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Old 01-07-2015, 11:34 PM   #1
gofastscottb
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Bad Performance = Crappy GAS **Watch Aeroforce Gauge

AddingWell it appears that as the price of gas goes down so does the quality.

Let me start at the beginning. I wanted to buy my daughter a Camaro SS for about a year now. So I sold a 60 Chevy Sedan Delivery big block car that I built about 17 years ago. as I looked at all of the 2010 & newer used cars for sale I came up with over 800 Black SS, 6 speed cars nationwide. It turns out that 5 miles from my shop in Riverside CA. There was a car at one of Rick Hendricks dealerships that was a 4 year old Brand New Car. It was a 2010 Black with silver stripes 2-SS 6 speed car from Georgia with all of the options. It only had 10,000 miles on it. The car was flawless. I opened the hood & it looked like it had never been started. Anyway I bought it for my daughter who had just turned 17 years old & is a senior in high school. Most people would say that is way too much car for a kid. Not my daughter. Some history I make Sprint Car & Midget parts for a living & have raced for over 40 years. My daughter at 17 has 12 years experience racing cars. She has raced USAC midgets for the last 5 years. So she is very well qualified for the car.

Anyway the car ran OK. Not as strong as a car with 426 horsepower. So the minute I got the car we started modifying it. First came a Hurst shifter, Huge improvement. I used to work for Innovate Motorsports & have been very involved in Data acquisition on race cars. So when I was at the PRI show in Indy Dec 2014. I talked to the people at EFI Live about one of their systems for the E38 ECU on my Camaro. I knew that as I made changes on the car the EFI system would allow to tune the car for best performance. The car had a K&N cold air system on it when I bought it. Even though it was not legal in the state of CA. Jesse Bubb who was in the EFI Live booth & one of their top Guru/Dealers. He quickly lost me when we started talking about the Camaro ECU. But I bought the system & thought with Jesse' help I could figure it out. Jesse said that he had a tune for my Camaro that would add 33 Horse Power. Great I said sign me up. So after I received the system he sent me the tune & I flashed it to the ECU. I looked at all of the changes he made & everything looked great to me & the car ran better. Then I added a couple of Innovate wideband 02 sensors with new bungs to the exhaust & started data logging. I WAS HORRIFIED when I saw the KNOCK RETARD in a wide open throttle 3rd gear pass knocked 6 to 8 degrees out of already low spark timing numbers. Let me back up a little. I knew that the ECU was capable of sending the timing into a low octane spark table. However I was running FRESH Chevron Premium 91 Octane 13 gallons With a full Can (32 Ounce)of Torco Accelerator. 91 is the best we have at the pump here in CA unless you go with Race Fuel. So according to Torco the octane should of been in the high 97 to 99 range. THE GAS WAS CRAP. Just because it said premium who knows what was in that tank in the ground. I call Jesse & he says there is nothing wrong with the ECU in the car it is CRAP GAS & I believe him, no DTC's. Everything looks like a brand new car. So I call Torco, I am one of their Dealers. They said put in more Torco up to 32 ounce per 5 gallons. I thought what? I wanted to get that CRAP out of there. But that is not as easy as the old cars. So even though I thought it was not the best idea. I dumped another 32 ounce can in the tank. I take the car out with my computer hooked up & data logging a whole bunch of things like RPM, Knock Retard, 2 channels of 02 wideband, engine temp, throttle position, vehicle speed & I am amazed it's like I added a Nitrous bottle. My timing was back up where it should be for high Octane gas & Knock retard was almost completely absent. The more I drive it the less Knock retard occurred. Down to 1 degree or so. I just wonder how many people have cars stuck in the low timing map & don't know that CRAP GAS is the only problem they have.

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Last edited by gofastscottb; 01-24-2015 at 06:09 PM. Reason: Adding feature of gauge
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Old 01-07-2015, 11:58 PM   #2
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I had the same problem...first off just wanted to say The Innovate Wideband unit I had a few years ago was , I ended up just rigging it permanently straight into the cars cockpit, lol.


Yeah, with the help of Ted at Jannetty, thaHemp, a bottle of Lucas Octane Boost, Data-Logging, and some patience, I was able to sort out a KR issue at 4800+ RPM's.

Long story short, aside from a MINOR leak at TB to CAI pipe juncture, the problem was the gas station nearest me, which incidentally has the least amount of traffic.

