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Old 08-07-2019, 11:37 PM   #15
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This article seems like a silly intermission statement between meaningful content pieces. Anyone who knows automobiles that cares about an octane rating already knows pros/cons.

Tune for the detonation resistance. Just like most anything else in life, anything worth having usually requires a risk. If your tune can accommodate a wide range of fuels, the tune isn't taking advantage of a detonation resistance given by a higher octane fuel. Similarly, tuning for a higher octane only fuel and purposefully toeing the line, if the fuel quality suffers, the tune's margin for error may be too slim and you'll blow it.

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Old 08-08-2019, 08:25 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by serialk11r View Post
That's too expensive, E85 is the only octane booster that's cost effective, because even in Cali it's barely more expensive than gasoline per LHV BTU.
On a side note, I stopped at a new Racetrac station that opened near my home today. They have E85 and E20 as well as the normal blends.

Never seen E20 before, not quite sure what it's purpose is. I wish they had used the pump for some non-ethanol (E0) fuel like some of their other stations.
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Old 08-08-2019, 08:32 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Dadhawk View Post
On a side note, I stopped at a new Racetrac station that opened near my home today. They have E85 and E20 as well as the normal brands.

Never seen E20 before, not quite sure what it's purpose is. I wish they had used the pump for some non-ethanol (E0) fuel like some of their other stations.
E20 is a pretty weird blend to be selling...E15 is the highest e% you can to run according to the EPA on a non-flex fuel car, E25-30 is where you get max miles/$ and probably the highest you can go before maxing out direct injectors on some cars.

Flex fuel vehicles are supposed to be able to run E85, and if it's cheap enough you would do it. I guess gasoline prices have been hammered in the last few years so people don't find it worth it, unless they have a huge turbo.

I'm guessing the E20 is 87 blended with E85 to get ~92-93 octane gas, but I don't think people pulling up to the pump know that.

I would love having an E85 station nearby if I had a car...put stupid high compression ratio pistons in the car and blend some premium to get 95 MON gas 10% more power for free.
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Old 08-08-2019, 08:46 AM   #18
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E20 is a pretty weird blend to be selling...E15 is the highest e% you can to run according to the EPA on a non-flex fuel car, E25-30 is where you get max miles/$ and probably the highest you can go before maxing out direct injectors on some cars..
Yea, that's what I thought as well. I use E85 in our Suburban when I can get it but E20 just seems weird. It's placarded to only be used in FlexFuel vehicles as you would expect at least.
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Old 08-08-2019, 11:03 AM   #19
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E20 is a pretty weird blend to be selling...
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Yea, that's what I thought as well. I use E85 in our Suburban when I can get it but E20 just seems weird. It's placarded to only be used in FlexFuel vehicles as you would expect at least.
E20 at Racetrac is probably a market test to "prove" that E20 won't result in rampant engine failures.

There is an EU environmentalist mandate that will require 10% of the energy produced by automotive fuel to come from biofuel sources by 2020. Note that's 10% of the energy, not 10% of the volume of fuel. Because ethanol is less energy dense than gasoline, E10 only gets 7% of its energy from ethanol, so it won't meet the mandate. To complicate it further, some European states have set their own targets higher than 10%, so E15 won't even meet the standards everywhere. E20 is probably an interim step to E30.

Flex-fuel European cars should be hitting the market by now with E20 recommended in their owners' manuals. Fuel retailers love this because ethanol is cheaper than gasoline, so they can offer a higher octane fuel as an alternative to premium at a lower price. With the loss in fuel economy people will end up paying about the same per mile. But realizing that would require them to do math, which they won't.

