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Old 11-13-2010, 10:35 AM   #1
tiger862
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Default Mid Grade Gas

I know I will get slammed but here it goes. I have a 2.2L Auto 06 Vue and I noticed it had 10:1 compression. All of the older cars I ran with that compression ratio needed higher octane. I looked in owners manual and it stated 87 or higher. I tried it then got baffled so more research was needed to explain the answer to my results. 40 miles more out of a tank of fuel, smoother idle, better acceleration and quieter motor even when cold. I have ran 3 tanks so far so I know this to be facts.
This is what happened. The Vue has a knock sensor that retards timing with lower octane. This ping is never heard by driver cause it corrects it so quick. With lower timing comes slightly lower idle and less power. With 89 octane the sensor sits idle since no ping is detected therefore it uses all the other sensors to control fuel-spark relationship.
Oh is it worth the extra money. Let see it is costing me 2.10 more at fill up. I am thinking of going Pennzoil Platinum on next oil change and using olm or 6 months which ever comes first so that will cost extra as well but if both of these simple fixes will give me extra life it will be worth it. 89000 right now hope to get 200000.
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Old 11-13-2010, 11:11 AM   #2
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Default Re: Mid Grade Gas

Nothing wrong with that at all - suit yourself. Since mid-grade is not a separate product but is blended at the pump out of regular and premium, you also get half the extra additives from the premium so it should run cleaner too. I use it sometimes and sometimes I'll fill up with regular and go back in a few days and top off with premium.
Be aware that 'you're just wasting your money' replies will follow.
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Old 11-13-2010, 11:23 AM   #3
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Default Re: Mid Grade Gas

I know for a fact that is not the case. I ran a service station many years ago and one thing that was highly watched by government watch dogs as we call them was mixing fuel at station. You could always put over ordered super in mid tank but never could we put over regular in mid grade. We would have to send that back with a bill to us. Could be mixed at plant but not at station.
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Old 11-13-2010, 11:38 AM   #4
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Default Re: Mid Grade Gas

Only one member here used his Scangauge II to monitor timing when he suspected a faulty knock sensor by noticing timing retard and confirmed it with a replacement. By using a reader to monitor live timing changes, troubleshooting became easier. Theories, idle speculation and seat of the pants feeling can only go so far unless equipment is used to monitor the before and after effects. This member did it; http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...26#post1678126

Never using the GM designed OLM or changing at 3k is just old school (and very outdated thinking), period.
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Old 11-13-2010, 11:49 AM   #5
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Default Re: Mid Grade Gas

I did not tell you I used a Genesis scanner to verify knock sensor operation as well as o2 readings and numerous technical information from computer as well as dealership certified techs and documentation from GM manuals. All confirmed same result was not uncommon. No 2 vehicles are the same but when raw data and documented data is same must be true. Remember the 2.2 is used in a lot of vehicles with different horsepower and different fuel recommendations. Like I said GM did not recommend any fuel requirements for 2.2 Vue except that they must met GM specs. Don't believe me go to https://www.fueleconomy.gov/mpg/MPG....eteDiaryRecord and there you will see the results for yourself.

Never did use OLM yet as I have only put 5000 miles on Vue since I have only owned it since February. I noticed a little sludge gel in oil filter when I bought so I changed oil right there and then. I used high mileage blend for 3000 changed to Mobil clean 5000 and will be changing that in another 1000 that is when I will go synthetic for 6 months or OLM which ever comes first. I don't drive in very good conditions that is the reason. Stop-n-go.