You see the car was tuned for 93 with Ethanol, but the advertised 94AKI at that station was BS .

I switched stations, merely down the street(same company brand!) all is good now!

That goes to show, that in franchises, quality control is hard to keep a lid on, and you don't always get what the sign advertises.
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Old 01-08-2015, 12:08 AM   #3
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Does anybody know who to call when a Gas station is selling CRAP for GAS. Most people have no way of knowing what they are purchasing. All new cars are great at hiding problems like bad gas.


/
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Old 01-08-2015, 12:12 AM   #4
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Does anybody know who to call when a Gas station is selling CRAP for GAS. Most people have no way of knowing what they are purchasing. All new cars are great at hiding problems like bad gas.


/
I spoke to the owner of the station, face to face, even Sledge was there..


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Old 01-08-2015, 12:29 AM   #5
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Camaro Dude (& Sledge!)..just curious, are you running 93 now or 94 from Petro-Can? If so, why not 91 with no ethanol?
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Old 01-08-2015, 12:39 AM   #6
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Good question.

Petro-Can in my region is 87/89/91/94 all blends with Ethanol.

Shell and Esso on the Other hand are 87/89/ with Ethanol[B] but their 91 has NO Ethanol.

My favourite was the Shell 91 no Ethanol before, but since I had my car tuned for maximum HP, the 94 with Ethanol from Petro-Can was all I was left with.

They are the only ones with anything over 91AKI around here.
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Old 01-08-2015, 01:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gofastscottb View Post
Well it appears that as the price of gas goes down so does the quality.

Let me start at the beginning. I wanted to buy my daughter a Camaro SS for about a year now. So I sold a 60 Chevy Sedan Delivery big block car that I built about 17 years ago. as I looked at all of the 2010 & newer used cars for sale I came up with over 800 Black SS, 6 speed cars nationwide. It turns out that 5 miles from my shop in Riverside CA. There was a car at one of Rick Hendricks dealerships that was a 4 year old Brand New Car. It was a 2010 Black with silver stripes 2-SS 6 speed car from Georgia with all of the options. It only had 10,000 miles on it. The car was flawless. I opened the hood & it looked like it had never been started. Anyway I bought it for my daughter who had just turned 17 years old & is a senior in high school. Most people would say that is way too much car for a kid. Not my daughter. Some history I make Sprint Car & Midget parts for a living & have raced for over 40 years. My daughter at 17 has 12 years experience racing cars. She has raced USAC midgets for the last 5 years. So she is very well qualified for the car.

Anyway the car ran OK. Not as strong as a car with 426 horsepower. So the minute I got the car we started modifying it. First came a Hurst shifter, Huge improvement. I used to work for Innovate Motorsports & have been very involved in Data acquisition on race cars. So when I was at the PRI show in Indy Dec 2014. I talked to the people at EFI Live about one of their systems for the E38 ECU on my Camaro. I knew that as I made changes on the car the EFI system would allow to tune the car for best performance. The car had a K&N cold air system on it when I bought it. Even though it was not legal in the state of CA. Jesse Bubb who was in the EFI Live booth & one of their top Guru/Dealers. He quickly lost me when we started talking about the Camaro ECU. But I bought the system & thought with Jesse' help I could figure it out. Jesse said that he had a tune for my Camaro that would add 33 Horse Power. Great I said sign me up. So after I received the system he sent me the tune & I flashed it to the ECU. I looked at all of the changes he made & everything looked great to me & the car ran better. Then I added a couple of Innovate wideband 02 sensors with new bungs to the exhaust & started data logging. I WAS HORRIFIED when I saw the KNOCK RETARD in a wide open throttle 3rd gear pass knocked 6 to 8 degrees out of already low spark timing numbers. Let me back up a little. I knew that the ECU was capable of sending the timing into a low octane spark table. However I was running FRESH Chevron Premium 91 Octane 13 gallons With a full Can (32 Ounce)of Torco Accelerator. 91 is the best we have at the pump here in CA unless you go with Race Fuel. So according to Torco the octane should of been in the high 97 to 99 range. THE GAS WAS CRAP. Just because it said premium who knows what was in that tank in the ground. I call Jesse & he says there is nothing wrong with the ECU in the car it is CRAP GAS & I believe him, no DTC's. Everything looks like a brand new car. So I call Torco, I am one of their Dealers. They said put in more Torco up to 32 ounce per 5 gallons. I thought what? I wanted to get that CRAP out of there. But that is not as easy as the old cars. So even though I thought it was not the best idea. I dumped another 32 ounce can in the tank. I take the car out with my computer hooked up & data logging a whole bunch of things like RPM, Knock Retard, 2 channels of 02 wideband, engine temp, throttle position, vehicle speed & I am amazed it's like I added a Nitrous bottle. My timing was back up where it should be for high Octane gas & Knock retard was almost completely absent. The more I drive it the less Knock retard occurred. Down to 1 degree or so. I just wonder how many people have cars stuck in the low timing map & don't know that CRAP GAS is the only problem they have.

