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The Tex experiment has begun.

I am testing out a theory proposed by Tex's Ridge, that the Ridgeline gets better gas mileage on 89 octane mid grade gasoline than on 87 octane regular. I have always used 87 up to this point and I wanted to test his theory. If true, the ROI will be calculated to see if using 89 octane actually saves money.

Please note that this is being done with the best of intentions. I just want to see if it's true. Tex is a great guy and an equally great ambassador for this truck. It's not about proving anyone wrong.

The plan is to run one tank of 87 through my Ridgeline to establish a baseline, then two tanks of 89 octane for the test. I will fill up at the same, name brand station, to maintain consistency in the fuel and pricing.

I have completed the baseline tank, and filled up with my first tank of 89 octane.

First tank:

Vendor: Mobil
Octane: 87
Price of 87 octane: $2.039
Price of 89 octane: $2.149
MPG: 18.1

Note that my truck usually gets between 19.6-19.8 mpg during normal weekly driving. This is probably due to the winter switchover to RFG, which is usually around the beginning of November.
 

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It may take several tanks and varied driving to get the computer retuned for the different fuel. Further as a better experiement you should reset the computer between fuel changes and then run serveral tanks through of each and monitor the mileage. And it should be on a vehicle that has had at least one oil change and preferebly right after the oil change. This will help insure the engine is broke in to some extent and there are no hinderances like old oil.
 

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Below was my post on the thread "Good Gas Mileage" I wanted to copy it here instead of restating my first impression. I'm still pumping 89, and my truck still is running smoother than before 89. I've been topping off at half tank since ROC @ the Rock, and been averaging 15.5 mpg with 50/50 town and highway. Now the highway is very hilly (84 east). I don't think altitude is a factor, as someone suggested. My home in Manchester, CT is 52 feet above sea level. I had asked my wife to pump 89 only into her CRV. She has reported that her engine runs a lot smoother. I checked her last mileage ( last week), and did not see any improvement (23 mpg). Her travels are mostly highway (that same hilly highway 84 E between Manchester and Sturbridge, MA) Now, I do am attributing the deterioration of my MPG since the ROC @ the Rock, to the winter fuel. Beside all this, I intend to stay with 89, ($2.00 more per a 20 gal fill-up) if not only because of the smoother engine and better acceleration. It's too bad I did not discover this before the transition to winter fuel.

"OK here's my .02 worth. I went to the ROC @ the ROCK meet this past weekend. I decided to check how my truck would perform with 89 octane fuel versus the 87 I've been pumping. To my surprise, the engine runs smoother (no hesitation), it seems to have more power, and I gained 3 to 4 more miles to the gallon. I drove 578 miles on route 80>81>84. I was driving very aggressively, averaging 77 mph. I was passing traffic to 85 mph at 4000 rpm's. I filled up when I got home, and calculated 22 mpg. The thing that gets me, with the 2 extra octane, how the engine purrs, and how much perceived power increased. I don't think I'll ever use 87 again. I told my wife to use 89 on her CRV. With 89 octane, yes I pay 0.10 cents more per gallon. For a 20 gal fill up, that's 2 dollars more. If I get even just 2 miles more per gallon, at 20 gal, I would gain another 40 miles. So, if by paying the extra 2.00 dollars, the first 20 extra miles paid for that, the other 20 exta miles is a freebie."
 

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I started my Tex Ex last week and am halfway through first tank. Trying to simulate last 87 tank driving style - mostly 15 mile one way commuter trip at about 40 miles per hour - stop and go with some 2-3 mile continuous between light runs. Welcome to Long Island surburban driving. I drained the last 87 right down to the empty line and took about 20 gallons of 89 on fill up. Last 87 tank was 16.5 mpg and that is about my average over first 4500 miles. I do not perceive any performance enhancement and my RL always seemed to run smoothly at 87 and continues to do so at 89 octane. Any good experiment needs a few results to take an average and minimize variable effects over the results so I expect to do this and take measurements for 1 month (About 4 fill ups).
 

