Premium fuel...................worth it ?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Tomm Williams, Feb 13, 2019.

  1. Les H

    Les H Tele-Meister

    Age:
    45
    Posts:
    420
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2018
    Location:
    Kansas
    Regular 10% ethanol gas = a hefty repair bill on certain engines and components.
     
    TheGoodTexan likes this.
  2. tele_pathic

    tele_pathic Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    47
    Posts:
    2,754
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2009
    Location:
    St. George, UT
    My wife puts premium 91 in her Mercedes SLK 250, but I mean, come on, it’s a Merc! I use 85 in my 2011 Dodge Caravan manly-van, which is a Eco-somethingorother. But I mean, as far as cost analysis, I think having properly inflated tires and a well-maintained engine will do more to affect gas mileage and save money than high-octane fuel
     
  3. edvard

    edvard Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,069
    Joined:
    May 15, 2016
    Location:
    Bremerton, WA
    Chris M. is right. Look it up. Premium is only necessary in cars that call for it.
     
  4. TheGoodTexan

    TheGoodTexan Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    15,919
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2003
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    I am not a mechanic (like many people in this forum are, or have been), but from what I understand fuels containing ethanol can cause more problems over the long run. I got my Tacoma with 13K miles on it, and I plan to keep it a very long time. So it’s worth it for me at this point to avoid ethanol. I get it for $2.89/gal right now... so it’s not that much more, really. And I get better gas mileage too. Occasionally I find myself needing gas, and not familiar with any ethanol-free gas stations in the area, so I just use regular gas for a few gallons. Not that big a deal. But I hope to be able to keep it basically ethanol-free for as long as possible.
     
    Les H likes this.
  5. Viejo

    Viejo Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    989
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Location:
    Central IL
    Premium fuel is not higher grade fuel. Premium is fuel with additives that make it harder to burn. This stops the fuel from igniting early due to compression in higher compression engines. If your engine doesn't knock( ignite early) you do not need Premium fuel
     
    Dennyf, Ira7 and Tony474 like this.
  6. reckless meanie

    reckless meanie Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    383
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Location:
    Bend, OR
    This video should answer your question
     
  7. w3stie

    w3stie Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,269
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Location:
    Brisbane
    I topped the tank up with premium this morning. FYI here in Australia at this time premium ( 98 octane) is $1.35 / litre. One litre will get my Subaru Outback about 8 km or roughly 5 miles of city driving.

    Subaru recommends premium for this engine, so that’s what it gets. Usually. Last week I topped it up with regular because I’m tight ;)
     
  8. rz350

    rz350 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Age:
    55
    Posts:
    2,597
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Location:
    Waubeka Wisconsin
    No, unless your engine configuration requires it, or it is ethanol free and you are using it in applications where ethanol can cause harm.
     
  9. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    68
    Posts:
    9,894
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2006
    Location:
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    There are a bunch of fundamentals involved. The octane rating is a measure of the gasoline's resistance to knocking. Knocking robs power and is very destructive to the motor. Modern engine control computers sense knocking and automatically retard spark timing to counteract it.

    Retarding the timing degrades to fuel economy. You'll not notice the knocking if the engine computer is doing it's job - the sensors and controls are too good. All you'll see is lower MPG on regular gas than premium.
     
  10. TwangToInfinity

    TwangToInfinity Tele-Holic

    Age:
    52
    Posts:
    865
    Joined:
    May 2, 2013
    Location:
    Twangville
    dont know if it is better but they were out of the bronze and silver so i got gold for the price of bronze and whoa, the truck could really give'r on that stuff!
     
  11. Ira7

    Ira7 Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    62
    Posts:
    10,122
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    Coral Springs, FL
    Didn’t read through all the posts here, but I know that you don’t use premium gas for an engine rated for regular.
     
  12. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    49,132
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2007
    Location:
    New Orleans, LA + in the
    If you can haul more stuff in the vehicle and make fewer trips (with the premium helping avoid detonation) the premium COULD make sense. Out West the the price differential, 86 to 91 is so minimal I could see using premium in a number of cars or trucks, certain conditions. But in the East, a common price differential between 87 and 92 or 93 could be something like 75 cents per gallon. Which is something like a 30-35% price differential. In that situation, if you buy a car that simply can't be run on 87, you may as well just sell it now before it bankrupts you.

    My Saab turbos give me MUCH more boost when I put 92, 93 or 94 in there. The computer senses the grade of the gas and lets more boost build when the value is higher. But, all the Saabs but one have at least 184,000 miles now and most have 200,000 or more - I'm not blasting through the mountains quite like I used to. Why? The penalty for the premium gas is just too much to bear.
     
    telemnemonics likes this.
  13. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    38,794
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2011
    Location:
    Bakersfield
    I'm a believer in Chevron fuel. I've had a Chevron card since 1996. Never had a single engine problem with three different vehicles I drove on the job using Chevron. When the company bought me a new pickup to drive and furnished the gas, they gave me and ARCO card. Don't know if it was the determining factor, but I had engine problems with the valve train after only a hundred and thirty thousand miles. At any rate, I'm convinced it's worth it to burn Chevron, and that's what I use in both my own vehicles.
     
  14. Les H

    Les H Tele-Meister

    Age:
    45
    Posts:
    420
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2018
    Location:
    Kansas
    Up here in Kansas finding non ethanol regular grade gas at stations is like finding sasquatch.

