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

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

  1. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    42
    Posts:
    3,084
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2017
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    These modern engines & software are pretty incredible.. they are adjusting tons of things.

    - How long/how much/when valves open
    - When spark plugs fire
    - How much fuel is injected, sometimes they also can inject it in different places

    They have a huge # of inputs.. I at one point had a 3rd party tuning computer I stuck on my motorcycle and spent quite a bit of time with.

    I've seen the stuff in cars and it was like the space shuttle compared to the motorcycle I mucked around with.
     
    boris bubbanov and telemnemonics like this.
  2. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    70
    Posts:
    3,365
    Joined:
    May 20, 2017
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    I'm going to turn this around. Cheap gas is never worth it. My wife and I use top tier fuel in both of our cars. The Benz and the BMW both have 2 liter turbocharged engines. The Benz is fussier and only gets premium. The BMW I drive is happy most of the year with 89 octane as long as it's top tier. Premium is noticeably better when the weather gets hot. Not skimping and using the correct fuel gets me 25.7 mpg average over 10,000 miles in mixed driving and I never drive in the right hand lane. That's the morning and afternoon commute in traffic, shopping, driving into the city on weekends, and the occasional 150 mile trip. The mileage is 10% better than my last BMW and this one hits 60 in 6.1 sec from a normal start. The only thing inexpensive about these cars is filling the tank. I couldn't save the cost of a cappuccino each week using cheap gas. How would that be worth it?
     
  3. Tomm Williams

    Tomm Williams Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,193
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2016
    Location:
    USA
    Not offering this as proof of anything just an observation. Since starting this thread I’ve now reached 22.0 mpg from the original 21.2. My driving habits have not changed one bit.
    As has been stated in other responses, there could well be other things at play that are contributing to this.
     
  4. Cobra1957

    Cobra1957 Tele-Holic

    Age:
    62
    Posts:
    976
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2018
    Location:
    North Florida
    Since the engine in my car is supercharged and has a 93 octane tune on it I have to use Premium.
     
  5. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    52,408
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2007
    Location:
    New Orleans, LA + in the
    Yeah, that's one of the bummers of choosing supercharging over turbocharging. The turbo really takes itself out of the mix when it isn't needed - minimal scavenge losses. But the supercharger is always there and always placing a load on the motor. We had a McCulloch supercharger on a '55 Kaiser and it struggled at times when the '54 (normally aspirated) did not.
     
    Cobra1957 likes this.
  6. WetBandit

    WetBandit Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,233
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2016
    Location:
    Somewhere
    That's awsome! I've got a few spare carbs laying around, I've got an original Holley 780 off an LS6 454.

    I've also got an original 2×4 intake and carb/linkage set off a 427 Corvette

    I bought the intake. But me and a buddy had to cut the runners down just a about 1/4" to achieve higher velocity.

    This is going on a 540ci Chevy... you outta see the valvetrain, its dastardly to say the least.

    We had the heads cut and modified to change the geometry for more stability at high rpm.

    The engine itself is actually pretty mild, as it's going in a street car. Now on the spray it's a whole nother animal.

    It outta make around 900hp on motor and 1600 on spray.
     
    telemnemonics likes this.
  7. imwjl

    imwjl Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,357
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2007
    Location:
    My mom's basement.
    Having a turbo again I was reminded that it can be worth the price and beyond just solving knock vs no knock.

    Unlike my 1990s vintage turbo car that called for higher octane, the new car runs fine with 87. In looking at a lot of stuff on modifications I found a third party tune company did testing with a same dynamometer and baseline with 87 and 93 octane before installing the software "mod". Just stock the 5 HP and 20 ft lbs of torque were close to what cat back exhaust systems advertise.

    The 1990s car owner's manual stressed the importance of 91 or higher octane. The month old car's manual stresses the importance of the "top tier" certified whether you have the 87 or 93 Octane I see most of the time.

    For now common sense will prevail and I'll do an occasional fill up with premium vs a fart can solution.

    Two summers ago we did a family "epic road trip" across the country and there were times when the modern 292 HP Toyota engine had some ping. I didn't sense more power in the loaded vehicle but for one fill up higher octane eliminated the engine ping.

    The modern engines are amazing. That's really driven home when I watch youtube reviews of old cars.
     
  8. tubegeek

    tubegeek Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    59
    Posts:
    1,750
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2020
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    My car - Honda Fit - specifically states in the owner's manual NOT to use higher-octane gas and to ONLY use Regular.

    For a while it was misadjusted - stalled when cold - after a tuneup, that problem went away and the mileage also improved.
     
