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Discussion Starter #1
I think I'm going to kill a gas station employee. Maybe.. This morning I took my son to school and had to stop to get gas. I have always used premium fuel in the little devil, no matter how much the few extra bucks were. This morning when I ran into pay I pointed to their little indicator, paid and went to pump. The cashier was talking to a friend and not paying attention. When I was pumping I didn't notice the difference until it was done. (It's 7 degrees and I was making faces at my son and trying to stay warm.) There was almost 3/4 tank when I was done and should have only been 1/2. I noticed this right away and wasn't sure what to do. She drove fine the rest of the trip to school and home. She was even ok on a quick trip to the store, but when I started her up to come home all hell broke loose. Her EPC and ASR*/ESP* lights came on and stayed on. She idled really rough and had little to no power. It felt like she wanted to stall in neutral. I came home right away and jumped on here. I don't hear a knocking but the whole car seems to shake a little. And the breaks were not as responsive. Could this be due to a lower octane gas or higher ethanol content? And if so, how do I fix her??? :confused:
 

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Not an issue of Octane rating.

Could have been bad gas from the station. Call the station back and ask them if they have had other reports or problems today. This way it may save you time chasing your tail trying to figure out what is going on.

You may have to try and siphon some fuel out and then inspect the fuel in a clear container and smell it.

Could also be something totally not related. You need to try and get an OBDII scan tool and try to see if you can read any error codes as well.

See my signature below for OBD Scan Tool info.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
As soon as my sister gets here I'll have her follow me to get it scanned. (I'm worried about it dying on the way.) I'll let you guys know what it says when I get back home.
 

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You have a 12 year old car, YOU need an OBDII scan tool of your own. If you have a smart phone, $35 or less will get you a good tool.

Your thermostat is also probably shot, the only way to confirm this is by checking the engine temp, should be about 205F at idle.

Find out if the station can answer any questions about other fuel related problems in the past few days. They will know, if they would tell you, this is a different story.

Get the Long Term Fuel Trim figure and Engine Coolant Temperature if the tool can read Live/Real Time data.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Soo... we added 44K, and fuel injector cleaner and topped it off with my regular premium and the lil devil was instantly better. I'm sure I'll have to keep an eye on it for the rest of this tank, but holy cow that scared me! Thanks for the info :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Soo... we added 44K, and fuel injector cleaner and topped it off with my regular premium and the lil devil was instantly better. I'm sure I'll have to keep an eye on it for the rest of this tank, but holy cow that scared me! Thanks for info!
 

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Starting to see a number of these types of cases here and other forums over the past few days.

I am wondering if the sudden cold spell that has hit a lot of the West and Mid West recently has causes a problem with above ground stored and transported Ethanol fuels. I would like the underground storage is less impacted.

Search Ethanol Phase Separation and you will see what happens to water/moisture that has been absorbed into the Ethanol within the gasoline.

Phase Separation in Ethanol Blended Gasoline
 

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Plenty of people in my area think of Ethanol as the great savior of this county. We have a local plant that used to make different beer brands. I think Budweiser? (I'm not a drinker) The plant sat empty for years until some idiot figured out how to snooker voters in the county and push off the "Green" agenda. :rolleyes:

It wasn't that big a deal when they rolled out 5% added to all grades of fuel. Now it's up to 10% in all grades. Of course if you want to go and spend $$ on 92 and 93 at 'select' fuel stations? You can get Ethanol Free Fuel!! But you'll pay out the nose for it.

At any rate? Very glad the car running better for you!! Let's hope it was an isolated incident.

S-
 

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Plenty of people in my area think of Ethanol as the great savior of this county. We have a local plant that used to make different beer brands. I think Budweiser? (I'm not a drinker) The plant sat empty for years until some idiot figured out how to snooker voters in the county and push off the "Green" agenda. :rolleyes:

It wasn't that big a deal when they rolled out 5% added to all grades of fuel. Now it's up to 10% in all grades. Of course if you want to go and spend $$ on 92 and 93 at 'select' fuel stations? You can get Ethanol Free Fuel!! But you'll pay out the nose for it.

At any rate? Very glad the car running better for you!! Let's hope it was an isolated incident.

S-
Ethanol is not well regulated and the actual percentage that ends up in the fuel is a bit sloppy.

As I have mentioned, in the last week on a few forum I frequent I have run across about 6 cases that appear to be contaminated fuel.
 
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