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Old 12-17-2001, 08:32 PM   #1
PunksWRX
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Default Misfire CEL because of alcohol in fuel???

I started my WRX today and it idled really rough for a few seconds. The car was still warm from being driven about 20 minutes earlier. After driving a couple of blocks it threw a steady CEL. I went to Suby Sports www.subysports.com where Braden pulled the code. Misfire on cylinders 1 and 3. Here in Colorado we use oxygenated fuels in the winter with alcohol. Braden says he's seen this happen with more regularity lately and he thinks it's the ethyl alcohol in the fuel. Interestingly, we only have 91 octane fuel here with just a few exceptions. There is only one station here in Colorado Springs that has 93 octane with a label on the pump that says alcohol. I have been using this fuel for the past three weeks and never had this happen before so I think Braden is correct about the alcohol in the fuel. I'm thinking the 93 octane has a higher alcohol content than the 91.

Has anyone else seen this happen with fuels that have alcohol added? This may be a reason to avoid high alcohol content fuels.

Punk
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Old 12-17-2001, 11:25 PM   #2
PunksWRX
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Thanks for the info Mike. Interestingly, right after I created this thread, I found a thread on this topic in the Rocky Mountain forum. Apparently, another member has had three CEL's since purchasing fuel from this particular gas station. It makes me wonder if they have upped the alcohol content to get to the 93 octane. I'm still unclear as why alcohol would cause misfires. Are you saying it is because the mixture is too lean? Anyone else?

Punk
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Old 12-18-2001, 02:51 PM   #3
cnstman
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Default 3 CEL's and counting

PunksWRX what months do we get the oxygenated fuel here in COS? i am going to stay away from that station until spring/summer, then try it again and see what happens.

cnstman
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Old 12-18-2001, 11:26 PM   #4
PunksWRX
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cnstman,

I believe our oxygenated fuels program runs from November through February, but I'm not 100% sure about that. We used to have both Ethyl Alcohol and MTBE fuels but now only the Ethynol. I really believe that in order for them (Farm Crest) to get the octane to 93 they have increased the alcohol content thus causing our woes!

Punk
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Old 12-19-2001, 09:35 AM   #5
SlideWRX
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Here in michigan I started using sunoco 94, with 'up to' 10% ethanol, and sometime after that I started geting the CELs for misfire in 03 cylinder. It is a fairly reliable CEL, always after letting the car cool for ~20-40 minutes, start up and it comes on without fail. Then, two cold starts later it turns off. I think I'll start using non-ethanol gasoline to see if that is part of the problem.
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Old 12-20-2001, 12:32 AM   #6
PunksWRX
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ttt - this is interesting
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