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Published on April 16th, 2008 | by Clayton

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Bolt-On Kits Convert Cars to 85% Ethanol, Part of Green Auto Service Offered by AAMCO

April 16th, 2008 by  
 

AAMCO, Eco-Green, auto serviceConverting the nation’s vehicle fleet to run on 85% ethanol (Flex-Fuel) may have gotten a whole lot easier.

AAMCO, one of the world’s largest chains of automotive service centers, has started an initiative designed to promote environmental sustainability and energy efficiency across the nation.

The Eco-Green Auto Service initiative will certify automotive centers that meet a stringent set of criteria while adding services that cut emissions, improve mileage, and reduce hazardous waste associated with owning a vehicle.

AAMCO is also promoting alternative fuels by installing E85 conversion kits that allow vehicles to run on ethanol blends up to 85%. Their service centers will use kits provided by Flex Fuel US ®, called the FLEX-BOX SMART KIT™, which is the only ethanol conversion kit fleet-certified by the EPA.

The FLEX-BOX is an aftermarket bolt-on kit that continuously monitors the engine’s emissions and delivers supplementary fuel injection as needed, since blending high levels of ethanol into gasoline will make the engine run lean.

As I mentioned yesterday, auto manufacturers tend to make a big fuss out of vehicle conversions like this one. General Motors has done so with their plan to convert half their fleet to run on 85% ethanol by 2012, and there really isn’t an incentive for them to convert older vehicles. I haven’t found out how much these conversions cost yet, but AAMCO’s website indicates that up to 85% (coincidence) of the conversion price can be offset by state tax credits.

Only one problem though: all the ethanol in the US is currently made from food. If you feel like filling your gas tank with corn, the price of a gallon of E85 is only $2.67, although that works out to about the same price as gas when you factor in the lower energy content of ethanol. Converting the nation’s automobile fleet to E85 doesn’t seem to make sense until cellulosic ethanol facilities go online.

AAMCO’s Eco-Green auto service has other important attributes besides ethanol conversions though. They’ll be attempting to create a “closed-loop environment” to recycle materials and eliminate waste streams, such as recycling waste transmission fluid into fuel to power heaters or air conditioners. AAMCO will also be using water-based cleaners to avoid hazardous solvents and will be using biodegradable lubricants (like vegetable oil) in their hydraulic equipment.

“We are creating a closed-loop environment for our centers, where whatever comes in is reused, and whatever goes out has minimal or no environmental impact,” says Todd Leff, AAMCO’s CEO. “Our franchisees are converting their centers into the cleanest car care businesses on the planet. I’ve long believed the automotive aftermarket industry can do more to minimize its impact. Now AAMCO centers are out to make a difference.”

To learn more: AAMCO’s Eco-Green auto service and Flex Fuel US ®.

To find an environmental friendly auto-service center, click here.

Related Posts:

Scania’s Ethanol Diesel-Engine, Runs On Biodiesel Too

“Perfect Storm” Inflating Food Prices Worldwide

Sick of Gas?: Convert Your Car To Run On Electricity





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About the Author

In a past life, Clayton was a professional blogger and editor of Gas 2.0, Important Media’s blog covering the future of sustainable transportation. He was also the Managing Editor for GO Media, the predecessor to Important Media.



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  • Mike Ritchie

    I use ethanol all the time.I have five cars of different makes,they all run fine on it and I have not converted any of them.It will not harm your car.they say some injector types will cause ruff idle but if this happens mix it 50/50.American Ethanol is not made from food.The corn used in every case is field corn not fit for human consumption.When they process this corn they make oil,corn starch and many other products we can use for food.Don’t let the oil companies fool you they don’t want you to use any ethanol what they want is your money.

  • Mike Ritchie

    I use ethanol all the time.I have five cars of different makes,they all run fine on it and I have not converted any of them.It will not harm your car.they say some injector types will cause ruff idle but if this happens mix it 50/50.American Ethanol is not made from food.The corn used in every case is field corn not fit for human consumption.When they process this corn they make oil,corn starch and many other products we can use for food.Don’t let the oil companies fool you they don’t want you to use any ethanol what they want is your money.

  • Mike Ritchie

    I forgot to say I use E85.

  • Mike Ritchie

    I forgot to say I use E85.

