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What octane do you use?

  • 85

    Votes: 37 5.2%
  • 87

    Votes: 532 74.1%
  • 89

    Votes: 81 11.3%
  • 91

    Votes: 34 4.7%
  • 93

    Votes: 30 4.2%
  • Other

    Votes: 4 0.6%
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DoctorJ said:
I know this has been done but let's get some statistics.
I use 87. I've noticed (on the road) that many stations offer 87 and 89 at the same price, however the 89 is ethanol enhanced.

Don
 

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I have always found the higher octanes made my vehicles run smoother! 91
 

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IMHO, the only cars that really need the higher octane are '60s musclecars. As a side note, I've owned two 1990 Jaguar XJ6's that were labelled saying to use only premium, but following the advice of the Jaguar forum I used to frequent, tried and kept using 87 octane. I still have one of the Jag's now. No detonation/backfiring/hesitation. Always passes smog checks and has plenty of power. I just mention the Jaguar because a lot of people are under the false impression that upscale vehicles would require more expensive gasoline. Not really so.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
tinsoul said:
IMHO, the only cars that really need the higher octane are '60s musclecars. As a side note, I've owned two 1990 Jaguar XJ6's that were labelled saying to use only premium, but following the advice of the Jaguar forum I used to frequent, tried and kept using 87 octane. I still have one of the Jag's now. No detonation/backfiring/hesitation. Always passes smog checks and has plenty of power. I just mention the Jaguar because a lot of people are under the false impression that upscale vehicles would require more expensive gasoline. Not really so.
Not upscale vehicles, but higher compression engines require higher octane fuel. Most any EFI engine can compensate for a lower octane fuel by retarding the timing which intern lowers the gas mileage and power.
 

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I always use regular unleaded, 87, but when in higher altitudes such as in Nevada and Utah the regular went down to 85, so I used the premium 87 or 88 octane because the book says to use at least 86, I think. Got real good mileage on that long trip, too, 21-22mpg.
 

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tinsoul said:
IMHO, the only cars that really need the higher octane are '60s musclecars. As a side note, I've owned two 1990 Jaguar XJ6's that were labelled saying to use only premium, but following the advice of the Jaguar forum I used to frequent, tried and kept using 87 octane. I still have one of the Jag's now. No detonation/backfiring/hesitation. Always passes smog checks and has plenty of power. I just mention the Jaguar because a lot of people are under the false impression that upscale vehicles would require more expensive gasoline. Not really so.
Depends on what you mean by "need".
As already mentioned, most vehicals today have knock sensor which will compensate for lower octane by retarding timing. But by doing so, cars whose ECU's were programmed for higher octane will lose performance.
 

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Since Ethanol mixed gasoline tends to be cheaper here in the midwest, I've been considering using it in my new (soon to be purchased), Ridgeline. But I wanted to buy it from the get go. I have heard that bouncing back and forth from gas with ethanol to gas without ethanol is not good. However if you stick with Ethanol mix you're OK. I can't remember why the heck they said it was an issue. But that's the latest info that stuck in my pea sized brain. Any thoughts on the matter?

Seriously though, I'm not really all that cheap, I put premium in my Passat because that's what the manual says I should. So I'll put the expensive stuff in if I have to. This just doesn't spec premium so I was going to use ethanol in part for the savings and also to support my local farming community.
 

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A little ethanol is ok as long as it's not E85. Honda specifically states NOT to use E85 or it will void your warranty. Search.
 

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Octane is just the measure of a fuels ability to stay stable under pressure. The common belief that higher octane fuel will give you better fuel economy is wrong... the difference is almost not even measurable, and anyone who says they get better, is making themselves beleive it is worth it. More compression or boost require higher octane, just because the fuel has to stay stable longer during the compression stroke. Use whatever your vehicle says to use. If you use to high an octane, it won't fully burn, and the unburnt fuel will pass through your catalytic converter, plugging it up. The Ridgeline really doesn't need anything more then 87 octane. Sorry for the novel... my bad, and expecially on my first post. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #17
613Ridge said:
If you use to high an octane, it won't fully burn, and the unburnt fuel will pass through your catalytic converter, plugging it up.
Plug up your cat, where do you get that information from? Higher octane will burn smother and cooler than lower octane fuel. The only way it will not burn completely is if the air to fuel mixture is wrong.
 

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DoctorJ said:
Plug up your cat, where do you get that information from? Higher octane will burn smother and cooler than lower octane fuel. The only way it will not burn completely is if the air to fuel mixture is wrong.
Not so sure I buy the cooler part, and the smoother part is also a little questionable. This is my understanding of it, and feel free to point me to corrective information.

The higher octane fuel has the same heat energy as the lower octane fuel, it is just less likely to combust prematurely. If higher octane fuels really burned cooler but allowed for the same or better performance it would make sense to use them in all cars because it would lower the amount of heat pollution caused by vehicle. The reality is that about the same amount of heat is produced regardless of the fuel used. Smoother is more of how it effects the engine. It has less of a propensity for premature combustion and therefore causes engines not to knock, this would cause the engine to run more smoothly but doesn't really impact the burning of the fuel itself.

As to the myth though, you are spot on, the reasoning behind it that I have seen, and there are probably many theories, is that because it burns slower there is the potential with the lower compression vehicles to have started the exhaust stroke before the high octane fuel has completely burned because the fuel was never compressed enough to cause the immediate explosion required to burn off all the fuel quickly.

But if you can point me to somewhere that talks to the cooler and smoother aspect I would be curious.
 

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I've read elsewhere on the net that if you pull a large loaded trailer up mountain roads, that a higher octane can be of some benefit. Is this true?
 

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5S Dude said:
I've read elsewhere on the net that if you pull a large loaded trailer up mountain roads, that a higher octane can be of some benefit. Is this true?
We found that to be true on our latest trip. Our first trip towing with regular (86?) we only got about 12 mpg. This trip we used premium (91?) and we got about 15 mpg. No noticeable difference in performance but the mileage was better.
 
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