Toyota of Clermont explains ethanol

March 3rd, 2021 by

Did you notice any of the stickers on the gas pump last time you were filling up the tank in your Clermont Toyota? If so, then you probably took note of the ethanol sticker – the one that states the percentage of ethanol found in the fuel you’re currently purchasing. Ethanol is a fuel additive that has an effect on your car’s performance, and Toyota of Clermont is here to give you a short lesson (way more interesting than chemistry class, we promise) on this substance and what it can do for your drive time.

ethanol gasoline

What is ethanol?

Ethanol is a common additive in all grades of gasoline these days, but the amount you’ll find can vary widely. We pulled some quick facts to get you better acquainted with this substance – check it out:

Ethanol is created by a natural process. It’s formed when you ferment yeast with sugars and can be made from a wide variety of agricultural crops. Here in America, it’s often made from corn since that crop is so plentiful. Conversely, in Brazil, it’s often made with sugar cane since that crop is more prevalent there.

Ethanol is used in more than just gasoline. It’s also present in alcoholic beverages (you probably gathered that from the yeast + sugars fermentation bit) and is also used in the medical field as a disinfectant sometimes. Worldwide, it’s distilled for a variety of different purposes.

How does this substance affect your Clermont Toyota?

Ethanol is also a viable fuel source for vehicles and is used as an additive in gasoline – here in the states, we’ve been adding it to our gasoline since the early 2000s. Why? Two main reasons:

  1. It’s used to “stretch” the gasoline – adding it to fuel helps to preserve more fossil fuels.
  2. When added to gasoline, it reduces the number of carbon emissions coming out of your Clermont Toyota, making your performance greener.

Most gasoline here in the U.S. has some small amount of ethanol in it – look at the aforementioned stickers next time you’re at the gas station to see how much is in your fuel of choice. It’s typically about 10% or less.

You might be asking, if it’s a fuel source, why don’t we use ethanol instead of gasoline? It may sound cleaner, but it’s actually not. In fact, if you were to utilize a mixture that was 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline, you’d actually produce more smog than if you were to just use straight gasoline! Additionally, ethanol isn’t for every vehicle. It’s hygroscopic – this means it absorbs moisture from the air around it. This pulls more water into your fuel tank and in older vehicles, this can spell trouble. It can cause rust and performance problems. Modern engines have safeguards against this, but if you drive a classic car, your best bet is to search for a fuel that’s ethanol-free.

If you need more info about the type of fuel you should be using in your car, call Toyota of Clermont today! Our Clermont auto service team can help you find the best gasoline for your ride. We’re open seven days a week at (352) 404-7001 and conveniently located at 16851 State Road 50, just west of the Florida Turnpike.