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  • SGT Fields, T

    Question; I have been doing research on converting over to E85-flex fuel. The E85 website states that the kits are not legal to use or sell in California. What is going on here? We consume the most gas of any state. Who can I contact to get my car to run on E85-flex fuel?

  • SGT Fields, T

    Question; I have been doing research on converting over to E85-flex fuel. The E85 website states that the kits are not legal to use or sell in California. What is going on here? We consume the most gas of any state. Who can I contact to get my car to run on E85-flex fuel?

  • SGT: Since California has some of the strictest emissions standards in the world, I would assume it has something to do with how these conversions effect vehicle exhaust. Try giving AAMCO a call – they should have the low-down on this.

  • SGT: Since California has some of the strictest emissions standards in the world, I would assume it has something to do with how these conversions effect vehicle exhaust. Try giving AAMCO a call – they should have the low-down on this.

  • Joey

    What about M85 and other methanol blends? A dude I work with has a Ford Ranger that’s flex fuel. His sensor on the fuel line took a dump and it cost more than $700.00. Plus labor.

  • Joey

    What about M85 and other methanol blends? A dude I work with has a Ford Ranger that’s flex fuel. His sensor on the fuel line took a dump and it cost more than $700.00. Plus labor.

  • bruce

    GET CONGRESS TO STOP BLOCKING ACHOL FROM BRAZIL FOR 85 CENTS A GALLON 15 PERCENT GAS WESTART THIS THE ARABS WILL BEG US TO BUY THERE OIL

  • bruce

    GET CONGRESS TO STOP BLOCKING ACHOL FROM BRAZIL FOR 85 CENTS A GALLON 15 PERCENT GAS WESTART THIS THE ARABS WILL BEG US TO BUY THERE OIL

  • bruce

    GET CONGRESS TO STOP BLOCKING ACHOL FROM BRAZIL FOR 85 CENTS A GALLON 15 PERCENT GAS WESTART THIS THE ARABS WILL BEG US TO BUY THERE OIL

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  • I have installed a White Lightning E85 conversion kit on my 2004 Dodge Ram. I paid 400 bucks and the install was a snap. here is the website I bought it from http://www.mye85kit.com I have driven my truck on gasoine and ethanol. I found that with gasoline my trucks runs the same as before but with ethanol I feel a large boost in power and also my engine runs quieter. I have had no check engine light or any issue after the install. I have been driving for two months with either E85 or Gas and also in blended proportions. I am very pleased that this works so well.

    Paul Carlson

  • I have installed a White Lightning E85 conversion kit on my 2004 Dodge Ram. I paid 400 bucks and the install was a snap. here is the website I bought it from http://www.mye85kit.com I have driven my truck on gasoine and ethanol. I found that with gasoline my trucks runs the same as before but with ethanol I feel a large boost in power and also my engine runs quieter. I have had no check engine light or any issue after the install. I have been driving for two months with either E85 or Gas and also in blended proportions. I am very pleased that this works so well.

    Paul Carlson

  • Please read–Americans need to know!!!!!!!!

    NHTSA Hearings 8/4/08

    I just returned from the NHTSA hearings held today (August 4, 2008) in Washington D.C., regarding the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for NEW Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards (CAFÉ) for years 2011-2015.

    IMPORTANT FACTS: You will not believe what you are reading.

    1) The 414 pages DEIS analysis was based on an average gasoline price of USD $2.16/gallon for 2011-2020. A calculation approved by the NHTSA administrators/managers. Would you believe it???????????

    2) The new CAFÉ rules were also established, negotiated and pre-approved by the NHTSA’s management along with the influence of domestic automotive companies and their lobbyists. We have now established fuel standards for 2011-2020 that presently are already met in the rest of the Western world (see below)

    As one guest speaker said today “are they on another planet?”

    NHTSA “NEW Fuel Standards” (2011-2015) decision:

    Automobiles are to achieve 31.2 mpg by 2011 and 35.7 mpg by 2015. Light trucks are to achieve 25 mpg by 2011, and 28.6 mpg by 2015.

    The NTHSA is also setting a goal of 35 mpg on average for 2020.