Last edited by tiger862; 11-13-2010 at 12:02 PM.
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Old 11-13-2010, 12:20 PM   #6
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Default Re: Mid Grade Gas

Quote:
Originally Posted by tiger862 View Post
I know I will get slammed but here it goes. I have a 2.2L Auto 06 Vue and I noticed it had 10:1 compression. All of the older cars I ran with that compression ratio needed higher octane. I looked in owners manual and it stated 87 or higher. I tried it then got baffled so more research was needed to explain the answer to my results. 40 miles more out of a tank of fuel, smoother idle, better acceleration and quieter motor even when cold. I have ran 3 tanks so far so I know this to be facts.
This is what happened. The Vue has a knock sensor that retards timing with lower octane. This ping is never heard by driver cause it corrects it so quick. With lower timing comes slightly lower idle and less power. With 89 octane the sensor sits idle since no ping is detected therefore it uses all the other sensors to control fuel-spark relationship.
Oh is it worth the extra money. Let see it is costing me 2.10 more at fill up. I am thinking of going Pennzoil Platinum on next oil change and using olm or 6 months which ever comes first so that will cost extra as well but if both of these simple fixes will give me extra life it will be worth it. 89000 right now hope to get 200000.
Tiger862 ... you've done the analysis and testing and I don't question your approach to fuel selection.

You don't mention if the higher octane lacks ethanol but I've noted when I can find either 87 or 89 octane - WITHOUT - 10% ethanol I can improve my mileage by about 3 mpg over the ethanol mix.

Many folks need to rethink when to change oil. I'm an old coot and even I understand three months or 3000 miles between conventional oil changes is outdated and wasteful. I depend on the OLM system (but keep a sticker on the windshield - just in case).
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Old 11-13-2010, 12:56 PM   #7
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Default Re: Mid Grade Gas

I'm not disputing your choice of mid grade fuel but do question whether or not you're verifying your ideas to arrive at your conclusion. Seeing live timing at idle and while driving, with regular and 89 octane is basic data acquisition for comparison. The potential for better mileage goes along with maximizing timing whether using regular or 89 octane. The phrase "trust but confirm" applies so applying what you believe can be verified if you have a reader with live scan capabilities. This way you can see if 87 octane is causing any timing to be retarded at any time as the other member saw (with a failed knock sensor). Engines are engines and electronic fuel injection is standardized. Knock sensing is the same whether in a 'Vette or a Saturn; fuel requirements are different but detonation whether from high compression or normal compression engines remains the same problem of fuel explosion instead of burning. A 2.2L engine in a Vue may have a larger load to move so 89 octane may be the perfect answer for your application as you've noticed. All the verbiage from sites devoting time and effort to educate and illuminate is ripe for misinformation. While I do understand the facts I would verify it on my own before fully accepting the word of anyone's charts. To question authority is the benchmark of anyone wishing to learn whether authority is genuine or otherwise.

Whether you know it or not the OLM does take into account everyones driving situation, from short trip stop and go local driving to all highway drives. GM did their homework so anyone can simply use the oil light change indicator to remind them to change the oil and filter. You'll read about members having different change intervals because the GM developed program determines a customized oil change interval using many factors so each car will have their OLM light turn on at the calculated mileage. Mine is based on NYC driving and reminds me at around 6k miles. Since I'm using synthetic oil I'm also going to an extended and modified oil change interval but still use the OLM to replace the oil filter. I'm more than happy that I don't need to remember a schedule and just check the dipstick. Now, if the oci burns out............
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Old 11-13-2010, 01:34 PM   #8
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Default Re: Mid Grade Gas

Both fuels have ethanol. I can't get any without. Not even the super duper stuff. Oh I am probably the most skeptic of all people.

On the OLM owners manual stated if ever not reset change oil at 3000 miles then go with OLM. If you go 1 year and OLM doesn't come on then change oil. Mine has never come on in the 6 month changes that I have done but there again I did not put over 3000 miles in 6 months.
Regular 17.1 avg. 3 tanks.
Mid 20.8 avg. 3 tanks.
Second time around.
Regular 17.2 avg. 3 tanks
Mid 20.8 avg. 3 tanks
Very consistent even if I must say so.

Last edited by tiger862; 11-13-2010 at 01:41 PM.
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Old 11-13-2010, 01:43 PM   #9
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Default Re: Mid Grade Gas

Quote:
Originally Posted by tiger862 View Post
I know for a fact that is not the case. I ran a service station many years ago and one thing that was highly watched by government watch dogs as we call them was mixing fuel at station. You could always put over ordered super in mid tank but never could we put over regular in mid grade. We would have to send that back with a bill to us. Could be mixed at plant but not at station.
I used to work at a station in California and they mixed the mid-grade there. We only had 3 types of tanks: diesel, 87 and 92 oct. I'm not calling you out but when we gotten a load, it was always 1 tanker and trailer. One would have 87 and the other would be 92. A computer would then blend it at the pump when you selected mid-grade.

