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Old 04-30-2017, 08:15 PM   #1
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Higher octane fuel is coming...

Definitely would be a cost-effective way to increase fuel efficiency, at the expense of paying slightly more at the pump.

Why high octane fuel matters and why automakers hope you are willing to pay more for it

Automakers Want Higher Octane Gas and Are Starting to Do Something About It

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In Europe, tests have shown a 10-percent power gain from 98 octane fuel over a North American premium blend. Still, the jury’s out on how far gas prices would rise if high-octane fuel became the new standard, and motorists with engines that can’t make use of the extra energy potential would likely hold a grudge.
Keep in mind that 98 octane is in RON, which is 94 AKI for us yanks. Our premium usually is 91-93 AKI. So going up one to three AKI yielded a 10% increase in fuel economy? Damn.

Here are some octane rating conversions for those in other countries:

http://www.pencilgeek.org/2009/05/oc...nversions.html
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Old 04-30-2017, 11:53 PM   #2
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I've always argued fuel in the US is pretty pants. Our fuel is dear anyway, so if I can see 98 octane or higher, I'll usually fork the extra. Nearly bought V Power from Shell yesterday but it was 9 pence a litre more, which is too much in my opinion ($6.48 a US gallon)

Good fuel is similar to decent oil in my opinion, you might pay more for fully synthetic, but it has to be worth it if you can do 20,000 between changes. You get what you pay for, increased economy/engine protection and reduced emissions.
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Old 05-01-2017, 12:25 AM   #3
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Higher octane only equals better efficiency in something with the higher compression to take advantage of the fuel. Otherwise, there aren't more BTUs because it's detonation resistance is higher.
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Old 05-01-2017, 04:25 AM   #4
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Used to be the upcharge was a dime per grade so premium cost twenty cents more per gallon than regular at the pumps. The actual cost to the refiner to produce was a little over half a penny. A Texaco engineer who was a client told me all about it once. Now the jump is thirty cents or so and they want to add a 4th level at even higher prices? No thanks. My car runs fine on regular and even if it had one of these new "magic" engines the CPM would be prohibitive and higher overall because it wouldn't be "magic" enough to offset the insane fuel price.
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Old 05-01-2017, 04:26 AM   #5
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You get what you pay for as long as you are an astute consumer who doesn't fall for all the crap many will throw on the wall to see if you are a sucker.

10% better fuel economy WILL NOT COME ONLY BECAUSE OF HIGHER OCTANE. More so it will require things like Ford's ecoboost engines to utilize the potential of the fuel. Longevity and reliability will suffer

I'm doing fine with the cheap stuff. I doubt I'll ever drive for less than right now, 30,000 miles for $1k in fuel.
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Old 05-01-2017, 06:00 AM   #6
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This isn't just offering another higher octane, but also raising the octane of regular.

And we should, regular is higher octane in most of the other first world countries. It will reduce engine development costs, and yield better fuel economy and performance. Mazda had to restrict their SkyActive engines because of our crappy regular octane. Japan and Europe get better fuel economy and performance from them.

Since no car sold now has a carburetor, we should switch to RON either way. It better represents how fuel behaves with fuel injection.

Going to higher regular would suck for people with older engines. It also sucked for those with soft metal valves when lead was taken out of gas. Change tends not to be pain free, but that doesn't negate its benefits.
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Old 05-01-2017, 10:10 AM   #7
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regular ole 87 octane (R+M/2 method which is what is posted on the pumps here in the US) works fine 4 me/mine I don't need or want more
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Old 05-01-2017, 03:56 PM   #8
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You don't have rising CAFE targets to worry about.
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Old 05-01-2017, 04:30 PM   #9
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Why would higher octane suck for older engines?
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Old 05-01-2017, 05:55 PM   #10
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The ONLY purpose for higher octane in gasoline (petrol) is to prevent detonation, also known as the unintended explosion of the compressed fuel-air mixture in the cylinder, before it is intentionally ignited by the spark plug. This includes a phenomenon known as "knocking," which is why octane is sometimes called "anti-knock."

Feeding an engine a lower octane fuel than that demanded by the manufacturer (e.g, using mid-grade when the user manual tells you to use only premium) may reduce horsepower and/or damage your engine.

Using higher octane fuel than your user manual recommends (e.g., using premium when your manual says regular is fine), will not increase power, fuel economy, or any other positive trait in any meaningful manner, and most certainly, it will not provide sufficient benefit to compensate for the significantly higher fuel cost. That's just a plain fact.

The only time when using a higher octane fuel give you a benefit, is when you run it in an engine that was specifically designed to need that extra octane. Otherwise, it's a waste of the consumer's money.

In actual research using a variety of vehicles (various number of cylinders, base horsepower, automatic and manual transmission, brands and models), if you use a higher octane rating than what your vehicle needs, tests showed some vehicles actually got a slight reduction in power and/or fuel economy, and some got a miniscule increase.

Even so, Internet myths will persist, such as:
  • Higher octane gets you better MPG, HP, torque, longevity, fewer repairs, lower emissions, etc.
  • Nitrogen in your tires provide some benefit
  • You can bolt on a mail-order fuel saver that'll give you better fuel economy
  • etc.
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