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TOPIC: Premium gas for non turbos?

Premium gas for non turbos? 1 year 9 months ago #557

Canadian show "Marketplace", says no difference between premium and regular gas.
My Operators manuel says 91 octane (premium), 2005 V70.
What is the consensus form VCOA?
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Re: Premium gas for non turbos? 1 year 9 months ago #561

  • tailfin
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This is not the opinion of the VCOA, but my own personal experience.

Well, due to the fact that most octane ratings have been discontinued and we are left to cope with 85, 88 and 91 in most areas, there is not much choice. There are a number of factors that determine which octane should be used including engine compression and I'm not going to get into the discussion of Leaded/Non-Leaded, or alcohol infused products.

So, assuming that you are using a later model vehicle in good repair, here is my two cents:

If you live in a mountain or high elevation area, you probably have access to 85 octane. I wouldn't recommend using that low grade in any area, in any case (unless you're stuck in the middle of the desert with no other options).

I have experimented with 88 and 91 for the past 10 years or so and found only a few cases where using 91 modestly improved gas mileage. This only seemed to make a difference in the Plain states. Add in hills and valleys and the increase was negligible. So, is the increased cost worth such a minor increase in mpg?

As far as using 88 when 91 is specified, I have never had any issues maintenance wise that would indicate lower octane caused a problem. I probably have over a million miles logged in various Volvos and I have never had an engine damaged or rebuilt due to low octane. I can't say that about the domestics I've owned though...

So, unless your V70 is knocking when you use 88, I don't see a problem. If it does knock, then I think there is an underlying issue you need to have diagnosed that is really causing the problem.

I'm going to make a comment on Ethanol anyway. I have extensively tested this $#!% on many cross country trips and it always costs more, produces less power and reduces gas mileage from 14-20% over 88 octane. ALWAYS! This is particularly maddening when travelling through Nebraska, where it is difficult to find real gas of any octane.

That's my opinion and I'm sure you receive many others.
I want to die like my Grandfather did, peacefully in his sleep.
Not screaming in terror like the passengers in his car.
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Re: Premium gas for non turbos? 1 year 9 months ago #563

Thanks, I'll try running regular (87). My car has never had regular gas before. I was once told the lower octane would eventually plug the catalytic converter.
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Re: Premium gas for non turbos? 1 year 9 months ago #564

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That's interesting. There are only several hundred million cars running around this planet on 87-88 octane gas. Converters foul because someone contaminates them with leaded gas, not lower octane gas.

Try a few tanks. If you don't notice a difference, pocket the change. If it makes you feel better, run a tank of 91 through once and a while.

Don't worry, be happy!
I want to die like my Grandfather did, peacefully in his sleep.
Not screaming in terror like the passengers in his car.
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