Honda Ridgeline Owners Club Forums banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
has anyone tried different grades of gasoline in the ridgeline yet ? if so, does the higher octane show a noticable improvement in performance ? the manual is not too clear on this..it staes to use at least 86 octane but then also states that premium gas may be required in certain towing situations...sounds to me that premium gas would improve performance whether towing or not...but to a point of spending the extra dollars ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,010 Posts
The Ridge is designed to run on 86 octane. With some exceptions, such as towing as you mentioned, higher octane is recommended. But for everyday use I would stick with plain regular (Chevron if you can find it). Premimum gas is about .15 to .20 higher per gallon, around my parts at least, so even if you get a little better mileage I do not think it would be cost effective.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
214 Posts
The manual does state its use in some towing situations. My Father once told me that it can make you engine run hotter, which I think I later read somewhere too :rolleyes: .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
419 Posts
Don't know if this will be of any help...have been using 93 octane over the last five tanks full...been averaging a touch over 20 miles per gallon but mostly highway driving at the posted speed limit... :rolleyes:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Everytime I have used 87 octane I average 17 mpg, I have even heard some slight knoking coming from the engine. Then I tried 89 octane an it average 20 mpg and the knoking stopped. All in rural roads and short trips.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
I have used Mobil 87, 89, and 93 octane. I have noticed no difference in performance and get around 17mpg on all of them...all local roads.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
536 Posts
Although a bit of a simplification:
The higher the octane the harder it is to ignite the gas.

If your engine has high compression (and thus hotter when the air compresses) you should use a higher octane. Also true under heavy load conditions (towing, hills, etc)

Most modern engines can detect if the gas is igniting before it's suppose to (preignition) and will change the timing, however there is a tradeoff.

Thus Honda recommends higher octane when towing since you need the max performance when hauling around all the extra weight.

As a side note, sometimes a car will need higher octane as it gets older and deposit build up in the combustion chambers. Also, some high performance cars don't need high octane and some econoboxes do. Nothing to do with the cost of the car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
121 Posts
My guess is the improvement in mileage that you see with higher octane is probably due to the fact that this is what you want to see. There are many factors that will contribute to changes in your mileage. Here's an interesting artilce about octane levels.

http://www.lubedev.com/smartgas/octane.htm


I live in the mountains, I've been using regular gas which is 85 octane (you don't need as much at altitude so all our gas is 1 to 2 points below normal levels). I get close to 20 mpg and don't have any knocking or pinging.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,092 Posts
It's been posted before but I'll sum up what a Honda Ridgeline engineer told me. You will get 10 more HP using Premium vs Regular (265 vs. 255). You will also get increased mpg. This is because the electronic timing will advance itself to the optimum efficiency for what ever octane is present. I posed the question if the cost per mile would be less using Premium (would the increased mpg offset the extra 20 cents/gallon cost). He seemed to think it would. Your milage may vary :)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,332 Posts
Let's take an objective look at this subject.

Can premium (91 - 93 octane) fuel increase the horsepower of the engine by itself? No. The only way it could possibly increase horsepower is if the knock sensor in the engine has prevented full ignition advance on lower octane fuel.

Can premium (91 - 93 octane) fuel decrease the horsepower of the engine by itself? Yes. Not by much, but the higher the octane rating the lower the BTU content of the fuel. Under normal driving conditions premium has less energy per gallon than regular.

How can premium fuel help? The only time it could help in our Rideline's is at or near WOT (Wide Open Throttle), and this would only happen if the ignition advance is capable of inducing detonation on lower octane fuel.

The Acura MDX and Honda Pilot use the same basic engine as the Ridgeline. The MDX can benefit very slightly by using premium fuel because it's engine control computer is programmed to allow more igntion advance. Acura recommends, but does not require premium in the MDX. The Honda Pilot will not benefit from the use of premium. Same basic engine as the MDX, but the Pilot's computer is programmed to prevent ignition advance beyond what 87 octane will support. Putting premium in that engine will not allow the ignition to advance beyond the limits set in the computer.

I don't know how our Ridgeline's are programmed. I imagine that we have the same limitations as the Pilot. Using premium fuel will not increase horsepower.

