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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I've noticed a few things about my 01 ody and I was just kind of curious if anyone else had given it any thought.
**I tried both for a month each just to make sure it wasn't a fluke.

I found a gas station that actually sells ethanol free gas. However it's only available in premium grade (94 oct). So I filled up the van with it, and after driving for a while it seemed like the van actually ran a little better. To make sure I wasn't just imagining things I used nothing but premium gas from that station for a month & logged my mileage every fill up.

The next month I used nothing but premium gas from a different station. The new station DOES put ethanol in their premium fuel. So again logged mileage every fill up.

This is what I learned I got better mileage with premium than I did with 87. I get the best mileage with the ethanol free gas. Using ethanol free gas I averaged 1.5 miles to the gallon more than I did with 87. But then there is the math part of this:
Filling the van up with premium costs me an unthinkable $3 dollars more than using the 87 grade.
And even though that wont buy a happy meal it is almost another gallon of fuel. But I get more mileage too so the extra mileage equals 22.5 extra miles of driving.
So if I take into account the extra mileage (I only get about 20 mpg) it's cheaper to use premium than to use 87 and I get to tell my self the van runs better regardless of whether it does or not.

My question is has anyone else tried this?? I'm was just curious and figured I would throw it out there.
 

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I haven't tried it but I have read a lot of debates on forums like these on this issue.
My understanding is that with a modern car like the Ody, the only real variable in performance is the sensors detecting pinging when using 87 when under heavier loads (stop and go traffic, up hills) and retarding the ignition timing to compensate. On 92-94 octane, the car won't retard the ignition so you get slightly better performance/power so it translates into getting a few more miles for the same amount of fuel.

I believe that on constant load driving such as long highway trips on flat roads, the mileage difference should be much narrower than on city and heavy load driving.

So I've noticed a few things about my 01 ody and I was just kind of curious if anyone else had given it any thought.
**I tried both for a month each just to make sure it wasn't a fluke.

I found a gas station that actually sells ethanol free gas. However it's only available in premium grade (94 oct). So I filled up the van with it, and after driving for a while it seemed like the van actually ran a little better. To make sure I wasn't just imagining things I used nothing but premium gas from that station for a month & logged my mileage every fill up.

The next month I used nothing but premium gas from a different station. The new station DOES put ethanol in their premium fuel. So again logged mileage every fill up.

This is what I learned I got better mileage with premium than I did with 87. I get the best mileage with the ethanol free gas. Using ethanol free gas I averaged 1.5 miles to the gallon more than I did with 87. But then there is the math part of this:
Filling the van up with premium costs me an unthinkable $3 dollars more than using the 87 grade.
And even though that wont buy a happy meal it is almost another gallon of fuel. But I get more mileage too so the extra mileage equals 22.5 extra miles of driving.
So if I take into account the extra mileage (I only get about 20 mpg) it's cheaper to use premium than to use 87 and I get to tell my self the van runs better regardless of whether it does or not.

My question is has anyone else tried this?? I'm was just curious and figured I would throw it out there.
 

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Hi jester,

I have the same experience. its doesnt make sense since 91 and 87 octane should be the same type of fuel just different additives to have different octane for knocking/detonation but... its there. so i try to gas up with premium most of the time.

now i am experimenting with Redline SI-1 with 87 to see if there is a difference in mileage.

Ck
 

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doh, i didnt read dbx's response. i read that too... that is possible... i should start checking my timing on my scanguage... need to see how much retard it or the driver is...
:p

CK
 

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Hey, CK, how are things going in L.A?

Off topic, I just got my OEM headlights from jester and am saving here and there for a true OEM projector kit for an HID installation. Thanks, jester!

Back on topic: Contrary to a lot of internet lore, all the octane rating directly tells you is how resistant the fuel is to detonation under specific laboratory-managed circumstances. To achieve higher octane ratings (like 91 versus 87), the people blending the fuel have to use a mix that often results in somewhat higher thermal energy (BTU released per unit mass combusted). This can result in measurably better fuel economy depending on how the car's engine management system (e.g., PCM fuel map, knock sensors, PCM timing adjustment) reacts to it. Some cars do better than others, and some exhibit little noticeable improvement.