Back in '98, I was driving through Colorado andin Denver, their octane ratings were lower. Something like: 85, 87, and 91. Since I was just passing through, I continued to use 87. Of course, I was getting about 30 mpg with the Cavalier.
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Old 11-13-2010, 02:42 PM   #10
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Default Re: Mid Grade Gas

There is no reason to change your oil after 6 months if the OLM doesn't light up.

Your oil doesn't age. Time is not going to matter at all. Go based on mileage, or the OLM.

If the "gel" you found on your oil filter really was "gel" like, then it was probably just moisture from not being heated up to operating temp.

3000 miles is nothing for any modern oil, conventional or synthetic. Shoot for 6000mi minimum on your oil changes, regardless of time.
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Old 11-13-2010, 04:03 PM   #11
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Default Re: Mid Grade Gas

Quote:
Originally Posted by tiger862 View Post
Both fuels have ethanol. I can't get any without. Not even the super duper stuff. Oh I am probably the most skeptic of all people.

On the OLM owners manual stated if ever not reset change oil at 3000 miles then go with OLM. If you go 1 year and OLM doesn't come on then change oil. Mine has never come on in the 6 month changes that I have done but there again I did not put over 3000 miles in 6 months.
Regular 17.1 avg. 3 tanks.
Mid 20.8 avg. 3 tanks.
Second time around.
Regular 17.2 avg. 3 tanks
Mid 20.8 avg. 3 tanks
Very consistent even if I must say so.


If GM could have increased the MPG of this vehicle by 3.5+ mpg by simply recommending mid-grade gasoline, don't you think they would have?
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Old 11-13-2010, 04:09 PM   #12
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Default Re: Mid Grade Gas

The main reason manufacturers state a time limit on changing your oil is because the moisture combines with the sulfur oxides producing sulfuric acid. There is no way to remove this from the oil. Moisture also accelerates the creation of sludge in the engine.
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Old 11-13-2010, 04:45 PM   #13
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Default Re: Mid Grade Gas

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The main reason manufacturers state a time limit on changing your oil is because the moisture combines with the sulfur oxides producing sulfuric acid. There is no way to remove this from the oil. Moisture also accelerates the creation of sludge in the engine.
Thank you. For some reason this fact seems to be lost on many. This is particularly important on lightly/seldom used vehicles where frequent driving does not cook off moisture. Your crankcase is open to the atmosphere, and combustion produces a lot of water vapor, so you are going to get moisture in the oil even in desert conditions. Six months is the accepted max on engine oil.
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Old 11-13-2010, 06:28 PM   #14
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Default Re: Mid Grade Gas

I change mine when the light come on. The 3000 mile mark was something the oil companies cooked up to get you to spend more money. THe owners manual states that somewhere along 7500 miles if I remember correctly.
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Old 11-13-2010, 06:49 PM   #15
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Default Re: Mid Grade Gas

Quote:
Originally Posted by chillin05VUE View Post
Back in '98, I was driving through Colorado andin Denver, their octane ratings were lower. Something like: 85, 87, and 91.
Yep. Octane requirements decrease as altitude increases.

I noticed in my Explorer owner's manual, it says to use 87 octane regardless of altitude. I still pump 85 here though.
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Old 11-14-2010, 09:19 PM   #16
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Default Re: Mid Grade Gas

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobbyP View Post
The main reason manufacturers state a time limit on changing your oil is because the moisture combines with the sulfur oxides producing sulfuric acid. There is no way to remove this from the oil. Moisture also accelerates the creation of sludge in the engine.
That is the reason for changes at 6 months. I did once a year oil changes for last 2 years of last vehicle with Valvoline High Mileage and notice build up on top of valves thru the fill hole and there was none in the first 6 years with 3000 mile 6 month oil changes. I only did 6000 a year with that one to so I will not risk it on this one.

