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Old 07-19-2009, 12:15 AM   #1
Icefsh
 
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Octane Ratings?

Wondering what octane gas to put in my V6? Here in the mountian states the minimum regular gas is 85 octane, midgrade is 87, and premium is 91. When I go to states with lower elevation the octane is higher than here. What difference does elevation make? Did not notice any problem with 85 octane (only 1 tank of gas). But 87 octane seems to run better. Only 730 miles now.
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Old 07-19-2009, 12:25 AM   #2
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I think 87 is recommended, thats the standard minimum most places. If 87 runs better, use it. What is it, $2.00 more per fill up?
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Old 07-24-2009, 02:09 AM   #3
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Stick with regular which for us is 85. Due to the altitude there is less oxygen so less potential energy to be made. Since the Denver area is a mile high we lose roughly 20% of the power the car would make at sea level.

I've got my 2LT/RS and have 1700 miles on it with mostly 85 octane and no problems. Unless you are getting pinging higher octane can cost you power.
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Old 07-24-2009, 01:56 PM   #4
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The manual says 87 or better for the V6, 91 for the V8 ....
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Old 07-24-2009, 01:59 PM   #5
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The Chevron station I use has 93 so that's my place now...
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Old 07-24-2009, 02:15 PM   #6
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yea like the good stuff is what .20 more per gallon on 19 gallons if you were dead out its only $3.80 more per fillup.
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Old 07-24-2009, 02:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Icefsh View Post
Wondering what octane gas to put in my V6? Here in the mountian states the minimum regular gas is 85 octane, midgrade is 87, and premium is 91. When I go to states with lower elevation the octane is higher than here. What difference does elevation make? Did not notice any problem with 85 octane (only 1 tank of gas). But 87 octane seems to run better. Only 730 miles now.
85 in Colorado is equivalent to 87 at sea level. For cars that recommend 87 or better, 85 is acceptable at altitude. Same for the other octanes. If your car needs 93 or better, 91 is equivalent at altitude. Many people don't know this and waste their money buying mid grade or premium when they don't need it.
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Old 07-25-2009, 08:29 AM   #8
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Thanks for the input everyone. Have used 85 octane in all my other vehicles with no ping.
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Old 07-25-2009, 08:51 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Icefsh View Post
Thanks for the input everyone. Have used 85 octane in all my other vehicles with no ping.
Actually... most modern cars have knock sensors that detect the ping before you can actually hear it and will adjust the timing (retard the timing) to stop the pinging...
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Old 07-25-2009, 10:00 PM   #10
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+1 on the pinging. If you hear it, you've got problems. The V-6 has one sensor for each cylinder - very sophisto...

A small addition to what was said above regarding altitude: it's not just that there's less oxygen at higher altitudes, there's less atmospheric pressure. So compressing air/fuel mixtures at say 5000 feet altitude means that the effective compression ratio yields less cylinder pressure. A lower octane fuel is called for in that case and will work fine. Higher octane fuel would not burn completely and cause fouling and carbon deposits.

Please correct any misstatements above. I sell floorcovering and am not any real mechanic. But my bed is as comfortable as those at a Holiday Inn Express.

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