Honda Ridgeline Owners Club Forums banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello,
I, inadvertently, used E-85, used in Flex Fuel vehicles. While the truck is running fine, my emission engine warning light came on after about 130 mile of driving. My VTM-4 light came on as well. I took it to a local repair shop. and was told that the computer thinks it is running too rich and suggested to go ahead drive and use as much of the remaining fuel in the tank and refill with good gas.
I had initially put in about 16 gallons, drove it about 130 miles, put in about five gallons of Shell medium grade (92 Octane), drove it about 220 miles and topped it off with Shell 92 Octane gas.
The warning lights (the engine Emission and VTM-4) are still on, but the truck seems to run just fine.

I would appreciate any feedback from your experience on the subject
 

·
Registered
2019 RTL-E (white on beige) in central Texas
Joined
·
1,728 Posts
Just keep going with what you've got in the tank now, run it low and then refill with regular gas. You're getting a CEL because the O2 sensor is baffled by the altered exhaust chemistry. That will pass with no long-term harm and everything will return to 'normal'. No, the 02 sensor nor any other of your emissions components will be harmed by this one-time error.

You don't need to use 92 octane when you refill, the Honda 87 minimum octane / 10% maximum ethanol just fine .... all of the effects are due to the high ethanol content, not anything related to octane per se.

Just FYI, all of the significant problems that use of E85 can cause in a non-flex-fuel vehicle arise from long term use, not one-time / rare mistakes (e.g. incompatibility with certain 'rubber' and metallic components; it takes ongoing exposure to cause those long-term effects).

IMO you'll get through this quickest if you stop diluting the high ethanol and just burn through what you've got in the tank now, even IF you have so-called "pure gas" (0% ethanol) conveniently available in your area.
 
  • Like
Reactions: tmz

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited by Moderator)
Just keep going with what you've got in the tank now, run it low and then refill with regular gas. You're getting a CEL because the O2 sensor is baffled by the altered exhaust chemistry. That will pass with no long-term harm and everything will return to 'normal'. No, the 02 sensor nor any other of your emissions components will be harmed by this one-time error.

You don't need to use 92 octane when you refill, the Honda 87 minimum octane / 10% maximum ethanol just fine .... all of the effects are due to the high ethanol content, not anything related to octane per se.

Just FYI, all of the significant problems that use of E85 can cause in a non-flex-fuel vehicle arise from long term use, not one-time / rare mistakes (e.g. incompatibility with certain 'rubber' and metallic components; it takes ongoing exposure to cause those long-term effects).

IMO you'll get through this quickest if you stop diluting the high ethanol and just burn through what you've got in the tank now, even IF you have so-called "pure gas" (0% ethanol) conveniently available in your area.
CentexG2: Thank you very much for your valuable feedback - certainly appreciate that.
Do you think any gas treatment additives be of any help? I was traveling at night, when this happened. Not knowing what I do now, I interrupted my trip and stayed in a hotel until I checked it out the next morning. I have four other vehicles none are friendly to the use Ethanal. This is the first time it has happened to me except for another occasion when I put in Kerosene in my diesel tank. Fortunately, I noticed it right away before driving the car. I had to tow the car and drain the tank.
Thanks, again!

Sorry, forgot to ask. Is there a way to reset the warning lights, or I need to have it hooked up to a diagnostic monitoring? Thank you.
 

·
Registered
2019 RTL-E (white on beige) in central Texas
Joined
·
1,728 Posts
Do you think any gas treatment additives be of any help?
IMO no additives should be used.

The warnings should 'self-clear' when the excessively high ethanol finally clears the system. That may not be immediately after you run out the current gas and refill with 'normal' (up to 10% ethanol) gas, be patient.

Carry on, no worries, just don't make it a habit! ;) :LOL:
 
  • Like
Reactions: zroger73

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
You might have been ok with running kerosene in your diesel too.
I discovered that later - the garage that drained my tank didn't mention that to me and I did not know it. You are right, one can use kerosene.
Thanks for chiming in!

IMO no additives should be used.

The warnings should 'self-clear' when the excessively high ethanol finally clears the system. That may not be immediately after you run out the current gas and refill with 'normal' (up to 10% ethanol) gas, be patient.

Carry on, no worries, just don't make it a habit! ;) :LOL:
Thank you very much, again!
No, I do not want to repeat this experience again.

All the best!
 

·
Registered
2019 RTL-E (white on beige) in central Texas
Joined
·
1,728 Posts
No, I do not want to repeat this experience again.
At least hopefully you now understand that IF this happens again, there's no need for panic, trip interruption, etc.