Regards, Scott
MPD Racing
MPDRacing.com

I always go to shell. the other day I decided to go to chevron since it was close by (i thought why not). Then I got a CEL. I thought maybe its my exhaust messing up my o2 sensors. Then the day after I got a CEL my car struggled to start, it surged bad, and felt like it was losing power, it even shut off. Almost to an empty tank and no more CEL. I thought hmmm. So 10 minutes after that it came back on.

I decided to go to shell and put a little gas in my tank to see what happens because no way should the car act like that. there are guys out there that has ridiculous mods and there cars run fine. So after getting some shell gas i drive the car around town for about 10 minutes and boom, its been 24 hours no CEL light. I hate that I can't prove it was bad gas. But Im almost certain it was. it sucks. but glad my car is back to normal
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Old 01-08-2015, 02:00 PM   #8
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I am going to try Shell without the Torco & re-log. We will see what happens.

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Old 01-08-2015, 02:11 PM   #9
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We have real weasel piss gas with ethanol here in Phoenix ,combine that with the high heat in the summer and you need to be very careful with your tune. After tons of complaints Costco has now changed their fuel to top tier ( or so they claim ) so it is as good as shell or Chevron. My brother claims his truck now runs good on their 91. Me I am sticking to Shell . But the good news is it is now $ 2.01 a gallon for 91 at Costco ,and $2.08 at Fry's/Shell .
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Old 01-08-2015, 02:13 PM   #10
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I've got a Chevron charge card. I also ride a tuned Harley that's VERY sensitive to any low octane fuel. Up here in Kentucky, there are no Chevron stations, so I only use my charge card when I'm down south. I take the bike to Florida once a year and put all my fuel on the card......

... anyways, I have noticed that buying high-test fuel at any Chevron is a crap shoot. I don't know if it's just old fuel, or if they put low grade in the tanks or what, but you cannot trust them. It seems like each station is privately owned and a lot of them are run down. I cannot tell you how many times I would fill up and my Harley would run like crap until I got some decent fuel. I finally gave up on Chevron completely, unless I am in a rental car.
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Old 01-08-2015, 02:19 PM   #11
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...the problem was the gas station nearest me, which incidentally has the least amount of traffic.
I think this is a much bigger factor than most think, when it comes to "bad gas". Never buy gas from any station that doesn't do much business. Their gas may be just fine when it first comes off the truck, but the longer it sits in the underground tanks the more it breaks down and takes on water - just like it will when in your car's tank if it sits for extended periods. I always buy my gas at high-volume stations (though not always easy when on a road trip)... regardless of the brand.
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Old 01-08-2015, 05:48 PM   #12
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Sent Chevron an Email about the BAD GAS. We will see if they even respond.

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Old 01-08-2015, 07:41 PM   #13
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I always pump from chevron and shell 93 only. No problems ever. I do have to say that just because its a chevron or a shell means that I'll pump gas from them. I always make sure to see that it is american owned. I'm not racist by any means its just that stations that have been caught having bad fuel tend to be non american. Idk how it is in Canada but I guess I'd look for Canadian owned businesses
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Old 01-09-2015, 08:27 AM   #14
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I have a coworker that drives a prius(I know), anyway, she has reported that since the gas prices have dropped she is averaging 5 less miles per gallon that before. Thats VERY significant, and clearly something fishy is going on at some stations.
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Old 01-09-2015, 09:03 AM   #15
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I have a coworker that drives a prius(I know), anyway, she has reported that since the gas prices have dropped she is averaging 5 less miles per gallon that before. Thats VERY significant, and clearly something fishy is going on at some stations.
I can say the same thing - my average MPGs have dropped by a few over the past couple of months. I pay attention to these things, just for the heck of it. I used to be right around 20-21 per tank full. Now it's pretty consistent at 17-18 and my driving habits haven't changed. Coincidence?
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Old 01-09-2015, 09:19 AM   #16
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Typically this time of year, fuels are "winterized" and with that comes a slight fuel economy loss. The TDI dudes are the first to notice a degradation of fuel economy with those anti-gel/anti-freeze additives in the diesel. The gasser community notices a slight drop as well, but not as bad as the oil burners.

