Automotive

luxury model w/o premium gas

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  • May 7th, 2008 12:37 am
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[OP]
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Aug 7, 2004
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luxury model w/o premium gas

are there any luxury car model that does not require premium gas?

bmw, mercedes, audi, lexus etc...
19 replies
Deal Addict
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Oct 8, 2005
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So you want a luxury car but can't afford premium fuel? Ha ha.
Deal Addict
Oct 18, 2006
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I think the Caddy CTS with the 3.6L takes 87 octance.
Deal Fanatic
Apr 24, 2006
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Gotta pay to play.
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Nov 12, 2003
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Also I'd like to add if there are any luxury cars that can use soap and water for wiper fluid?
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Jan 21, 2007
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DealDemon wrote:
May 6th, 2008 11:24 am
are there any luxury car model that does not require premium gas?

bmw, mercedes, audi, lexus etc...

What's with all the hate against premium gas?

First off, the cost difference between regular 87 and premium 91 is about %10 (and less if you are in the US), or about $5-$10 a fill up and a total of a few hundred dollars a year.

Also, you get some return on the extra cost as tuned engines requiring premium usually have better fuel economy compared to other engines with similar HP/Torque.
[OP]
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here is an article i found


Why use premium gas when regular will do?
By James R. Healey, USA TODAY
Marti Mayne once fueled her low-octane Subaru with high-octane gas. Not now. Premium-gas prices "went sky high, and now I just use low grade" to motor around Yarmouth, Maine, where she runs a marketing business.
Cost differences between regular and premium is as plain as, well, the sign at the station, like this one in Chicago.
By Scott Olson, Getty Images

When prices dropped earlier this year, she stuck with cheaper fuel because "I don't think that my car runs any differently on high, medium or lower grade."

She's right. Engines designed for regular fuel don't improve on premium and sometimes run worse. And today's engines designed for premium run fine on regular, too, their makers say, though power declines slightly. (Background: About Octane ratings)

Prejudice and preference aside, engineers, scientists and the federal government say there's little need for premium.

When fuel's cheap, motorists are willing to pay 20 cents or so more for premium. But as gas prices sneak back up, the mental wrangle begins anew over whether it's OK to burn cheaper, regular-grade gas.


"I personally use regular even though my owner's manual says you'll get better performance with premium," says Lewis Gibbs, consulting engineer and 45-year veteran at Chevron oil company. He's chairman of Technical Committee 7 on Fuels, part of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Fuels & Lubricants Council. Gibbs knows gas.

Premium — gasoline having an octane rating 91 or higher — is just 12.1% of sales this year, down from 13.5% in 2002, when it was 22 cents a gallon cheaper, and well below the modern high of 20.3% in 1994, when it was 49 cents cheaper, according to industry and government data. Despite the allure of premium, once they abandon it, most motorists don't come back, the data suggest.

The main advantage of premium-grade gas is that it allows automakers to advertise a few more horsepower by designing and tuning engines to take advantage of premium's anti-knock properties. But auto engineers generally agree that if you use regular in a premium engine, the power loss is so slight, most drivers can't tell.

"I go back and forth, and I'm hard-pressed to notice" whether there's regular or premium in the tank, says Jeff Jetter, principal chemist at Honda Research and Development Americas. He drives an Acura designed for premium.

Import brands, especially, use premium fuel to distinguish their upmarket models. Most Toyotas, for instance, are designed to run on regular or midgrade, while the automaker's Lexus luxury brand prefers premium. Same with Honda and its Acura luxury line.

Gasoline retailers and refiners like high-test because it's more profitable than regular-grade gas is. The retailer paid about 8 cents more for the premium you pay 20 cents more for — though that margin can swing wildly. Refiners make a few cents a gallon more on premium than on regular when they sell to wholesale distributors.

As long as it's clean

Profit is meaningless to the modern engine, which, regardless of what's specified in the owner's manual, hardly cares what you use — as long as it's clean.

Today's engines use highly evolved versions of a device called a knock sensor to adjust settings automatically for low-octane gas. And more engine control computers have adequate memory to allow separate sets of instructions for various octanes. The engine control computers keep pushing to maximize performance on whatever grade of fuel is used.

Extreme pressure inside the cylinders causes knock, which is the sound of the pistons literally rattling inside the cylinders. Too much too long can damage the engine. A little now and then won't.

The only modern engines that should really need premium are those with superchargers, which force-feed fuel into the cylinders. "You're driving along and just tramp the gas and the knock sensor cannot sense the knock fast enough in some cases," because the supercharger boosts pressure so fast, says Bob Furey, chemist and fuels specialist at General Motors.

