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E10 94 octane vs. Shell V-Power 91 octane ethanol-free

Hey guys, As some of you already know, about a year ago I moved from Georgia up to Alberta, Canada. Back in GA I always used Shell V-Power 93 octane

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View Poll Results: Which fuel would you go with?
Husky 94 octane w. 10% ethanol 8 38.10%
Shell V-Power 91 octane w. no ethanol 12 57.14%
Gas is gas, I'd use the cheapest 87 octane I can find 1 4.76%
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Old 09-15-2011, 10:11 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default E10 94 octane vs. Shell V-Power 91 octane ethanol-free

Hey guys,

As some of you already know, about a year ago I moved from Georgia up to Alberta, Canada. Back in GA I always used Shell V-Power 93 octane - it was a bit of a no-brainer. But up here, Shell V-Power only goes up to 91 octane. There's a Canadian chain called Husky, however, and they sell 94 octane. Thing is, Husky's gas is 10% ethanol, while up here Shell contains no ethanol. So I'm in a bit of a quandry and would like your opinions on which fuel I should go with.

Some additional background. I'm currently driving a 2011 STi. (I had to leave my Z in GA). Yes, yes, I know this is a Z forum, but this is the forum I call home, and I'd be in the same quandry if I had taken my Z up here with me, even more so if I ever slapped a turbo on it. In case you're not familiar with the STi, it's a turbo'd engine. I have Cobb AP running on it, and the Cobb AP comes with separate maps for both 91 and 93 octane, the latter having more aggressive timing. For the last couple of months, I've been filling up with Shell 91 exclusively. But I just couldn't resist the urge to switch to the Cobb 93 map, so a week ago I switched over to the E10 94 octane, reflashed my ECU with the 93 map, and wow, what a noticeable difference! The turbo spools up quicker and there's noticeably more responsiveness and torque across the entire band.

This is where my head gets a little muddled. From what I've been able to read on the net via Google searching, I'm going to get less mileage from the E10 due to the lower energy content of ethanol. I read another explanation that the real reason you get lower mileage is because ethanol has a higher oxygen content, so the ECU compensates by running rich (i.e., more fuel) to even out the AFR. Either way, other STi owners report a fuel economy degradation of 2-3%, and I can live with that, NP. I've also read that ethanol is actually beneficial to turbo applications because it has a cooling effect, and that, combined with the higher AKI that allows for more advanced ignition timing, contributes to the power gain. (One guy reported that he tested Husky E10 94 against Shell V-Power 91 on a dyno and got 20whp more out of the Husky 94.) So far, so good.

My big concern is durability. I keep reading conflicting things on this. On one hand, people say ethanol will harm the hoses, seals, and fuel injectors if used long-term. A lot of people also say that ethanol tends to leave deposits behind. Then there are those who counter that all modern gasoline engines in cars are designed to run fine with ethanol. I've further read that ethanol only becomes a problem if you let the fuel sit in your tank for an extended period of time, because the ethanol will separate from the gasoline and that's when it causes corrosion, leaves deposits, etc., so if you're using it in a daily driver it'll be fine. But then the naysayers say, why take the chance? Shell V-Power is proven when it comes to engine protection.

So I'm having trouble deciding between the two. My car runs better on the E10 94. The fuel economy loss is noticeable but I think I'm willing to live with it as a fair trade-off for the extra power. Internal engine corrosion and deposits, however? Yeah I'm not so keen on that. My current plan is to continue running the E10 94 and dump a bottle of Techron or Gumout in the tank every 3000 miles or so as a precaution.

Opinions? What would you guys do if you if you had to choose between Husky 94 octane E10 and 91 octane no-ethanol from Shell? (Husky is pretty reputable in Canada, btw.)
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Old 09-15-2011, 10:29 AM   #2 (permalink)
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100% of the gas in the US has 10% ethanol, you've were using it for years down here. Modern cars are designed to handle the ethanol blend, the only time I've heard of problems has been with older cars where the lines weren't able to handle the ethanol content. Ethanol burns clean, I wouldn't expect any deposits unless the car is running excessively rich.
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Old 09-15-2011, 10:32 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Semtex - I am from Alberta as well (Edmonton) and I only fill with Shell V-Power. Even if there were any HP gains to be had from running 94 in the Z, I'd rather stick with the cleaner stuff. When I first got the car I read thru the owners manual and I seem to remember somewhere in there it saying not to use fuel with ethanol in the Z. (Could be mistaken, it was a while ago I read it)

I have read a lot of the same information you have, however I concluded that the benefits of Shell outweighed the small benefit of higher octane. I was told recently that even Shell will have to start adding ethanol to all their fuels by Jan 2012, not sure if this will come to pass.