But all three of you reporting lousy fuel economy as of late, seem to be from warmer parts of the state, and/or warm state period, so my question would be, for whatever reason(s), are you receiving the winterized fuel blends at your local stations or not? If not, then the only other theory I have is that they have increased the % of Ethanol content in your blend of choice.
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Old 01-09-2015, 10:10 AM   #17
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Typically this time of year, fuels are "winterized" and with that comes a slight fuel economy loss. The TDI dudes are the first to notice a degradation of fuel economy with those anti-gel/anti-freeze additives in the diesel. The gasser community notices a slight drop as well, but not as bad as the oil burners.

But all three of you reporting lousy fuel economy as of late, seem to be from warmer parts of the state, and/or warm state period, so my question would be, for whatever reason(s), are you receiving the winterized fuel blends at your local stations or not? If not, then the only other theory I have is that they have increased the % of Ethanol content in your blend of choice.
Well working for an oil major, I can confirm that the RVP difference in seasonal grades is in no way large enough to cause such a drop in mileage that is being reported. The higher RVP is added so the gas can vaporize in colder temps(makes it lighter).

I suppose it is possible that the combination of high RVP fuel and the warm weather we get in the south combines to produce a significantly less efficient fuel, but that begs the question 'Why aren't we having this conversation every winter?' This was not an issue I heard about last winter, and it was one of the warmest on record for Houston.

I personally think there is some shady business happening after the gasoline is delivered to the station, and is somewhat isolated. I can't say I have noticed a huge difference myself, but I just got my cam installed and that change coupled with my heavier foot since the install makes it tough to compare, if not impossible.
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Old 01-09-2015, 10:24 AM   #18
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Well working for an oil major, I can confirm that the RVP difference in seasonal grades is in no way large enough to cause such a drop in mileage that is being reported. The higher RVP is added so the gas can vaporize in colder temps(makes it lighter).

I suppose it is possible that the combination of high RVP fuel and the warm weather we get in the south combines to produce a significantly less efficient fuel, but that begs the question 'Why aren't we having this conversation every winter?' This was not an issue I heard about last winter, and it was one of the warmest on record for Houston.

I personally think there is some shady business happening after the gasoline is delivered to the station, and is somewhat isolated. I can't say I have noticed a huge difference myself, but I just got my cam installed and that change coupled with my heavier foot since the install makes it tough to compare, if not impossible.
Also work for an oil major in Houston, and can confirm. I have worked for 2 oil majors, and in my last company, I worked directly with the marketers that were delivering fuel to these stations.

In order to be loaded into a truck, the fuel has to meet minimum specs set forth by whatever standards apply. Now, once it leaves that terminal, it's up to the wholesaler (marketer) to ensure it gets put into the station untainted (which will happen 99% of the time)

The issue is that a)correct fuel needs to be put in correct tanks (i.e. 93 in the tank that feeds premium, 91 in its tank, etc...) Generally this happens with good accuracy, bc if the station gets found out, there is a genuine possibility that the refiner (SHell, Phillips, Exxon, etc..) will make them pull the bad gas out of the tank. That shit is expensive to do.

The other issue is that these station owners (who receive the fuel from the Marketers) operate on RAZOR THIN margins. This provides an economic incentive to get as much out of that tank as they can, and some with nefarious intent do bad shit to their fuel. When I was working in that world (been a few years now..) I only experienced a handful of situations where this occurred, but it was brought up with the customer service reps, and action WAS definitely taken.

SUGGESTION TO EVERYONE!!
If you get bad gas from a branded station (Shell, Chevron, etc...) CALL THEIR CUST SERVICE NUMBER! Each of these companies has an entire group dedicated to handling issues such as this, and should work towards resolving the issue.
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Old 01-09-2015, 10:45 AM   #19
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I experienced this bad gas problem first hand this summer. I usually fill up with Canadian Tire or pioneer gas....cars runs strong with zero issues. On night I heard that ultramar..just outside of town has a sale on premium fuel every thurs. So out I went. I drove home and parked it for the night. The next night I was going to a car show...I noticed the car seemed down on power...everyone knows how their car reacts when you punch it. I have never bought gas there since....I really wasn't sure about this until I noticed it myself.
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Old 01-09-2015, 10:59 AM   #20
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Does anybody know who to call when a Gas station is selling CRAP for GAS. Most people have no way of knowing what they are purchasing. All new cars are great at hiding problems like bad gas.


