View Full Version : What Grade of Gasoline Do You Use in Your Saturn?

02-18-2003, 07:03 PM
Saturn recommends using 87 octane unleaded gasoline in our cars, but ads for gasoline companies often depict higher priced, higher octane versions of their fuel as better for our cars. Which grade of gasoline do you use in your Saturn? Why?

02-18-2003, 07:42 PM
I use 87. Unless you have a very high compression engine with or have a turbo or supercharger, I wouldn't waste the money.

02-18-2003, 07:55 PM
I believe I have owned every 4 cyl engine ever made by Saturn and I used 87 octane without a problem in all of them.

02-18-2003, 08:30 PM
87 because its what is recommended and the cheapest.

02-18-2003, 08:32 PM
I'd put water in the tank if it'd run on it.

On a long trip with the a/c running and the speeds at legal plus, I'll splurge and put in a tank of 93 just to do it, but 95% of the time it is plain old 87 from the corner shop-n-rob.

02-18-2003, 08:39 PM
87 I've never seen anything good happen by using higher octane fuel. Sometimes I even notice a decrease in performance by using them.

02-19-2003, 08:24 AM
Always use 87, this is what Saturn recommand and never have problem with it

eRic 02sc2
02-19-2003, 08:58 AM
87 octane all the way. that's what saturn designed the engine for and it won't make use of higher octane anyway, so why waste it and muck up the engine in the process. oil companies want to make money! unless my saturn was pinging on 87 and/or i raised the compression ratio, 87 octane works great.

02-19-2003, 09:21 AM
I've tried the higher octanes and found that my Saturn runs better on the cheap stuff.

eRic 02sc2
02-19-2003, 09:31 AM
Originally posted by piney
I'd put water in the tank if it'd run on it.

did you know chrysler has a car that runs on borax? also there are bio-diesels that run on cooking oil. their exhuast smells like french fries.

02-19-2003, 10:21 AM
For the new ION3 I am using only 87 gasoline. My 99 SC1 though I used 89 for its time with me. I thought it ran a little smoother on 89. The ION is fine on 87 and the price is a bit cheaper so I stick with it as recommended

02-19-2003, 12:16 PM
lol @ french fries.

it depends on where you get your vegetable oil. most people with diesel conversions have found used restaurant oil is cheapest and easiest to get in bulk, so that's what they use. thus the fried smell. I personally would rather have a french fry fume car than a gas fume car, but maybe that's just me.

02-19-2003, 12:16 PM
87. That's what it was designed to run on. After I finish building the engine from my project car, it will be 93.

eRic - too bad Chrysler's car that runs on borax is a minivan. Who want's to save the environment in one of those?

02-19-2003, 03:05 PM
There's nothing wrong with 87. I don't like wasting money.


02-19-2003, 11:37 PM
The 89 octane is 2 cents cheaper per gallon in Iowa, but it is gasohol. Gasohol is 10% alky/Gas mix.

I run the standard gas through the tank most of the time, and will run a tank of gasohol every other month or so.

02-20-2003, 03:16 PM
Use the cheap stuff. It adds up quick when you fuel twice a week.

02-20-2003, 06:45 PM
I use 87 in my VUE. After shaving the heads in the Beretta, plus the addition of all of ty other crap, I ran 91 in it religiously, and there was a moticable performance drop with 89 or 87. When I am towing with the VUE, I run 89 or 91 as per the owner's manual recommendations, and it does seem peppier on the highway under heavy load.

02-21-2003, 04:26 PM
I use 89 in both my cars. We drive a lot, and we take the SC2 to the track every season. My hubby insists that we use 89 anyway.

When he had his '74 Buick Apollo running, he used a mixture of some brand of oil and AV gas. The car ran impeccably. Too bad the engine was blown. Now the car's a backyard decoration. We'll restore it and rebuild the engine someday.

02-21-2003, 04:30 PM
I usually use 89.

02-21-2003, 07:01 PM
87 too, no need to do upgrade.

In my area, 93 gas is just 20 cents more than 87...which makes running a premium car a little bit cheaper. Or maybe lots of cars these days are on Regular, greater demand....

02-22-2003, 03:30 AM
I use 87, the dealer has reccomended it on all three of my saturns, even my L.

However gas milage has been down for me lately, I still am having issues with my foot and the pedal.

This week's Avg: 18.9mpg

02-23-2003, 05:51 PM
I run 87 but I might try 89 in the summer.

Beautiful VUE
02-26-2003, 12:51 AM
I used 87 for the first three months because thats what the dealership recommended. When I inquired about my MPG being slightly low, the first thing they tld me was to up my gas grade. I have been using 89 for a month now and I have seen some improvement inspite of the random mix of winter weather we have here.

02-26-2003, 01:27 PM
I've never noticed a difference in performance or mileage in any of the cars I've owned. However, in my 89 Sidekick, I did notice that I got better mileage from the gas from the "No-Name" station in town, opposed to the major Canadian brands.


