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03-11-2013, 05:58 PM #1
Premium vs regular unleaded fuel.
I got in a debate with someone that claims premium gas s better gas. I asked him to define better, he said that premium gas:
contains better detergents
give more horsepower
He is wrong on the first three points. The more power is true ONLY if your engine requires premium fuel. He was driving a Silverdo with a 5.3L engine. I told him unless he has re-tuned his ECU with a programmer, running premium was only going to take more money out of his wallet. He refused to believe me and said that his truck just runs better on premium. I stopped the discussion as he has convinced himself of this.
I have noticed that people that run premium gas tend to want to thump their chests a lot more about the automobiles.
You try to tell people that octane is simply a combustion inhibitor and does not contain secret amounts of power. They won't hear of it. Ignorance at its finest.
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03-11-2013, 07:07 PM #2
If I could run on a half water, half gas mixture without nuking my engine and still get decent mileage ... I would!
03-11-2013, 07:24 PM #3
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The only actual difference I can honestly say I've seen between the two is "knock". I have data logged with hp tuners on all of my vehicles, 2.0 turbo, 6.0 vortec, 5.7 lt1, 5.7 ls1, and a 3.1. And when running 87 octane in each of these engines there is quite a bit of knock through out acceleration, when switched to 93 octane there is a considerablely less amount of knock in the engines.
Certain amounts of knock can reduce timing, which could feel like less power. Your friend is not totally wrong, if you datalog your truck where you can actually see timing tables you will see what I am talking about. I use premium in them all, I drive 110 miles everyday to work and back so to me less knock is better....2004 Chevy Colorado
LS1 5.7 swap/TBSS rear axle swap
03-11-2013, 07:43 PM #4
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I run Reg most of the year I switch to 93 for about 2 weeks to just clean out things along with some SeaFoam... I avg with almost 100K 14.7 MPG08 Z71 Avalanche Mods to date: K&N CAI,Hellwig Swaybars and End Links, Corsa Sport Exhaust, Superchips Programer,IPCW LOF & 3rd brake light and tails, AMI Gas door,Show Hooks and Door locks, Enkei Wheels, with Pirelli tires, StreetScene Bowties, Grant Steering wheel,Muth signal mirrors,SSBC Big Brake kit,Huskyliner Mug gards,Floor mats and Hood shield, McGard Lug nuts and locks, Bedrug, Cervini's Ram Air hood,35watt HID Fog lights, Sylvania bulbs all around ZXE's Highs and Lows, WhiteNight Back up lights,Sirius and HD Radio, SnugTop sitting on deck now Got a Softopper on now,Tempress Boat Hatches.... New Bilstein shocks are on... New Mods coming soon..... X
03-11-2013, 07:57 PM #5
I agree that the Higher octane makes the engine "sound" better. Ive noticed with the AFM kicked in, the truck runs better in the 4 cyl. mode with the higher octane. Some people have complained of the AFM causing a chatter noise which I did notice using 87 octane. Not noticeable with premium. I also have increased my mpg by 1 mpg using higher octane. I am only convinced of this due to my own experiences. I will not try to convince anyone else of this because if your not trying it yourself then theres no point in arguing it. Also all vehicles and situations are different. I had a tuner and tuned it for premium gas. This may be where I gained the 1 MPG but the AFM chatter was gone when I put premium in before I tuned it.
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03-11-2013, 09:42 PM #6
@nakranij swore by 93 even before he tuned for it. Now with tuning I could see some benefit beyond reduced engine clatter, but I just don't get it with no tuner.
I'm much more interested in the comparison of 87 E-10 versus 87 ethanol-free (if you can reliably find it, these days), as the cost difference could be as little as 5-7 cents/gal while the advantages to using ethanol-free are, in theory, a ~10% power improvement (i.e. better MPG) and less engine build-up. Ethanol-free could be a better choice for long term fuel consumption, but that's probably a discussion for another thread.
03-12-2013, 01:07 PM #7
- - - Updated - - -
It appears that this thread has stirred up quite a few somewhat emotional posts. While I do agree higher octane gasoline does make a difference in high performance vehicles, these are pickup trucks.
Unless the manufacturer state premium required, running premium is pretty much a waste of money.
Performance tunes are another valid reason to run premium gas as the tune will adjust engine timing for additional power.
I have read a few posts in these threads that indicate that the user runs premium gas because it makes them feel better. If that feeling is worth ~$6 a tank more, go right ahead.
- - - Updated - - -
I even had a 4.0L Ford Explorer and none of them "knocked" during acceleration.
03-12-2013, 01:22 PM #8
Fill one with 87oct and the other with 93 and then run some tests.....
I will with 99% accuracy guarantee that the truck running the 93oct. will respond better, have better engine wear, etc than the one running 87oct. Even though 87oct is the "minimum" recommended octane for the 5.3L even if it is better by 0.5% better than the 93oct.
Tuning the engine for 93oct. will increase that percentage to between 3-5% better. You also need to differentiate between gas with 10% ethanol and ethanol free gas, and the cost difference between all 6 of those blends.
I look at it this way. I fill up once a week. depending on gas prices I sit at about $65-$88 per 22 gallons of gas.
$5 more to go with 93oct is not going to kill me. Do you smoke or drink or drink coffee? $5 is less than what most people spend on 1 cup of coffee, and allot less if you have 2-4 cups a day.
So the $5 is almost as meaning less and trying to compare the difference betwen 87 and 93 oct.
If I would not burn up the seals and gaskets in the engine, kerosene for 101-110oct fuel is actually better, but you will blow a normal engine like our trucks have using that stuff in them.
03-12-2013, 01:49 PM #9
You and the manufacturer appear to disagree. Since the manufacturer knows about their products better than you or I do, I will go with their recommendation.
The engine's fuel management system is perfectly capable of handling a lower octane fuel.
Every study I have ever read is that the fuel mileage increase with premium gas in an engine that does not require premium gas is negligible. Certainly not worth the price difference.
Wear better???!!!! As my British neighbor says, "bollocks".
I'm not saying higher octane fuel does not have its place. If I was racing my truck, a few tenths of a second might be the difference between winning and losing. I don't race my truck, so premium fuel is not needed. I set my truck's cruise control at 65 on the highway and there is certainly no benefit of using premium gas for that.
03-12-2013, 01:56 PM #10
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Even tho I use exclusively 87 for price reasons, it costs 20+ cents more for it per gallon in CT, in the 1996 Suburban/Tahoe manual it says use at least 87oct fuel and it is safe to use higher and it may reduce "knock" but if the engine is knocking bad on 87 service the truck immediately.
In my opinion both are fine if your using the truck as a daily driver, but why spend the extra. This is coming from a very down to earth High Schooler who owns a 198,600+ mile truck that gets 12 on a good day and doesn't have a real job, so I'm as cheap/thrifty as possible. Also I think ethanol isn't all its cracked up to be... My truck normally runs on the reg 10% blend, but when I put the non-ethanol gas in the truck seems a little happier.
Keep in mind my truck is bare bone stock in terms of its powertrain.
1996 Chevy Tahoe LT 5.7L V8 4X4 205,000+ miles. Built proudly at Janesville Assembly in Janesville, Wisconsin
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