Thus, you can sometimes infer better performance (power, fuel economy) from premium fuels for those cars that can take advantage of it with their electronic engnie controls. Also, remember that we're talking regular ol' modern day consumer grade street cars here, like our Odysseys.

I've found that I spend about $2 more per tankful on non-ethanol, top-tier (Conoco-Phillips) 87 octane fuel than the "Quickie-Mart" gas...but I get 40, sometimes 50 more miles per tankful (all city driving). That's over 2 gallons worth of extra range in the city, or $7+ worth of gas. Net savings ~$5 per tankful by using the more expensive, but better fuel. The results were not instant; it took about 3 tankfuls to start realizing these gains, just like the gas station owner told me.

For some info on top-tier fuels: Top Tier Gas

I may try a couple tanks of 91 octane premium to see if I can improve my city fuel economy numbers.

OF
 

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Part of the ethanol scam

A gallon of gasoline has about 125K BTUs versus 85K for ethanol. So the lower energy content translates into lower mileage. It's that simple.

It's all part of the ethanol scam. A fuel that arguably takes more energy to produce than it delivers, turns potential food output into fuel, is unfairly subsidized, and will ultimately rip customers off since it is sold at a price that assumes equivalent energy content with the gasoline it replaces.

As you can tell I hope we never get to 85% ethanol content because vehicle mileage rates will plummet in proportion to the ethanol content.

Gary
 

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...It's all part of the ethanol scam. A fuel that arguably takes more energy to produce than it delivers, turns potential food output into fuel, is unfairly subsidized, and will ultimately rip customers off since it is sold at a price that assumes equivalent energy content with the gasoline it replaces....
Amen, Gary. It is entirely a scam. Ethanol would only be worth it if we saw tremendous price discounts at the pump...and that ain't happenin'.

OF
 

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You guys are lucky to actually find ethanol free gas stations. There are NONE around my area...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You guys are lucky to actually find ethanol free gas stations. There are NONE around my area...
I know i've been gone awhile but more and more places are popping up that sell straight gas. Piggly wiggly gas stations for example. It's only the pre grade but to me it's worth it.
 

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No non ethanol blended gas stations here around Charlotte, NC that I know of. :(
 

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A gallon of gasoline has about 125K BTUs versus 85K for ethanol. So the lower energy content translates into lower mileage. It's that simple.

It's all part of the ethanol scam. A fuel that arguably takes more energy to produce than it delivers, turns potential food output into fuel, is unfairly subsidized, and will ultimately rip customers off since it is sold at a price that assumes equivalent energy content with the gasoline it replaces.

As you can tell I hope we never get to 85% ethanol content because vehicle mileage rates will plummet in proportion to the ethanol content.

Gary
Exactly agreed. And it IS "that simple."

So, regarding the OP's test results, the 94 vs. 87 octane probably does not matter much. But the Ethanol vs. gasoline explains it. If Ethanol has 1/3 less energy in it per gallon (the 85k vs. 125k BTUs/gallon), then a blend with 15% Ethanol has about 5% (15% x 1/3) less total energy in it than pure gasoline would have. If you get around 20 mpg, then this 5% loss would shave 1 mpg off (20 mpg x 5%).

I try to log every tank-full and have noticed this 5% loss on the extremely rare times that my cars are accidentally filled with 15% Ethanol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Another reason I avoid ethanol gas is all the recent news stories that can prove ethanol is damaging engines. Small engines seem to be the hardest hit. Maybe it's just me but if I use the same fuel in my car and my lawn mower and the stuff is killing my mower it can't be doing anything good for my car.

Just my $0.02

I know it's off topic but i want to ask for opinions on this.... I bought a new generator last month. I sat down and read the instructions (no to hurt my man rep) but it says not to use ethanol fuels and also not to use fuel with octane ratings higher than 89. Doing either can damage the unit and void the warranty. Since the only ethanol free gas I can get easily is to high of an octane I feel pretty much screwed. Any ideas?
 

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I know it's off topic but i want to ask for opinions on this.... I bought a new generator last month. I sat down and read the instructions (no to hurt my man rep) but it says not to use ethanol fuels and also not to use fuel with octane ratings higher than 89. Doing either can damage the unit and void the warranty. Since the only ethanol free gas I can get easily is to high of an octane I feel pretty much screwed. Any ideas?


Kill all of the corn farmers?
 
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