/
In our state, its the Department of Ag.. I know in surrounding states it is also the same. Take a look at the pump when fueling to see if an inspector has been to it, usually there is some sort of sticker present if the pump passed volume tests. The fuel is also sampled and tested for advertised octane, but since it must be ran to the lab, unfortunately there is no sticker placed on the pump indicating octane was verified, just fines issued for not meeting advertised rates.
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Old 01-09-2015, 11:13 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by hazy View Post
Also work for an oil major in Houston, and can confirm. I have worked for 2 oil majors, and in my last company, I worked directly with the marketers that were delivering fuel to these stations.

In order to be loaded into a truck, the fuel has to meet minimum specs set forth by whatever standards apply. Now, once it leaves that terminal, it's up to the wholesaler (marketer) to ensure it gets put into the station untainted (which will happen 99% of the time)

The issue is that a)correct fuel needs to be put in correct tanks (i.e. 93 in the tank that feeds premium, 91 in its tank, etc...) Generally this happens with good accuracy, bc if the station gets found out, there is a genuine possibility that the refiner (SHell, Phillips, Exxon, etc..) will make them pull the bad gas out of the tank. That shit is expensive to do.

The other issue is that these station owners (who receive the fuel from the Marketers) operate on RAZOR THIN margins. This provides an economic incentive to get as much out of that tank as they can, and some with nefarious intent do bad shit to their fuel. When I was working in that world (been a few years now..) I only experienced a handful of situations where this occurred, but it was brought up with the customer service reps, and action WAS definitely taken.

SUGGESTION TO EVERYONE!!
If you get bad gas from a branded station (Shell, Chevron, etc...) CALL THEIR CUST SERVICE NUMBER! Each of these companies has an entire group dedicated to handling issues such as this, and should work towards resolving the issue.

Exactly right, as you well know the standards in this industry are just too high, and deals are done based on specifications. These are closely monitored every time the product is moved, so we know it is a good product up to the point the gas station receives it. What happens after that is anyone's guess.
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Old 01-23-2015, 07:59 PM   #22
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My new solution to bad gas. I just installed a new Aeroforce Interceptor gauge in the car. it allows me to look at all of the OBDII stuff that the car's ECU puts out. So I set the gauge to monitor Spark advance & Spark Retard. So if I get a bad batch of gas it will show me that the car has gone into the Low Octane Spark Table & any Spark Retard that is occurring. The gauge also allows you to program 2 alarms. So I have one flashing light alarm set at any Spark Retard more than 2 Degrees of timing & the second is a shift light at 6500 RPM's. It works great. So if I get bad gas in goes a can or 2 of Torco until the alarms quit going off.

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Scott
MPD Racing
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Old 01-23-2015, 08:14 PM   #23
mar10
 
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Drives: 2010 SS RS
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: AZ
Posts: 34
Look up the fuse pull fuel table reset. Is kind of a hall for the SS. Basically if low octane fuel gets put in the tank and run through the car the computer adjusts to it to run safer (no damage). I guess the car has 2 timing tables. The problem is it appears the car doesn't reset the timing tables on its own as often as people expect. So the car runs sluggish workout people realizing it. The fix is more of a hack in that you pull the number 5 and 20 fuses for a few hours. Then the car will reset the timing.
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Old 01-24-2015, 12:47 PM   #24
gofastscottb
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Drives: 2010 2 SS/RS LS3 Camaro
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Irvine California
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My car is a 2010 & it resets itself & it does it quite quickly. I think that most people get bad gas & change to another batch of fuel from another station & expect it to be much much better when maybe it is not. When the car is designed to run on 93 octane. I think that is a pretty tall order at the pump unless you run unleaded race gas. At least with a gauge you can do something about it. The Torco will solve the problem & keep your car running consistently good. You just need a tool like a gauge to tell you when you need to use it.

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Scott
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Old 01-24-2015, 06:11 PM   #25
gofastscottb
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Drives: 2010 2 SS/RS LS3 Camaro
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Irvine California
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Went for another ride today to run off some of this gas. The gauge really works well.
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