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Old 05-17-2016, 12:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default No 87 octane

I noticed last time I crossed the US that in New Mexico and Arizona they didn't have 87 octane, is less octane better than a higher octane, how does this work?
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Old 05-17-2016, 02:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Octane, in this usage of the term, describes gasoline ignitability. A lower octane number has high ignitability, that is, it ignites at a lower temperature. High octane needs a higher temperature to ignite and so can be used in high compression engines. With a lower compression engine like our Insights, regular gas works perfectly and there is no benefit to having a higher temperature requirement to burn the fuel. With a higher compression you get higher temperatures and the use of regular gas can cause premature ignition and damage the engine by igniting before the spark plug. It sounds like a lot of tiny marbles banging angrily inside the cylinder- a sickening sound.

There is a general misunderstanding that higher octane fuel has more energy. Not so- less in fact. But because you can push an engine's compression higher with high octane fuel you can get more power out of a given engine capacity. You will get more efficiency too but only if the engine is designed for high compression.

The moral of the story is to buy regular gas.
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Old 05-17-2016, 03:08 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhall View Post
Octane, in this usage of the term, describes gasoline ignitability. A lower octane number has high ignitability, that is, it ignites at a lower temperature. High octane needs a higher temperature to ignite and so can be used in high compression engines. With a lower compression engine like our Insights, regular gas works perfectly and there is no benefit to having a higher temperature requirement to burn the fuel. With a higher compression you get higher temperatures and the use of regular gas can cause premature ignition and damage the engine by igniting before the spark plug. It sounds like a lot of tiny marbles banging angrily inside the cylinder- a sickening sound.

There is a general misunderstanding that higher octane fuel has more energy. Not so- less in fact. But because you can push an engine's compression higher with high octane fuel you can get more power out of a given engine capacity. You will get more efficiency too but only if the engine is designed for high compression.

The moral of the story is to buy regular gas.
So go with the lower number octane if it's what they list in that area as 'regular' gas?
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Old 05-17-2016, 03:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KaityVoivre View Post
So go with the lower number octane if it's what they list in that area as 'regular' gas?
AZ has lots of 87. Trust me. I've lived here for 20 years.

You will find lower than 87 in higher elevations.

"At higher altitudes, the thinner air compensates for the gasoline's lower octane, so the engine can usually run without detonation. If you are staying in the area, you can generally use the same level of gasoline you would at lower altitudes, i.e. regular, mid-grade or premium.
All About Octane - VroomGirls
www.vroomgirls.com/all-about-octane/"


Don't worry about it.
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Old 05-17-2016, 03:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S Keith View Post
AZ has lots of 87. Trust me. I've lived here for 20 years.

You will find lower than 87 in higher elevations.

"At higher altitudes, the thinner air compensates for the gasoline's lower octane, so the engine can usually run without detonation. If you are staying in the area, you can generally use the same level of gasoline you would at lower altitudes, i.e. regular, mid-grade or premium.
All About Octane - VroomGirls
www.vroomgirls.com/all-about-octane/"


Don't worry about it.
Last time I crossed the US and stopped in AZ and NM, I went with the next higher level as I had no clue, so I can use the lesser one and be fine?
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Old 05-17-2016, 03:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KaityVoivre View Post
Last time I crossed the US and stopped in AZ and NM, I went with the next higher level as I had no clue, so I can use the lesser one and be fine?
yes, as rhall previously stated
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Old 05-19-2016, 09:52 AM   #7 (permalink)
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At the mile high city, we have 85, 87 and 91. I use 85. A couple gas stations here used to have 88, and I know a couple/3 that have 87 pure gas. Personally I would stick with the lowest octane for that area.

My 6.4 Hemi doesn't like lowest octane fuel when towing. Much better with midgrade. BUT runs good solo on lowest grade.
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