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What would Darth Vader do
 
Gordon Rankin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Orange, California
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California Fuel

If you are a California driver, what grade of fuel do you use in your car?
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Old 02-13-2004, 01:48 PM
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i just use the cheap stuff,,,every 2 months throw in a bottle of injecter cleaner,,,, i can't notice any performance increase with higher octane....anyway the cars are made to run on low lead...save your money and spend it towards needed maint..
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Old 02-13-2004, 04:24 PM
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This is a hotly debated topic, perhaps second only to "what's the best kind of oil", but here's my $0.02. I use only the highest octane available which is usually a rather pathetic 91 here in Cali (some areas of the country have widely available 93 or even 94). Even though the car will RUN on 87 or possibly even lower, the fuel burn will be less complete and more uneven and more explosive. I doubt it makes much difference in the short run, but after millions upon millions of fuel/air mixtures igniting I suspect even very subtle differences matter in terms of stress on components.

With a higher octane, the fuel/air mixture burns more slowly and evenly and transfers the power by means of expansion to the piston more smoothly, enough so to be significant over many cycles, perhaps even significant enough to offset the cost of expensive repairs later in the engine's life cycle. That's my theory anyway.

I figure there's got to be a reason that (for example) airplane engines specify a minimum octane rating of 100 or higher in many cases (and they don't run compressions much higher than these ones do, so it isn't for compression alone). So basically, I'm betting a few extra cents a gallon on that I'm really being "nicer" to my engines and giving them extra longevity.

I'd love to see if any scientific studies have been done on this anywhere. . .
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Old 02-13-2004, 07:22 PM
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^^^

Agreed. I can only afford the "cheap stuff" 87 octane for my bug, but for cars with high compression ratios a higher octane is reccommended for the reasons you suggested. It also reduces "knocking" which can eventually lead to damage of the engine.

Porsche highly reccommends useing 91 octane or better with your p-car. When i first had my 944 there was a significant difference between 87 octane and 91 octane fuel being run through the engine. I noticed the car had a little more pick-up, and wasn't as loud when idling at 800-1000 rpms.

Then again, that was just me.
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Old 02-13-2004, 08:00 PM
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