    America needs to know:

    The European Union is currently establishing standards, with a goal of reaching 48.9 miles per gallon for new passenger vehicles as early as 2012. The current EU standard already requires more than 40 miles per gallon about 15% higher than the U.S. goal set for 12 years from now.

    Japan currently has a standard of about 40 miles per gallon. Japan aims to further improve fuel efficiency by 17% by 2015, reaching 46.9 miles per gallon.

    China has a current average of slightly under 35 miles per gallon. Chinese fuel standards are on target to reach the government’s goal of 35.8 miles per gallon by 2009. China will not only meet, but exceed, the goal just established by the United States for 2020 — more than a full decade earlier.

    Australia is targeting 34.4 miles per gallon by 2010.

    Canada is targeting 34.1 miles per gallon by 2010.

    Under the current administration, purchasing an electric vehicle is becoming more of a necessity rather than an alternative.

    BG Automotive Group, Ltd.

    (www.BGelectricCars.com)

  • Please read–Americans need to know!!!!!!!!

    NHTSA Hearings 8/4/08

    I just returned from the NHTSA hearings held today (August 4, 2008) in Washington D.C., regarding the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for NEW Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards (CAFÉ) for years 2011-2015.

    IMPORTANT FACTS: You will not believe what you are reading.

    1) The 414 pages DEIS analysis was based on an average gasoline price of USD $2.16/gallon for 2011-2020. A calculation approved by the NHTSA administrators/managers. Would you believe it???????????

    2) The new CAFÉ rules were also established, negotiated and pre-approved by the NHTSA’s management along with the influence of domestic automotive companies and their lobbyists. We have now established fuel standards for 2011-2020 that presently are already met in the rest of the Western world (see below)

    As one guest speaker said today “are they on another planet?”

    NHTSA “NEW Fuel Standards” (2011-2015) decision:

    Automobiles are to achieve 31.2 mpg by 2011 and 35.7 mpg by 2015. Light trucks are to achieve 25 mpg by 2011, and 28.6 mpg by 2015.

    The NTHSA is also setting a goal of 35 mpg on average for 2020.

    America needs to know:

    The European Union is currently establishing standards, with a goal of reaching 48.9 miles per gallon for new passenger vehicles as early as 2012. The current EU standard already requires more than 40 miles per gallon about 15% higher than the U.S. goal set for 12 years from now.

    Japan currently has a standard of about 40 miles per gallon. Japan aims to further improve fuel efficiency by 17% by 2015, reaching 46.9 miles per gallon.

    China has a current average of slightly under 35 miles per gallon. Chinese fuel standards are on target to reach the government’s goal of 35.8 miles per gallon by 2009. China will not only meet, but exceed, the goal just established by the United States for 2020 — more than a full decade earlier.

    Australia is targeting 34.4 miles per gallon by 2010.

    Canada is targeting 34.1 miles per gallon by 2010.

    Under the current administration, purchasing an electric vehicle is becoming more of a necessity rather than an alternative.

    BG Automotive Group, Ltd.

    (www.BGelectricCars.com)

  • Please read–Americans need to know!!!!!!!!

    NHTSA Hearings 8/4/08

    I just returned from the NHTSA hearings held today (August 4, 2008) in Washington D.C., regarding the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for NEW Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards (CAFÉ) for years 2011-2015.

    IMPORTANT FACTS: You will not believe what you are reading.

    1) The 414 pages DEIS analysis was based on an average gasoline price of USD $2.16/gallon for 2011-2020. A calculation approved by the NHTSA administrators/managers. Would you believe it???????????

    2) The new CAFÉ rules were also established, negotiated and pre-approved by the NHTSA’s management along with the influence of domestic automotive companies and their lobbyists. We have now established fuel standards for 2011-2020 that presently are already met in the rest of the Western world (see below)

    As one guest speaker said today “are they on another planet?”

    NHTSA “NEW Fuel Standards” (2011-2015) decision:

    Automobiles are to achieve 31.2 mpg by 2011 and 35.7 mpg by 2015. Light trucks are to achieve 25 mpg by 2011, and 28.6 mpg by 2015.

    The NTHSA is also setting a goal of 35 mpg on average for 2020.

