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Old 08-22-2014, 08:38 PM   #1
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Octane rating

What is the recommended octane for an 2003 8.1L engine towing a Honda CRV?
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Old 08-22-2014, 08:43 PM   #2
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According to the owner's manual, 87 octane.
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Old 08-22-2014, 09:21 PM   #3
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The book may say 87 octane. But 2003 I don’t think there was 10% ethanol mixed in the gas. So without having my computer updated. Should I use 89 octane to cover the ethanol?
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Old 08-22-2014, 09:30 PM   #4
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They began to add alcohol to gasoline in place of MTBE in the late 90's. We drove a 2001 CR-V for nearly 160K miles and towed it another 40+K miles and went by the dealer recommended 87 octane. That was the same as was recommended for the 2009 that we then replaced the first one with. If you doubt the 87 octane, why not as a Honda mechanic or contact Honda?
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Old 08-22-2014, 10:11 PM   #5
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My question was about my GM workhorse 8.1L engine. I agree on my Honda, I wouldn't waste the money on anything higher than 87 octane. Thanks
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Old 08-22-2014, 10:50 PM   #6
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The 87 works fine in our '07 8.1L.

I tried 89 and 91 Octane in the past, just to see what would happen. But unlike a carburated engine, the computer adjusts for the change. I didn't even see a change in engine temperature (typical for higher octane) let alone in power or MPG like I had desired.

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Old 08-22-2014, 11:04 PM   #7
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It's designed for 87 and will run best on that grade. Lotsa folks spend lotsa money on higher grade gasoline and they are wasting their money.

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Old 08-22-2014, 11:12 PM   #8
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I believe Workhorse says 87 octane, never more than 10% ethanol.
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Old 08-22-2014, 11:22 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Scarab0088 View Post
The 87 works fine in our '07 8.1L.

I tried 89 and 91 Octane in the past, just to see what would happen. But unlike a carburated engine, the computer adjusts for the change. I didn't even see an change in engine temperature (typical for higher octane) let alone in power or MPG like I had desired.

Safe travels
Higher octane fuel will not cause your engine to run hotter. Higher timing might though. Higher octane fuel is harder to ignite and actually burns slightly slower for a cooler burn. Most people think that the higher octane fuel means it burns hotter and more more energy. In reality it means the engine timing can be set higher without pre-ignition (knock). Higher timing (more advance) means more power (to a point). The newer (mid 90's) computer controlled engines have knock sensors that can detect knock long before the human ear can. When the computer senses knock it adjusts the timing to compensate.
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Old 08-23-2014, 12:00 AM   #10
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Rockcrawler, please notice it looks like I was correcting my typo while you were typing.

I ran AvGas in a Chevelle SS in the 80's...it ran better with more power, better MPG, and cooler too. Computers have changed all that.

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Old 08-23-2014, 10:49 AM   #11
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The book may say 87 octane. But 2003 I don’t think there was 10% ethanol mixed in the gas. So without having my computer updated. Should I use 89 octane to cover the ethanol?
No. If the fuel is rated at 87 octane, it has already taken into account the chemical properties of the fuel. Furthermore, using a higher octane doesn't do anything to compensate for the slightly lower energy content of ethanol-mixture gasoline. Octane rating is about preventing knocks and pings (pre-ignition), not about the power of the fuel.

Some "gasahol" fuel may not be rated at 87 octane. Note what it says on the pump and choose a blend that meets the 87 octane spec.
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Old 08-23-2014, 11:06 AM   #12
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1) If your car does not require premium gas, there are no added benefits to your car’s performance or longevity. Simply put, you’re paying good money for something you don’t need. Premium costs 15-30 cents more a gallon than regular. In a consumer notice, the Federal Trade Commission, notes: "In 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." Enough said.

2) If your car requires premium gas, in most cases it won’t hurt your car (or void the warranty) to use regular gas. The reason your car asks for premium gas is because your vehicle has a high compression engine. Unless you hear severe knocking in your engine when using regular, in most cases there is no harm to your car by not using premium. Most modern cars have knock sensors and computers that adjust settings and maximize performance for various fuel grades. Fuel economy could also be slightly reduced when using regular fuel on a vehicle that requires premium gas. If you’re leasing, you may want to be more cautious about using premium if required by the manufacturer, in the off chance that using regular does affect the engine.
Note: Keep in mind you may need that extra power if you are towing a lot of weight (especially over steep hills), performance driving (hard acceleration), driving in extreme heat, or any combination of the three.

3) Cars with turbochargers (high-performance engines) or older, heavier cars may require premium gasoline and should be used to prevent knocking. According to an article in Scientific American, these cars have higher compression ratios and will knock without the premium fuel.

4) If your car requires premium gas, using premium will allow you to optimize your car’s power. You will not achieve the advertised horsepower on a vehicle that requires premium unless you use premium, although most consumers will not even notice the change in power when switching from premium to regular.
5) The octane rating of premium and regular gasoline varies from state to state. One state may require a minimum rating of 92 to be considered premium, while another may require only 90. Most gas stations offer three octane grades: regular (usually 87 octane), mid-grade (usually 89 octane) and premium (usually 91 or 93). Consult the yellow stickers on each gasoline pump that are mandatory and indicate the octane rating,
And, something else to consider: Six automakers, BMW, General Motors, Honda, Toyota, Volkswagen and Audi, believe using Top Tier Gasoline that contains a higher-percentage of detergent additive from that required by the EPA standard, provides optimal engine performance. They claim that lower concentrations of detergent additive lowers the quality of gasoline and can leave deposits on engine parts, such as fuel injectors and intake valves, which can lower engine performance, vehicle responsiveness and increase emissions. BMW, General Motors, Honda and Toyota developed the Top Tier standards under which gas retailers must meet in order to qualify as a Top Tier gasoline retailer.
- See more at: Facts About Premium and Regular Gas
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Old 08-23-2014, 04:30 PM   #13
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The 8.1 liter engine is designed to run on 87 octane gasoline (regular unleaded). However, older engines can have carbon deposits in the cylinders that can cause pre-ignition (knocking). Try unleaded. If you get any knocking under moderate acceleration uphill, switch to mid-grade.
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Old 08-23-2014, 10:04 PM   #14
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The 8.1 liter engine is designed to run on 87 octane gasoline (regular unleaded). However, older engines can have carbon deposits in the cylinders that can cause pre-ignition (knocking). Try unleaded. If you get any knocking under moderate acceleration uphill, switch to mid-grade.

Thought all fuel was unleaded?


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