Premium vs Regular Gas Debate

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Thread: Premium vs Regular Gas Debate

  1. #1
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    Premium vs Regular Gas Debate

    I see in the specs they recommend premium unleaded. Is that because of the turbo? How important is the recommendation?

    Ron

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Violet West's Avatar
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    yes, I'm sure it's because of the turbo. Don't know, but if you want to keep your engine running smoothly and prevent pinging, it's probably best to follow Nissan's recommendations.

    Maybe the "car guys" on here will have a different opinion.
    Former Board mommy. Present RAV4 owner.

  4. #3
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    Not really a different opinion but a more detailed one. Yes it is 100% because of the turbo. The premium gas has a higher octane rating which in turn reduces the chances of detonation happening in your motor. You can still run regular unleaded if you really needed to but the chances for detonation are increased greatly. I have seen engines blow due to detonation. It is never pretty.

  5. #4
    wls
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    But what premium grade do they mean. I use 89 octane in my turbo which is called a midgrade and don't have a problem. I don't as a rule floor the gas though. If you have to use 92 octane that is going to be an added expense. I would prefer to be able to use 89 or 90. On reflection I did think the power output from that 1.4l gas turbo was a bit high. They must be really boosting that engine to get the hp out of it that they do. It probably does really need 92 or better octane gas.
    Last edited by wls; 10-07-2010 at 10:47 PM.

  6. #5
    Senior Member Violet West's Avatar
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    I was wondering about that too, since I've never had a car that required premium fuel. Is it okay to use the medium grade? How about alternating medium and premium every other fillup? As long as it's not knocking or pinging, would that be okay?
    Former Board mommy. Present RAV4 owner.

  7. #6
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    Don't do it!!

    Do not alternate fuels.The computer learns what octane you are feeding it,over several tankfulls, and will make the car respond like it is being fed.
    More octane, better performance,less octane, less performance.
    Also detergent packages, and additives are greater in premium fuels, and with only a 13.2 gallon tank, it does not cost much to get the best.
    Most of all, if you alternate, the car will be unsure what you want, or what it should do, it will be constantly guessing what you are going to give it.Like your kids, consistency is the best thing.

  8. #7
    Senior Member Violet West's Avatar
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    okay; makes sense
    Former Board mommy. Present RAV4 owner.

  9. #8
    wls
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    If the car engine is controlled by computer like my PT is then you may get by with midgrade since the computer will sense when pinging happens and will dial back the engine. You won't get the advertised power but it will keep the engine in a safe range. Of course the extra 10 cents per gallon for 92 isn't that much when you are paying almost $3 per gallon . on a 13gallon tank you are paying just another $1.30. the better fuel mileage of the direct injection should give you an overall lower cost. I guess it isn't worth griping about.

  10. #9
    Senior Member Pilgrim's Avatar
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    Here in Spain, the two grades of gas are 95 and 98.

    Although my car can run OK on 95, the difference is quite marked when 98 is introduced.

    So for the last six years, my car has enjoyed 98 octane and paid me back in more ways than just money. Rapid accleration, no pinking, ever, loves peak revs. when needed and immediate response. You cannot beat that with a stick!!!

  11. #10
    Senior Member marzipan's Avatar
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    the owner's manual says that 87 is okay but that you may notice reduced performance. By the way Pilgrim, the octane rating in North America is different than in Europe, what we call 87 you call 95 and what we call 91 you call 98. We use the AKI numbers whereas you use the RON system. See more here:

    Octane rating - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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