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Old 12-25-2015, 12:18 PM   #15
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Not necessary if regular is recommended by your owners manual. The different grades are primarily for engine timing. Being that the vehicle is 13 years old going up to midgrade may help some but very little. You would be better buying a better branded gasoline that has the manufacturers additives to clean and decarb than to increase octane level
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Old 12-25-2015, 12:30 PM   #16
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Toyotas typically were built to run on regular. You can put a higher octane in it but it won't run any better. Someone may perceive that they are getting better performance but without technical measurement it's probably just a placebo effect. If your engine is pinging you should take it in for service. If it's not pinging then you're good to run regular

Your owner's manual is your best source of information, follow its recommendations.
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Old 12-25-2015, 01:45 PM   #17
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Use the grade your owner manual says to use and make sure the brand/producer is top tier spec'ed...for several reasons.
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Old 12-25-2015, 02:03 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by gomotomoto View Post
We have a 2003 Toyota Sequoia and trying to figure out if premium gas is worth it while towing. What do you think?
NOPE!

My previous TV was a Toyota 4-Runner 6 cyl. that I checked milage on trips by filling the tank completely, and after the trip, refilling the tank at the same pump, and recording the 'klikage'.
(I live in Canada). This, while towing a 23' Hi-Lo, [gross wt. 6000#. Avg. tow wt. 5300#.)
Then I ran two tanks of Premium fuel to allow the Computer to relearn the new octane rating; then did the identical trips using the premium.
No change.

The use of Octane is to prevent detonation [or "knock"] during the combustion process.
Octane will only give you more power, or better gas milage by other means; such as higher combustion ratio, supercharging, advanced ignition and so forth.
If your car is happy using regular while towing, don't waste your money on premium; and don't listen to so-called expert gas jockeys who want to take your extra money.

F.Y.I: I am a retired Canadian A.M.E., what you in the 'States would call an A&P-A.I. aircraft mechanic; who has been driving (and inc'l. rallying) for over 55 years.
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Old 12-25-2015, 02:34 PM   #19
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Any VERY slight mileage gain produced by some timing advance, is not offset by the cost difference. Use what the owner manual states and save your money.
In the early 70s, I had a VW.412 Stn.wgn. that used regular gas. i think that it had a compression ratio of about 7:5, but not sure. It was gutless.
So I advanced the ign. 12 degrees, and used Sunoco 91 Octane, (R&M) which was 5 cents a gallon,[pre-metric] more. the power increase was impressive; the car was now more competitive on the highway; but more important was that the gas milage increased to the point of working out a 1/2 cent cheaper per gallon in use.

Later on, a 2001 Subaru Outback, rather gutless on the highway; starting using premium fuel. I could not advance the ignition, but the computer did it for me anyway. the car became rather more 'snappy', and the fuel 'milage' (Canadian Klikage?) increased to the point of ALMOST being equal to the greater cost [10 cents/litre] of the Sunoco/Petro-Canada premium.

Later Subarus, and my Toyota 4-Runner did not benefit from Premium, so I just use regular now. My new Ford-F150 EcoBoost calls for regular also.
Seems to work ok.
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Old 12-25-2015, 03:04 PM   #20
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and make sure the brand/producer is top tier spec'ed...for several reasons.
That is arguable...I have lived next to a non-top tier station for 22 years. I use their gas nearly all the time and whatever el cheapo I stumble on the rest of the time. My four wheeled vehicles are a '77, 87,89,90, and 94, with a '77 and '00 motorcycle thrown in. I have a mix of carbs, electro mechanical FI and electronic FI. I have never had a fuel related issue.
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Old 12-25-2015, 03:37 PM   #21
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Premium octane gas ignite (or auto ignite) at higher temperatures. Lower octane gas self ignites at a lower temperature. Higher compression ratio engines cause low grade gas to self ignite and cause what is called "ping". Engines that ping on acceleration or climbing a hill are causing damage to the engine. Use higher octane gas if your engine is experiencing ping. Using off grade gas with lower detergent additives cause deposits in the engine and can cause carburetors or injectors to foul.
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Old 12-25-2015, 03:46 PM   #22
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Is premium gas worth it?

Newer engines designed to run premium fuel will automatically retard the engine timing below the point of pinging (predestination) thus reducing the engines power output and will in effect rob you of gas mileage.The Ecoboost engines are a prime example of this.So by burning regular in these engines you are not gaining but losing.


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Old 12-25-2015, 05:08 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by gomotomoto View Post
We have a 2003 Toyota Sequoia and trying to figure out if premium gas is worth it while towing. What do you think?
If every gas vehicle was high compression & used 93 octane gas, fuel consumption of the USA could drop by 15%.

If your vehicle does not have high comp pistons, high octane fuel effects will be lessened. If the engine CPU advances the timing to the point of valve knock, then high octane fuel still can yield more power or economy.

