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How much more power on premium fuel compared to 87?


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31 replies to this topic

#21 OFFLINE   12 sec Flex

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 10:24 PM

The cpu is flashed for knock sensors not a sensor to tell what octane you run, there for yes there will be a noticeable change in power with turbos. Pluse 87 oct fuel will not burn as clean and will clog up with carbon over time and you will lose power.use premium if you care about your ride.

#22 OFFLINE   cuervoman

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Posted 24 August 2011 - 02:42 PM

I love this thread ! Being a new Flex owner I find it really helpfull. My Flex? 2010 Limited, EB, I will post a pic later. I have to admit that this vehicle is as fun as it gets and can be "Grandpa's " RiDE
I not only love the power but also the ride. It sometimes feels like an early LS-400 Lexus. Very Smooth.
Fuel is such a hard call. I'll do my own and get back to everybody. Here in NE it can be 120 or -20 degrees.
Heading to the winter tire thread.
cuervoman

#23 OFFLINE   eosBlue

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Posted 24 August 2011 - 07:10 PM

Ford recommends premium fuel for the ECO boost and that's good enough for me. Disclaimer: I don't drive 20K a year and the Flex is not my daily ride. I'm just into my 15th month of Flex happiness with only about 9K on the clock. Around in my neck of the the woods, there is a 20 spread between 87 and 93 octane. That translates into about $3 extra for a 15 gallon fill up. IF I get another 1 or 2 to the gallon on 93 octane, the price spread will be reduced below the $3 extra.

So, why would I want to mess around with 87 octane? The $3 surcharge is less than my Tully's latte. To me, the extra gas charge is chicken feed compared to the extra cost for the ECO engine. However, I don't even give that one second of thought as all I'm thinking of when driving my ECO is the BLAST when I mash on the gas pedal.

#24 OFFLINE   johnny rocket

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 08:44 PM

I read through the owners manual regarding this very subject. This is directly from the owners manual:
Your vehicle is designed to run on regular fuel with an octane rating of
87 or higher. For best overall performance, premium fuel with an octane
rating of 91 or higher is recommended.The performance gained by using
premium fuel will be most noticeable in hot weather or in severe duty
applications such as towing a trailer.

I ran a tank of 91+ through it, didn't notice anything but a drop in FE. When I did it in my VC, I saw an increase of both performance and MPG. In the Flex I saw neither, but a reduction of MPG. Unless I plan to tow with it, or take it on a trip in hot weather, I think I will stick with 87 Octane.



I tend to go by what the manual recommends. Premium grade fuel is the only fuel my Mom will let me use...

JR

Edited by johnny rocket, 28 August 2011 - 08:47 PM.


#25 OFFLINE   eosBlue

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 08:52 PM

I tend to go by what the manual recommends. Premium grade fuel is the only fuel my Mom will let me use...

JR

I'm with you JR. We're talking about the price of a tall (read small) latte for the boost to premium. I'm just back from a 350 mile roadie and according to the computer, I got 23.5 MPG (US). I find it VERY HARD to believe like some of the posts here that they get BETTER mileage burning regular. If that's truly the case, they should add a gallon or so of diesel to lower their octane even more than 87 for even higher mileage.

However, I have to admit that they may get higher mileage because they have to treat the accelerator very gently to avoid pinging where as with 91, they can "kick her in the rear". Re my 23.5 MPG above, I did go gently with the GO pedal and I limited my highway speed to around 65 MPH with cruise control engaged. I also think the computer's mileage is a tad high. I did check it one time against the old fashion way and I think it was a mile per gallon lower the old way. The only car I had that the mileage agreed to a tenth of a mile with the onboard computer was a '99 Pontiac. A Dodge Durango, a Jeep Commander, 2 Toyota Prius, and a VW Eos all had higher computer mileage reports verses the old fashion way.

And further more, my mommy checks my gas receipts to makes sure the Flex only gets premium.

#26 OFFLINE   coupstair

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 06:07 PM

hi, newbie here ... we've been using 87, however, recently we've noticed a hesitation on full pedal depression. would this have anything to do with the octane, or do we have something of a bigger problem happening here? cheers, mc

#27 OFFLINE   Raincity

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 08:56 PM

I've seen the results of a Volkswagen direct injection motor(2.0TFSI) after 60,000 kilometers and the head looks terrible. I have had an aftermarket turbo on my other car and I will always try and run 91 or better.

#28 OFFLINE   MrChubs1

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Posted 30 October 2011 - 08:20 AM

...recently we've noticed a hesitation on full pedal depression. would this have anything to do with the octane, or do we have something of a bigger problem happening here? cheers, mc


I'm so glad you said that! I have a 2010 EB and have the same very annoying hesitation that developed over time. I tried running 93 octane for several tanks and it seemed to get very slightly better but I think this was just due to slightly better ignition timing making it feel more responsive. The problem is still there, but comes and goes often.

I brought it in to the dealer twice for this and both times they denied anything was wrong. The last time I admit it didn't act up for a day or two after the dealer visit.

It's gotten pretty bad a few times and I heard a very hard engine knock for about a second. Scary. It didnt seem to do any damage but wow.