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I'm also trying the 89 octane. I started with the 87 and was averaging 15mpg city. Lets see what i get with the 89... :D
 

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I just realized something, (my brain never stops) now that I have established, from the last two top off that my avg mpg is 15.5 with 89, I'm going to switch back to 87 to compare performance with the winter fuel.:) Will keep you posted. I do have to burn the full tank of 89 in the tank now. Hmmm, where can I go for a 400 mile drive:D
 

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Tex's Ridge said:
I just realized something, (my brain never stops) now that I have established, from the last two top off that my avg mpg is 15.5 with 89, I'm going to switch back to 87 to compare performance with the winter fuel.:) Will keep you posted. I do have to burn the full tank of 89 in the tank now. Hmmm, where can I go for a 400 mile drive:D
Ok, time to show my ignorance. :(

What is winter fuel? Do they add something to the fuel or something for wintertime driving?

Thanks :eek:
 

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1st tank of 89, maybe 0.1 mpg better. On 2nd tank and will give it a 3rd tank of 89 before deciding. Driving carecteristics, might be smoother but it could be expectations.:rolleyes:
 

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Kellcut said:
Ok, time to show my ignorance. :(

What is winter fuel? Do they add something to the fuel or something for wintertime driving?

Thanks :eek:
Yes they do! Like it or not.
 

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Hi all,

I will give a couple of tanks of 89 a try.

I have check every tank for mileage and usually get a solid 19 and sometimes 20, rarely 17, 18, or 21.

I will let you know
 

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I'm taking this test one step further. Absolutely giddy over the more affordable gas prices, I tanked up with 93 octane. I'll do the same ROI although I'm only 70 miles into the first tankful. I can comment that I think the slight hesitation we all experience when accelerating out of a turn seems to be less pronounced. I'm really looking for an improvement in mileage (averaging +/- 16 mixed used with 7000+ miles recorded and now running on synthetic oil).
 

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I thought I remember reading somewhere, a few years ago, that the price difference vs performance increase of 87 octane vs 89 octane did not warrant paying the extra money. You would have to go to 93 octane to actually get your monies worth.

I tried googling it but came up empty. Maybe that was just a dream.

RidgeInTheVille
 

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RidgeInTheVille said:
I thought I remember reading somewhere, a few years ago, that the price difference vs performance increase of 87 octane vs 89 octane did not warrant paying the extra money. You would have to go to 93 octane to actually get your monies worth.

I tried googling it but came up empty. Maybe that was just a dream.

RidgeInTheVille
A few years a go, gas was around a buck a gallon, so the difference from $1.00 to $1.10 was a 10% increase in cost which would require a 10% increase in gas mileage to break even. Fast forward to today, the same difference from $2.00 to $2.10 is only 5% difference, so you now only need a 5% increase in fuel efficiency to pay for the difference.

The problem is, I still don't know if you actually get better mileage or not.
 

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RidgeInTheVille said:
I thought I remember reading somewhere, a few years ago, that the price difference vs performance increase of 87 octane vs 89 octane did not warrant paying the extra money. You would have to go to 93 octane to actually get your monies worth.

I tried googling it but came up empty. Maybe that was just a dream.

RidgeInTheVille
the shortcut below leads you to a statement within that proves you wrong, for one reason only. The anti-knock device that senses fuel burning and sends to the ECM. The RL has this system.
http://www.chevron.com/products/
 

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Tex's Ridge said:
the shortcut below leads you to a statement within that proves you wrong, for one reason only. The anti-knock device that senses fuel burning and sends to the ECM. The RL has this system.
http://www.chevron.com/products/
Since this didn't directly link the article, below is the actual quote:
Many newer vehicles with an electronic control module (ECM) also have a knock-sensor device. When the sensor detects knocking, the ECM retards the engine's ignition timing to eliminate the knocking. This happens so quickly that the driver never hears the knocking. But retarding timing decreases power and fuel economy. A higher-octane gasoline may improve the performance of knock sensor-equipped vehicles that have less power than when new.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Everyone here is free to go about their own Tex-Ex. I'm sticking to my plan. One tank of 87, two of 89. The computer will adjust by itself without needing to be reset. There are enough start-stop cycles in my standard weekly driving.
 

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swampler said:
A few years a go, gas was around a buck a gallon, so the difference from $1.00 to $1.10 was a 10% increase in cost which would require a 10% increase in gas mileage to break even. Fast forward to today, the same difference from $2.00 to $2.10 is only 5% difference, so you now only need a 5% increase in fuel efficiency to pay for the difference.

The problem is, I still don't know if you actually get better mileage or not.
So, if I was getting 13.5 mpg before, now getting 15.5 makes the extra 5% I'm paying now worth it.:) Actually turns out to be a 14 % improvement in mpg.
 
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