Ethanol 15 gas for my 2017 Kia Sorento turbo? - Kia Forum

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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-13-2019, 11:00 AM Thread Starter
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Ethanol 15 gas for my 2017 Kia Sorento turbo?

It appears that if this grade becomes available this summer, I should avoid using it in my Sorento. It may, in fact, void the warranty as well. Any knowledge on this?

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-13-2019, 12:35 PM
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There are parts of the U.S. where it is nearly impossible to avoid the summer 10% blend due to EPA issues with local smog. However, I doubt you'll see E15 widely distributed in the DC area in spite of the waivers allowing its production and distribution. FAR too many vehicle manufacturers have argued against its use in their non-E85 vehicles. I hadn't noticed that Virginia had taken any new action along these lines. Citation?

As to warranty issues, check your manual. It may well state that "Kia recommends that customers do not use fuel with an ethanol content exceeding 10 percent". One could imagine (though haven't yet seen it) a situation where E15 was the lowest level available, leaving Kia in a bit of a bind regarding warranty questions.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-13-2019, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by ecanderson View Post
There are parts of the U.S. where it is nearly impossible to avoid the summer 10% blend due to EPA issues with local smog. However, I doubt you'll see E15 widely distributed in the DC area in spite of the waivers allowing its production and distribution. FAR too many vehicle manufacturers have argued against its use in their non-E85 vehicles. I hadn't noticed that Virginia had taken any new action along these lines. Citation?

As to warranty issues, check your manual. It may well state that "Kia recommends that customers do not use fuel with an ethanol content exceeding 10 percent". One could imagine (though haven't yet seen it) a situation where E15 was the lowest level available, leaving Kia in a bit of a bind regarding warranty questions.
Very wise to stay away for anything higher than E10.....Ethanol is very hard on an engine unless hardened for it...
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 11:04 PM
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https://ethanolrfa.org/2017/11/rfa-a...2018-vehicles/

The 2019 Sorento manual approves E15, as do 90% of all manufacturers now. Back in 2017, it was 81%. Kia didn't update their manuals at that time, so it's unclear for your vehicle.. but unless they made some significant changes since then, E15 appears to be ok. Especially if you don't plan on keeping the car for a ridiculous amount of time.

I'm also coming from the boating world, where ethanol is discussed all the time, and has been ever since E10 became widely available. After about 17 years of working on my father's outboard engine and my own (whose manuals recommend not using any amount of ethanol), it's clear to me that E10 hasn't caused any issues. Unless you let that fuel sit in your tank for months, it's not going to be a problem imo.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-16-2019, 06:40 AM
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Originally Posted by rejesterd View Post
https://ethanolrfa.org/2017/11/rfa-a...2018-vehicles/

The 2019 Sorento manual approves E15, as do 90% of all manufacturers now. Back in 2017, it was 81%. Kia didn't update their manuals at that time, so it's unclear for your vehicle.. but unless they made some significant changes since then, E15 appears to be ok. Especially if you don't plan on keeping the car for a ridiculous amount of time.

I'm also coming from the boating world, where ethanol is discussed all the time, and has been ever since E10 became widely available. After about 17 years of working on my father's outboard engine and my own (whose manuals recommend not using any amount of ethanol), it's clear to me that E10 hasn't caused any issues. Unless you let that fuel sit in your tank for months, it's not going to be a problem imo.
I agree that most manufacturers have changed their designs to use materials more resistant to attack from higher alcohol content in the fuel. I wouldn't be that paranoid about E15, but keep in mind that your gas mileage drops a little more compared to E10 and a noticeable amount compared to ethanol-free gas.

Cheers!
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-16-2019, 11:08 AM
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This brings up sort of an interesting question. Are the EPA mileage estimates based on pure gasoline? Probably. On the other hand, in most areas you can't avoid at least 10% ethanol. No wonder so many people have trouble matching the estimates. The deck is loaded (if not leaded - sorry!)

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 09:47 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies. I may call KIA directly and get the official response.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 12:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lproulx View Post
This brings up sort of an interesting question. Are the EPA mileage estimates based on pure gasoline? Probably. On the other hand, in most areas you can't avoid at least 10% ethanol. No wonder so many people have trouble matching the estimates. The deck is loaded (if not leaded - sorry!)

Larry
The dice may be loaded (or the deck stacked, to avoid a mixed metaphor), but not very significantly in this case. Assuming a full 10% (E10) blend, and most pumps say "up to"...

90% x 100% (using straight gas as a baseline of 100) = 90
10% x 70% (ethanol is ~70% energy density of same volume of gas) = 7
Resulting E10 blend gives you about 97% the energy density of E0 gas.

Where it sucks loudly is at E85 blends.

15% x 100% = 15
85% x 70% = 59.5
Resulting E85 blend gives you about 75% the energy density of E0 gas, so you'd better not be paying more than 75% the price at the pump for E85, assuming you've got a vehicle that can use it.
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