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enigma-2

Premium gas vs. regular: what's really better

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No surprise, just thought it was interesting.

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Thats too long for me to watch at work. Can you give me a synopsis?

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Thats too long for me to watch at work. Can you give me a synopsis?

Don’t have to watch it to answer that one.

 

If your owner’s manual requires Premium, use premium. Period. Outside the Ford GT I don’t think any Ford requires premium.

 

If your owner’s manual says you can use Premium to get better performance then its optional. You’ll get a bit more power and a tiny bump in mpg by using Premium but it’s not enough to make up the difference in cost. So Premium will cost more. Whether it’s worth it for you is up to you depending on how you like the performance.

 

If your owner’s manual doesn’t say either of the above then you won’t get any benefit from Premium.

 

30-40 years ago they used to put better additives in Premium fuel but that’s no longer the case.

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Interesting that the guy uses regular in his Corvette that Chevy says should take exclusively premium. He says there is no difference as the engine would compensate. When my wife had her Lexus LS430 we sure noticed a difference! It would knock like crazy on regular and purr like a kitten on (manufacturer specified) premium.

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Interesting that the guy uses regular in his Corvette that Chevy says should take exclusively premium. He says there is no difference as the engine would compensate. When my wife had her Lexus LS430 we sure noticed a difference! It would knock like crazy on regular and purr like a kitten on (manufacturer specified) premium.

The only difference between the two is that premium has more anti-knock. If you run regular and the engine knocks, up it to mid-grade or premium.

 

Remember when it used to be called Ethyl?

 

Remember when you used to pull in gas station and the pump attendant would ask you which gas you wanted, (regular or Ethyl), clean your windshield, check your oil (I was taught to use two fingers under the dipstick colar to push an extra quart of oil) refill the windshield washer resovior (with water of course) & check the air in your tires?

 

Remember when we still used leaded gasoline?

 

Raise your hand if you've ever used to phrase "get the lead out".

 

Remember when most cars smoked a little, about one out of five were oil burners?

 

Remember when you use to have the roll the window down and stick your arm out to signal a turn? Straight out for a left turn, right angle pointing up for a right turn?

 

Remember when you used to "roll" the windows up and down?

 

Remember triangular "vent" windows?

 

Remember when windshield wipers ran on vacuum and would stop when going uphill or accelerating?

 

Remember when radios were optional?

 

Remember 9' long CB radio antennas that would whip back and forth when driving?

 

Remember balloon tires?

 

Remember 50/50 front shocks that would allow the front end to fly up in the air under hard acceleration.

 

Remember when two-tone paint jobs were an upgrade?

 

Remember when people would cover the upholstery with clear plastic seat covers to protect the cloth from dirt, oils and damage?

 

Remember when dashboards were made from metal and had a magnetic plastic Jesus sitting on them? (Remember the song "I don't care if it rains or freezes as long as I got my plastic Jesus, sitt'in on the dashboard of my car"?)

 

Remember fuzzy dice hanging from the rear view mirror?

 

Remember pop music where all song frequencies were were attenuated so they would play on a car's AM radio without distortion? (Chopped off the base and highs).

 

Everyone knows the corvette & T-bird. Remember the Studebaker Lark?

 

Remember the Nash Rambler? (It was like riding inside a basketball being dribbled.)

 

Remember the fins on a 59 caddy which mimicked the fins of a rocket; at the beginning of the "space age"? (Now THAT was a great car).

 

Remember cars that had "automatic" transmission's with a clutch pedal?

 

Remember baby dish moon hubcaps?

 

Remember "Big Daddy Garlits?

 

No? Neither do I.

Edited by enigma-2
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Interesting that the guy uses regular in his Corvette that Chevy says should take exclusively premium. He says there is no difference as the engine would compensate. When my wife had her Lexus LS430 we sure noticed a difference! It would knock like crazy on regular and purr like a kitten on (manufacturer specified) premium.

 

It all depends on how the engine is tuned. The PCM combats knock by retarding the timing. The vette’s tuning may allow it to run ok on regular but it’s probably borderline. In high heat or if you get a gas station with crappy gas that may push it over the edge, so to play it safe they require premium.

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I remember when it was called 'Hi-Test' and you could watch the little balls roll around in the glass orb as you pumped your gas! The '55 Fairlane we had had 'wind wings' my dad called them. Little triangular windows at the front of the regular window. Had a push-and-twist lever to open. The Fairlane had the 'buckskin and cream' 2 tone paint. Damn fine lookin' car.

 

Neighbor had a Studebaker Hawk - black and turquoise. And I do remember watching 'Big Daddy' Don Garlits race at the Winternationals at Pomona Raceway. I once sat in one of the original '68 Barracuda Hurst Hemi Under Glass. There were a few of them and one was out on the west coast where I grew up.

 

I'm pretty sure I remember all of the above, or it was some long strange trip I took.

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The media has "poetic license" to sell any story as fact without controlled scientific testing.

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The media has "poetic license" to sell any story as fact without controlled scientific testing.

As does the White House!

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Yes, but the White House doesn't advertise itself as news. Everyone knows whatever comes out of a politicians mouth is, well, political. ABC/NBC/CBS/CNN/MSNBC... tout themselves as 'news.' LOL!

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Premium fuel is not simply an increase in octane number, at least in national branded stations like Exxon, Shell, etc. Since the video refers to Shell gasoline, note that Nitro+ V-power is not available in either of the 2 lower grades of product. Not sure about Chevron, supposedly they have Techron in all grades, but whether it is the same concentration ...

