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Old 12-22-2012, 01:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default What octane and brand?

So I am curious, if you have seen another post of mine, you will see that we have not been getting the mileage has hoped in our 2013 2.5 limited outback. So we are trying to think outside the box. We are typically filling up at Kroger grocery stores when possible or inexpensive gas stations (Racetrack, etc) I do not fill up at Costco or Walmart. We are using 86 octane. I am curious, what brands of gas are you typically seeing to have the best mileage. What mileage are you getting with that. Also, have you noticed if going with a higher octane improves the mileage enough to justify the extra cost? Obviously, summer and winter blends and levels of ethanol can impact this, I was telling my wife that maybe kroger's gas might have something to do with our mileage and to try something else. She was concerned about the price increase and I told her that if we got 2 more mpg by spending a little more per gallon, we could actually see a total monthly gas savings that could be worth it given how much we drive.

What do you say?
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Old 12-22-2012, 02:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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the base gasoline used by most retailers in an area all comes from the same terminal - but which and how much ethanol, detergents, etc. are put in can vary. Most likely, you'd be better served by staying with a high-voluime retailer like Kroger and throwing in some off-the-shelf Techron or Seafoam every 6 months to 2 years or so.

'most' of our gas actually comes from Kroger or Costco too. The other day my wife got 60 cents per gal off with her kroger card! She drives an 03 and we have always used premium as suggested by the manual. I doubt you'd see even a remote improvement by using a higher grade gas than recommended in your manual. That would be a waste of money.
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Old 12-22-2012, 02:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Costco is the cheapest around here but I refuse to sit in line for 15-20 minutes waiting for people standing at the pump digging around in their purse or wallet looking for a card they knew they would be needing to get out the last 15 minutes while they were waiting in line so I buy almost exclusively Arco 87 because it is the 2nd cheapest around here and I never have to wait in line, my average is 28.7 probably a 70 highway 30 city mix
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Old 12-22-2012, 02:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I do best with gas stations with oil company branding- shell, texaco, 76, Mobil etc. they usually aren't the cheapest, but I like getting more range, fewer stops.
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Old 12-22-2012, 03:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1 Lucky Texan View Post
the base gasoline used by most retailers in an area all comes from the same terminal - but which and how much ethanol, detergents, etc. are put in can vary. Most likely, you'd be better served by staying with a high-voluime retailer like Kroger and throwing in some off-the-shelf Techron or Seafoam every 6 months to 2 years or so.

'most' of our gas actually comes from Kroger or Costco too. The other day my wife got 60 cents per gal off with her kroger card! She drives an 03 and we have always used premium as suggested by the manual. I doubt you'd see even a remote improvement by using a higher grade gas than recommended in your manual. That would be a waste of money.
Octane rating has zero impact on mileage with the 2.5 it was designed for the cheap low octane fuel. The higher the octane the more stable the fuel which is why hotter harder running performance engines require higher octane. Your car is new doesnt have very many miles on it and its winter time. Shelve your mileage expectations till you have 15,000 miles or more on your car!
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Old 12-22-2012, 04:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Costco gas in the Seattle area has additional additives.

Gasoline Clean Power

Kirkland Signature Clean Power detergent additive (UltraZol 9888) is manufactured by Lubrizol and registered with the EPA.

Powerpoint on what is involved in adding the detergent to the gas

Costco gas additive presentation
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Old 12-22-2012, 04:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
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87 octane from Exxon, Shell, Mobil, as long as there's no ethanol in it...Which is becoming harder to find.
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Old 12-22-2012, 04:43 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Based on the time of year it is, your mileage is probably being hurt by starting the car and letting it warm up in the mornings..

The only time I notice much of a difference in my gas mileage is if I can find a station that has gas with no ethanol in it, which is nearly impossible to find around here anymore. So, I usually run QT Regular Unleaded..

There's a Valero gas station a little closer to my house than the QT, but the car (and the truck I had before the car) seems more likely to clatter with Valero's gas. So, I skip Valero (at least that Valero) these days..

Running higher octane than the manual calls for probably won't net you anything at all and even if it does net you a slight increase in mileage, it probably won't be enough to offset the cost-per-gallon difference..
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Old 12-22-2012, 05:27 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mopartodd View Post
87 octane from Exxon, Shell, Mobil, as long as there's no ethanol in it...Which is becoming harder to find.
I definitely had better mileage on the 100% gasoline, but the only station left in the area is far enough out of my way to negate the mileage boost.

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Old 12-22-2012, 05:30 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Top Tier Gasoline

I try and use a top tier gas, if possible, but it shouldn't give better mileage but it could help the fuel system stay cleaner with fewer deposits - or you could just use the Chevron Techron cleaner on occassion with any brand. I once heard - probably somewhere on the internet so might be questionable - that auto makers use Chevron when they certify their vehicles with the EPA.
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