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chuckoverland

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So we are curious. A friend of ours who visited recently told us we should be using premium gas in our rigs (18 tacoma and 18 crosstrek). He says to use premium regardless of factory reccomendation.
What are you guys thoughts?
 
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Prerunner1982

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Sounds like a waste of money to me. I would be more concerned with running 100% gas than the ethanol but then again my Jeep is older than most vehicles here that are now designed to run off ethanol. I have never run premium, even my wife 2019 Buick Encore runs 87 octane and gets 30mpg.
 
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RoarinRow

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I only use premium in my cars that say to use it. Usually noted in the gas cap area and of course car owner's manual. The use of premium makes your car run cleaner and more efficiently from my understanding. I don't doubt that information. You could probably use a lower grade, but you'd have performance issues, knocking and such, at least that what my old brother says.

My truck use regular gas, which I am happy about, especially it being a 45-gallon gas tank lol.
 

Todd & Meg

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It was explained to me that different grades of gasoline combust at different compression rates. It has nothing to do with cleaning, less other additives. If you have a high compression Engine you need to run premium gas. If you don’t you are waisting money.

Use the gas the manufacturer recommends.

Todd
 

MidOH

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My 6.2l is flex fuel. Yellow gas cap. You can see it ramp up ignition timing with higher quality fuel.

If your engine isn't spec'd for premium fuel, and doesn't adjust for it, you gain nothing.

So in warm weather, I tow with premium gas. Winter, 87 all the way.
 
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RJCanyon

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Ive always ran 91 in my vehicles regardless if its required or not. will it run fine on 87? yup. but where you will start to see the benefits is later in the vehicles life when you start reaching high mileage. its has a bit more additives and it ultimately equates to about $5-$10 more per tank. If you can spare it, why not?
 
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Wawa Skittletits

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It boils down to variable valve timing. If your vehicle has it, preferably on both intake and exhaust cams, you will benefit slightly. I can go into how octane ratings impact detonation but it’s not important. Variable valve timing is all that matters. If you don’t have it and your vehicle was tuned to run on 87 paying for anything else is a waste.
 

smritte

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As what has been stated, what is your engine tuned for. My wife's 2016 Camaro isn't happy with regular if you drive hard. My 04 TJ didn't care one way or the other. I did notice a difference towing my trailer up long grades but, It was slight.
My 96 cruiser is a different story. Going to my sisters house several times a year. 260 miles one way. With regular I would have to top off. Figure 2.5 tank's round trip. With premium, only bought from Shell, I get there with a couple gallons left in the tank. If the Cruiser even thinks it may detonate, it rips the timing back. When I do the math, it actually cost's me more money to drive to her house if I use regular.
I have a new 2019 Tacoma. I'm waiting until I get 2500 miles on it before I start tracking mileage. So far, it doesn't seem to care.
In my area, I've done mileage tests with almost all the fuel stations in my area. Shell gets me the best but, that can change if I go out of state.
 
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Anak

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Paying for premium is a waste unless you need it.

In The Bride's Impala SS it makes a difference. I can guarantee detonation under load with anything less. It gets 91 octane.

My XJ OTOH is generally happy with 87, although fully loaded and climbing into the mountains I can have detonation issues, so I run 87 in it unless I am headed for the hills.

It is going to depend on the vehicle and the conditions. I don't think a blanket policy is a reasonable choice.
 

EricGagne

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It was explained to me that different grades of gasoline combust at different compression rates. It has nothing to do with cleaning, less other additives. If you have a high compression Engine you need to run premium gas. If you don’t you are waisting money.

Use the gas the manufacturer recommends.

Todd
+1
 
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Biker Eagle

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Better gas mileage. With my '04 GX470 I get consistently 19-20mpg with Premium, but a tank of regular unleaded mileage drops to 17. My wife's CRV mileage difference is even greater, getting 32mpg with premium and dropping to 27mpg with unleaded. 100% real gas mileage is much higher for both vehicles. (All mileage figures are interstate driving)
 

UltimaSanctus

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In my Tahoe I run 89 because the engine just seems a bit "happier" with it. On N/A vehicles, for the most part, I would go with what the manufacturer recommends. On modern turbo cars, like the Sonic I used to have, I would say run premium even if the manufacturer says regular. From my experience running regular in a turbo car leads to noticably less power and fuel mileage, and if it's hot outside I've experienced a tiny bit of knock. Before I tuned the Sonic I ran several tanks of premium to "clean out" the regular and my mpg's went from around 27 to 32 or 33 (can't remember exactly)

Also an example: Mazda rates the new turbo CX-5 (mom's car) at 250hp on premium and drops to, I believe, 220hp on regular due to less boost to prevent pre-detonation
 

Cort

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Modern vehicle’s computers will adjust the air/fuel ratio, spark, timing, etc. to the exact specs for that engine. If it’s a stock engine and the manufacturer says to use 87, then use 87. If you put 93 octane in it you might see a boost for a tank as the vehicle adjusts for the new fuel but you won’t see better economy or power. This is a carryover from the old days for the most part and even then you only saw gains in higher compression engines.

