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The NA runs fine on 87 and the RL doesn't lose power or mileage on 89. 91 only seems to be needed or to be a benefit with a tune.
 

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Honestly if putting premium in vs regular gas is a make or break...might be better to step back and consider the purchase as a whole.
Why do you say that? I don't consider it a make-or-break but with the grade differential now running from $0.30 to $0.60, premium can cost up to 50% more than regular, so it is a valid question to ask about operating cost. Especially given that there are vehicles of comparable performance that do not require premium fuel.
 

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Why do you say that? I don't consider it a make-or-break but with the grade differential now running from $0.30 to $0.60, premium can cost up to 50% more than regular, so it is a valid question to ask about operating cost. Especially given that there are vehicles of comparable performance that do not require premium fuel.
If you are driving 5k per year (which is probably fair or even generous since these are often stored or second cars), and averaging 30mpg...that is 50-100 bucks a year difference. Literally. That is an oil change (dont forget synthetic!), or the price of water, bucket and car wash. If you can't swing a $50/year difference, you probably cant afford proper maintenance either.
 

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If you are driving 5k per year (which is probably fair or even generous since these are often stored or second cars), and averaging 30mpg...that is 50-100 bucks a year difference. Literally. That is an oil change (dont forget synthetic!), or the price of water, bucket and car wash. If you can't swing a $50/year difference, you probably cant afford proper maintenance either.
Often but not always, since everyone isn't looking for a toy, and a lot of people live in climates where they can drive all year. I drive a total of 20-25k per year between the two, and while I can see 30 MPG on the highway I average 24. That makes a difference of $240 to $1000+ depending on where the fuel is purchased and how many grades better I might think I need to buy. While that isn't a make-or-break for me either, it is money that could better be spent for something else, rather than wasted on unnecessarily expensive fuel.
 

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If you are driving 5k per year (which is probably fair or even generous since these are often stored or second cars), and averaging 30mpg...that is 50-100 bucks a year difference. Literally. That is an oil change (dont forget synthetic!), or the price of water, bucket and car wash. If you can't swing a $50/year difference, you probably cant afford proper maintenance either.
I do 20,000 miles a year on average when I'm not updating the car's mods...

30mpg is highway. Most folks aren't cruising at 70 on the freeway if they're only putting on 5k or less a year...

I believe 19 city is the MPG on the LNF. I know it's 1 mpg less than the 2.4. 25-27 looks like average MPG for the car...
(2008 Saturn Sky MPG - Actual MPG from 12 2008 Saturn Sky owners)

So 25 mpg is probably a more accurate number to use...and probably a generous one...for cars that get driven 5k miles a year. Closer to $80 per year with that driving. With my kind of driving it's $320 per year. Though I drive a lot of freeway so it's about $200 a year. This is with a $0.40 price difference between 87 and 91. Sometimes it's $0.20 and sometimes it's $0.70 so the $0.40 seemed a decent compromise. So depending on their driving habits, it could be a substantial sum. Factor in other costs that come with increased driving...like tires and fluid changes...$200 a year could go towards those other expenses.

At 5k miles a year you'll need one oil change a year. By your calculations, the money saved in gas pays for that oil change. By my calculations, I'll need about 2.4 oil changes a year. I'll go through one set of tires per year. That's quite a bit of expenditure and the extra $320 I'd save in gas won't cover them but it will make it easier to afford them.

Of course, with my setup I HAVE to run 91 so it's a moot point for me.
 

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I'll be honest, both my cars require premium... My Solstice is VERY picky when it comes to octane. If I don't have 93, it lets me know it!! And my Charger is a requirement per Chrysler...so between the 2....UGH!! (and don't even get me started on my insurance again!!)
 

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Gas has never been the main cost of vehicle ownership for me. Not even close. Spend $10,000-$60000 on a vehicle then worry about a few $100/year difference in gas costs?

2004 Durango 5.7L Hemi uses mid-grade. Loses power and worse mpg with regular especially when towing.
2007 Ram 6.7L uses Diesel.
2007 Sky RL I always use premium. Slightly better mpg and power than regular.
2013 Juke I always use premium. Pings with regular or mid-grade.

I haven't used regular in years! Wife tells me to stop buying such vehicles!
 

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I do 20,000 miles a year on average when I'm not updating the car's mods...



30mpg is highway. Most folks aren't cruising at 70 on the freeway if they're only putting on 5k or less a year...



I believe 19 city is the MPG on the LNF. I know it's 1 mpg less than the 2.4. 25-27 looks like average MPG for the car...