Side note, why did you have to leave the Z in GA? Also, where in Alberta did you move to?
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Old 09-15-2011, 10:33 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Old 09-15-2011, 10:40 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisSlicks View Post
100% of the gas in the US has 10% ethanol, you've were using it for years down here. Modern cars are designed to handle the ethanol blend, the only time I've heard of problems has been with older cars where the lines weren't able to handle the ethanol content. Ethanol burns clean, I wouldn't expect any deposits unless the car is running excessively rich.
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Old 09-15-2011, 10:41 AM   #6 (permalink)
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The official word is that the Shell V-power 91 octane (gold) will not have any ethanol in it. The lower grade (bronze) will have up to 10% and the mid-grade (silver) (a blend of bronze and gold) will have up to 5% ethanol. That doesn't mean they won't change that in the future, if the gov't mandates it.

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Originally Posted by edconline View Post
Semtex - I am from Alberta as well (Edmonton) and I only fill with Shell V-Power. Even if there were any HP gains to be had from running 94 in the Z, I'd rather stick with the cleaner stuff. When I first got the car I read thru the owners manual and I seem to remember somewhere in there it saying not to use fuel with ethanol in the Z. (Could be mistaken, it was a while ago I read it)

I have read a lot of the same information you have, however I concluded that the benefits of Shell outweighed the small benefit of higher octane. I was told recently that even Shell will have to start adding ethanol to all their fuels by Jan 2012, not sure if this will come to pass.

Side note, why did you have to leave the Z in GA? Also, where in Alberta did you move to?
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Old 09-15-2011, 11:02 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisSlicks View Post
100% of the gas in the US has 10% ethanol, you've were using it for years down here. Modern cars are designed to handle the ethanol blend, the only time I've heard of problems has been with older cars where the lines weren't able to handle the ethanol content. Ethanol burns clean, I wouldn't expect any deposits unless the car is running excessively rich.
Good point. That makes me feel better about using it.

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Originally Posted by edconline View Post
Semtex - I am from Alberta as well (Edmonton) and I only fill with Shell V-Power. Even if there were any HP gains to be had from running 94 in the Z, I'd rather stick with the cleaner stuff. When I first got the car I read thru the owners manual and I seem to remember somewhere in there it saying not to use fuel with ethanol in the Z. (Could be mistaken, it was a while ago I read it)

I have read a lot of the same information you have, however I concluded that the benefits of Shell outweighed the small benefit of higher octane. I was told recently that even Shell will have to start adding ethanol to all their fuels by Jan 2012, not sure if this will come to pass.

Side note, why did you have to leave the Z in GA? Also, where in Alberta did you move to?
Are you taking into account though that one of the benefits of higher octane in my particular situation is that I can load in a more aggressive performance map via the Cobb AP? Without that option, I think I'd agree with you that the benefits are minimal. But for me at least, that ability to switch to a more aggressive map is a big factor in favor of going with a higher octane. Suddenly the benefits of higher octane don't seem so small (IMO). I left the Z in GA, and left GA in general, because of simultaneous job loss and divorce. I got laid off by IBM after working there for 10 years (my entire dept was offshored to Brazil and Argentina). Then a month later, my wife of 16 years decided she wanted a divorce. So with that double-kick in the nuts, I would have had to declare bankruptcy had I stayed and would have lost the Z either way. I'm in Calgary now, starting over. I did a stint up in Edmonton at U of A many years ago though.

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Old 09-15-2011, 11:37 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I would go with the highest octane you can get, ethanol is not a big concern to me. I don't notice a huge difference between 91 and 93 octane gas in the Z, but when I had my Saab that was putting out 310whp, using 93 octane was a big big difference compared to 91. The improvements are basically what you noted for your Subie, turbo cars like ethanol anyway.
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Old 09-15-2011, 12:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Semtex, sorry to hear that, totally understandable why the Z is no more. I have been meaning to take a trip down to Calgary since I moved to Edmonton, apparently the roads are much better for driving there! (Not that they could possibly be worse than E-Town!)

I was not taking into account the Map situation, in your case it probably does make more sense to use the 94. If only Shell would bring their 93 here, best of both worlds!
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Old 09-15-2011, 12:39 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Semtex, sorry to hear that, totally understandable why the Z is no more. I have been meaning to take a trip down to Calgary since I moved to Edmonton, apparently the roads are much better for driving there! (Not that they could possibly be worse than E-Town!)

