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Old 08-31-2012, 07:36 AM   #611
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Jimmy, which way were you going for the better mileage? Columbia is about 7 or 800 feet lower elevation than Atlanta.
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Old 08-31-2012, 08:05 AM   #612
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He's from Atlanta so, since he says he was heading home on both trips, I would assume both trips were in the same direction, from Columbia to Atlanta.
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Old 08-31-2012, 05:12 PM   #613
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Originally Posted by TboneZX3 View Post
He's from Atlanta so, since he says he was heading home on both trips, I would assume both trips were in the same direction, from Columbia to Atlanta.
That is correct.
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Old 09-24-2012, 01:16 PM   #614
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Note - I'm cross-posting this in a couple applicable threads.

Took a trip up to MI this weekend. Impressive mileage once again.

It was about 20% city (by time) or 10% city (by miles) so let's call it 85% highway, 15% city.

Total of 492.2 miles on the tank; I had about 0.6 gallons left when I filled up. Yeah, cutting it close - anyway... that comes out to 41.8 MPG. Was running Shell V-Power 93 Octane.

Half the miles were in serious rain and/or a strong headwind and I noticed (watching the MPG meter) both caused a performance hit, as you may expect.

After 11.5K miles and a few long road trips I'm starting to come to the conclusion that I realize a measurable MPG boost on 93 Octane whenever I'm running all/mostly highway. When it's my more-usual 50/50 city highway split, I'm not sure that there's an MPG benefit from running premium.

One final note - MPG meter in car indicated 39.8, actual was 41.8. Pretty much in line with the 5% variation I usually see. What I do find interesting, though, is that the car more often underestimates when I run premium and overestimates when I'm running regular.

Miles at fill-up:

Distance to E after fill-up:
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Old 11-01-2012, 05:48 PM   #615
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I have notice that in all my cars that changing from 87 to 89 has increased my mpg despite configuration e.g. 99 volvo s70 (5 cyl); 2004 nissan armada (8 cyl). I am not surprised that in my new focus, I got 34-36 mpg running BP 89 instead of 87. I am certain that the traffic I hit stopped me from getting 38+. My next fillup-sunoco 89 and I noticed my MPG dropped to 31-32 which I attributed to the power/performance I kept experiencing. I give 89 the edge just need to find the brand that gives me the best MPG. a cheaper options for performance-sunoco 89. I probably depend on where you live.
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Old 11-01-2012, 08:12 PM   #616
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Originally Posted by DAC17 View Post
Although I generally haven't believed in the "premium gets higher MPG" idea, I must admit that the last two tankfuls of premium have yielded about 5% higher MPG's. I was thinking we might have gone back to summer blend gas, but maybe not.
If 5% is worth the added cost... I did some calcs, and with the added cost of premium, where I live, for the ~80 extra miles per tank (397 vs 320), it's worth it.

I did go back down to 87 for a while, but - if I recall- it's page 381 (or 351) that states "higher performance with higher octane gas) so 91 octane isn't going to kill the engine.
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Old 11-01-2012, 08:49 PM   #617
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I've tried 87, 89 and 91 and I did not feel a difference. I am using 89 now since its only 10 cent more than regular in my area.
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Old 11-02-2012, 07:12 AM   #618
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I got this answer from the guy from the dealer who sold me the car and is a car guy.
"I can't give, nor can I get a concrete answer. Fuel economy figures are calculated with "min 87 octane". However, that said, a friend of mine was an engineer at Ford, now runs his own business, believes the car will make more power on premium fuel simply because the anti-knock sensors will not retard the ignition timing as early in the rpm range.

He did say, the difference would likely not be enough to be noticeable, nor would it have enough of an effect on fuel economy to make it viable.

Thats as good as I can get."
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Old 11-02-2012, 08:38 AM   #619
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My commute every day is a bunch of stop and go through hills and a college campus - not the best way to get good fuel economy even when I try. I've noticed that I get 17-18 mpg when I'm on a tank of regular, and 20-22 mpg when I'm on a tank of premium. It also feels like I have just a touch more grunt (torque) when I'm driving around, which could explain the better fuel economy since the car doesn't have to work as hard to get up to speed (before immediately stopping again).

To add a little fuel to the fire (hardy harr harr harr) here is my understanding of gasoline (well, a simplified explanation, damnit Jim I'm an engineer, not a chemist):

Gas is made of three things: Heptane (C7H16), Octane (C8H18 . . . well not really but close enough), and Additives (Poo). Maybe some ethanol thanks to the morons in Congress. Definitely some ethanol for me thanks to the supreme morons in Maryland . . . but I digress. At a certain pressure and temperature, hydrocarbons will autoignite. Heptane will autoignite at a lower pressure than octane at the same temperature. If you have an engine with a lower compression ratio, you can run a fuel with a low "octane rating" (read what Mile30 had to say about it) because your engine won't develop enough pressure to cause it to autoignite. But say you want more torque so you up the compression ratio (thus extracting more energy from the same amount of exploding fuel). This means you have to do something to reduce the partial pressure of components that are more prone to autoignition - i.e. reduce the amount of heptane, or putting something in there that slows down the autoignition.

How does the Focus play in to this? Ford wanted a small motor with good torque figures - something that sips gas but doesn't sip your soul out of your body from it's mind numbing slowness. To do this, they chose a decently high compression ratio, 12.0:1. But wait, high compression motors need "premium" fuel because "premium" fuel has a higher octane rating! That make the car seem more expensive to own (it's all how you drive it, people). To allow consumers to run regular fuel and save money, they had to find a way to keep autoignition (knocking) from happening. Well, conveniently, this motor they were designing has Ti-VCT and direct injection, as well as you typical knock sensors, ability to adjust spark timing, etc. This means that they can have the ecu play with a lot of parameters that older motors never had control over. The motor can detect potential knock and adjust cam timing, spark timing, and injector timing to prevent it from happening. This is, of course, at the cost of torque, since in the end it won't be running in the ideal set up for the given compression ratio. It has to back off a bit to prevent knock when you're running lower octane fuel.

What happens when you have less torque? Well, its not a LOT less, but it is less. If you're cruising around on a flat highway at the speed limit with no wind, it probably won't make a difference. If you're driving in a hilly area where they put a freaking stop sign at the top and bottom of every hill, the extra torque means you don't need to dig in to the throttle quite as much.

In conclusion - do whatever you want, I don't care. In the end we all die and it doesn't make a difference. I prefer running premium because I like to yell "POWAAAHHHHH" whenever I hit the gas pedal.
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Old 11-02-2012, 09:47 AM   #620
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I"ve been using 91 shell since my 2nd fillup. it seemed to run smoother compared to 87 so I just stuck with it.

my mileage is still pretty crappy but I blame toronto stop-and-go. 9.8 - 10L/100kms.
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