I run pure 91 or 93 gasoline & set up the engine for high octane fuel:heavy towing when towing a trailer. (Recently saw 10.7 mpg)

When not towing, I run 87 oct. pure gas & set the engine to economy. (usually average 13.8 to 14.4 mpg solo)

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Old 12-26-2015, 07:52 AM   #24
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Premium fuel in a 2003 Toyota Is not needed and of no benefit.


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Old 12-26-2015, 08:29 AM   #25
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Our 2012 Hemi Ram gets better MPG using the cheaper gas when empty and not pulling anything,, but we do upgrade a level when pulling as it will rattle the pistons at lower rpms other wise. Sodbust
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Old 12-26-2015, 12:24 PM   #26
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Ok to dispel myths about Premium or 92 octane gasoline, 1: if the mfg says use it, then use it. The timing on the engine control ( nowadays a computer function) has been set for optimum performance at ASTM 92 octane.2: and I know I will get flack from this but I do know of which I speak 20 years testing motor fuel quality on a field test basis for a state agency, and 15 years in the retail side of the gas business, BUT I DIGRESS, where was I oh yeah 2: dispelling the other myth premium burns colder , not hotter and one auto manufacture Dodge will tell you if you are towing and it is hot outside to burn higher octane fuel to keep the temperature down, this is good advise but Dodge should have addressed their engineering problem instead of telling customers of a workaround,, you Dakota owners with the v8 know what I'm talking about. 3 Myth I get better economy using premium,, short answer see number one. Long answer the difference in octane from 87-92 ( non mountain states fuel) is so minimal that it makes a non noticeable difference ( as in run a 1000 gallons through and you might add 0.5-1.25% increase, same road same conditions etc etc, so this is myth although true, is a non issue) nuff said

Bottom line ,, towing in the desert use premium if your Tv calls for 87 octane engine will run cooler. If your rig calls for 92 then burn 92.
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Now a Not so Short note about. 89 or blended fuels, when unleaded fuel was introduced to the industry there were 2 tanks in the ground 90% of the stations in the country sold. Regular and Ethel. The phasing out of the leaded gasoline during a time when most cars still needed the lead to protect the valve seats. Caused the need to have a third tank installed so there was leaded and unleaded, and ethyl. Follow along here for a second. Once the leaded gasoline was gone you had an extra tank in the ground. Our friends in the petroleum industry decided we need something in that tank, 40/60 blend of 92/87 octane brought it to 89. This is where they perpetuated a big fraud and told us our 87 burning cars would run better and we would get better fuel economy. ( bald face lie) now for the kicker forty years later there is once again just 2 tanks in the ground with dispensers that will blend fuel at multiple ratios up to 14 different blends available to the customers. Lol 14 come on the spread from 87-92 is so small this is a joke,, just my humble but correct opinion.
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Old 12-26-2015, 04:38 PM   #27
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Ok to dispel myths about Premium or 92 octane gasoline...
Just a few things to add. Another (mech) engineer, ex fuel supplier, who once upon a time ran a single cylinder test engine in a lab to determine octane number.

Engines don't require a single grade, and operating conditions make a difference as well. Summer vs winter, altitude or sea level, engine clean or not, and so on. So the manufacturer specs a recommended AKI to cover all the bases. The real world is a continuum. So some will need that 92 at a point in time, and others won't. My BMW M54 spec'd 91, but ran great on 89 at my altitude, with my driving pattern. No retarding of timing, same fuel mileage 89 or 91, for the 80,000 that I ran it. When I travelled I used 91 because I didn't know the local fuel suppliers, so it was safer. A later model BMW with twin turbos ran fine on 89, but ran better on 91, and really came alive on 94. The stock engine tuning could take advantage of the higher AKI. If all that sounds too complicated, and particularly if you don't measure and log all fuel purchases, it is easier to go with what the manufacturer says. Suboptimal, but easier.

Next variable is the amount of additives/cleansers etc in the fuel. Some suppliers put more in the higher grades. That can make a difference.

Most important variable to me is the amount of ethanol contaminating the fuel I purchase. They have to put x% ethanol in by law, but not by fuel grade, rather averaged over all sales. So they put more ethanol in the cheaper grades, at least where I live. The blending pumps can put 10% in the 87, 5% in the 89, and none in the 91, for example.

When I find premium with no ethanol, it pays for itself due to the improved mileage relating to no ethanol, with the AKI not impacting it. That is at my local (high) fuel prices. I buy 94 with no ethanol over 91 with ethanol, getting no benefit from the higher AKI but covering the up charge for it with improved mileage. YMMV.

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Old 12-26-2015, 04:40 PM   #28
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nrgtrakr, thanks for sharing the link. Seeing the science behind the regular vs. premium issue helped me finally made sense of the debate.

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Originally Posted by FunyFarm View Post
Ok to dispel myths about Premium or 92 octane gasoline...
FunyFarm, thanks for sharing your real world experience and knowledge, which supported what was in the Car and Driver article. Sometimes it is a challenge to sort out facts from opinions.

Happy New Year to all!
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