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Old 07-07-2012, 11:38 PM   #501
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VOLDAR View Post
When you say 600, you mean KM or MILES ?
He lives in Canada and there's no way you could do 600 miles on a tank... Come on ;)
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Old 07-07-2012, 11:40 PM   #502
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VOLDAR View Post
When you say 600, you mean KM or MILES ?
If it's miles, I'll have what he's having.
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Old 07-07-2012, 11:58 PM   #503
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I haven't read all the posts in the thread. Maybe it's been covered. Octane is not about mileage, or performance. It's measure is the ability to resist detonation during the compression stroke. Detonation or 'knock' is very harmful to engines. With higher compression comes higher adiabatic heating of the fuel air mixture, and if there is a concentration of fuel in one area of the squish(combustion chamber during compression) it can cause the mixture to explode in an uncontrolled pattern and cause damage.

Modern engine management takes advantage of rated octane in the tank by advancing the spark timing to the point of maximum performance, with a safety margin for detonation avoidance. Of course, everything is a compromise, so the way you drive, will also have an effect on your mileage, and performance. If you regularly accelerate hard at low RPM, this is a trigger point for detonation, and the engine management will be set for greater detonation margin. If you accelerate slowly, your manifold pressure will remain lower, and the adiabatic heating will be less, so the engine management will advance the timing to make use of that for better economy.

If you look at a chart of energy density, you will find that 87 octane fuel has the same, or slightly higher energy stored in it than 91/93 octane. This is due to the additive package that is added to the base fuel to resist detonation under high compression, and high manifold pressure.

All other things being equal, 87 octane should provide the best economy, and sufficient power for all driving conditions. The reason you often find 86 or 85 octane at higher altitudes is because the lower barometric pressure doesn't allow for detonation due to less air flowing into the engine.

So, in most cases, you are better off running 87 octane for all conditions except possibly towing on a hot day. The added cost of premium may give you slightly better performance due to the engine management advancing the timing, which will make better power.

The key is energy density. It's measured in BTU/gallon. Ethanol at 10% solution in fuel reduces the energy density approx 2-3% overall, and also reduces efficiency by the same amount, or slightly more. E85 energy density is about 20% lower than straight fuel, and the economy is reduced in near the same ratio. Some engines take advantage of the better heat dissipation, and reduced potential for detonation with E85, and modify the valve timing and ignition timing to account for these factors, but energy density is still lower, and will not recover the same economy as straight fuel no matter what you do.

Empirical evidence aside, the fact is the energy density of pure 87 octane fuel is about the best you can do for your Focus. In altitudes above 3600 feet, check the yellow sticker for the octane rating and put anything over 87 in the car.

Here is a link to stations which carry pure gas with no Ethanol.

http://pure-gas.org/
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Old 07-08-2012, 12:50 AM   #504
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Well, after reading these posts I think I'll stay at 89 octane. It's right in the middle, so to speak....not too high or low.
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Old 07-08-2012, 05:24 AM   #505
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dylan1970 View Post
Well, after reading these posts I think I'll stay at 89 octane. It's right in the middle, so to speak....not too high or low.
Judging by the experiences of the different forum members that have been running their own real-world tests, 89 octane may be the best compromise of fuel mileage/performance. It appears that the largest mpg jump occurs from 87-89, and the mileage from 89-93 has been minimal. From a pure cost/benefit analysis, 89 would win.

I will probably run a tank of 89 next to get an opinion on the power loss of stepping down from 93. If it is seemingly unnoticeable, I may finally reside there also. I will say that I ran some 87 after being used to 93, and it was more than evident just by SOP feel. I do care about mileage to a degree, but I am more concerned with the smile put on my face when I push the GO pedal.
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Old 07-08-2012, 06:20 AM   #506
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For years the cars I have driven seemed to run best on 87 E0.. but those were all engines with 9.5:1 compression or lower.. with port injection, throttle body injection or had a carb on em. the 89 octane E10 would stumble slightly with a slight miss now and then and 93 octane in those cars offered no noticeable benefit. (These were all GM engines. an olds 455, pontiac 2.5 iron duke, 2.2L GM corporate and a 2.2L Ecotec, a 2.8L v6 and a 3.1L v6.)

When I got my Focus, i started out with 87 octane as well in that, (old habits die hard). But using 87 i noticed that while not bad, the Focus just seemed to be a little sluggish on power especially with the A/C on. And it seemed to have a rough jumpy idle.. it felt almost like it had a miss in it.
(Even after the 12-5-5 TSB update) it still just wasn't quite up to par.. I just passed it off as maybe thats just the personality of this new Duratech 2.0... until after reading this forum and deciding to try Premium 93 in it.

The difference in just the way it idles and the improved throttle response. plus the fact it seems to accellerate quicker is enough to convince me to stay with the premium. I have my theories on why this thing seems to like premium so much after learning more about the engine itself and its management systems, but at the end of the day it comes down strictly to how the thing seems to act. It just simply likes premium fuel better.

Fuel Mileage, on my first tank was quite good even with A/C use. I didn't notice much of a mileage difference (for better or worse) over 87... which in and of itself is ok since my other cars took a noticable mileage plunge runing any octane higher than 87 in them. Once it cools down where i can stand to drive the thing without having to run the A/C constantly, I'll make the final call on fuel mileage... but for now, it seems to be ok.
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Old 07-08-2012, 09:15 AM   #507
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I agree the biggest jump is from 87 to 89 octane.
I was trying to alternate regular with Premium so the tank would be in between (half empty fills)
I just do not want to bother anymore and now just fill with Premium.
The difference per gallon of $0.20 to $0.30 depending on the station, is just worth the little extra money to me.

And I want to comment on the point that 'octane' is for 'blah blah and has nothing to do with blah blah'..
Yeah fine in theory.
In the real world something is actually goinng on. What it is ??
I can only say the car runs better, idles better, accelerates better, and gets better MPGs on a HIGHER than 87 octane gas.
89 may be fine, but i just as well go to 93.
Maybe i should alternate between mid level and Premium?
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Old 07-08-2012, 09:20 AM   #508
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I've got the feeling that when I try a tank of 89 I will be disappointed. For me, I'm sure that 93 is where my car will live. Just wanna try it once to make sure. 87? Never ever.

Never ever?

Never ever.
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Old 07-08-2012, 10:25 AM   #509
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic_HedgeHog View Post
He lives in Canada and there's no way you could do 600 miles on a tank... Come on ;)
I live in Canada too, but I change l/100km to MPG just to have the same "base" as you guys. I thought he might did the same. If it's 600 km, doing 7.6l/100 km = 31 MPG, you get there. I think that in a longer trip, doing 5.8 l/100km = 40 MPG should be good for 496 miles = 793 km. I'll test this in about a month, when I have to do a round trip to Toronto (Montreal-Toronto = 540 km). On my last car, a V6 (same tank capacity), I had to put some gas in it right before getting to Toronto (doing 119 km/h = 74 mph). I hope with this one, I will be able to get there and even do some city driving before filling it up.

P.S. I just acknowledge that you guys jump from 87 to 89 or 93. There is no 91 there ? Because here, at Petro-Canada, there is a 91 octane gasoline.
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Old 07-08-2012, 10:39 AM   #510
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On the highway with 89 Octane (no ethanol) and relatively flat road, my car achieved 51mpg @ 55mph with cruise. After hitting some rolling hills it only went down to 47mpg. City is what kills my mpg but its still reasonable around 30mpg with air conditioning on.
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