03-02-2003, 08:19 AM
VUE engines ae designed for 87 octane and anything else is a waste of money as the engine runs perfectly on 87. The only time I might use 89 octane is if I did any towing.


03-04-2003, 12:50 AM
Originally posted by SW2Muck
I use 87. Unless you have a very high compression engine with or have a turbo or supercharger, I wouldn't waste the money.
I totally agree. I use nitrous on my car, so therefore I use 93/94 octane gasoline.
However, even though my Saturn manual recommended 87, my Saturn, from day one, would not run on it. 89 was OK, but I guess our 87 sucked.
My mini-van won't run on 87 either. However, it's a high mileage engine so it just might be picky like older people get sometimes.. *lol*
My SC2 lived off of 87, occassionally 89, but wouldn't run right when I put a tank of 93 in it once just for kicks. It ran really poorly. So I stayed with the 87.
SO maybe it's just sometimes Ohio gas is bad at the low grade and sometimes bad at the high grade.. Who knows. :dizzy:
I just know that as long as your car is running good, and the manual says 87, it's what you should use IMO. Anything more, these days, would be a waste of money. Unless you are racing with some hardcore hardware like SC, Turbo, or Nitrous.
It's recommended that IF I were to put the car on the street again, I could run 87/89, sans nitrous. Only put 93 in it when I am racing. It's a theory, but I don't care to put that one to the test... I don't want to risk putting my car on the road with all of those.. those.. PEOPLE!!! AHHHH:o:

delivery man
03-11-2003, 02:12 PM
I always use 87 in my L. When you fill up daily even just a few pennies a gallon makes a difference in my monthly gas bill.:)

03-21-2003, 10:18 PM
87 all the way..Why? 500 miles a week adds up quick in this car, can't afford another 20 cents for 93 :dizzy:

04-18-2003, 02:05 PM
I stick with the standard 87 gasoline in both of our Saturns. We have absolutely no need to pay the extra money for premium gasoline.

I would also like to mention that when I was shopping around to buy my present Saturn, I would not consider a 6 cylinder car that required or recommended premium gasoline.

I had a 1985 Chrysler Fifth Avenue that required premium gasoline. I tried regular but the car alway pinged. The extra money for the premium gas adds up.

04-27-2003, 11:42 PM
87 as this is what is recommended for the car.

04-29-2003, 05:01 PM
My 92 SC can't run on 87 because it pings a lot, so I use 93.

05-19-2003, 09:12 AM
Mixture of 87 and 93

05-25-2003, 08:37 PM
I always use 87. One time I used 91 on an older car of mine (granted it was a Geo Metro) and then I had problems after that. I've been jinxed into never doing that again, especially if Saturn recommends 87. I just prefer the not so cheap gas stations though.

06-05-2003, 09:25 AM
use 93 :)

06-05-2003, 07:32 PM
My Ion loves 87.

06-10-2003, 01:41 AM
I have always used 87 octane in my 2002 SL "SIlver Blue Special". It now has 21,500 miles. Up until a week ago, I religiously used Shell gas,......but now the price went up, and I get the gas where its cheap. But note that since I have stopped using Shell,......my gas mileage has gone down noticably.

09-10-2003, 08:52 PM
I use 93 octane. I seem to get better get-up-and-go and a lot better gas mileage. Maby its just me but it just plain runs better with the high octane. It seem when i do use the cheap stuff my car punishes me for it in low performance.

09-25-2003, 06:30 PM
I use 87 in all of mine. I think I read somewhere that sing higher octane than recommended isn't the best thing for the engine but don't remember the reasoning for it.


09-27-2003, 12:51 AM
93, nothing but the best and most expensive for Saturn :D

10-10-2003, 10:39 AM
i run 102 at the strip and 93 anywhere else

10-17-2003, 07:23 PM
the cheapest.

10-21-2003, 04:58 AM
My sales person told me high octane could damage the computer. 87 is ALL I ever use.

10-22-2003, 02:13 PM
The owners manual calls for 87, so that is what I have run in my car from day one. When I had my SL1, I did try a tank of 89, and got the crappiest gas mileage. I have stuck with 87 ever since.

10-25-2003, 01:38 PM
I use the 87 in both my SC2 and ION3 QC. I drive about 1000 miles a week and I already spend around $200 a month on gas, so I'd hate to pay for the higher octane. My saturn tech also told me not to run the higher octane.

10-25-2003, 11:57 PM
I used 87 until it started to ping ( after 100k miles) now I use 89 and no ping.

10-31-2003, 07:42 PM
The cheapest out there. Anything else is a waste of MONEY and NOTHING from BP.

01-28-2004, 12:43 PM
87.Its what the manual recommends. No use spending money on something that does you no good.

01-29-2004, 05:03 PM
Well, I'm running 11:1 compression so I can only use supreme 91+.

03-28-2004, 11:35 PM
87 and only Amoco or Mobil, here in rainy S. FL. they seem to be the only ones that I have never gotten water in my tank from.

I once knew a guy who ran his olds on methane (chicken poop). Needless to say, he didn't have many friends. ;-)

nice car QSC2.


