Chevrolet Cruze Forums banner

1 - 20 of 104 Posts

·
Moderator
Joined
·
324 Posts
Discussion Starter #1

Cost is often the first thing that comes to mind when motorists think of gasoline. Many will drive halfway across town to save a couple cents per gallon. Additionally, purchasing regular-grade fuel to save money can be an exercise in false economy, especially if your vehicle is designed for premium gas.

Running fuel with insufficient octane can cause internal engine damage, which isn’t pretty. “The worst case scenario …. You could actually [melt] holes in the pistons and cause catastrophic damage to the [connecting] rods,” said Bill Studzinski, GM powertrain fuels group manager. Fortunately a disaster of this caliber is unlikely in today’s highly tuned, computer-controlled powerplants. Still he said, “You should follow the owner’s manual guidance.”

What’s more apt to happen when there isn’t enough octane is a phenomenon called spark knock. John Juriga, director of powertrain at the Hyundai America Technical Center described this abnormal combustion as “sort of a high-pitched pinging,” or perhaps even a rattling noise. This sound is caused by colliding flame fronts inside the combustion chamber, which lead to pressure spikes and ultimately that telltale sound. “Obviously knocking is not something customers like to hear,” he said, nor is it good for your engine.

Octane Requirements

Octane is a measure of gasoline’s resistance to igniting under pressure. To improve fuel economy and output figures, manufacturers often increase the compression ratios of their engines, that is, how tightly they squeeze an incoming air-fuel mixture. A lower-octane fuel is more likely to spontaneously ignite than one with a higher rating. For these reasons and more, performance vehicles or ones equipped with forced induction often demand premium.

Studzinski said GM has two different fuel requirements. In some of their cars and trucks high-octane gasoline is recommended, in others it’s mandatory. Of course many of their vehicles are designed to happily burn regular gas.

It’s same story at Hyundai. Juriga said all of their products are rated to run on 87-octane fuel, though the Genesis models and Equus luxury sedan will benefit from premium, delivering more power and torque.

These cars are able to adapt to various octane levels. Juriga noted that they’ve allowed “the engine to sort of regulate itself.” Knock sensors detect any pinging and tell the powertrain-control computer to dial back spark timing to eliminate it.

Juriga said more advanced ignition timing – having the spark plug fire earlier – improves both low-end torque and high-RPM power, which is why automakers try to push it forward, though there is a practical limit.

Curiously, high-octane gasoline isn’t always the same from one market to another. “The petroleum industry has decided to sell premium as two different grades,” said Studzinski. East of the Mississippi River it’s rated 93 octane, west merely 91. Fortunately either should work.

“For General Motors in 2015, and previously, we always defined premium as 91 AKI or higher,” noted Studzinski. That three-letter initialism stands for anti-knock index, which is “the posted octane on the pump.”

Cheapening Out

What if you drive a vehicle that recommends premium fuel and you decide to save a few bucks and fill the tank with regular-grade gas? Studzinski said, “You won’t damage your engine but the following are the side effects: acceleration will be poor … and [a] loss of fuel economy.” This could be an instance of being penny wise and pound foolish.

Conversely if your car is only designed for 87 octane buying the expensive stuff may do little more than increase your costs. “Putting premium fuel in our vehicles most of the time won’t make a difference,” said Juriga, adding that these cars typically have spark-advance curves that are tuned for regular gasoline and can’t advance enough to take full advantage of the extra octane.

When to Step Up

In spite of this Juriga also said, “There could be a time when it’s beneficial [to step up a fuel grade].” For instance, if you’re driving through Death Valley and its 120 degrees out your vehicle’s powerplant is going to be ingesting very hot, dry air, a combination that can exacerbate the propensity for spark knock. “In that particular case the premium fuel would benefit,” he said, because the engine is going to be retarding timing to prevent knock and as a result performance will suffer. Higher octane can serve as a stopgap to prevent this.

Additionally Juriga said pinging is likely to occur at both low and high engine speeds while under heavy load. Typically “midrange [operation] is not a problem.” Keep this in mind if you tow or haul; extra octane might help with performance, especially if it’s sweltering outside.

“If you were to hear knocking or feel really sluggish acceleration you should try moving up an octane grade,” concurred Studzinski. “Under certain conditions you may need to.”

Mistakes Happen


Human error is unavoidable. If your vehicle requires premium fuel and you mistakenly put regular in the tank it’s probably not the end of the world.

Juriga said most automakers should have robust enough tuning that nothing catastrophic would occur. “I’m going to have no concern that I’m going to trash my engine,” he said, as long as it was operating in normal conditions. When it comes to something ...
For the rest of this story, Do I Really Need Premium Gas? please visit AutoGuide.com.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
25,038 Posts
Before the guaranteed "See, I told you the Cruze doesn't require premium gas" post, remember this - the 1.8 (LS) and 1.4T (1LT, ECO, 2LT, and LTZ) Ecotec engines in the North American Cruze are coded "KRD - 91 octane". GM's engineers figured out how to allow the Cruze to run on regular 87 octane gas but this comes with the tradeoff of lower total Horsepower and lower low RPM torque, both of which reduce drivability and fuel efficiency.