There's a TSB out there for EB vehicles (don't remember which) where the computer was thinking the brake was applied and for safety is designed to cut power. This is the safety problem that toyota had recently. They didn't have this safety feature.

I'm wondering if that's the problem here. Is the cpu interfereing? Sure feels like it.

My hesitation goes away if I floor it but part throttle can be awful at times.

I'd like to compare notes on this. Please reply ....maybe we can start a new thread. Let me know if you do. I'm not on here often and will probably miss it. Thanks!

#29 OFFLINE   eosBlue

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Posted 30 October 2011 - 09:19 AM

I've seen the results of a Volkswagen direct injection motor(2.0TFSI) after 60,000 kilometers and the head looks terrible. I have had an aftermarket turbo on my other car and I will always try and run 91 or better.


I fully agree with you. The cost of preimun is about the same as a latte or about a penny a mile. Or $150 for 15,000 miles.

#30 OFFLINE   blivitz

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 08:16 AM

I can tell you after owning the BMW 335I for many years which has bi-turbos, the average person will not notice the power difference between the octane levels. The only place you will notice it is on the drag strip. There could be as much as 0.5 second difference between 87 and 93 Octane. I know some people who put in 100 Octane race fuel to get another 0.5 seconds out of the car, but it required modifications to the computer to take real advantage of the octane increase.

I personally ran both fuels in my car and could not for the life of me tell if the car ran any different. Unlike cars form 10 yrs ago which increased the compression ratios to get more power and if you did not run premium the engine knocked and pinged and such. The modern turbo engine is lower compression and like it was said the computer controls are so sophisticated that it knows you're running lower octane and adjust timing and such so you never notice the performance change.

However, with that said, your gas mileage will suffer especially on the highway. I did see my mileage go down when using 87 octane verse 93. I personally tend to run mid to premium in my car most all the time since I do not want to risk over working the engine to compensate for the lower octane.

The other major factor in the gas is the manufacturers not all premiums are the same. Most are garbage and you have to be careful. Many times people with Turbo cars who ran into problem was due to the gas they were using. The other issue is with direct injection which requires very high pressure pumps (like 3000 PSI) if you use bad fuel through them it can be damaged, so watch where you fuel up. I personally tend to stay with Sunoco and Shell/Philips 76 since both are well know for producing race grade gases and have lots of experience making gas for race cars which tends to make it way to the gas pumps


I have a BMW with a V8, my mileage varies from 30 mpg on the highway at 60 mph to 8.9 on the track.
There is a difference in gas, just do a search for "Top Tier" gasoline to see what I mean.
btw, I could notice a difference in performance and mpg between 91 and 93 octane. It was enough to keep me running 93 in that car.

As I haven't received my 2012 Flex, I'm not sure what I'll run in it.

#31 OFFLINE   svt54

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 08:39 AM

I agree that the computer can make adjustments for different fuel, but you have to remember there is a limit set by the factory, on how much timing can be used. And Ford tends to stay on the safe side for obvious reasons. The computer won't add timing for 93 octane. It has a base timing set, and will pull timing if it needs to, on the lower octane. The people changing the tune in the car are seeing the gains they are, because they are changing the base timing, to maximize performance to the 93 octane. If the Flex ECU was already set to take advantage of this, we wouldn't need a new tune.

I would also be willing to bet in temps below 60F, that you won't see any difference at all between 87 and 91-93. This is because the cooler intake charge and cooler operating temps, reduce the chances of detonation, meaning the ECU has no reason to pull timing. On the Lightning which is supercharged and requires premium fuel, per Ford, I have seen guys run 87 octane 8-9 months a year, with the exception of summer, with no problems what so ever. If you start changing things such as adding boost or timing through a tune, I would definitely use premium fuel. But on a stock Flex, I think 87 will be just fine.

#32 OFFLINE   Scrming

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 06:42 PM

I agree that the computer can make adjustments for different fuel, but you have to remember there is a limit set by the factory, on how much timing can be used. And Ford tends to stay on the safe side for obvious reasons. The computer won't add timing for 93 octane. It has a base timing set, and will pull timing if it needs to, on the lower octane. The people changing the tune in the car are seeing the gains they are, because they are changing the base timing, to maximize performance to the 93 octane. If the Flex ECU was already set to take advantage of this, we wouldn't need a new tune.

I would also be willing to bet in temps below 60F, that you won't see any difference at all between 87 and 91-93. This is because the cooler intake charge and cooler operating temps, reduce the chances of detonation, meaning the ECU has no reason to pull timing. On the Lightning which is supercharged and requires premium fuel, per Ford, I have seen guys run 87 octane 8-9 months a year, with the exception of summer, with no problems what so ever. If you start changing things such as adding boost or timing through a tune, I would definitely use premium fuel. But on a stock Flex, I think 87 will be just fine.


Haven't really dug deep into the workings of the Flex ECU.... But the way the Spanish Oak in the S197 Mustangs worked was basically the car was "over sparked" and relied on the knock sensors to pull back the timing... so in fact the car would take advantage of 93 octane... Now it was only adding a small amount of timing but it was in fact adding.... Seen this in my 2010 V6 Camaro... The car was "over sparked" and again relied on the knock sensors to pull back the timing when you had 87 in the tank..


now a tune in the Flex EB... :yahoo:






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