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Old 07-08-2015, 12:35 PM   #1
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Does high octane fuel help

I was wondering if using high octane fuel actually helps with pulling power or mileage when pulling my TT. I have a Suburban 2500, 8.1L engine.
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Old 07-08-2015, 12:38 PM   #2
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Not typically ...

Ed Wallace (a radio Car Guy) on the dallas radio has championed using REGULAR in any newer vehicles that calls for premium !!!
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Old 07-08-2015, 12:43 PM   #3
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Just use what the manufacturer recommends as to grade of fuel. Paying more means money out the exhaust pipe with no benefit.
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Old 07-08-2015, 01:50 PM   #4
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If your engine doesn't knock or ping under load, don't waste your money on high octane fuel. All octane rating does is prevent engine knock, also known as detonation.
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Old 07-08-2015, 02:14 PM   #5
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High octane fuel does not give more power. Lower octane fuel burns faster so if you run low octane fuel in a high compression engine it will burn faster than it should and cause the pinging and pre ignition. The octane slows down the burn which is why high octane fuel is needed in high compression engines but it does nothing to supply more power.
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Old 07-08-2015, 02:17 PM   #6
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Like others have already stated, if your engine doesn't demand it don't run it.

It can actually act the opposite way if your engine does not require it. Higher octane is needed to combat detonation. It slows the burn rate down to allow the flame front to propogate properly dependant on the compression ratio of the cylinder head. When your compression ratio is higher than the fuel will support it is like throwing a stick of dynamite into your cylinder as the flame will explode more that burn in a controlled manner.

It will also be dependant on altitude, the lower altitudes will require a bit more octane because the air is more dense than at high altitudes. However, the octanes at various altitudes you may be traveling at are usually compesated for accordingly. Example, if you are running "mid-grade" fuel at say SLC, Utah (89 octane @ approx. 4500 feet elevation) and then you go to say Las Vegas which is a little under half that @ ~2100 feet elevation their mid-grade is 91 octane to compensate for the lower elevation.

If the engine is pretty much stock just run what the manufacturer recommends. If the engine is modified, then fuel octanes will have to be addressed in a different manner as engine requirements as well as altitudes have a large affect. This is where dynamic compression ratios vs. static compression ratios come into play along with cam specifications but that is a whole different conversation.

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Old 07-08-2015, 02:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 530ktm View Post
High octane fuel does not give more power. Lower octane fuel burns faster so if you run low octane fuel in a high compression engine it will burn faster than it should and cause the pinging and pre ignition. The octane slows down the burn which is why high octane fuel is needed in high compression engines but it does nothing to supply more power.
^^^Exactly. That is what I was trying to say but it looks like you type fasther than I do.

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Old 07-08-2015, 02:59 PM   #8
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I agree with above posts and will add a few things.

- you don't have a high compression engine
- octane is a measurement standard that indicated the amount of compression it can withstand before ignition
- octane rating does not indicate energy efficiency during burn nor energy potential

Your engine is programmed to run on 87 Octane. Is you are having issues with power drop have it plugged in and check your EGR.
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Old 07-08-2015, 03:45 PM   #9
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It was more of an issue in the pre-computer controlled timing days. New engines have knock sensors and the computer constantly adjusts the timing to optimize the performance and prevent knocking. Your engine is fine on regular grade.

However, there can be a small benefit to the higher octane when pulling under a load, as the computer will not back off timing as much if the engine is knocking. Backing off timing reduces the knocking, but also takes out some power. So a higher octane could have better power - if your engine is at the knocking threshold. It won't make difference if not knocking. Your 8.1 gas engine is lower compression ratio and designed to run fine on regular, so I doubt you would see an effect of higher octane. A turbocharged gas engine may be more likely to see an effect since th turbocharger increases cylinder pressure and therefore knocking potential.
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