Can You Mix Ethanol And Non Ethanol Gas In Car

The availability of different fuel types and the desire to maximize fuel efficiency and performance have led to questions about mixing ethanol and non-ethanol fuels. Ethanol, derived from renewable resources like sugar cane, is commonly used as an oxygenate in gasoline blends. Non-ethanol gas, however, refers to gasoline with no ethanol content.

Regarding fueling your vehicle, it’s essential to consider factors like fuel economy, engine performance, and the potential impact on your car’s functionality. However, it’s important to note that ethanol-blended fuels may have unique properties and effects compared to traditional gasoline. Mixing ethanol and non-ethanol gas in a car is not recommended.

Ethanol and gasoline have different octane ratings and combustion characteristics. Mixing them can lead to altered gas mileage, reduced engine performance, and potential engine damage. Ethanol has a lower energy content compared to pure oil, which can cause a decreased fuel economy.

When mixed with non-ethanol gas, ethanol’s affinity for water can lead to phase separation. This separation can cause fuel system corrosion, fuel leaks, and clogged fuel filters. However, flex-fuel vehicles are designed to mix ethanol and gasoline safely. These vehicles have specific engine and fuel system modifications to handle varying ethanol concentrations.

Ethanol Gas

In our guide, you can learn more about using the preferred fuel type specified by the manufacturer and avoid mixing ethanol and non-ethanol gas in your car’s gas tank. By the end, you’ll better understand the effects on your car’s fuel system if you mix ethanol and non-ethanol in your fuel tank. (Read Can You Change Oil Filter Without Changing Oil)

What Is Ethanol Gas?

The substance used to make regular alcohol, ethanol, is also known as ethyl alcohol. A renewable fuel called ethanol is made from the starch of cellulosic feedstocks like maize grain, sugar cane, or sugar cane stalks. Ethanol fuels are available in E10, E15, and E85 (flex power). E85 Flex fuel, used in flexible fuel vehicles, runs on any mixture of gasoline and ethanol up to 83%.

The percentage of ethanol is indicated by the letter “E”‘s number. E10 denotes ethanol at 10% and E15 at 15%. The conventional gasoline-designed blend, which is 90% gasoline and 10% ethanol, is supported by the engines equipped with many vehicles.

Regular gasoline contains ethanol, ensuring complete combustion while the engines run. As ethanol oxygenates the gas during combustion, the fuel is completely burned, lowering air pollution.

Note: Ethanol can absorb water, which causes corrosion; thus, you can end up with a clogged fuel filter.

Non-Ethanol Gas: What Is It?

Non-ethanol gas, often known as clear gas, is a fuel that contains no ethanol, is solely made of petroleum, and has no renewable fuel additives. This fuel type has a few benefits because it doesn’t contain ethanol, including better gas mileage, a lower chance of engine damage, and a shelf life of up to 6 months.

Because of its extended service life and lack of corrosion residue, most people use non-ethanol gas in outdoor power equipment like chainsaws, lawnmowers, leaf blowers, and trimmers.

Is It Safe to Mix Ethanol and Non-ethanol Gas in a Car?

If you fill up your fuel tank at a gas station, you may get a mix of more than one type of gas. Usually, it includes the mixing of ethanol and non-ethanol gasoline. Now comes the question, can you mix ethanol and regular gasoline in a car? Is it harmful? (Learn How Long Does Heet Take To Work)

How is ethanol gas different from non-ethanol gas?

Typically, in regular gasoline, there will be about 10% ethanol. Hence, even if you unknowingly add more ethanol, it will not cause greater harm. Ethanol is a flammable liquid and is also present in alcoholic beverages. In a car engine combustion process, ethanol adds oxygen to the fuel, so you get the best engine performance possible from the complete burning of the fuel.

People nowadays usually mix ethanol into gasoline in varied proportions. Some fuels do not contain ethanol, and they are called non-ethanol gas.

