels. To find out if your vehicle can use e85, look for the sticker shown below on the inside of the fuel door.

If you see this sticker, your vehicle can run on e85.

While e85 has many benefits, there are a few things to keep in mind if you choose to use it. First, e85 has a lower energy content than gasoline, so you will likely see a decrease in gas mileage when using it.

In addition, e85 is more corrosive than gasoline, so it is important to check your vehicle’s owner manual for information on how often to change your fuel filter.

Finally, e85 is not available in all areas. To find a station near you that sells e85, visit www.energy.gov.

If you are looking for an alternative to gasoline that is renewable and domestically produced, e85 may be a good option for you. Just be sure to do your research and understand the pros and cons before making the switch.

Why Is e85 Not Good in Cold Weather?

There are several reasons that e85 is not good for cold weather.

Those reasons include:

  • e85 gets a lower gas mileage per gallon
  • e85 is hard to cold-start
  • e85 is not available everywhere
  • Poor performance

One of the main disadvantages of e85 is that it gets a lower gas mileage per gallon than regular gasoline. This means that it can be more expensive to use e85, especially if you are driving a long distance.

This is a major problem when you’re driving through blustery winter weather.

Additionally, e85 is not always available at all gas stations, so you may have to plan your route carefully if you want to use this type of fuel.

Another downside of e85 is that it can be more difficult to start your car in cold weather. This is because the ethanol in e85 burns slower, making it harder for your car to start.

It also takes longer to start on cold mornings.

Finally, you might experience poorer or reduced vehicle performance due to the stress e85 can put on your engine and other internal car parts.

It is important to weigh these factors before deciding whether or not to use this type of fuel.


What Are the Advantages of Using E85?

E85 is not all bad.

E85 has a number of benefits over gasoline:

  • E85 burns cleaner than gasoline, so it produces less pollution.
  • E85 also has a higher octane rating than gasoline, so it can produce more power without damaging the engine.
  • E85 is also renewable and sustainable, so it helps reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.
  • E85 burns cooler than regular gasoline.
  • E85 is an excellent antifreeze agent.

As a lower-priced, sustainable fuel source, e85 is an excellent choice for certain sports cars and race cars.

However, for most vehicles, I wouldn’t recommend e85.

What Temperature Is Too Cold for E85?

When the temperature drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, e85 flex fuel performance starts to deteriorate.

There’s no easy answer, but there are some things to consider.

First of all, it’s important to know that e85 flex fuel performance does start to deteriorate when the temperature drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. As a result, drivers may notice a decrease in power and mileage when using e85 in colder temperatures.

This also makes cold-starting your car time-consuming and difficult.

However, this doesn’t mean that e85 is always a bad choice in cold weather. In fact, many drivers find that they are still able to get good performance from their flex-fuel vehicles even when the temperature drops below 50 degrees.

The key is to make sure that your vehicle is properly tuned for cold weather operation.

With the right tune, you can help offset the impact of the colder temperatures on your e85 flex fuel performance.

Is e85 Hard to Cold Start?

Yes, e85 is hard to cold start in the winter.

Some car owners get very frustrated with the daily grind of freezing in the cold while your car cranks over and over until it starts.

Here is a fabulous (and better yet, authentic) video about how difficult it can be to cold start a car on e85:

YouTube video by Over TQed Garage – Is e85 Good for Cold Weather?

If you’re driving a flex-fuel vehicle that runs on e85, it’s important to take some extra steps to prevent cold starting problems.

One way to do this is by adding gasoline to the tank during colder months.

This will help to keep the fuel from freezing and allow the engine to start more easily. Another option is to use a block heater. This device warms up the engine before starting, making it less likely to experience problems.

Finally, be sure to store and start your car somewhere warm, like your garage.

Is e85 Good in Freezing Winter?

As any Midwesterner or Northerner knows, winter can be brutal.

Frigid temperatures and bone-chilling winds are the norm, and it’s not uncommon for the mercury to dip below zero.

For drivers who use e85 fuel, winter can be especially challenging. Cars that are improperly tuned can have difficulty starting in cold weather.

However, some e85 enthusiasts say that if you properly tune your car for the fuel, you can start it with no problem in sub-zero temperatures as low as -30.

Are e85 Winter Blends Myth or Fact?

Winter blends are a fact, not a myth.

Feuling companies do add or take away additives during seasons of the year, including the colder months.

These changes impact the gas mileage and therefore how often you’ll need to buy gas.

Some gas station owners say drivers should ask for “winter fuel” if and when they get the choice.

Can You Mix e85 with Gas in the Winter?

The short answer is yes, you can mix e85 with gas in the winter.

In fact, many car manufacturers recommend a fuel blend of up to 10% ethanol for cold weather conditions.

The reason for this is that ethanol has a lower freezing point than gasoline, so it can help keep your fuel system from freezing up in cold weather. However, it’s important to note that adding ethanol to your fuel will lower its overall energy content. That means you’ll need to use more e85 to travel the same distance as you would with gasoline.

If you’re looking to save money on fuel this winter, mixing e85 with gas is a good option. Just be sure to fill up more often to compensate for the lower energy content of the ethanol.

E85 Winter Tricks

As winter approaches, it’s time to start thinking about how to keep your car running smoothly. There are a few extra things we need to do to make sure our cars start in the cold weather.

Here are a few winter tricks for using e85:

  • Install a block heater. This will help to keep your engine warm so that it starts more easily in the cold.
  • Mix some gasoline into the tank. This will help to improve the fuel’s ability to flow in cold weather.
  • Tune your crank. This will help to ensure that your engine starts smoothly in the cold.
  • Park your car in a warm garage. This will help to keep the engine warm and prevent it from freezing.
  • Turn the key and wait a few moments. This allows the fuel pump to come up to pressure so that your car starts easier.
  • Drink hot coffee. In cold weather, hot coffee is a great way to stay warm until your car starts.

By following these simple tips, you can make sure that your car is ready for winter weather. Don’t let the cold get you down – with e85, you can keep your car running smoothly all winter long.

Final Thoughts: Is e85 Good in Cold Weather?

Even though many people experience problems with e85, that doesn’t mean it isn’t right for you.

If you’re willing to put in the extra effort, time, and money, e85 can be an earth-conscious fueling source to power your winters.

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Sources

Energy.gov