Being a discount retailer, Racetrac was one of the first chains to start offering E15 in defiance of auto manufacturers saying it would result in owners of non-flex-fuel cars damaging their engines. It makes sense that they would be an early adopter of E20. They'll probably be among the first to offer E30 as well. They're also based in Atlanta, so it would make sense to see market testing of new blends in Georgia.
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Old 08-08-2019, 11:16 AM   #20
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Being a discount retailer, Racetrac was one of the first chains to start offering E15 in defiance of auto manufacturers saying it would result in owners of non-flex-fuel cars damaging their engines. It makes sense that they would be an early adopter of E20. They'll probably be among the first to offer E30 as well. They're also based in Atlanta, so it would make sense to see market testing of new blends in Georgia.
No that all makes sense, although the pumps and the hoses are clearly marked "FLEX FUEL VEHICLES ONLY - MAY DAMAGE OTHER ENGINES" so not sure how much of a market test it is.
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Old 08-08-2019, 11:58 AM   #21
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No that all makes sense, although the pumps and the hoses are clearly marked "FLEX FUEL VEHICLES ONLY - MAY DAMAGE OTHER ENGINES" so not sure how much of a market test it is.
Even non-flex-fuel vehicles built after 2001 are supposed to be able to handle higher levels of ethanol, but there's this idea of a "blend wall" above which engine damage starts to appear. The manufacturers all believed the blend wall was 10% (E10). The gasoline retailers wanted to believe there's no such thing as a blend wall, and that the manufacturers were just being overly cautious to avoid warranty claims. I suspect part of the issue was that manufacturers also didn't want to be blamed for the inevitable disappointment in fuel economy that comes with ethanol. ("I ain't gettin' anywhere near the mileage they said I would. GM sucks!")

The manufacturers therefore pushed back on making E15 available at all because they were afraid dumbasses would ignore the flex fuel warnings on the pumps and use it anyway (which they do). Some fuel associations and cheapie retailers (including Racetrac) pushed for it and ran market tests with it to "prove" that the blend wall didn't exist even with dumbasses using fuel they weren't supposed to. IIRC Minnesota was a big test ground for E15, where the retailers claimed victory because the fuel wasn't specifically blamed for any engine failures.

So Racetrac is likely testing the idea that it's safe to market E20, even with dumbasses out there who will misuse it. If it sells and they don't get sued for engine damage, they'll roll it out nationwide.
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Old 08-08-2019, 01:34 PM   #22
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Both of my cars require 91 octane, per the owners manuals. 1992 Integra GS-R and 2006 Cayman S. All the stations in the south (whole east coast really) have 93 so that's what I run. At my local Shell station regular 87 is $2.44/gal and premium 93 is $3.17.

Given the age and mileage (340,000 miles) of the GS-R I wouldn't dream of using anything other than 93 octane, even though it does have a knock sensor. As to the Cayman, what's a few hundred dollars a year to ensure the engine has less wear/stress? Engine replacement on this car is $15k+; $20k+ for a new engine.
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Old 08-08-2019, 02:55 PM   #23
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I live in Kentucky. Here, most stations charge $.60 more for premium (I've seen the difference as high as $1). I've been filling up at Kroger for the entire 172k miles I've driven this car because they only charge $.30 more.

This matters because I use almost an entire tank every two work days. i.e. every other day on my way to work I put about 11 gallons in.

Well, The only kroger on my main route just bumped it to $.60 more. There is one other that is still at $.30. But it increases my drive by ten miles, though it is a somewhat faster and less curvy (major 2 lane highways) route.

Looks like I might be selling this car.
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Old 08-08-2019, 03:02 PM   #24
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An article about premium vs regular gas that makes no mention of compression ratios? WTF?
The comical part is that it is that they didn't mention it, and yet it's all that matters. It IS the point. When I'm bored I watch youtube videos. I've seen a lot of them on "good" vs "cheap" gas. Not always, but usually they will tell you that "premium" is not any better than regular. It's just for a different compression ratio.

Frankly, I have no idea what mid-grade is for. I've only heard of cars with a compression ratio for regular, and cars with a compression ratio for premium.