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Interesting that the guy uses regular in his Corvette that Chevy says should take exclusively premium. He says there is no difference as the engine would compensate. When my wife had her Lexus LS430 we sure noticed a difference! It would knock like crazy on regular and purr like a kitten on (manufacturer specified) premium.

 

I have owned GM products that required premium fuel (LS1 and LT1 engines in Camaros and Firebirds) and believe me, although you can get away with running regular, the performance difference is very noticeable. No, there is no knocking - the PCM compensates by retarding the ignition timing enough to prevent that - but you can feel the difference in acceleration almost as soon as you pull away from the pump and the gas mileage goes down by an unexpected amount... almost 20% in one vehicle (Trans Am went from 19.5mpg to 16mpg on regular gas).

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Remember when most cars smoked a little, about one out of five were oil burners?

 

Remember when you used to "roll" the windows up and down?

 

Remember when windshield wipers ran on vacuum and would stop when going uphill or accelerating?

Remember the Nash Rambler? (It was like riding inside a basketball being dribbled.)

 

I remember owning a car where you pulled into a service station and said, "Fill up the oil and check the gas". It was great for keeping mosquitoes away.

 

Young people don't know the cranking motion you would use to signal another driver that you want them to roll down their window but they still roll down the window to ask, "what are you doing?"

 

The venerable VW Bug used air pressure from the spare tire (mounted in the front) to power the windshield washer pump. You really didn't want to get a flat tire if you had been using your washer a lot because the spare would be flat as well.

 

Lots of teenage girls' fathers wouldn't let their dates pick them up in a Nash Rambler - they were the first car to have completely reclining seats.

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On

 

Don’t have to watch it to answer that one.

If your owner’s manual requires Premium, use premium. Period. Outside the Ford GT I don’t think any Ford requires premium.

If your owner’s manual says you can use Premium to get better performance then its optional. You’ll get a bit more power and a tiny bump in mpg by using Premium but it’s not enough to make up the difference in cost. So Premium will cost more. Whether it’s worth it for you is up to you depending on how you like the performance.

If your owner’s manual doesn’t say either of the above then you won’t get any benefit from Premium.

30-40 years ago they used to put better additives in Premium fuel but that’s no longer the case.

 

Ecoboost Mustang and Focus RS can gain as much as 30hp by switching from 87 to 93.

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premium-gas-price-difference-infographic

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Ecoboost Mustang and Focus RS can gain as much as 30hp by switching from 87 to 93.

 

Yes, some higher compression engines can have noticeable horsepower gains from increased ignition timing when using higher octane fuel. The gain is not directly from the "premium" fuel (the fuel has no more energy) but from the timing advance it allows without knocking. However, the gain is in the top end of the RPM range where many drivers never go and it's an 11% gain that costs 26% more at today's prices - not a good return on investment. If you take your vehicle to the track, the difference is measurable. If you like to bury your foot and run up the engine speed, the difference can be felt at the top end. But if you drive on the streets like most people, you'll never even notice the difference except in the bite it takes out of your wallet.

 

And that graphic from CJ Pony Parts is not entirely accurate since Ford technicians have already refuted the numbers, saying that although there is a horsepower difference, there is no significant difference in torque between fuel grades - and torque is what gives the driver that "seat of the pants" feeling of power.

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Out of interest, those numbers were taken from a Ford training brochure in 2015 if I remember the story correct. It wasn't publicized widely for obvious reasons.... As an owner of a 2018 EB Stang, I can tell you, the difference is big enough to justify the 25% The 2018s has the overboost feature to get to the new 350 ft lb and on 87 you never get that extra surge in power as the car pulls so much timing. But I agree with you, if you are happy to never go WOT (seeking power, not just going wot for wot's sake) and is not interested in 0-60s etc. you can use whatever you want in the car and it will run.

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Here is the actual quote from Ford...

 

“We’ve no notion where this graphic originated, but if real, it may have been produced (as many training materials are), before final power certifications were complete. It is incorrect as the torque figure of 320 lb-ft does not change when using 87 octane fuel in the EcoBoost Mustang (lower octane fuel generally only affects horsepower numbers which occur at higher rpm). The 2.3-liter EcoBoost produces its rated power of 310 horsepower using its recommended fuel (93 octane), and like all modern engines, will proactively adapt to a lower octane fuel mixture. We publish power figures based on our recommended fuels, but peak horsepower would be reduced when using a fuel with a lower-than-recommended octane rating.”

 

So yes, it would seem that the source was a pre-production document as you mentioned.

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I remember my 59 Chevy 283 had a blow by tube near the crankcase. It always smoked at idle like most cars from that era

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I use 93 octane in my 3.5 Duratec since the timing will advance further than on regular fuel.

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I use 93 octane in my 3.5 Duratec since the timing will advance further than on regular fuel.

Nope. Not in a 2013 3.5L. At least there is no mention of it in the owner’s manual. Only the 2.0EB will do that.

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Yes it will. PCMs are programmed to respond to octane changes since the 2011 MY of the Edge/MKX. The difference likely won't be much as factory programming tends to be conservative.

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Yes it will. PCMs are programmed to respond to octane changes since the 2011 MY of the Edge/MKX. The difference likely won't be much as factory programming tends to be conservative.

Then why does the owner’s manual only say that premium will provide improved performance on the 2.0LEB engine?

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I have not a clue about that. I guess premium fuel makes enough of a difference on the ecoboost to satisfy the legal department at Ford? I don't think it was a typo to leave it out, it just did not meet their threshhold.

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I think it’s all in the pcm programming. The 3.5L is an older engine and doesn’t respond as well to advanced timing as the ecoboost engines do. So they probably just didn’t tune the 3.5L to advance the timing all the way like they did with the ecoboost. Or the gains were so small they weren’t worth mentioning.

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