In summary... even on the MDX which is designed for premium fuel you do not get extra horsepower except under WOT conditions. Under normal driving conditions a person using regular fuel is actually getting better fuel economy and has more power (excepting at or near WOT) since the lower octane fuel contains more energy per gallon.

Here's the text of a post from the MDX site. This guy actually did ODBCII testing on the various fuels.
http://www.acuramdx.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=12926

"Definitive gas octane requirements study results.
[font=verdana, arial, helvetica]I have aquired one of the Davis CarChips and ran it in my MDX for over a month through 4 tanks of gas, two regular and two premium. I was able to monitor the spark advance using the CarChip (which is the true measure of whether or not higher octane is of any value in a given OBDII engine with detonation sensors). The result? Except at full throttle or very near to it, the spark advance was the same with both Premium and Regular. This indicates that Premium was doing absolutely no good and was not improving performance and that, conversely, Regular was not hindering it. If you were towing a heavy load and spending a lot of time near or at WOT, then it appears that there is a slight improvement in performance with Premium (the spark advance was about 2 to 3 degrees greater) but otherwise, it is buying you nothing and costing you money.

Tom

Update: I have since also run a few tanks of midgrade (89 octane)
through under the same conditions and noted the spark advance results. With midgrade, the spark advance was identical to Premium (91 octane). This tells me that under even the most heavily loaded WOT conditions, there is no advantage to premium over mid-grade under any circumstances. Note: In all cases I used the same brand of gasoline (Shell with Ethanol) from the same station. The altitude of this test was approximately 800 feet, the vehicle had 23,000 miles on it, the average temperature was approximately 80 degrees, the average humidity was approximately 25 percent, and I am in the Los Angeles area. Also, this is applicable to a 2001 and 2002 MDX and the results may be different for the 2003 260hp engine."
[/font]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,010 Posts
Thanks Cismo for that summary. It reinforces my opinion that the Ridgeline was designed to run on a certain octane rating (86) and it says so in the owner manual. The engineers made the thing that way and except for unusual circumstances such as heavy towing (which they mention), there souled be no reason to use a fuel rating other than what Honda recommends. It probably won't hurt but why spend the money?

I think the same holds true for oil. I've read that some people may want to put 10w30 in it or 5w30 but Honda recommends 5w20. Maybe it is to comply with some sort of government regulations but it seems to me you can't go wrong using what they recommend; on the other hand, not doing so might cause damage or even void a warranty in an extreme case. This may be an overly cautious approach to things but I've never owned a Honda before, I know of their excellent engineering accomplishments and reputation and, most of all, I've never paid this much for a truck before in my life and would rather be cautious than take a chance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
119 Posts
I would love to see a dyno chart that shows that higher octane can raise the hourse power by 3.9%. If it seems to good to be true... :eek:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
69 Posts
The only advantage of high octane is that it burns cleaner, and it will keep your engine cleaner longer. Horsepower & gas milage is all a myth.........
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
172 Posts
Read that same blurb in the manual. I have tried all 3 grades available around here and the higher octane gas seems to make certain aspects of driving a little peppier. Perception? Reality? Who knows, but it isn't worth the $$$.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
254 Posts
First off, the R-L and the Pilot do NOT share the same engine. The 2005 Pilot uses the old engine architecture. The MDZ and R-L have the new architecture engine. The MDZ and R-L also share the switch valve in the intake manifold. The Pilot is NOT fitted with this hardware.

The maximum horsepower of an engine is tested at wide open throttle (WOT). The maximum horsepower is dependent on the spark advance and the compression ratio. The engine is constantly monitoring the fuel octane along with many other parameters, and adjusting the spark advance to the maximum possible setting. The maximum horsepower is exactly dependent on the octane rating of the fuel. This is the cheapest way you can improve importance. It improves the “g” feeling you feel when you accelerate (the kick in the shorts) along with performance at WOT. That is why it is recommended for towing over 35oo pounds.

If you are price sanative with your fuel, which is great for economic reasons. However, if you are interested in improved performance: buy premium.

Happy Motoring!!!
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top