I was not taking into account the Map situation, in your case it probably does make more sense to use the 94. If only Shell would bring their 93 here, best of both worlds!
Hit me up when you come down. Maybe we can go troll some riced-out Civics together. And yes, if only Shell would bring their 93 here it'd be an easy decision!
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Old 09-15-2011, 02:12 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Damn Ethanol, just makes you spend more on gas. The only reason it is cheaper to produce then gas because of the tax breaks and government incentives that people have to pay through taxes for. That and it only has 60-70% the energy per volume the gas so you have to use more of it to go the same distance which is more money at the pump.
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Old 09-16-2011, 01:13 AM   #12 (permalink)
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^If there weren't government incentives on ethanol, it would literally cost triple what it current costs.
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Old 09-16-2011, 09:47 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I use petro canada 94.
when i got to he drag strip i add 1/2 a bottle of lucas ocatane boost to about 4 gallons of gas.
Car run like a rocket ship at the track with my own cobb tune.

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Old 09-16-2011, 09:52 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by semtex View Post
Hey guys,

As some of you already know, about a year ago I moved from Georgia up to Alberta, Canada. Back in GA I always used Shell V-Power 93 octane - it was a bit of a no-brainer. But up here, Shell V-Power only goes up to 91 octane. There's a Canadian chain called Husky, however, and they sell 94 octane. Thing is, Husky's gas is 10% ethanol, while up here Shell contains no ethanol. So I'm in a bit of a quandry and would like your opinions on which fuel I should go with.

Some additional background. I'm currently driving a 2011 STi. (I had to leave my Z in GA). Yes, yes, I know this is a Z forum, but this is the forum I call home, and I'd be in the same quandry if I had taken my Z up here with me, even more so if I ever slapped a turbo on it. In case you're not familiar with the STi, it's a turbo'd engine. I have Cobb AP running on it, and the Cobb AP comes with separate maps for both 91 and 93 octane, the latter having more aggressive timing. For the last couple of months, I've been filling up with Shell 91 exclusively. But I just couldn't resist the urge to switch to the Cobb 93 map, so a week ago I switched over to the E10 94 octane, reflashed my ECU with the 93 map, and wow, what a noticeable difference! The turbo spools up quicker and there's noticeably more responsiveness and torque across the entire band.

This is where my head gets a little muddled. From what I've been able to read on the net via Google searching, I'm going to get less mileage from the E10 due to the lower energy content of ethanol. I read another explanation that the real reason you get lower mileage is because ethanol has a higher oxygen content, so the ECU compensates by running rich (i.e., more fuel) to even out the AFR. Either way, other STi owners report a fuel economy degradation of 2-3%, and I can live with that, NP. I've also read that ethanol is actually beneficial to turbo applications because it has a cooling effect, and that, combined with the higher AKI that allows for more advanced ignition timing, contributes to the power gain. (One guy reported that he tested Husky E10 94 against Shell V-Power 91 on a dyno and got 20whp more out of the Husky 94.) So far, so good.

My big concern is durability. I keep reading conflicting things on this. On one hand, people say ethanol will harm the hoses, seals, and fuel injectors if used long-term. A lot of people also say that ethanol tends to leave deposits behind. Then there are those who counter that all modern gasoline engines in cars are designed to run fine with ethanol. I've further read that ethanol only becomes a problem if you let the fuel sit in your tank for an extended period of time, because the ethanol will separate from the gasoline and that's when it causes corrosion, leaves deposits, etc., so if you're using it in a daily driver it'll be fine. But then the naysayers say, why take the chance? Shell V-Power is proven when it comes to engine protection.

So I'm having trouble deciding between the two. My car runs better on the E10 94. The fuel economy loss is noticeable but I think I'm willing to live with it as a fair trade-off for the extra power. Internal engine corrosion and deposits, however? Yeah I'm not so keen on that. My current plan is to continue running the E10 94 and dump a bottle of Techron or Gumout in the tank every 3000 miles or so as a precaution.

Opinions? What would you guys do if you if you had to choose between Husky 94 octane E10 and 91 octane no-ethanol from Shell? (Husky is pretty reputable in Canada, btw.)
After Jan 01, 2012 you won't be able to buy gas in Canada without ethanol. It's been mandated by the government. As for the Mohawk, that's what I use. I used to use Shell 91, but I changed after my UpRev tune on the advice of my tuner.
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Old 09-16-2011, 10:56 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Z eliminator View Post
I use petro canada 94.
when i got to he drag strip i add 1/2 a bottle of lucas ocatane boost to about 4 gallons of gas.
Car run like a rocket ship at the track with my own cobb tune.

Z
PetroCan only goes up to 91 here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 6MT View Post
After Jan 01, 2012 you won't be able to buy gas in Canada without ethanol. It's been mandated by the government. As for the Mohawk, that's what I use. I used to use Shell 91, but I changed after my UpRev tune on the advice of my tuner.

Good to know. Thx 6MT!
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