The current recall on the 2011-2013 Automatics (LT, ECO, LTZ) to reprogram the ECU is required to fix some of the low octane adjustments GM made. Under high RPM high load 87 octane situations, the ignition timing maps inject too much gas into the cylinders. It appears these cars are receiving the updated software that first came out with the 2014 model year, for which we have anecdotal evidence pointing to improvements in low end torque as well when running on 87 octane.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,262 Posts
Recently I noticed a +/-10% increase in MPG when using 91 instead of 87 octane with a +/-15% increase in cost. I think I'm going to stick with 91, but around here most stations have 87,89,92 or 93.
 

·
Resident Forum Drunkard
Joined
·
9,264 Posts
So where do you buy that 93 ? I want that station !
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,262 Posts
So where do you buy that 93 ? I want that station !
BP(the old amoco) and speedway I think shell has it too but not positive. BP,Speedway and Thorntons(has 92)are the 3 that I drive by every day going to work.
I use 100% 93 in my chevelle even though it needs 96.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,918 Posts
BP(the old amoco) and speedway I think shell has it too but not positive. BP,Speedway and Thorntons(has 92)are the 3 that I drive by every day going to work.
I use 100% 93 in my chevelle even though it needs 96.
95% of the stations in Wisconsin have 91E0 for the premium grade. Have found Shell, BP, Mobil, and Cenex randomly have 93E10. When I took my trip to Texas in 2012 I filled only at shell, every single station I stopped at had 93E10.

Every single northern Illinois station I have stopped at has 93E10.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,582 Posts
So where do you buy that 93 ? I want that station !
Aside from Sunoco Racing Fuel at $8 a gallon, 91 Octane is the highest blend sold in this area. I tried 91 octane once and my 14 1LT ran terrible. High idle and surged from a start. I find 89 during the summer just fine and believe it would also do ok on 87?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,718 Posts
I'll give AutoGuide credit on this one. Most articles written for "one size fits all" don't. Worse, too many say that running higher octane than in the owner's manual is a waste of money. While not Cruze-specific, they did good on this one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
574 Posts
Aside from Sunoco Racing Fuel at $8 a gallon, 91 Octane is the highest blend sold in this area. I tried 91 octane once and my 14 1LT ran terrible. High idle and surged from a start. I find 89 during the summer just fine and believe it would also do ok on 87?
I believe here for 106-110 octane AKA race fuel its $80 for a 5 gallon can. They only sell it on there cans
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,918 Posts
Aside from Sunoco Racing Fuel at $8 a gallon, 91 Octane is the highest blend sold in this area. I tried 91 octane once and my 14 1LT ran terrible. High idle and surged from a start.
Sounds like you got old gas, certainly would not rate one fill up or brand on how 91 octane runs in your cruze. If I remember correctly don't you typically run cheap gas? Ever think it was possibly running poorly because the premium was cleaning out some deposits your normal fuel is leaving behind? The cruze by design will start on high idle if the temperature is low enough, will run 1500RPM for 20 seconds to a minute and a half depending how cold.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,582 Posts
Sounds like you got old gas, certainly would not rate one fill up or brand on how 91 octane runs in your cruze. If I remember correctly don't you typically run cheap gas? .
Where did you read I use cheap Gas? That's the name of the place, "Cheap Gas". No I have been using mostly Safeway Gas and while its not rated 'Top Tier' its fine and a super high volume station. However I do live right in the Death Valley metro area:grin: so should I change to 91, I say no. My biggest fear when I first bought this Car is it would run hot during the summer due to the tiny little engine. Some encouraging words from JB regarding the cooling system were absolutely true and the CRUZE runs fine all the time. Perhaps the key is driving a 14 +
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
574 Posts
From what I here about no name gas stations is that there filters systems are not as good as name brands. Can anyone chime in on this please?
Thanks
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,918 Posts
Where did you read I use cheap Gas? That's the name of the place, "Cheap Gas". No I have been using mostly Safeway Gas and while its not rated 'Top Tier' its fine and a super high volume station.
Anything not top tier would be considered cheap gas. How much do you actually save not running top tier? According to the owners manual if your not running top tier gas your suppose to run a bottle of GM fuel system cleaner every oil change. Seems a pretty good indicator of the importance of a quality fuel. Unfortunately for the consumer there is no real way to test fuel quality, but that is exactly why manufactures came up with the top tier standard.

