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I always shoot for 93 octane. I wish I could find some with no ethanol. I've thought about racing fuel but haven't researched it.
 

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I have put in regular 87 on a couple occasions when I just couldn't stomach the price of gas in LA (it is about $.60 a gallon more expensive than where I live)..to be honest haven't really noticed a difference. Also haven't driven it hard or for fun, just point A to point B with 87.


There are various sensors that will notice the difference and retard the timing to keep the engine from running poorly. It will drop HP and torque some, but again, after doing it a couple times I never noticed a difference in normal driving.


I will add though that there is more to octane in gas levels and the higher priced, higher octane gas also generally has more cleaners in it making it better for your engine overall. As such premium is better gas and I is what I put in (and suggest others do also) 99.9% of the time, BUT if you gotta put in 87 you aren't going to hurt anything.
 

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I have put in regular 87 on a couple occasions when I just couldn't stomach the price of gas in LA (it is about $.60 a gallon more expensive than where I live)..to be honest haven't really noticed a difference. Also haven't driven it hard or for fun, just point A to point B with 87.


There are various sensors that will notice the difference and retard the timing to keep the engine from running poorly. It will drop HP and torque some, but again, after doing it a couple times I never noticed a difference in normal driving.


I will add though that there is more to octane in gas levels and the higher priced, higher octane gas also generally has more cleaners in it making it better for your engine overall. As such premium is better gas and I is what I put in (and suggest others do also) 99.9% of the time, BUT if you gotta put in 87 you aren't going to hurt anything.
Was a recent shortage of Premium unleaded and all the stations in my area only had 87.

Did one fill and noticed a distinct issue with acceleration after initial start. While the engine was still cold, it would take a long time for the car to get going under normal driving conditions (AKA not standing on the gas). Took two tanks of 91 to get the performance back in line with cold starts.
 

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Was a recent shortage of Premium unleaded and all the stations in my area only had 87.

Did one fill and noticed a distinct issue with acceleration after initial start. While the engine was still cold, it would take a long time for the car to get going under normal driving conditions (AKA not standing on the gas). Took two tanks of 91 to get the performance back in line with cold starts.

Ummm...I am physically incapable of not standing on the gas...…so didn't realize that.


Seriously.


Also, where are you and were the stations possibly mixing in more ethanol or something to try and get the gas to last on their end? During a fuel shortage it is very common for gas stations to "water down" the gas, could be that was affecting more than the octane. I'de be interested if the results were the same when there is not a shortage. (Gas is delivered to regions via pipeline to storage facilities, the various octanes and other brand specific additives are added at the storage facility. Afterwards it is loaded into the tanker trucks for delivery to specific stations. Often during fuel shortages the storage/mixing facilities will only make 87 grade and CAN add more ethanol or other additives in to make the supply stretch.)

That it took 2 fills to fix the issue also makes me wonder if those tanks at the gas station weren't getting low...it is very common that gas storage tanks get a layer of crud on the bottom that can get into your tank when the station lets the levels get low that can plug up fuel filters and injectors. If the tanks at the storage facility AND the station were both low...that only compounds the problem with crud getting into the fuel. Issues like that are really only noticeable during initial acceleration when the fuel pump is not pushing high pressures...until they get REALLY bad , which only happens through long term exposure so don't worry about that. If it did happen though, that you got a good amount of crud in your fuel, it would definitely take a tank or two for the build up to get washed out. (Close friend of the family owned a Union 76 station while I was growing up. Used to listen to my Dad and their Dad talk "shop")


Another thing to realize is the further away from sealevel you are the less tendency the engine has to create knock (the reason we have high octane), so the less need there is for higher octane gasoline. I live at 2500ft, although like I said it didn't make a difference in LA at sea level that I noticed...but there is no acceleration in LA, just get in line and move a few feet forward every couple minutes...
 

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Staying with just the high octane premium gasoline topic, I used to put in my X3 premium 'generic' brand. For the Stelvio, I am putting slightly more expensive high octane 'brand' gasoline, such as Shell, Exxon-Mobil, BP, etc. Supposedly because of the additives make this gasoline 'better'. Is this marketing hype or is the brand name gasoline really better. Cheers.
 

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Power will drop quite a bit on regular and everything will be retarded. Mileage will also drop as I have seen the on multiple other cars over the years. Just gas up at Costco as its a tier 1 product and your premium will be cost of Reg on the street. You bought a performance vehicle right?????? Pass on the Starbucks and feed the car what it wants.
 

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Ummm...I am physically incapable of not standing on the gas...…so didn't realize that.


Seriously.


Also, where are you and were the stations possibly mixing in more ethanol or something to try and get the gas to last on their end? During a fuel shortage it is very common for gas stations to "water down" the gas, could be that was affecting more than the octane. I'de be interested if the results were the same when there is not a shortage. (Gas is delivered to regions via pipeline to storage facilities, the various octanes and other brand specific additives are added at the storage facility. Afterwards it is loaded into the tanker trucks for delivery to specific stations. Often during fuel shortages the storage/mixing facilities will only make 87 grade and CAN add more ethanol or other additives in to make the supply stretch.)

