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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've just had my first fuel refill two days ago, and today I noticed that my 2 week old FF wasn't accelerating as smoothly or as fast as it was when running on dealer fuel.

I filled up from Costco (87, Ethanol at 10%). It's a top tier gasoline and I've been putting gas in my Escort at Costco for the past several years w/o issue.

I'm almost thinking that the dealership might use a higher grade of gasoline to give a better impression of the car as it's being driven initially? Does this happen?

My original plan was to run 1000 miles on Costco gas and then 1000 miles on Chevron and compare the MPG and pick the better option (price/mile).

We did have 100-105 degree weather today if that makes a difference, but I'm not sure it does.

Any ideas? Should I begin an immediate Chevron fillup immediately and track how I feel now or just keep it going for 1k with Costco?
 

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100F weather is going to affect power. Cold air is denser, and creates more power. Hot air is thinner, and makes less power.

The dealer may know the MK3 runs better on at least 89 octane. And had filled your car with it.
Cosco is also not likely to be a 'top tier' gasoline. Plus it is 10% ethanol. Your dealer may have a source of 100% gasoline. (though depending on the local EPA rulings such a source mey be illegal in your area. and if so I doubt a dealer would risk the huge fines usiing illegal 100% gasoline fuel if it is EPA ruled not allowed in your area. If such gas is legal, but not common, then that may be what the difference is.)

Anyway the main thing is the air temps. Plus your air conditioner is running full time...
 

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They most likely put regular in. Having worked at a dealer and getting gas in the cars they always got regular. Also when my parents bought an explorer sport they also put regular in that not premium.
 

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The cheaper one... I never got more than the reservoir when I got any brand new car delivered... I remember getting my Chevy Silverado with the low gas warning on, when I complaint about it, the salesman said "there's a gas station just around the corner"
 

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I work for a Nissan dealer and do fillups on new cars and we just fill with regular (top tier station tho')
 

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Costco is also not likely to be a 'top tier' gasoline. Plus it is 10% ethanol.
Actually, Costco is a top tier gasoline:
http://www.toptiergas.com/retailers.html

The 10% ethanol is not a matter of choice in many municipalities. It is mandated by the federal law. (2007 Renewable Fuel Standard)

There was one glimmer of hope regarding ethanol:
http://www.slate.com/articles/busin...ight_thing_and_allows_a_little_less_corn.html

Your point about octane is well taken. 93 octane is even better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
100F weather is going to affect power. Cold air is denser, and creates more power. Hot air is thinner, and makes less power.

The dealer may know the MK3 runs better on at least 89 octane. And had filled your car with it.
Cosco is also not likely to be a 'top tier' gasoline. Plus it is 10% ethanol. Your dealer may have a source of 100% gasoline. (though depending on the local EPA rulings such a source mey be illegal in your area. and if so I doubt a dealer would risk the huge fines usiing illegal 100% gasoline fuel if it is EPA ruled not allowed in your area. If such gas is legal, but not common, then that may be what the difference is.)

Anyway the main thing is the air temps. Plus your air conditioner is running full time...
Hmm, thanks! It didn't hit me that extreme temperatures would have such an impact on performance. I had experienced no hiccups when temps were in the 90s, but the next day at or slightly over 100, I definitely experienced some hesitation. I was actually quite worried that it was my DCT acting up at the 450 mile mark, but I'm going to hope that it's just temps.

Costco is now indeed a top tier fuel provider. I think they made the switch earlier this year in March. They had a lot of stations already using top tier additives, but not every single station (which is why they couldn't get the designation until March).

There is one location near me that has 0% ethanol, but it's in the opposite direction from me and I am sure is much more expensive. I don't think it's illegal, though. I wish there was a station that had even 5% ethanol so I could compare, but with the regulations in place, I usually see 10% here.

Maybe I should've gotten the Flex Fuel version, but I opted for PZEV to get the longer warranty on the emissions components.

A/C is used sparingly. I'm not used to having a working A/C and I want to see if I can sustain 40mpg for my commute :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The cheaper one... I never got more than the reservoir when I got any brand new car delivered... I remember getting my Chevy Silverado with the low gas warning on, when I complaint about it, the salesman said "there's a gas station just around the corner"
Whaa? I made sure that my tank was topped off when I took delivery of the car. Got around 390-400 miles on it, IIRC.
 

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A/C is used sparingly. I'm not used to having a working A/C and I want to see if I can sustain 40mpg for my commute :p
you would be amazed how little the AC uses in the MK3.
Way better to keep the windows closed and use the AC on the highway/freeway.
Once you are on cruise control, you can turn on the AC... And watch your mpg numbers stay the same. They will go down way more for any little hill than for the AC being on.
 

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Yah, ever since piston type A/C compressors were phased out years ago running A/C has been better for MPG than opening windows....
 

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When we bought my wife's Mazda last year, I asked the salesman where they fill up and they said either the Sheetz down the street or Sam's Club, whichever had the best prices. They topped her tank off.

When I bought my Focus, they said they just get it from some no-name local station (definitely not top tier). They did not top off my tank.
 
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