Now, for an embarrassing exposure of my ignorance: Diesel oil has a very high compression ratio. What happens if you mix regular with some diesel? Injector clogging?
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Old 08-08-2019, 03:06 PM   #25
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Both of my cars require 91 octane, per the owners manuals. 1992 Integra GS-R and 2006 Cayman S. All the stations in the south (whole east coast really) have 93 so that's what I run. At my local Shell station regular 87 is $2.44/gal and premium 93 is $3.17.

Given the age and mileage (340,000 miles) of the GS-R I wouldn't dream of using anything other than 93 octane, even though it does have a knock sensor. As to the Cayman, what's a few hundred dollars a year to ensure the engine has less wear/stress? Engine replacement on this car is $15k+; $20k+ for a new engine.
Ha. You and I are in the same boat, I just realized.

I was in California a couple of years ago and was shocked at how little difference there is between the price of 87 and 92 octane.

As I mentioned in my video, if I was paying more than $30 per gallon for 83, I would have sold the car long ago. It's a matter of principle. I don't like getting ripped off. And we ARE getting ripped off.
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Old 08-08-2019, 04:13 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by WolfpackS2k View Post
Both of my cars require 91 octane, per the owners manuals. 1992 Integra GS-R and 2006 Cayman S. All the stations in the south (whole east coast really) have 93 so that's what I run. At my local Shell station regular 87 is $2.44/gal and premium 93 is $3.17.

Given the age and mileage (340,000 miles) of the GS-R I wouldn't dream of using anything other than 93 octane, even though it does have a knock sensor. As to the Cayman, what's a few hundred dollars a year to ensure the engine has less wear/stress? Engine replacement on this car is $15k+; $20k+ for a new engine.
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Ha. You and I are in the same boat, I just realized.


I was in California a couple of years ago and was shocked at how little difference there is between the price of 87 and 92 octane.

As I mentioned in my video, if I was paying more than $30 per gallon for 83, I would have sold the car long ago. It's a matter of principle. I don't like getting ripped off. And we ARE getting ripped off.

On average here
87 = $4.67
91 = $5.17
93 = $5.40


And before anybody says "well that is only XXX in US $" we are not paying in US $ so exchange rate is meaningless here.


If you are paying more than $30 a gallon then yes you are getting ripped off. Even Europe isn't that bad.


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Old 08-09-2019, 05:41 AM   #27
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Both of my cars require 91 octane, per the owners manuals. 1992 Integra GS-R and 2006 Cayman S. All the stations in the south (whole east coast really) have 93 so that's what I run. At my local Shell station regular 87 is $2.44/gal and premium 93 is $3.17.

Given the age and mileage (340,000 miles) of the GS-R I wouldn't dream of using anything other than 93 octane, even though it does have a knock sensor. As to the Cayman, what's a few hundred dollars a year to ensure the engine has less wear/stress? Engine replacement on this car is $15k+; $20k+ for a new engine.
Most owners manuals say that because of California crap gas.

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Originally Posted by LotsaMiles View Post
I live in Kentucky. Here, most stations charge $.60 more for premium (I've seen the difference as high as $1). I've been filling up at Kroger for the entire 172k miles I've driven this car because they only charge $.30 more.

This matters because I use almost an entire tank every two work days. i.e. every other day on my way to work I put about 11 gallons in.

Well, The only kroger on my main route just bumped it to $.60 more. There is one other that is still at $.30. But it increases my drive by ten miles, though it is a somewhat faster and less curvy (major 2 lane highways) route.

Looks like I might be selling this car.
You can run 91 on this car just fine. Better yet sounds like a good reason to switch to E85 if you can get it.
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Old 08-09-2019, 10:14 AM   #28
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On average here
87 = $4.67
91 = $5.17
93 = $5.40


And before anybody says "well that is only XXX in US $" we are not paying in US $ so exchange rate is meaningless here.


If you are paying more than $30 a gallon then yes you are getting ripped off. Even Europe isn't that bad.


The worst was buying 94 when regular was up around 1.40.

I think I payed near 1.65 a liter and cost me $70 to fill.

Still... It could be worse and you live in BC. It was 1.65 for regular when I was there on vacation last year.

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