  9. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    52,408
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2007
    Location:
    New Orleans, LA + in the

    I hope she turns in her license, and soon. She's a menace to the rest of us - she's endangering us. I don't need that.
     
    imwjl likes this.
  10. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,536
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2013
    Location:
    meridianam altum centralis
    "Premium" is a misnomer. Fuel is not "premium" or better, or higher quality. The only thing premium about it, is the price. Which, is more an artifact of demand, not quality or cost to produce. It is a different octane rating, like a different shoe size. And it might fit your foot better, or facilitate the combustion process designed into your engine to mitigate certain optimization goals, like lighter weight components, cheaper components, or more power per litre, etc.

    PS - the proper way to determine what octane you need for your location and elevation, is to start with premium, and drop octane with each tank fill, till you notice a loss in performance, evidence of pre-combustion, or other indications the octane is too low. All my vehicles from 2001 to 2018 all run fine on 87 octane.

    EDIT: I shouldn't say the proper way, but it is a popular method employed by a lot of folks. User beware of course.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2020
  11. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    42
    Posts:
    3,084
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2017
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    That method is silly though as discussed earlier in the thread. With sophisticated modern engines the engine is 2 steps ahead of you if you fiddle with the fuel.

    Stuff like an Acura or a BMW.. it's changing the spark profile, changing the fuel mixture, changing the cam phasing and/or lift all the time according to the variables it's sensing, one of those is the fuel.
     
  12. stxrus

    stxrus Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    68
    Posts:
    4,791
    Joined:
    May 25, 2007
    Location:
    St. Croix, USVI
    My weed eater and chainsaw both call for higher octane I put in the van or Jeep. So I have a 2 gal can marked MIXED so no one should make a doofus mistake with the generators
     
  13. imwjl

    imwjl Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,357
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2007
    Location:
    My mom's basement.
    The "top tier" standard is premium in a way - better - but otherwise I think in terms of octane. It was a while ago and it didn't matter what octane but one discount grocer known for cheap gasoline created problems for us.

    For my earlier post and just discussing it with my mother who's got high tune 4 cyl engines in Acura and Mini, the late model engines with boost run fine with the common 87 octane here but I was entertained to see dyno results with the engine I have with 87 and 93 octane.

    An understanding I have with the top tier standard is it makes a difference if your direct injection engine also has port or throttle body injection to address the intake valve carbon build up issue. There are Ford, Toyota, VW and other engines that now have fuel coming across the intake valves even though direct injection gets credit for a lot of modern performance.

    I don't know nor am I prone to believe the detergent fuel can do much for direct injection engines without fuel crossing the intake valves. My understanding is the carbon build up is really from blow back and the EGR/PCV.

    https://www.toptiergas.com/consumers/
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2020
  14. imwjl

    imwjl Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,357
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2007
    Location:
    My mom's basement.
    I've stated here before how we lost a family member when two drivers did a moment of foolish behavior. We should all behave well in the public streets, roads and highways.
     
  15. Marc Morfei

    Marc Morfei Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    55
    Posts:
    1,578
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2018
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    I'll tell her you said so. What's your phone number?
     
  16. Rowdyman

    Rowdyman Tele-Meister

    Age:
    65
    Posts:
    303
    Joined:
    May 17, 2013
    Location:
    Eastern Canada
    What does, "4 ounces of Lucas Oil fuel additive", cost? just curious,,,, sorry if I wasn't paying attention,

    cheers, JP
     
  17. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    781
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2019
    Location:
    Four Rivers Area of Middle America
    Doesn't your owner's manual give fuel recommendations for your vehicle?
     
  18. Colo Springs E

    Colo Springs E Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    15,510
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2003
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    I go with what the auto manufacturer states should be run. Otherwise, I don't think there's any advantage to running premium.

    My Fiat 124 requires premium, but it gets great mileage even with spirited driving, so I don't mind the extra cost.

    What I find humorous are those who try to cut corners and run mid-grade instead of premium when the car calls for premium. If you're putting 20k miles a year on your vehicle and it gets 20 miles per gallon... you're saving a couple hundred bucks a year by running a gas that probably isn't as good for/not as efficient for your car. Probably getting slightly less mpg, thus defeating the purpose anyway. I don't get it.
     
  19. TheGoodTexan

    TheGoodTexan Super Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    17,378
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2003
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Admin Post
    About $1.

    Oh, and gas prices dropped significantly since this thread was started... except that it never translated over to the ethanol free gas around here - it’s still three bucks a gallon. So I stopped using it for now. No way I’m paying $3 a gallon for gas, when standard gas is $1.50. If gas gets back up over, say, $2.25 again, I might consider going back to ethanol free.
     
  20. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    52,408
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2007
    Location:
    New Orleans, LA + in the
    1-866-723-3014
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.