    America needs to know:

    The European Union is currently establishing standards, with a goal of reaching 48.9 miles per gallon for new passenger vehicles as early as 2012. The current EU standard already requires more than 40 miles per gallon about 15% higher than the U.S. goal set for 12 years from now.

    Japan currently has a standard of about 40 miles per gallon. Japan aims to further improve fuel efficiency by 17% by 2015, reaching 46.9 miles per gallon.

    China has a current average of slightly under 35 miles per gallon. Chinese fuel standards are on target to reach the government’s goal of 35.8 miles per gallon by 2009. China will not only meet, but exceed, the goal just established by the United States for 2020 — more than a full decade earlier.

    Australia is targeting 34.4 miles per gallon by 2010.

    Canada is targeting 34.1 miles per gallon by 2010.

    Under the current administration, purchasing an electric vehicle is becoming more of a necessity rather than an alternative.

    BG Automotive Group, Ltd.

    (www.BGelectricCars.com)

  • KCG

    The field corn used for making ethanol may not be fit for human consumption (it is very hard), but it is used as animal feed – so the price of your beef, pork, etc. would all go up if it were diverted to use as gasoline.

    Corn as ethanol has never been practical, it is only presented because the corn farmers have such a stron lobby in Congress.

    Until we can use either ethanol from sugar or material left over after harvesting, ethanol doesn’t make sense here. And if they do make cellulosic ethanol viable, it will still require commercial fertilization to replace all that is taken away.

  • KCG

    The field corn used for making ethanol may not be fit for human consumption (it is very hard), but it is used as animal feed – so the price of your beef, pork, etc. would all go up if it were diverted to use as gasoline.

    Corn as ethanol has never been practical, it is only presented because the corn farmers have such a stron lobby in Congress.

    Until we can use either ethanol from sugar or material left over after harvesting, ethanol doesn’t make sense here. And if they do make cellulosic ethanol viable, it will still require commercial fertilization to replace all that is taken away.

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  • KCG, Only 50% of the corn “kernel” is used to make ethanol. The part that is used is the starch which has no nutritional value. The starch is a complex carbohydrate that is hard for the digestive system to break down which supplies no nutrition and causes the formation of fat on the cattle.

    The reality is that very little additional land is planted to produce ethanol. The land would be planted as feedstock for the cattle anyway as the rest of the corn plant, the stalk, leaves and cobs are harvested and ground into silage to feed cattle. The 50% of the corn kernel that is not distilled into ethanol is called distillers grain, which is 50% higher in nutritional value than the whole kernel by weight.

    This grain is also used to feed cattle. The fermentation of silage produces methane gas which also has great value as a biofuel.

    The coversion tables you see on the web assume the “entire” corn crop is planted and used to make ethanol which is just not true.

  • KCG, Only 50% of the corn “kernel” is used to make ethanol. The part that is used is the starch which has no nutritional value. The starch is a complex carbohydrate that is hard for the digestive system to break down which supplies no nutrition and causes the formation of fat on the cattle.

    The reality is that very little additional land is planted to produce ethanol. The land would be planted as feedstock for the cattle anyway as the rest of the corn plant, the stalk, leaves and cobs are harvested and ground into silage to feed cattle. The 50% of the corn kernel that is not distilled into ethanol is called distillers grain, which is 50% higher in nutritional value than the whole kernel by weight.

    This grain is also used to feed cattle. The fermentation of silage produces methane gas which also has great value as a biofuel.

    The coversion tables you see on the web assume the “entire” corn crop is planted and used to make ethanol which is just not true.

  • KCG, Only 50% of the corn “kernel” is used to make ethanol. The part that is used is the starch which has no nutritional value. The starch is a complex carbohydrate that is hard for the digestive system to break down which supplies no nutrition and causes the formation of fat on the cattle.

    The reality is that very little additional land is planted to produce ethanol. The land would be planted as feedstock for the cattle anyway as the rest of the corn plant, the stalk, leaves and cobs are harvested and ground into silage to feed cattle. The 50% of the corn kernel that is not distilled into ethanol is called distillers grain, which is 50% higher in nutritional value than the whole kernel by weight.

    This grain is also used to feed cattle. The fermentation of silage produces methane gas which also has great value as a biofuel.

    The coversion tables you see on the web assume the “entire” corn crop is planted and used to make ethanol which is just not true.

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