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Old 12-24-2015, 02:25 PM   #1
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Is premium gas worth it?

We have a 2003 Toyota Sequoia and trying to figure out if premium gas is worth it while towing. What do you think?

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Old 12-24-2015, 02:27 PM   #2
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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.


"If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy." - Red Green
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Old 12-24-2015, 02:36 PM   #3
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It's not likely that the owners manual for this particular vehicle recommends premium gasoline which means that you will get absolutely no benefit from using it. However, if the manual does mention the use of premium fuel, then you might get a very small performance boost but you are not likely to notice it without some sophisticated instrumentation and the increased cost would basically be wasted.
Bob Martel
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Old 12-24-2015, 03:22 PM   #4
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Considering the poor octane that is accepted as standard for fuel these days it would seem like a bit of an upgrade would help. So, try a tank and see how much of a difference it makes for you. While it's not supposed to help, your experience could vary as several brands of premium are not spiked with Ethanol. Good luck with your investigation. Just don't go for the premium that is about $0.60 more than regular. Wait until you get in an area where premium is only marked up about $0.20. Pat
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Old 12-24-2015, 03:32 PM   #5
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If it keeps it from knocking or retarding the timing as much as the regular while pulling it would be a good thing. I would be very inclined to try it.
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Old 12-24-2015, 03:49 PM   #6
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Read the owner's manual and go from there. Using it when unneeded is a waste of money. If your engine does not call for premium and you have pinging, you other have a timing issue or excessive carbon build up in the combustion chambers...I have a car with a high compression engine. It has at least two labels that say "Premium Fuel Only"...The inflated cost of premium over 87 ticks me off at every fill up.
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Old 12-24-2015, 05:02 PM   #7

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Thumbs up 91 E-free...

It depends on what benefits your looking for....I use it 'cuz 91 E-free is available at the local outlet I go to.
It's a must have for the boat which needs the octane and the purity, system won't tolerate the corn.
I also use it for our 53 Victoria for the same reason, it also requires a lead substitute and a couple oz of MMO at every fill-up.
91 goes in the Burb for the little bit of mpg gained, I use a FlashPac tuner to program the PCM for toeing & mpg when not.

AF #1

"Sticks & stones can break your bones...and hail will dent your Airstream"

So when is this..."old enough to know better" supposed to kick in?
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Old 12-24-2015, 05:33 PM   #8
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It's only useful if the engine was designed to allow the timing to advance slightly higher without preignition. Which will give a little more power possibly noticeable when pulling a heavy load, climbing grades or strong headwind. Our 2012 Ram does this and we may occasionally fill with premium for more a little power in the western mountains. Otherwise it's a waste of money.
Doug and Cheryl
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Old 12-24-2015, 06:22 PM   #9
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I burn premium because I have an engine with high enough compression ratio that it NEEDS it. I could try to sneek by with mid grade and save a few cents a mile but again I refuse to dwell on the little things in life. Look at the cost of premuim gas as compared to depreciation, tire wear, oil and filter changes and on and on and guess what the cost jump to premium is NOTHING! Look at the big picture, read the owners manual and drive on. Be more concerned with 2 wheel drive vs 4 wheel drive, half ton vs 3/4 ton or Hensley vs Pro pride,... and enjoy.
Merry Christmas and we will see you down the road, or at Canopener!
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Old 12-24-2015, 10:28 PM   #10
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I enjoyed this ...
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Old 12-25-2015, 03:55 AM   #11
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If the engine knocks or has ping on the hills, it is a sign you need to increase the octane of the gas used. That is what octane is all about. That is how they measure it. A pinging engine is on its way to a $2,500 rebuild job. The valves are likely to burn and so is the piston. If it actually knocks, that will blow the wrist pin bearings and maybe the rod bearings. If there is no ping under any operating conditions, you are using the proper octane rated fuel.
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Old 12-25-2015, 10:53 AM   #12
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Premium gas

This past summer my friend and mechanic told me he always uses premium mid grade instead of regular when towing his trailer (he has a chev pu).
I decided to try it on a trip in sept with my 4rnr towing the AS. I figured that I recovered at least 1/2 the cost increase on improved mileage and I really felt that I had slightly better performance especially on the hills.
Toyota has no problem with using higher octane and I believe (not100%sure) that they use higher octane in their performance testing.
I sold the RnR a few months ago and purchased a 2010 toyota tundra limited 5.7.
I used premium mid grade all the way from Canada to AZ (3400km) in november and am convinced it's worth the extra costs while towing. I switch back to regular when not towing.
Everything seems to indicate that with the Toyota at least it's worth it .
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Old 12-25-2015, 11:02 AM   #13
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Try a few tanks, my chevy caprice used to get better mileage when we used premium...just try it and see....
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Old 12-25-2015, 11:17 AM   #14
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I have an 03 seq. and run mid grade in it and its very happy under all conditions and with fuel so cheap right now why not? Premium is better for the motor under heavy loads!

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