    Premium is the only non ethanol grade of fuel you can readily find. In which case if you read the owners manual to all small engine equipment like mowers, weed eaters, chain saws etc it says not to use premium grade. Unfortunately ethanol blends deteriorate the fuel lines and any plastic carb components. I have to replace fuel lines on my small engine hand tools almost yearly. It's frustrating. In my expensive zero turn mower I use that de-ethanol fuel treatment. Crossing my fingers it's actually working.

    I have a stock 65 chevy truck I don't bother putting ethanol blends in just because I don't put a lot of miles on it a year and ethanol will seperate over a short period of time.

    I wish I would have kept track of my mileage the time I took my dad to Oklahoma to decorate his dad's/my grandpa's grave. It was a 4 hour one way trip. It took 3/4 of a tank to get there. We came straight home because my dad doesn't get around well himself. I filled up with non ethanol regular (because it was abundant down there) and drove the exact same trip home but it only took 1/2 a tank to return. Wind that day wasn't a factor either.

    I gauge my fuel tank mileage at basically 100 miles per 1/4 tank mark. My guess is I realistically had an improvement of about 3-4 miles per gallon using "real gas".

    As a side note E85 does admit an average 15% loss in fuel mileage. I've never put the pen to the paper but off the top of my head the cost savings for E85 (2-5 cents per gallon here) versus regular grade doesn't outweigh the loss of fuel mileage.
     
  15. DugT

    DugT Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    848
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2017
    Location:
    northern CA
    I believe high octane fuel is a waste of money at higher elevations because the air is too thin to take advantage of the higher octane. I learned that in high school autoshop about fifty years ago and recenty a car service manager confirm it. For the last twenty years I have been living at 6000' and only using regular in three cars that "Require" high octane and none of them has ever nocked. As a side note, fast cars aaccelerate conspicuously and annoyingly slower up here but they go sideways faster when there is snow on the road.
     
  16. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    49,132
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2007
    Location:
    New Orleans, LA + in the
    I can get alcohol free unleaded regular, for about the same price as premium, by The Cabin. Since we have seven cars and something is always parked for a bit, I try hard to make sure the parked cars are full of mostly alcohol free fuel. I believe much of the damage is occurring while the cars are stationary. IMO there's no reason to be to concerned if the tankful of gasohol is there on a pretty much "temporary" basis.

    But, let the Corn Growers here come at me, because I think we should cut the amount of alcohol in the fuel to 5%, 7% at the very most. A little ethanol is good for capturing the water in the fuel system and cycling it out of there. We used to have this stuff called "Dry Gas" and it was alcohol, added to the tank to disperse the water so it didn't freeze and disable your car in cold weather.
     
    MickM and TheGoodTexan like this.
  17. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    49,132
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2007
    Location:
    New Orleans, LA + in the
    A lot of the moving parts in the fuel pump, and elsewhere in the fuel system, are plastic, and I think ethanol comes along and leaches a lot of the plasticizers and other component aspects of the plastic parts away, leaving the plastic parts sort of rotted or degraded. I like the Lucas brand, oil based fuel additive as it makes the fuel less likely to cannibalize the plastic parts in these systems and the modified fuel passes through the pump better IMO. I talk to other Saab enthusiasts and they're replacing fuel pumps often - I've had much better success than they have and anecdotally I've got to figure it is the Lucas dosing. The only pump I replaced was on the '01, and this failure was I think because the previous owner let the car just sit, accumulating only 4,000 miles over 4 years of ownership. I'm betting the gas that dwelt in there was gasohol.

    In some instances, I've seen places that sold Alcohol Free Premium and when the price was fair I always bought it - last saw it in east central Arkansas.
     
  18. TeleTucson

    TeleTucson Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    1,288
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2016
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    I don't think the change is just for pollution, and I believe the first statement quoted above trumps the second one. See, for example, this AAA article:

    https://newsroom.aaa.com/2013/06/what-is-the-difference-between-summer-and-winter-blend-gasoline/

    which noted, "The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says conventional summer-blend gasoline contains 1.7 percent more energy than winter-blend gas, which is one reason why gas mileage is slightly better in the summer."

    I think you're right, and this is most people's experience and supported by the article above.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019
  19. Rick330man

    Rick330man Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    984
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2011
    Location:
    Florida Keys
    My experience is that a small engine that is going to be pushed hard will respond better to higher octane, and even better yet if you use REC-90 (non-ethanol).

    We had a 2011 Honda Insight hybrid. In the city, I saw no noticeable difference between 87, 89 and premium. However, on the highway, I'd regularly notice 10 to 15% better mileage at 70 MPH using premium. Our 2017 Honda Accord with the 2.4 litre 4 cylinder responds similarly.

    But...the best mileage is achieved using non-ethanol, REC-90 gas. It is readily available here in the Florida Keys. The Insight would get me up to 65 MPG from Key Largo to Key West on REC-90. The Accord would deliver up to 47 MPG. My 2017 F-150 with a 5 litre, 302 cubic inch V8 (no turbos for me, thank you) has gotten me close to 30 MPG on that same run.
     
  20. omahaaudio

    omahaaudio Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    64
    Posts:
    2,127
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2015
    Location:
    Omaha
    If your car doesn't require it there's no reason to use premium. I had an 2004 Acura TL that "required" premium. I found out that the fuel system was so sophisticated that it could also use regular fuel. Of course, the 275 horsepower engine would then only put out 245 , but that was a "penalty" that I was happy to live with given the savings. I ran that puppy on regular for five years with no problems.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.