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How to Use Ethanol in Cars

Ethanol has been used in vehicles since the early 1990s to improve fuel economy and to reduce the amount of carbon monoxide produced by the car's engine. Here are some guidelines for using ethanol in your car.


  • Step 1: Use ethanol in conventional cars Use a blend of 10 percent ethanol and 90 percent gasoline in conventional automobiles.
  • Step 2: Use ethanol in flexible fuel vehicles Use blends of up to 85 percent ethanol in flexible fuel vehicles. Blends above 10 percent require flex-fuel vehicles, which are sold by various car manufacturers. Ethanol fuel is commercially available in blends from 5 percent to 85 percent.
  • TIP: If you are not sure whether your vehicle is a flex-fuel vehicle, check the inside of your gas cap or the car's owner's manual.
  • Step 3: Obtain a conversion kit Consider purchasing a conversion kit if you have a conventional car that will allow your car to run on 85 percent ethanol blends.
  • FACT: Ethanol can be produced from agricultural residue such as cornhusks and stalks, grasses, and fast-growing trees.

You Will Need

  • Ethanol-gasoline blend
  • Car
  • Flexible fuel vehicle
  • Conversion kit
  • Gas cap (optional)
  • Owner's manual (optional)

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