That it took 2 fills to fix the issue also makes me wonder if those tanks at the gas station weren't getting low...it is very common that gas storage tanks get a layer of crud on the bottom that can get into your tank when the station lets the levels get low that can plug up fuel filters and injectors. If the tanks at the storage facility AND the station were both low...that only compounds the problem with crud getting into the fuel. Issues like that are really only noticeable during initial acceleration when the fuel pump is not pushing high pressures...until they get REALLY bad , which only happens through long term exposure so don't worry about that. If it did happen though, that you got a good amount of crud in your fuel, it would definitely take a tank or two for the build up to get washed out. (Close friend of the family owned a Union 76 station while I was growing up. Used to listen to my Dad and their Dad talk "shop")


Another thing to realize is the further away from sealevel you are the less tendency the engine has to create knock (the reason we have high octane), so the less need there is for higher octane gasoline. I live at 2500ft, although like I said it didn't make a difference in LA at sea level that I noticed...but there is no acceleration in LA, just get in line and move a few feet forward every couple minutes...
HA! Well...I am in LA.

Good points on the crud that may have been pumped into the tank. On a side note, the gas stations in my neighborhood still do not have 89 or 91 octane gas. It is not limited to just 1-2 it is all of them. I have had to fill up near my office 20 mi away in order to get premium. It is very strange.
 

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I've been using 93 Octane from Costco. It is certified Top Tier rated gasoline. Also, why get 91 Octane at some brand name station, (Exxon, Shell, Chevron, Texaco, all of these of course are also Top Tier gas), when you can get 93 Octane at Costco for the same price!

Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Just an update. I will be using 91 exclusively. Tried 89 and the car felt terrible. A lag when my foot is off the brake to gas.
 

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91 is hard to find here in the NYC area. Was putting in 93 but tried a tankful of 89. Can definitely tell the difference - more sluggish, especially on takeoff. Going back to 93 only.
 

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Staying with just the high octane premium gasoline topic, I used to put in my X3 premium 'generic' brand. For the Stelvio, I am putting slightly more expensive high octane 'brand' gasoline, such as Shell, Exxon-Mobil, BP, etc. Supposedly because of the additives make this gasoline 'better'. Is this marketing hype or is the brand name gasoline really better. Cheers.
I work in the gasoline trading business. Think boats moving from refineries across the world, moving on pipelines...etc. 99% of all the gasoline you put in your car is exactly the same. It exchanges hands so many time, Equnior's product will become Exxon's product which will become Shell's product which then will become BP's product which then will become a trader's product which then will be put into a tank farm which all the gas station in the local area will load their local tanks from. IF it's bad gas (which does happen on occasion) it's not the 'brand' that has bad product, it's likely the local owner who's watered down the product to maximize his profits. Moral of the store is all the gas your buying is coming from the same refinery, is blended by the same people, and shipped & delivered by the same people. The non branded fuel 99% of the time is coming from the exact same tanks the branded product is coming from. Now the real question is do you trust the owner of your station to not water down the gas?
 

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I work in the gasoline trading business. Think boats moving from refineries across the world, moving on pipelines...etc. 99% of all the gasoline you put in your car is exactly the same. It exchanges hands so many time, Equnior's product will become Exxon's product which will become Shell's product which then will become BP's product which then will become a trader's product which then will be put into a tank farm which all the gas station in the local area will load their local tanks from. IF it's bad gas (which does happen on occasion) it's not the 'brand' that has bad product, it's likely the local owner who's watered down the product to maximize his profits. Moral of the store is all the gas your buying is coming from the same refinery, is blended by the same people, and shipped & delivered by the same people. The non branded fuel 99% of the time is coming from the exact same tanks the branded product is coming from. Now the real question is do you trust the owner of your station to not water down the gas?

Always thought the only difference, besides budget leaky tanks, was what was added prior to delivery ie proprietary additive that are different in a Shell v a Mobil product for example. Octane, by law, is definitely different unless the crooked stations play with the blends beween 87 & 89. 89 is the total waste of space on a pump.
 

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Thanks @Texas_Stelvio. You confirmed what I suspected. Distribution of gasoline to retail stations is king. Many times I see the distribution tanker-trucks at a gas station and the truck is either nameless or a company name nothing to do with the gas station brand.
 

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Always thought the only difference, besides budget leaky tanks, was what was added prior to delivery ie proprietary additive that are different in a Shell v a Mobil product for example. Octane, by law, is definitely different unless the crooked stations play with the blends beween 87 & 89. 89 is the total waste of space on a pump.
You're spot on there, and/but the amount of additives is negligible at the end of the day and typically added into the storage tanks at the individual stations. Most trucks are all being pulled from the same storage 'racks'.

More so, I'd be interested in seeing which stations actually change RVP grades properly (basically gasoline pressure, lower in the hot summer months / higher in the colder winter months to allow for proper expansion/combustion). Around these changes (which are happening next week) I'd be more keen to buy from stations that are turning more volume to make sure they're actually selling gas with the proper rvp. Long story short, if there are going to be quality issues, it will be in the coming weeks and similarly in the fall when we change back to winter grade gasoline.
 
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