GM fuel system cleaner is just re-branded chevron techron concentrate, even comes in the same exact bottle with just a different label. The 12oz bottle part number is 88861262, but cost 2X what the same size bottle of techron concentrate cost at a local box store. Add in this cost per oil change, your not saving anything running cheap gas.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
25,038 Posts
I have a Safeway and a Shell near me - nothing else. I won't use the Shell and it's not about the price - it's about the fact that the gas at the Shell sits a lot longer than the gas at Safeway. Safeway is resupplying their underground tanks about every 3-4 days. Shell is once every couple of weeks.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,582 Posts
Anything not top tier would be considered cheap gas. How much do you actually save not running top tier? According to the owners manual if your not running top tier gas your suppose to run a bottle of GM fuel system cleaner every oil change. Seems a pretty good indicator of the importance of a quality fuel. Unfortunately for the consumer there is no real way to test fuel quality, but that is exactly why manufactures came up with the top tier standard.

GM fuel system cleaner is just re-branded chevron techron concentrate, even comes in the same exact bottle with just a different label. The 12oz bottle part number is 88861262, but cost 2X what the same size bottle of techron concentrate cost at a local box store. Add in this cost per oil change, your not saving anything running cheap gas.
You know before Techron there was Techroline, and other additives were always available, GM made some below. If you feel good after pumping I feel good knowing you feel good. I just hope I never see you at my Safeway or any Albertsons branded store across our great nation. I'm sure Robby who dispensed my favorite brand, Unocal 89 ( they didn't offer an 87) might object to you calling the product he sold cheap or dirty. Has gas come a long way or is it all hocus pocus? For that matter I'm sure many stations receive Gas shipments with this additive already in it and you just don't know?


Collector's Guide to Vintage Gasoline Additives [h=4]
by Wayne Henderson, Petroleum Collectibles Monthly
The story behind collectible petroleum additive advertising, cans, signs and globes.​
[/h]


It would not be unusual for an ad in Petroleum Collectibles Monthly to read "Wanted - Purol Pep single lens for 15" metal; Complete globes - Deep Rock Kant-Nock and Mid-West (Michigan), both on 13.5" glass. Call BR-549."
Both Purol Pep and Deep Rock Kant-Nock were well known gasoline brandnames, and Mid-Marketed only slightly less so since they only marked in Michigan. But occaisionaly you will see reference to "Solvenized Purol Pep," "Deep Rock Kant-Nock with Ethyl," or Mid-West Lubrigas." What are these products? How did it come about that virtually every company marketed a premium grade of gasoline tagged "with Ethyl?" And why do Pure, Jenny, United, Woco-Pep and others refer to their gasoline as "Solvenized?" Are those companies related? Lets take a look...

Advances in automotive engine design saw major steps forward during the decade of 1910-1920. Early two-cylinder and four-cylinder designs gradually gave way to six-cylinder in-line engines. As early as 1915 Cadillac offered a V-8 engine in certain models. Engines development, however, was hampered by the lack of availability of high octane fuels necessary in developing higher compression ratios. The petroleum industry experimented with a number of blends and additives to gasoline in an attempt to create a fuel of higher anti-knock capability. Of the early additives, a blend of benzene and gasoline, marketed as "Benzol" offered the most promise. In 1915 a small Baltimore refiner-marketer, critically short of crude supplies, developed a high octane benzol fuel they named "Amoco-Gas," taking an acronym of the corporate name, American Oil Company. Availability of the fuel was somewhat hampered by the company's limited resources and crude oil supplies, and it would be nearly ten years before Amoco-Gas was available outside of a very limited area. The first effort by a major gasoline marketer to introduce a high octane gasoline came in 1922 when Standard of Indiana introduced "Solite," a gasoline with a higher specific gravity (the method for determining octane rating was not established until 1929) than Standard's "Red Crown." In early 1923, the General Motors Research Labs at Dayton, Ohio began testing the addition of tetraethyl lead to gasoline. Marketing experimentation began when GM teamed with Dayton Independent Refiners Oil Company to introduce an "ethylized" gas, blending tetraethyl lead with gasoline at the pump. The experiment was quite successful and in September 1923, GM teamed up with Standard of Indiana to introduce Ethyl gasoline on a large scale. The following August, GM and Standard Oil of New Jersey formed the Ethyl Gasoline Corporation to franchise the Ethyl additive to gasoline marketers worldwide. The ink had hardly dried on this agreement when lead poisoning deaths in the Ethyl plants brought about a moratorium of the sale of "ethylized" gasoline until further study of potential harmful effects could be determined. After over a year of study by the U.S. Surgeon General, Ethyl Gasoline was reintroduced, with some restrictions on handling of the tetraethyl lead additive. With the reintroduction of Ethyl, every refiner meeting the Ethyl franchise requirements quickly signed on. Those who were deemed ineligible, for one reason or another, quickly introduced their own premium grade products in order to compete with Ethyl. Thus, in a period of about two years, virtually every marketer began offering at least two grades of gasoline. Those marketers that had, prior to the introduction of Ethyl offered a premium grade product, possibly a benzol blend or an "aviation" grade (Aviation being a common trade name for these non-ethyl premiums in the 1920s) often continued to market this product alongside their new "Ethyl." No tetraethyl lead could be added to any regular grade product until terms of the Ethyl franchise agreement were modified in 1933. Among major oil companies of this era, Standard Oil remained a single grade marketer, introducing "Blue Sunoco" in 1928 as a non-ethyl premium fuel sold at regular grade prices. Even Amoco, pioneer in high octane non-leaded fuels, offered regular grade products, originally "American Strate" and "Orange American Gas."