I am now going to run mid grade for awhile unless it gets to much of a price difference which is looking like a reality. Was only 15-20 cents gallon more but I noticed today that it went up to 26 cents a gallon more this week. Doesn't make sense. Any how I am going to be changing oxygen sensor and tuneup in about 1000 miles when it hits 90000 miles as well as tranny service. I like over service. LOL I don't know history since I just bought it although car fax showed tune up, oil change, injector flush and front brakes. Brakes don't look changed and oil wasn't so I am weary. Dealership won't respond to my concerns about this not done and I was willing to pay if I was wrong. I am just trying to get the best mileage I can get. Was hoping for 24 mpg not 17. Gas just hit 3.00 a gallon today from 2.65 Ouch and that is for Regular.
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Old 11-15-2010, 10:36 AM   #17
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Default Re: Mid Grade Gas

My 06 manual says to follow the OLM or 1 year which ever comes first. Typically I get 6000 - 7000 miles with the OLM light.

When I am in a hurry and take it to the Jiffy Lube type places for a change they always tell me I need to flush the engne because I have too many miles on the oil. They have it beat in to them to push the 3K mark. They love pushing the 12K duration for many other fluids as well. Love the dirty vs clean cards thay try to use. Just because fluid is a little darker than bottle fluid does not make it time to change.

I even had a Goodyear tire shop with certified mechanics try and tell me I need to follow a 3k change limit with synthetic oil. What ever dude, your a moron.
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Old 11-15-2010, 10:17 PM   #18
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Default Re: Mid Grade Gas

the OLM on the wifes 06 vue typically goes off in 5-6K while the one in my 06 grandprix goes off in 7-8K.
I have to assume this is because she makes a lot more short trips then me. Most of mine are 13 miles and around 40 minutes.
I run Mobil 1 in both vehicles and typically change the vue's oil in 6-7K regardless of what the OLM says.
In both vehicles the oil is fairly clean even at 6K which tells me the oil isn't darkening much from heat and the filter is working well.

I like Mobil 1, quality filters, and cheap gas (87 octane brand name)

I run valvoline 20W50 in the 31 model A at work. There is no filter, and it can run anything from kerosene to the cheapest gas on the planet and even pure alcohol.

Eh, just my 2 cents on the 3 vehicles I maintain
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Old 11-16-2010, 02:12 AM   #19
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Default Re: Mid Grade Gas

VUE:

Mobil1 0w-20 AFE w/ Honda OEM or Mobil1 filter (depending on current sales), 7500 change interval, using 87oc... tried premium and 89 saw no difference in performance or fuel economy.

Corvette:

Mobil1 5w-30 w/ OEM ZR-1 filter, 7500 mile change interval with several sessions of 275f oil temps... 93 octane and datalogged regularly. Under warranty of course, but not seeing problems.

Jetta 1.8t:

Mobil1 0-40w eurospec w/ OEM filter, 5000 mile change interval due to known sludging problems. Premium fuel... cam tensioner noise cold gone w/ the mobil1 gets 30mpg expected more but vehicle's automatic.

People stress TOO MUCH about oils and oil change intervals... it's about a properly running vehicle that isn't too rich washing down the cylinder walls contaminating the oil and proper oil temperatures before driving it hard.

Maintain it, treat it properly and you won't have problems.

Regarding fuels, I can say when I was younger the 87 tanks had more water in them (there's a monitor in the back room of gas stations)... this alone could benefit fuel economy, not sure if it's a problem anymore? They seem to certify the pumps/equipment much more often around here than they used to noticed by the stickers on the pumps.

To the original poster, IF you're monitoring timing advance and seeing knock on 87... you probably have carbon on the piston tops (artifically raising compression). Suck some seafoam through the brake booster and burn the carbon out, bet the advance is fine on 87 again.

Will all that said i'm SO glad i'm not dealing with twin turbo rx7's anymore... imagine oil changes every 1500-2000 miles due to fuel dilution and plugs every 3-5k due to fouling and the nature of the hot running o-ring melting vacuum line ridden engine... if you want to know anal maintenance and upkeep buy one of those lol
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