What does flex fuel mean in a car?

Are you sure that more than 19 million flex-fuel cars in the United States, including 1 million cars in California, know exactly what "flex-fuel" means? I bet this number is not many. So let us explain it to you.

Flexible fuel is a combination of gasoline or ethanol, up to 83%, a mixture called E85. The first vehicle to use this fuel was the Ford Taurus 1994. Blume, an expert on high-alcohol ethanol, said that to see if a flex-fuel car was working, it looked yellow. Another sign include: Inside the fuel door of the vehicle is labeled "flex-fuel vehicle" or E85.

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Use a vehicle test tool if you are still wondering whether you are driving a fuel-powered car. The OBD-II sensor can sense what kind of fuel the car is running and adjust the timing and other factors. Flex-fuel has a higher ethanol and octane ratio than conventional gasoline.

Therefore, it makes the movement of the car more effective. Flex-fuel vehicles have provoked a fever recently because car manufacturers are federally subsidized concessions on fuel economy standards. Some vehicles you can see on the road use this fuel:

- Ford's F-150

- Chevy's Silverado and Suburban

- Dodge's Charger and Ram 1500

Although E85 is only recommended for flex-fuel vehicles, some people using conventional gasoline vehicles have equipped their vehicles to turn the car into a flex-fuel vehicle. So what makes E85 so popular?

That's because of its price, flex-fuel is 25% lower than conventional fuel. There is another reason why fans like it because of the use of this fuel, it means they are supporting US companies and governments instead of multinational oil companies and OPEC countries.

So, what are advantages and disadvantages of flex-fuel vehicle?

a. Advantages:

Affect the environment. Ethanol burns cleaner than gasoline, so it produces less toxic gas. In addition, ethanol has no effect on the greenhouse effect. This has led to many people who are concerned about environmental pollution.

Tax benefits: If you use this car, you can get a tax credit, which is significantly reduced, even exempted.

Alternative to oil: Many cars use flex-fuel derived from ethanol from sugar and corn.

Burning facility: The vehicle uses flex-fuel designed to burn any mixture ratio in its combustion chamber. The electronic sensor will evaluate the mix, and the processor adjusts the timing and fuel injection.

b. Disadvantages:

There is a visible disadvantage that any plant used for fuel production can not be used for other purposes. This may affect the market price of feed from these crops such as corn.

Engine breakdown: Because Ethanolitself easily absorbs dirt so it will sometimes cause corrosion and damage to the engine.

Cost: Ethanol is actually not as economical as conventional gas because it does not provide a level of fuel efficiency. In addition, the number of ethanol suppliers is less than the number of conventional gasoline suppliers. That's why ethanol stations are far and away less than conventional gas stations.


Despite the advantages and disadvantages of using the flex-fuel vehicle, ethanol is gradually showing its superiority over conventional fuels. Refining ethanol refineries are expanding their production scale and moving out of the research stage to become the most widely used and trusted fuel in the future.