As our introduction pointed out, though, the chemical additive trademarked "Ethyl" was not the only additive available to enhance the quality of gasoline. Competitive processes were developed, the most successful of which was Lubrizol Corporation's "Solvenized" additive package. Taking its name from the root word "solvent," this chemical additive was designed to dissolve carbon that builds up on automotive engine internal components. The additive was introduced in 1935, and the original marketer of "Solenized" gasoline was Cleveland, Ohio based Pocahontas Oil Company, that marketed under the "Blue Flash" brandname. Blue Flash Gasoline became "Solvenized Blue Flash," and a cartoon character, "Dirty Dan the Carbon Man" accompanied advertising of the new product, combined with the slogan Chases Carbon." Pocahontas Oil had sold out to Hickock Oil Company (Hi-Speed) by 1938, and although Hickock did not actively advertise it's gasolines as "Solvenized" (they preferred "Ex-Carbon), the Pure Oil Company, majority owner of Hickock Oil did adopt the "Solvenized" process. As a result, Purol Pep and companion product Woco-Pep (in the Southeast) were advertised as "Solvenized" although globes denoting this additive are very rare.
Before Pure had become a Lubrizol franchisee, another regional marketer, Boston based Jenny Manufacturing, had licensed the process. Not only were Jenny Hy-Power Gasolines "SOlvenized," but their lubricants were solvent treated as well. Jenny offered their "Solvenoil" lubricants until they merged with Citgo in 1965. Another "Solvenized" marketer was Erie, Pennsylvania based United Oil Marketing, Inc. United was only a small regional operation, but incorporated the "chases Carbon" slogan and character into their signage and advertising.

Taking another route entirely, Lubri-Gas International Inc. of Chicago Illinois, introduced a lubricant additive to blend in gasoline. While the additive was offered in the aftermarket, one marketer, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan based Mid-West Refining offered a gasoline-Lubri-Gas blend. Symbolized by a camel, Lubri-Gas was sold by other midwestern marketers as a sideline product in the 1930s and 1940s.
Different still were the gasoline brands that promoted their refining method. One of these refining processes was known as "Dubbs Cracking," and companies including Grizzly, Leonard and Bay advertised their gasolines as being "Dubbs Cracked."
After World War II, franchised gasoline additives gave way to individual refiners chemical compounds. Both Shell and Conoco enhanced their product with an additive known as "TCP." The element boron was added to gasoline offered by Sohio, DX and Richfield of California and nickel was added to Sinclair fuels. While these later additives do not often have a direct interest to collectors of petroleum memorabilia, they are referenced in print ads and on signs and globes. Sohio went so far, of course, as to introduce Boron as a secondary brand. Gasoline marketers continue to promote their additives even today. Chevron gasolines are enhanced with "Techroline" and indeed the Techroline additive is available in aftermarket form to add to your favorite brand of gasoline. Texaco advertises their "System 3" products and Exxon advertises "Phase 4" fuels. None of these modern-day products or processes will generate significant collectibles for future collectors in the same way that the extensive assortment of Ethyl signs or globes, each representing their individual brandnames does for us today.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,918 Posts
I'm not sure we needed a lengthy history lesson on fuel additives, the EPA didn't even require detergents in gas until like 1996-1997 so none of that is relevant today. The EPA require levels though are very very low, that is why the top tier program was started by BMW, GM, Toyota, Volkswagen, Mercedes & Audi, to ensure consumers are getting the levels needed for modern engines.

Remember all top tier brands are constantly tweaking their detergent formulas so you can't really compare an fuel from before 1996 to anything available today or for that matter fuel detergents from 10 years ago to now.

For that matter I'm sure many stations receive Gas shipments with this additive already in it and you just don't know?


ALL stations in the USA come with the EPA required level of detergents, which is much less than top tier standards. On the video below their testing indicated the top tier stations level of detergents in regular gas was 3X the non-top tier stations. Their testing also showed top tier stations have a higher level of detergents in their premium grade than regular, this was not the case for non-top tier brands tested.


 
1 - 20 of 104 Posts
Top