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I realize that the requirement for my vehicle is premium unleaded 91 octane. Fortunately, I have a BP gas station up the street from my house which has 93, 89 and 87 octane gasoline. I have always used the 93 octane. Last week I was traveling out of town and the gas gauge was very low and I stopped at the first gas station I came to which only had 87 octane with 10% Ethanol added. It was late, so I filled up. Within a few minutes, I immediately noticed poor performance and lack of acceleration. Keep in mind that I have a Sprint Booster turned up to MAX and I will admit that I do drive a bit aggressive (hey, it’s a fun car to drive!).

I will be moving back to 93 octane as soon as I can and will do my best to NEVER use 87 octane again!
 

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I'm surprised you had a reaction that quickly. Could it have been the brand/batch of gas vs. the octane?
I alternate between Regular (87) and Ethanol-free (91) per tank of gas. I'm not a lead-foot, but enjoy the V6, and I do not see much difference in performance from tank to tank.
 

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Crash is usually spot on but I too would be surprised if one (even crash) would notice a difference that quickly if at all.... now if he said he noticed a bit of pinging under heavy acceleration or slightly reduced MPG that would sound right. Maybe that is what Crash meant.
 

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The highest octane level out here in the southwest (Arizona) is 91. I haven't seen 93 since I lived in Connecticut/Massachusetts 25 years ago!
 

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I think there is a difference in performance. I ran with regular unleaded for a little while and then used premium for weeks and it seems to idle better and a little more pep at times. I tried regular of course again after using premium for while and that's when I noticed. If I'm imagining it then that still works too. ?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I filled up my wifes car. Here is a picture of the various octane gasolines (with prices) we have here in Kansas. I believe only BP has 93. Quick Trip and most all the others only go up to 91. My baby has to have 93!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Don't use phone while refilling.. isn't that old school?
You are right. I'm not aware of any car fueling fire that was started with a cell phone. To my knowledge, the only reason the stickers are still on the gas pumps is because they don't want you trying to balance a cell phone between your ear/shoulder while you pump gas; as you might drop the pump handle or spill gas.
 

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I'm almost certain my car (I4 Tech) was loaded with 85 octane by the dealer, and I filled up with it, too, out of habit. I let that tank get to fumes, filled up with 91, and within 75-ish miles of driving seemed to notice a bit better acceleration. Was it a placebo effect? I dunno. I may step down to mid-grade 87, and see what happens.

I wonder if spark advance is visible via OBDII and Torque. That would show the real info.

BTW: For those appalled by these octane ratings, CO, WY, and UT all have this "shift" due to higher altitudes generally requiring lower octane for similar performance.
 
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