Here are the significant differences between ethanol and non-ethanol gas:

  1. Small engines run with fewer carbon emissions by burning ethanol, while a small engine running on non-ethanol gas emits greater carbon into the atmosphere.
  2. Ethanol gas is more corrosive than standard gasoline.
  3. The shelf life of ethanol (three months) is lower than standard gasoline (six months).
  4. Standard gasoline improves the vehicle’s fuel economy, whereas ethanol gas harms fuel economy.
  5. Ethanol is inexpensive compared to traditional gasoline produced.
  6. Renewable resources like corn, sugar cane, barley, and wheat produce ethanol, while non-ethanol gas is made from crude oil.

Mixing ethanol and non-ethanol gas in a car


Is It Possible To Mix Ethanol With Non-Ethanol Gas?

We now have a wide variety of fuel options. You may buy or rent automobiles that run on many fuels, including gasoline, diesel, CNG, battery power, and hydrogen. Both ethanol and regular gas can be blended in a vehicle. Since it is a mixture of different hydrocarbons, non-ethanol gas can be used alongside ethanol, causing no issues.

E85 is the name of the fuel made from a blend of gasoline and ethanol. E85 is widely used as a fuel source for flex-fuel automobiles. Flex-fuel vehicles offer an advantage over gasoline because of their ability to function on fuels with a lower octane rating. The octane rating measures a fuel’s resistance to “knocking” or “pinging” during combustion.

Is It Safe To Drive On Ethanol-Free Gas?

Some benefits and drawbacks of driving on ethanol-free gas are mentioned here.


  • Improves mileage.
  • More beneficial for the car’s engine.
  • Less dependence on crops that produce ethanol.
  • More shelf life.


  • More dependence on oil-producing countries
  • Greater carbon emissions
  • More expensive because of production and transportation costs

What are the effects of mixing ethanol and non-ethanol gas in a car?

Although mixing ethanol and non-ethanol gas in a car does not cause much harm, there are still some consequences. (Learn How Long Does It Take To Replace Fuel Injectors)

Below are some of these.

  1. Reduced gas mileage: You cannot get more power because of ethanol’s lower energy density than standard gasoline (non-ethanol gas).
  2. Harmful to the environment: Even though ethanol is produced from renewable resources when mixed with standard gasoline, there will be more significant carbon monoxide emissions and other harmful pollutants. Ethanol gas alone has fewer emissions.
  3. Fuel system corrosion: Ethanol can dissolve plastics and rubbers; when mixed with standard gasoline, the effects will be adverse.

Bottom Line

You can safely mix ethanol and non-ethanol gas in a car. Before you fuel your vehicle, knowing what fuel best fits your car engine is always recommended. Ensure you fill with the correct fuel type to get the best performance from your car.

This practice can also save you money. Flex-fuel vehicles can run on multiple fuels, like gasoline mixed with ethanol.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible to mix ethanol and non-ethanol lawn mower gas?

We don’t recommend mixing ethanol and non-ethanol gas, even though you’ll find ethanol safe to do so. A lawnmower’s fuel system is less durable than a cars. Rubber and plastic create fuel lines, gaskets, and seals in a lawn mower. Ethanol dissolves such materials, causing fuel leaks.

Does E-85 increase the amount of horsepower?

E-85 will perform best if it is the fuel your car prefers to run on. The engine’s performance will be changed if you mix ethanol and non-ethanol gas.

Does ethanol clog fuel injectors?

Fuel injectors do not become clogged by fuel with any ethanol content. Ethanol is frequently used as a cleaning agent to clear blocked fuel injectors so the engine runs clean.

Does premium fuel improve the performance of my car?

If your car’s engine runs on premium fuel, then premium fuel will help it run at its best. If not, it won’t work or might even run worse. (Read What Can I Use Instead Of Carburetor Cleaner)

Is it acceptable to mix different gasoline brands?

Mixing gasoline from several brands is not an issue when they have the same octane rating.

Can You Mix Ethanol And Non Ethanol Gas In Car