Fuel Grade
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Thread: Fuel Grade

  1. #1
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    Fuel Grade

    I've heard a lot of debate over what kind of fuel the 1.4L T should use (regular or premium) and hoping to get some opinions from you guys and gals. I've heard that premium causes less detonation (whatever the heck that means) and is easier on the engine, increasing service life. Also if I was to use premium gasoline which is more expensive, will the cost justify the means due to the fuel economy evening it out?

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    Retired Moderator shawn672's Avatar
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    using a higher octane won't net you a better fuel mileage. at best you might gain some hp but its uncertain at this point. until someone gets one on a dyno we'll probably never know

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    you dont need a dyno to know if the premium fuel will make any difference. it will. its been discussed here before. i have a lot of experience with turbo cars and turbochargers in general and ive used regular on them before. never had any good results. car ran like crap, excessive knocking in the motor, and ridiculous amount of power loss. i wouldnt suggest trying it as i have lost one motor already to detonation. heres a really good explanation of what detonation is.

    Detonation of Motor Fuels definition of Detonation of Motor Fuels in the Free Online Encyclopedia.
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    Retired Moderator shawn672's Avatar
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    I understand what detonation is and how higher octanes work. GM is recommending 87 octane on all cruze's. I understand higher octane might be better, but if you engine blows under 100k GM replaces it for free..


    Here is an email response I've received from their engineers:
    Dear Mr. Miller,

    Thank you for contacting Chevrolet and for your interest in the 2011 Cruze! We appreciate the time you have taken to write us.

    We are unable to provide exact measurements for the octane ratings you mentioned in your response email. The vehicle will run more efficiently with a higher octane level however this will not provide you with added power. A higher level of octane will last longer and is generally cleaner than your lower level octane. The Cruzes 1.4 ECOTEC turbo engine is equipped to run on 87 octane and we would not recommend anything higher than 91 octane. For further details please consult your local dealer for technical assistance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shawn672 View Post
    I understand what detonation is and how higher octanes work. GM is recommending 87 octane on all cruze's. I understand higher octane might be better, but if you engine blows under 100k GM replaces it for free..


    Here is an email response I've received from their engineers:
    let me explain their email. see how they say the cruze is "equipped" to run on 87 octane. they use the word equipped instead of recommend because the car has a knock sensor which will dial back the timing of the motor when it detects low grade fuel. you said they are recommending 87 octane which doesnt state that in the email they sent to you. most of the older cars actually go into limp mode when they detect low grade fuel which basically just gives you enough power from your engine to "limp" home. also running anything higher than 91 is pointless for such a small turbo. now if you upgrade your turbo to something like a t67 then using a higher octane will make a difference.

    yes they will replace the motor but do you think its worth all the hassle and losing the car for whatever the amount of time it takes them to diagnose the problem and put in a new motor or fix your old one. imagine if you were merging into the highway and suddenly experience detonation and the motor retards the timing which slows down the car. that can be a fatal problem if there is a car catching up to you. not trying to be a know it all but i have years of experience with modifying and tuning cars.
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    Retired Moderator shawn672's Avatar
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    You probably have more experience than I do so I'll deflect to you. Do you have a cruze yet? Did you notice any performance increase when switching to a higher octane? What did/do you use?

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    Great posts. I think I'll try out the 89 or 91. I do have one more question that I don't think I've found on here yet... can you mix different fuel grades or should you run your tank to just about empty before filling it up with a different grade of fuel?

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    Quote Originally Posted by shawn672 View Post
    You probably have more experience than I do so I'll deflect to you. Do you have a cruze yet? Did you notice any performance increase when switching to a higher octane? What did/do you use?
    don't have the cruze yet. probably going to get it next year when they try to clear out the old models. so i can pick it up cheap. i did find some first hand account from owners that they did notice better throttle response when they filled it up with 91 after they got it from the dealership.

    Quote Originally Posted by moobox View Post
    Great posts. I think I'll try out the 89 or 91. I do have one more question that I don't think I've found on here yet... can you mix different fuel grades or should you run your tank to just about empty before filling it up with a different grade of fuel?
    yes you can mix different fuel grades. try avoiding running the tank empty on the turbo motor. running out of fuel while accelerating on a turbo motor is 10x worse than using low grade fuel as you will have increased air pressure due to the boost but then no combustion because of the lack of fuel. also dont try testing 89 and 91 until you fully break in the motor. i would suggest driving it on 91 for the first 500-1000 miles than do the test.

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    ...interestingly, the USA manual states 87 octane, but, seemingly, some overseas models state 91 octane.

    ...anybody know *why* the difference--possibly, fuel grade or quality?

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    So after reading this discussion, I should put 91 in my cruze when I pick it up???

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