Dee Rithman, the owner of a 2000 Ford Taurus, was happy to learn that her car was designed to accept E85 even though there are currently no ethanol filling stations in her area. On a recent trip to Austin, she came by an E85 station and decided fill up with the gas alternative. "About three or four days later, I'm getting the check engine light on my car," she says. For $70, a mechanic told her "because you've been putting regular gas in it for six years, the engine's not going to take it because it's not used to it."
WOAI contacted the National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition who said that, unfortunately, a lot of drivers experience this, but the problem is neither serious nor permanent. They said that the check engine light should turn off after the first few E85 fill-ups. They also suggest that you may be able to avoid the problem altogether by slowly introducing ethanol to your engine a few gallons at a time.
The article did not specify whether or not the problem was exclusive to Ford.