(2008 Saturn Sky MPG - Actual MPG from 12 2008 Saturn Sky owners)



So 25 mpg is probably a more accurate number to use...and probably a generous one...for cars that get driven 5k miles a year. Closer to $80 per year with that driving. With my kind of driving it's $320 per year. Though I drive a lot of freeway so it's about $200 a year. This is with a $0.40 price difference between 87 and 91. Sometimes it's $0.20 and sometimes it's $0.70 so the $0.40 seemed a decent compromise. So depending on their driving habits, it could be a substantial sum. Factor in other costs that come with increased driving...like tires and fluid changes...$200 a year could go towards those other expenses.



At 5k miles a year you'll need one oil change a year. By your calculations, the money saved in gas pays for that oil change. By my calculations, I'll need about 2.4 oil changes a year. I'll go through one set of tires per year. That's quite a bit of expenditure and the extra $320 I'd save in gas won't cover them but it will make it easier to afford them.



Of course, with my setup I HAVE to run 91 so it's a moot point for me.
Even if its a couple hundred bucks...if that is prohibitive, then pray you dont hit a nail in the road...
 

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Even if its a couple hundred bucks...if that is prohibitive, then pray you dont hit a nail in the road...
Who has said anything about it being prohibitive? The question was asked about whether having to use premium gas made them more expensive, and an attempt was made to answer it.

If someone is looking at two different cars and the decision is more-or-less equal, operating cost could make the difference in which they choose. Correcting the misconception that a higher-grade of fuel is needed than actually is just makes certain that decisions are made using correct information.

If you have unlimited funds, to the extent that a couple of hundred dollars is meaningless, I think its great for you, but to most of us i think that amount is worth saving, or at least mentioning.
 

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Difference of outlook I suppose. To me the fuel question is a "if you have to ask..." type questions.

My answer is yes it takes premium but it is such a small difference per year it is likely immaterial. YMMV.
 

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Difference of outlook I suppose. To me the fuel question is a "if you have to ask..." type questions.

My answer is yes it takes premium but it is such a small difference per year it is likely immaterial. YMMV.
I am curious about why you say premium is required.
Assuming that we are talking about an un-tuned engine, I have done a fair amount of testing that says there is no benefit in using it.
 

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I am curious about why you say premium is required.
Assuming that we are talking about an un-tuned engine, I have done a fair amount of testing that says there is no benefit in using it.
The main reason I use premium i s ( 1 ) because it is recommended in the owners manual and( 2) it doesn't contain ethanol which is bad for direct inject engines.I read an article somewhere,sorry don't remember where but the auto makers want to have premium fuel as the main fuel which would lower the cost of premium,this is because of the fact that a lot of regular fuel contains ethanol and the manufactures know it creates problems down the road but don't want customers to be turned off because premium is required.
 

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I am curious about why you say premium is required.

Assuming that we are talking about an un-tuned engine, I have done a fair amount of testing that says there is no benefit in using it.
Thats a great/fair call on my response, it is "required" but not strictly, on redline/gxp models (they will run, but not the best on 87) and that is all I know deeply since that is what I have. The 2.4s I would guess do not have that requirement based on other ecotecs I have worked on, but never know. Well, whatever it is, it seems we have more answers than questions :). Ill leave it at that, figured if he/she was asking etc.
 

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Thats a great/fair call on my response, it is "required" but not strictly, on redline/gxp models (they will run, but not the best on 87) and that is all I know deeply since that is what I have. The 2.4s I would guess do not have that requirement based on other ecotecs I have worked on, but never know. Well, whatever it is, it seems we have more answers than questions :). Ill leave it at that, figured if he/she was asking etc.
What I found in my testing was that the NA ran exactly the same on 87 as it did on 89 and 91. Same power and mileage, and no more KR. The RL runs the same on 89 as it does on 91.
As you say, the RL will run safely on 87, but at reduced performance. I use 87 in the NA and 91 in the RL. My 2.4 Equinox (LEA) also runs happily on 87.
91 is certainly a requirement for tuned engines, but from what I have determined is a waste of (maybe not very much) money in anything else.
 

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What I found in my testing was that the NA ran exactly the same on 87 as it did on 89 and 91. Same power and mileage, and no more KR. The RL runs the same on 89 as it does on 91.
As you say, the RL will run safely on 87, but at reduced performance. I use 87 in the NA and 91 in the RL. My 2.4 Equinox (LEA) also runs happily on 87.
91 is certainly a requirement for tuned engines, but from what I have determined is a waste of (maybe not very much) money in anything else.
John, this is why I love you man. I only looked at 91 vs 87 and saw the difference...didn't take 89 into account. Testing like this is what removes all doubt about stuff like this.
 

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John, this is why I love you man. I only looked at 91 vs 87 and saw the difference...didn't take 89 into account. Testing like this is what removes all doubt about stuff like this.
Maybe I should date you. It drives my girlfriend absolutely, eye-roll, crazy.
 
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