04-02-2004, 10:47 PM
I always get 87...its whats recommended and what I can afford!!!!!

02-27-2005, 09:00 PM
91 to 93 the redline needs it and craves it and saturn says it runs best on it.

02-28-2005, 09:46 AM
My 92 SC can't run on 87 because it pings a lot, so I use 93.

Then your car has a problem. Using 93 octane fuel is a Band-Aid on a larger problem. You might try a tune up.

02-28-2005, 09:47 AM
I have always used 87 octane in my 2002 SL "SIlver Blue Special". It now has 21,500 miles. Up until a week ago, I religiously used Shell gas,......but now the price went up, and I get the gas where its cheap. But note that since I have stopped using Shell,......my gas mileage has gone down noticably.

Then I guess it's time to go back to Shell.

02-28-2005, 06:57 PM
87 octane in the Ion. I ran 89 in the SL1 and SL2 as they aged, and as someone posted above, they seemed to run better on it. That, however was when petrol was considerably cheaper than it is in 2005. Not sure what I'll do as the Ion piles on the miles. I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.

03-01-2005, 12:42 AM
87 octane for my Ion :yes:

03-01-2005, 03:23 AM
I use the cheapest **** I can find. :D

03-09-2005, 09:02 AM
87--couldn't find Borax

03-10-2005, 09:09 PM
I use 87 most of the time. But I had high idle problems for a while and thought 93 would help. I received better mileage but no help on the high idle. 93 gas doesn't make much of a difference in cost when you only fill once every 3-4 weeks.

03-10-2005, 10:00 PM
87 Shell or Chevron ...it pings on Mobil

03-15-2005, 12:20 AM
I use 87 b/c that is what's recommended.

03-23-2005, 11:04 PM
i use 87, unless 89 is the same price

04-01-2005, 01:04 PM
8I used to put 93, until the engine started to idle roughly after a P.M.(preventive maintenence), then I switched to 89, much better!!!!!! :)

04-01-2005, 01:16 PM
ill stick with good old cheap 87. It does t-h-e job and it doesnt cost as much as i pay for the car per month!!

04-02-2005, 05:31 PM
Seems like i'm the only one that runs on 85. I live at high altitude (house at 6400 feet, work at 8400, sometimes go to 10,000). Seems to run just fine, and I am getting 34MPG in the Ion2. Not bad for climbing 2000 feet each day, however I do tend to coast all the way downhill on the way home.

I used to drive a 94 Mustang GT with about 90,000 miles on it. Though 89 was more expensive than 87, I got enough improvement in MPG where it ended up costing me lless per mile.

04-02-2005, 06:23 PM
Let's see here:

Dad's/My '95 Saturn SL1: 87 Hess, works fine
Mom's '01 Volvo V70 XC: 87 Hess, formerly 93 Hess, but since price of 93-octane gaz went up, she switched to 87 and it runs great.

04-02-2005, 08:08 PM
Wow! 85?! I am wondering what gasoline companies sell that octane?

04-03-2005, 01:11 AM
Up here, everyone does. Conoco, Sinclair, Safeway. It's an altitude based thing.

04-04-2005, 04:00 PM
Sinclair, and Safeway? Are they American gas companies or foreign? Or they gas stations?

06-09-2005, 06:12 PM
:usa: Premium Gasoline AT LEAST for my manual 1995 SC2. I love my car. Sure it runs not bad on 87, but when you've love 4 cylinder cars going fast, smooth and good with all ORIGINAL configurations, only finely tuned up... then Premium Gasoline is a must. It will always run a little smoother. We can put castrol oil on our sandwiches, why do we put butter? We don't need to but we do love nicer things, so why not spoil the car we love so it can spoil us back? :D

07-10-2005, 02:52 PM
We use 87 octane on both our Saturns, as well as our Honda Accord. On occassion I will use 89 octane on the Honda when we go into the Texas Hill Country. Both Saturns do well with 87 octane, plus it's the least expensive.

07-11-2005, 12:31 AM
I always run 87 with no problems, but on a recent trip through New Mexico, they had 86 as the bottom grade, 88 as mid and 91 as top (all one octane less than California and Arizona). This was at all the stations in Albuquerque and at a gas stop in Gallup. I put in 88 to be safe, but wonder why the octane ratings are one less than everywhere else?

Even with paying more for "mid grade", gas in Albuquerque was still about 30 cents per gallon less than in Los Angeles.


unkle bik
07-11-2005, 09:58 AM
I put in 88 to be safe, but wonder why the octane ratings are one less than everywhere else?
Higher eleveations require a lower octane than those at sea level. That's why you will see 85 octane in Colorado, as opposed to 87.

07-11-2005, 02:10 PM
Interesting. Albuquerque is slightly over 5000 feet elevation, so I guess I would be ok to burn 86 there, but if I drove back out to the lower elevations, I beter get 87 back in the tank!


07-16-2005, 12:25 AM
I usually get 89. In Illinios and Iowa 89 is usually same price or cheaper than the 87, I think because of different gas taxes.