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Increased MPG using paint thinner and de-natured alcohol in gas tank

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Old 07-18-2008, 02:51 PM
toyota88 toyota88 is offline
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Increased MPG using paint thinner and de-natured alcohol in gas tank

Just in case this is helpful to anyone else, thought I'd pass along what I just did to get better gas mileage out of my late husband's 1988 Toyota Corolla (my car's a Dodge truck).

This 88 Toyota Corolla was getting 20 mpg (highway, but mostly town driving with AC on full blast.) I began to drive more carefully as described here regarding hypermiling. The MPG increased to 22. It stayed at 22 for several months (car infrequently driven as well - mostly carting elderly mother to church and doctors.)

Hoping I wouldn't blow up the car, I decided to try a home concoction of fuel additive to clean out this 20 yr old car's insides (it has new spark plugs, oil, air filter, etc. anyway.) So looking at the additives they sell in automotive shops, all saying they either contain methanol or petroleum distillates, I choose to add Paint thinner and De-natured alcohol to the tank.

Thankfully the car has not exploded and the MPG went from 22 to 30 MPG after just one tankful. The tank holds 13 gallons of gas. I put in 1 quart of Paint thinner and one quart of de-natured alcohol. I also sprayed stuff into the carburator to clean that out. The engine seems to run better too. ec kostrubala

Last edited by toyota88 : 07-18-2008 at 02:57 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 07-18-2008, 03:30 PM
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az drop top az drop top is offline
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Re: Increased MPG using paint thinner and de-natured alcohol in gas tank

You should be careful of what you put in the tank.

Any product you buy in a store has most likely been tested to see that it won't do any damage to the engine and fuel system. Sounds like you are playing with fire and could cost more in the long run than you could make up for in fuel savings.

Good luck
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Old 07-18-2008, 04:17 PM
cam9264 cam9264 is offline
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Re: Increased MPG using paint thinner and de-natured alcohol in gas tank

paint thinner was is used by racers to bring up octane when they can't afford CAM2 denatured alchol will help get rid of anywater in the tank
some parts of the fuel system may not get along with these chemicals used too much,
same with acetone.That was quite the dose i would have never been that brave
tTo make a long story short tried 2oz acetone per 10 gallons in my truck and was so nervous about it because all i could smell was acetone i did not do it again but it did not harm the truck.
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Old 07-18-2008, 04:23 PM
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brian.ingram brian.ingram is offline
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Re: Increased MPG using paint thinner and de-natured alcohol in gas tank

Paint thinner and de-natured alcohol are solvents: Meaning, they very efficient at dissolving things.

Over time, the rubber in your fuel line will dissolve and be burned in the combustion chambers of your engine creating a sticky, sooty mess on the valves, piston rings and oil pump -- and that's IF it doesn't wreak havoc on the carburetor first!

In the interest of saving you from having to purcha$e and in$tall a reconditioned engine and rebuilding your fuel $y$tem, I would reconsider this plan.

Good luck in your quest for better FE.
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Old 07-18-2008, 04:40 PM
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Re: Increased MPG using paint thinner and de-natured alcohol in gas tank

I think the better option for something like this would be a product like Seafoam, which is designed to de-carbonize the combustion chamber and clean the injection system without doing any damage. The alcohol probably didn't do any harm, but I cringe at the thought of paint thinner (low purity acetone) coming in contact with 20 year old rubber. That stuff is caustic as hell.
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Old 07-18-2008, 07:02 PM
donee donee is offline
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Re: Increased MPG using paint thinner and de-natured alcohol in gas tank

Hi toy..,

Sounds like you were so carboned up in that engine which increases compression ratio, that the improved octane level of the concoction stoped the mistimed detonations during combustion.


And the car started to be timed properly again, and came back to its as-new fuel economy.
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Old 07-19-2008, 07:55 AM
70_West 70_West is offline
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Re: Increased MPG using paint thinner and de-natured alcohol in gas tank

I doubt you did any harm. The quantity was fairly high, but otherwise, no foul. Most older vehicles will benefit from having a fuel conditioner or cleaner ran through them, and most products contain acetone as one of the ingredients. It's a solvent, not a caustic, and reacts quite well with rubber and gaskets. There are many mileage improving additives on the market, some with more than 50% acetone IIRC, as well as Toluene, Mineral Spirits, Ispropyl Alcohol, and common ATF (used as a lubricant). Each ingredient has a particular benefit

In an older vehicle, such as an 88 Corolla, I'd be more worried about the effects of the Ethanol being added to todays fuel. Older vehicles were designed and tuned to run off straight gasoline, not the E85 available today. Most will not suffer physical harm, but they also are likely to be less efficient.
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Old 07-26-2008, 03:18 PM
toyota88 toyota88 is offline
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Re: Increased MPG using paint thinner and de-natured alcohol in gas tank

Thanks for all the feedback. I understand the concerns, and share them myself. Yet this is why I experimented with paint thinner and de-natured alcohol in this old Toyota. My bet was if the car explodes, so what, it's 20 years old anyway. I'm on my second tank now, and it is still getting great mileage. Once I finish this tank, I won't put anymore in again until the MPG gets bad again.

The engine really seems to like the stuff. The car was dieseling after I shut it off, for months, before I added the paint thinner and de-natured alcohol. That dieseling has stopped now. Yee haw!

Wondering if I'm ruining the rubber seals, I asked Jesus. Jesus said it will be okay and, interestingly, told me he puts paint thinner into vehicles to get them to pass emmissions inspections around here. As my emmissions inspection is coming up, he suggested I add another quart of paint thinner to the tank, run it for a few miles, before I take it in for inspection. (Jesus is a mechanic.) I'm not going to do that though, as I think the amounts I've put in to the first tank, and now second tank, are enough for my experiment for now.

I'm very pleased with the increased gas mileage and smoother running engine. So in case anyone wants to try it, paint thinner and de-natured alcohol combo (both I found in the paint section of Walmart) work for this Toyota. ec kostrubala

Last edited by toyota88 : 07-26-2008 at 03:24 PM.
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