Can You Mix Ethanol and Non-ethanol Gas in Car?

Sometimes, you may be in a position to use a different gas type in your vehicle, especially when that’s the only option you have. Also, deliberately switching from ethanol to non-ethanol gas may be another issue.

So, a lot of people keep asking, “Can you mix ethanol and non-ethanol gas in car?” this is a normal scenario. Answering this question requires a critical analysis of what both fuel types are and whether they are compatible.

If this is your contemplation, kindly take a moment to go through the subsequent sections of this article carefully.

Ethanol vs. Non Ethanol gas

Ethanol and non-ethanol gas are simply different types of fuel that can be used in vehicles. However, there is a great contemplation about whether you can substitute one for the other. Therefore, it is important to find out what ethanol and nonethanol gas are and why they are different.

Ethanol Gas

Ethanol Gas

Ethanol gas is a fuel type manufactured from corn and a couple of other plant materials. It is a renewable type of fuel, and it has a wide range of use, especially across the United States. Most regular gasoline partly consists of about a 10% ethanol blend with 90% gasoline.

The ethanol content in regular gasoline helps to ensure complete combustion of the fuel as the engine runs. The complete burning of fuel happens as the ethanol oxygenates the gas in the combustion process.

Most equipment owners use ethanol gas in machines like lawnmowers, chainsaws, trimmers, etc. However, it has not delivered the best results they desire due to its tendency to weaken or damage the equipment faster.

Read Also: How Much Ethanol Is In 93 Octane Gas?

Non-Ethanol Gas

switching from ethanol to non ethanol

Conversely, nonethanol gas is a fuel type without ethanol as part of its ingredients. Hence, it is fondly referred to as pure oil. This is pretty different from regular gasoline, which contains around 10% ethanol.

Due to the absence of ethanol in this fuel type, it offers a couple of advantages, including improved gas mileage, reduced harm to vehicles’ engines, and a shelf life of up to 6 months.

Besides its use in vehicles, non-ethanol gas is best for outdoor equipment like a lawnmower, trimmers, chainsaws, etc.

Read Also: How Long Does Ethanol-Free Gas Last?


Although a brief highlight of both ethanol and nonethanol gas has been unveiled above, the table below clearly states their core differences.

       Non-Ethanol Gas       Ethanol Gas
Non-ethanol gas produces more emissions than regular gasoline. Ethanol gas does not give off emissions as much as non-ethanol gas.
Non-ethanol gas does not cause corrosion in a car’s fuel system. The presence of alcohol in ethanol gas causes corrosion within a car’s fuel system.
Higher durability (6 months shelf life). Relatively lesser durability (3 months shelf life).
Helps to boost gas mileage. Reduces gas mileage by about 3%.
Relatively more expensive due to high production and transportation costs. Ethanol gas is relatively inexpensive compared to non-ethanol gas as no extra transportation is required after production.

Can you mix ethanol and non-ethanol gas in the car?

Of course, you can mix ethanol and non-ethanol gas in a car’s gas tank. Ethanol and non-ethanol gas are two different types of fuel; however, they are perfectly compatible.

This is also the case for those asking, “Is it ok to mix nonethanol gas with regular gas?” While regular gas has about 10% ethanol, non-ethanol gas is simply manufactured without ethanol.

If you’re contemplating, “Is it ok to mix ethanol gas with non-ethanol gas?” You may want to consider the process as getting water from an ocean and pouring it into a small river in your neighborhood.

Technically, the water may be taken from another water body, but it doesn’t change the fact that it is still water. The same is true for both ethanol and nonethanol gas.

If you find someone who says, “I accidentally put nonethanol gas in my car,” there’s no cause for alarm. The mixture won’t affect your car’s functionality.

What Happens if we mix ethanol and non-ethanol gas in car?

Although your car may run perfectly when you mix ethanol and non-ethanol gas in your gas tank, there are a few occurrences you may notice over time. The following may happen when you mix ethanol and nonethanol gas in your car.

Altered gas mileage

One of the common things you will most likely experience when you mix ethanol and nonethanol gas is the altered gas mileage. For instance, if you switch from non-ethanol gas to ethanol gas, you may end up losing about 3% of your car’s gas mileage performance.

On the flip side, if you switch from ethanol gas to non-ethanol gas, your car will experience a better gas mileage. So, it is advisable to stick with the kind of fuel that delivers optimum satisfaction in your car instead of switching back and forth.

Fuel system corrosion

Another thing you may experience when changing from non-ethanol gas to ethanol gas is your car’s vulnerability to corrosion. Ethanol gas contains alcohol, which can impact a car’s fuel system negatively, resulting in corrosion over time.

Corrosion of the fuel system can hinder the proper functioning of the system over time, resulting in a clogged fuel filter. This can further lead to more challenges for your car. So, if you’re asking, “Can I use non-ethanol gas in my car?” kindly consider the consequences of doing so.

Engine damage

Furthermore, switching back and forth on the type of fuel you use can be detrimental to your vehicle in the long run. It would be best to stick with your vehicle manufacturer’s recommendation as captured in the owner’s manual.

So, switching from your recommended fuel type may run perfectly in the meantime; however, things can get out of hand, resulting in severe damage to your car’s engine, among other parts.

Meanwhile, if you’re wondering, “Is ethanol-free gas better for older cars?” Sure, professional auto mechanics recommend this for other cars.

Final Words

Understanding ethanol vs. nonethanol gas will help you overcome the assumptions around switching both fuel types. This article has discussed the compatibility of these two fuel types.

However, if you’re contemplating, “Can you mix ethanol and non-ethanol gas in car?” consider the side effects of doing so, especially in the long run. Once you settle in this area, you can make an expert decision.

Osuagwu Solomon

Osuagwu Solomon is a certified mechanic with over a decade of experience in the mechanic garage, and he has over five years of experience in the writing industry. He started writing automotive articles to share his garage experience with car enthusiasts and armature mechanics. If he is not in the garage fixing challenging mechanical problems, he is writing automotive repair guides, buyer’s guides, and car and tools comparisons.

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