Burning regular when the owner's manual specifies premium won't void the warranty, nor damage the engine, even the most finicky automakers say. "You're giving up perhaps just a little bit of performance that a customer wouldn't really even notice, it's so slight," says Furey.


All Porsche engines are designed for premium, too, but it's not available everywhere. "Our cars must be able to drive all over the world, and so we are able to run on regular," says Jakob Neusser, director of powertrain development at Porsche's research and development center in Weissach, Germany. "You don't have to feel that a mechanical problem or anything else will happen" using regular gas, even in the highest-performance, regular-production Porsches.

Premium, in fact, sometimes is worse fuel than regular. It resists knock because it's harder to ignite than lower-octane fuels. As a result, some engines won't start as quickly or run as smoothly on premium, notes Gibbs, the SAE fuel expert.


No data show that engines designed strictly for regular run better or longer on premium.

The Federal Trade Commission, in a consumer notice, emphasizes: "(I)n most cases, using a higher-octane gasoline than your owner's manual recommends offers absolutely no benefit. It won't make your car perform better, go faster, get better mileage or run cleaner."

There is "no way of taking advantage of premium in a regular-grade car," says Furey.

"There is no gain. You're wasting money," insists Jim Blenkarn, in charge of powertrains at Nissan in the USA.

"No customer should ever be deluded into thinking there's any value in buying a higher grade of octane than we specify," says Toyota's Paul Williamsen, technical expert and trainer.
Deal Addict
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Mar 16, 2006
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boooooo...i just paid $70/tank for premier gas on Sunday.
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Feb 21, 2007
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With gas costs rising high, we are looking for used SUVs/luxury cars without the requirement for premium too.
I mean...buying a gas-guzzling SUV/luxury sedan AND paying premium...not the greatest idea in my books. Especially since we are buying used, we are trying to save money...the idea of paying premium all the time defeats that purpose.
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Jun 18, 2004
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Almost all of them, except for high performance models, can use lower octane fuel. You'll lose performance and fuel economy, and it's not great for the engine, but those are obviously not high on your list of priorities.
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2004
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DealDemon wrote:
May 6th, 2008 12:23 pm
here is an article i found ...
Honestly there's so many threads on this already that it's rather pointless to comment much (of course I will though ha!). A lot of that stuff in the article isn't exactly true and doesn't account much for production variances from engine to engine and the fact that the results from running higher or lower octane in any given car can have varying effects. Sometimes there will be no real difference, other times it can be marked; it's unlikely that damage or warranty issues will arise but it's not impossible either. Etc.

The effects all depend on your exact car. Not your neighbours car of the same make, model and engine, but your exact vehicle. To be certain you'd have to hook up an OBD-II device/program and watch the KR over several tankfuls of either type, with similar temperature and driving conditions.

Otherwise most of what is said is true, at least generally. You aren't going to kill your car or harm your engine in perhaps most cases but there's no real data or research done either way. The article conveniently mentions that there's nothing to say running higher-than-recommended octane increases engine life or reliablity, but it forgets to mention there's no real data the other way either. That is, there's no real evidence saying that running lower-than-recommended octane doesn't decrease engine life or reliability.

I'm not saying anything either way either. The basic rule is just to use what's in your manual. If you want to experiment within a few octane points up or down, then by all means go ahead and see if there's any difference (either real or perceived). Again though there's lots of threads like this already.
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Jun 18, 2004
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I find that article bizzare. If you read it carefully, you'll note that NONE of the experts are telling you that you should be using regular in an engine that's DESIGNED FOR PREMIUM. All it says is that the power loss is generally not noticeable in daily driving, which is hardly a surprise. It doesn't say anything about long term reliability. The bulk of the article is composed of evidence for why you shouldn't use premium in a car DESIGNED FOR REGULAR, which is also no surprise, and (as per the article)there is no disagreement on that.

I don't know if that's the writer's intention, but people reading it seem to get the impression that the Octane rating is some kind of scam.
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Jul 4, 2004
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One exception - if you have a turbo, use premium. Don't even THINK about regular.
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Mercedes e320 CDi :cheesygri

Hubby drove his to Ottawa for three years and back on $80 a week! Now that he is home it takes us more than 2 months to go through that!

Driving it you will never know it's a diesel!
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brokenteeth wrote:
May 6th, 2008 11:46 am
What's with all the hate against premium gas?

First off, the cost difference between regular 87 and premium 91 is about %10 (and less if you are in the US), or about $5-$10 a fill up and a total of a few hundred dollars a year.

Also, you get some return on the extra cost as tuned engines requiring premium usually have better fuel economy compared to other engines with similar HP/Torque.
THIS
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