A short period of rough-running might be expected as the ECM does its best to accommodate / adjust to the changes in fuel chemistry. The far vast majority of the time with modern fuel injected vehicles it'll manage to do that adjustment adequately to prevent harm, even though it's beyond what it 'likes' to 'see' on an ongoing basis.

Fortunately this is one of those minor mistakes where 99.99% of the time the consequences are insignificant, temporary, and 'time (with the proper gas) heals all wounds'. :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: tmz and zroger73

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
At least hopefully you now understand that IF this happens again, there's no need for panic, trip interruption, etc.

A short period of rough-running might be expected as the ECM does its best to accommodate / adjust to the changes in fuel chemistry. The far vast majority of the time with modern fuel injected vehicles it'll manage to do that adjustment adequately to prevent harm, even though it's beyond what it 'likes' to 'see' on an ongoing basis.

Fortunately this is one of those minor mistakes where 99.99% of the time the consequences are insignificant, temporary, and 'time (with the proper gas) heals all wounds'. :)
You are right in that I learned my lesson!
It was midnight when it happened. I was halfway home but still had another 300 mi to go. After reading the User Guide in the car, I decided to wait. It was probably best as I was tired and needed the rest.
I appreciate your insight!
 

·
Super Moderator
2006 Ridgeline RTS in Steel Blue
Joined
·
7,135 Posts
@07RidgelineOwner you might want to check the App or Website Pure Gas and find some "Ethanol-Free" station near you and clear it a little faster.

I discovered that later - the garage that drained my tank didn't mention that to me and I did not know it. You are right, one can use kerosene.
Thanks for chiming in!
That shop saw you coming, took the Fuel and charged you for the service. Kerosene is just a cleaner version of Diesel, as is Jet fuel.
Neither can be used in a Gasoline "Ridgeline"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
@07RidgelineOwner you might want to check the App or Website Pure Gas and find some "Ethanol-Free" station near you and clear it a little faster.



That shop saw you coming, took the Fuel and charged you for the service. Kerosene is just a cleaner version of Diesel, as is Jet fuel.
Neither can be used in a Gasoline "Ridgeline"
What was ironic is he told me that I could have driven it without draining it, after he had the tank drained. Oh, well that was well over 25 years ago where the price of diesel was less than gasoline. Another lesson learned!
 

·
Registered
2019 RTL-E (white on beige) in central Texas
Joined
·
1,728 Posts
@07RidgelineOwner you might want to check the App or Website Pure Gas and find some "Ethanol-Free" station near you and clear it a little faster.
Fair enuf and maybe right, though my gut says the net quickest way to get below the level that's triggering the warning lights (whatever % that is, the warning lights being the only 'nuisance' issue) is to just run what he's got as low as possible without further intermediate dilution efforts then refill with whatever he normally uses. Sure not worth a bunch of dilution factor number crunching to try to figure it out, IMO :LOL: .

Prolly 6-of-one / half-dozen-of-the-other, I know I wouldn't drive out of my way to get the 'pure gas' (for me it's a fair out-of-the-way drive to get it).
 
  • Like
Reactions: Carsmak

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Well, my warning lights went away on their own. Actually, I have not driven it much since I returned from my trip. Just filled up when I got home, took it out for a couple of short drives, overall less than 20 miles. Now all is clear. I want to thank all who chimed in to help, especially, CentexG2, and Carsmark.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
968 Posts
It’s odd I didn’t see this one before. Glad the lights are out.

E-85 (the alcohol part) requires the ECU to inject quite a bit more fuel than it does with gasoline, in order to maintain the correct air:fuel ratio. The Ridgeline (and most all non-Flex-Fuel vehicles) ECU doesn’t have enough command authority and the injectors won’t flow enough at stock fuel pressure to get the correct air:fuel ratio under power. So, the CEL lights up because the O2 sensors show the engine running lean (which it is). At cold start-up, too, a non-Flex-Fuel engine may misfire quite a bit or idle too slowly for a while until the engine warms up some. That will also trigger the CEL if it happens, for the misfires.

I ran E-85 on purpose for a while in my previous vehicle, a turbo Subaru Baja. That particular engine’s ECU had nearly enough command authority, and the injectors had enough capacity, so it ran fine except at pretty high load. The engine was rather low compression ratio, though, so it struggled to start and idle in cool weather unless I’d give it a bit of gas pedal. Smelled like a still, too. (-:

Anyway, the guys are right, your pickup is fine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
bulwnkl: Thank you for your thoughts. As I have stated in the thread, mine ran flawlessly during the entire trip and never noticed any lack of power at 75 mph. I only wished I had known that as it would have saved me a night's hotel expenses.

All the best!
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top