Turbo vehicles will usually get a little better performance out of higher octane but this is also negligible as once again, the computers adjust to factory spec.

Scientific studies have shown time and time again that modern cars that require 87 octane fuel DO NOT get better fuel economy and DO NOT have higher performance.

Now “top tier” rated gas is a proven value and it’s tested to include additives at all octane levels that are labeled top tier. The sellers of top tier are:

76, Aloha Petroleum, Amoco, ARCO, Beacon, BP, Breakaway, Break Time, Cenex, Chevron, CITGO, Conoco, Costco, CountryMark, Diamond Shamrock, Entec, Esso, Express Mart, Exxon, Fast Fuel, HFN, Hele, Holiday, Kwik Star, Irving, Kirkland Signature, Kwik Star, Kwik Trip, Marathon, Metro Petro, MFA, Mobil, Ohana Fuels, Phillips 66, PUMA, QT, Quik Trip, Road Ranger, Shamrock, Shell, Sinclair, Sunoco, SuperAmerica, SuperFuels, Texaco, Valero, Value America, Wow, and Win Win.
 

MidOH

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Many of the manuals I've seen are spec'ing at least 87. No mention of what we should put in.

There's a ton of engines out there right now that will notice the difference in fuel immediately, and adjust accordingly.
 

Cort

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Many of the manuals I've seen are spec'ing at least 87. No mention of what we should put in.

There's a ton of engines out there right now that will notice the difference in fuel immediately, and adjust accordingly.
You are correct. Premium requires more energy to combust so a car adjusts itself to perform in its baseline parameters. You will not get better fuel economy or a notable boost in power.

As for the pinging, cars since around 1996 come equipped with a knock sensor to adjust the engine if it detects pinging. If you are currently getting pinging from 87 octane fuel which your car is rated for then you either have a malfunction with your engine or you are driving under extreme conditions. If your engine pings on occasion there is no reason for concern.

Mid grade fuel serves no purpose other than to line oil execs pockets. It was literally designed due to the phycology of sales. If you the consumer are offered two choices most people will take the cheapest. If you the consumer are offered three choices you are far more likely to select the mid priced choice.

If you choose to buy premium when it’s not required due to a high compression engine you are wasting your money and denying scientific proof and understanding of how engines work.

But hey, we live in America and you can buy premium if you want. Oil exec’s Porsche payments don’t make themselves.
 

MidOH

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I got 35hp on the dyno. Albeit, dyno's are for drive-ability and engine tuning, not hp measuring. (aside from more = better)

Over 400hp from a 6.2l Ford. It really depends on the engines state of tune and sensitivity to the sound of combustion. Obviously a bigger truck engine is going to be tuned conservatively when it senses 87, so it doesn't eat the pistons. Chassis cab trucks get knocked down even further due to most likely harder use.
 
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UltimaSanctus

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You are correct. Premium requires more energy to combust so a car adjusts itself to perform in its baseline parameters. You will not get better fuel economy or a notable boost in power.

As for the pinging, cars since around 1996 come equipped with a knock sensor to adjust the engine if it detects pinging. If you are currently getting pinging from 87 octane fuel which your car is rated for then you either have a malfunction with your engine or you are driving under extreme conditions. If your engine pings on occasion there is no reason for concern.

Mid grade fuel serves no purpose other than to line oil execs pockets. It was literally designed due to the phycology of sales. If you the consumer are offered two choices most people will take the cheapest. If you the consumer are offered three choices you are far more likely to select the mid priced choice.

If you choose to buy premium when it’s not required due to a high compression engine you are wasting your money and denying scientific proof and understanding of how engines work.

But hey, we live in America and you can buy premium if you want. Oil exec’s Porsche payments don’t make themselves.
I apologise if I started an argument or anything. I was just speaking from my personal experience with my turbo Chevy Sonic and official figures from Mazda about the turbo CX-5. These could just be two outliers


It's mentioned in the second sentence that on regular the CX-5 makes 227hp and 250hp on premium. Probably, like you said, using and octane sensor to adjust boost, fuel, timing, etc. I'm not sure what method they use

Again sorry if I caused an argument
 
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