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Old 02-07-2002, 08:28 PM
300EVIL's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Lake Geneva, WI.
Posts: 1,676
Exclamation Run Your Mercedes On Alcohol

While my independant MB tech was giving my baby an inspection last week I learned something very interesting. A guy walked into the shop and was talking to Harmon (my tech) about some emmissions problems he had been having with his Blazer. He couldn't pass emmissions, had no money and wanted a cheap fix. My tech told him to run the tank completely empty...... Then fill the tank with denatured alcohol???? In enstonishment, I said, "What!....... Sure you won't kill the engine!?" Harmon said he has done it on many cars with great success. They pass even with a cylander or two not firing.
Not like I would ever run my Mercedes or, for that matter any of my cars, on denatured alcohol. Does this actually work???
Current Stable:
01 ML55 AMG
92 500E (a few mods)
87 300E (lots of mods)
00 Chevy 3500HD Diesel Box Truck
68 18' Donzi Marine
06 GT i-Drive7 1.0 Mountain Bike (with GPS!)

PREVIOUSLY OWNED:83 300SD, 87 420SEL, 88 420SEL, 90 420SEL, 86 560SEL, 86 190E 2.3-16V AMG, 94 E320

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Old 02-07-2002, 09:48 PM
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the way engines are setup the kind of fuel used is crucial to proper functioning. if the compression and the fuel injection timing do not coincide, then you get premature combustion or knocking. denatured alcohol is basically ethanol , is highly volatile and is sure to combust prematurely! unless it has some provision to adjust the injection timing; like some MB's do and i dont think any chevys do, alcohol in the engine is a bad idea. scary advice from a professional!
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Old 02-07-2002, 10:19 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Posts: 412
I believe too much ethanol in your OEM fuel system will eat all the rubber hoses and seals. So I think its a bad Idea. In Illinois if you spend $450 on repairs they will give you a conditional pass on the smog test.
1990 190E 2.6
1996 Grand Voyager 3.3
1985 Mustang GT 5.0 5 SPD
1982 Suzuki GS 750T
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Old 02-08-2002, 08:33 AM
Posts: n/a
Hi Adam,

Using alcohol in the fuel system is nothing new. However, I,
like you, would not consider running my car on it. I live in Canada
and the winters here get very cold at times (-30C). When this
happens, it is not uncommon to have your fuel line freeze up. To
combat the problem, fuel line anti-freeze (alcohol being the active
ingredient) can be added to your fuel system. Some gas suppliers
(Sunoco for example) have already added it to their fuel.

But I do agree that too much ethanol/alcohol in a vehicle's fuel
sytem can cause problems. Moreover, if the fuel you purchase
already has some alcohol added to it, I would not recommend
adding more. I have found that using a fuel that has no more than
10% ethanol can be benifical in that it can absorb the water in
your fuel system. As I result, I find that I get better
gas mileage and smoother acceleration.


Last edited by bluebenz; 02-08-2002 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 02-09-2002, 07:28 PM
ymsin's Avatar
Driver, Mercedes-Benz
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Malaysia
Posts: 1,645
1. I'm not aware of this bit of news.

2. Even so, like all alcohol-intakes, moderation would be the mode of the day.

... Kerry

126 tailed by a 203, 129 leading the pack.
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Old 02-09-2002, 07:49 PM
Posts: n/a
If I can remember correctly,my owners manual stated,
that I can use gas.w/5% ethanol or 3% methanol.But
couldnt be mix together.My car ran beautiful w/ Shell
which contained Ethanol.And run sh*&^%#ty w/other
leading brand than contains Methanol.The difference
between the two? I don't know.
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Old 02-09-2002, 10:49 PM
Posts: n/a
My tech told him to run the tank completely empty...... Then fill the tank with denatured alcohol????
Seems like every one is over looking what i think is key in this post; that the mechanic told him to run the tank completly dry, then fill it with only denatured alcohol!!! thats gotta cause come problems.
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Old 02-10-2002, 12:11 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Richmond, KS
Posts: 197

Methanol is a product produced from wood through a chemical process, it is poisonous and corrosive to plastics in the fuel sytem.

Ethanol is produced through a fermentation process from corn,wheat, potatoes, and just about everything under the sun containing sugar, it is an intoxicant and is not corrosive to plastics.It is not particularly prone to pre-ignition as it has a higher octane rating than gasoline according to the promoters at various energy expos I've attended. I've also heard its the fuel for Indy cars. Jetting was the main modification to run on alcohol in carbuerated cars, FI don't know, maybe the O2 sensor would reduce or increase the fuel flow via the ECU?On a supercharged car in a hot rod mag the alcohol caused parts of the engine to be covered in ice due to the cooling effect of the compression/vaporization.
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