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Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom

2 edits
reply to jed

Re: Thought I'd pass along this handy tip...

said by jed:

Regular gas is absolute crap! If they bump up the amount of ethanol added to regular, the refiners only have to produce about a 80 octane fuel.

All of my small engine stuff starts MUCH better with high test. Even better with AV gas, which I sourced last fall. I don't use the better gas for more power, I got tired of the poor starting, gummed up carbs, having to keep chokes on to run, etc. And fyi, 2 things. I counted the other day, I have 16 pieces of small engine equipment that I use regularly. And, I used to always use fuel stabilizer. Made zero difference.

So, I threw in a few tankfuls of premium in my minivan. I used it for a few months and got about 10 to 15% better fuel economy, depending upon usage.

So, essentially, we're paying premium fuel prices for gasoline that was labelled as regular a few years ago. Yea.

»Re: Thought I'd pass along this handy tip...

»Re: Thought I'd pass along this handy tip...

»Re: Thought I'd pass along this handy tip...

quote:
Using high-octane gas in a car designed for regular accomplishes little except more rapid combustion of your money. Some refuse to believe this, claiming, for example, that premium gives the family Toyota better mileage or more power. These people are in dreamland. Others say premium is purer or contains detergents that will cleanse your engine of uncouth deposits. Likewise misguided thinking--government regulations require detergents in all grades of gasoline.
For 3 years I drove 150 miles per day to work and back. I always bought my gas at the same station. I kept close watch on the gas mileage. The station was Texaco to start and Shell later. I experimented using regular, mid-range and hi-test. The results were exactly the same over a 3 year period. Not perception but fact. This is the direct result of having 10 percent ethanol in all blends.

quote:
Energy content: fuel ethanol contains around 33 percent less energy content than regular gasoline. The energy content of gasohol blends (E10 or E85) is determined by the energy content of ethanol and gasoline, and their ratio.

Engine power and fuel economy: The engine power and fuel economy are determined by the engine configuration, the efficiency of an engine, and volumetric energy content of the fuel used by the engine. For the same engine type and efficiency, the difference in fuel economy depends entirely on the volumetric content of the fuels. Due to the low energy content of ethanol (Table 1), E10 has approximately 2 percent lower mileage than regular gasoline. For example, a car averaging 30 miles per gallon (mpg) on gasoline would average 29.4 mpg when using E10. However, when using FFV running on E85, the mileage will drop significantly (10 percent to 15 percent lower than gasoline). A Consumer Reports article in the October 2006 issue reported on the poor fuel economy of FFVs fueled by E85. Currently, major automakers are optimizing their FFVs to run E85 more efficiently.

»pubs.ext.vt.edu/442/442-884/442-884.html



jed
Premium
join:2001-07-06
Alberta, Can
kudos:1
Reviews:
·TELUS
·EastLink Interne..

1 recommendation

Theres huge YMMV when we're talking about FE in a vehicle. I live where its cold 8 mos of the year, and also have different formulations of fuel than where you are. Our fuel can have up to 20% ethanol. CR didn't come up here and test.

There are no other constant changes for me, like your daily commute (150 miles! wow) when I run my mileage testing on my van. And every time I swap fuels my mileage goes from about 10.1 to 10.5l/100km down to between 8.2 to 8.8l/100km. Same road, same speeds, etc. And my Olds, whose mileage was a constant 33mpg since new (highway), is down to about 29mpg now. That may be time because its older, but I'm convinced its not.

But, in any event, this thread was more about small engines. And my brand new Briggs powered SB, where I always, since new, used regular fuel with stabilizer, it gummed up in less than a year. That was 3 yrs ago. I've since switched (after cleaning out the carb) to premium or AV gas, and it hasn't missed a beat. Not only that, storing this ethanol crap in a plastic container means it starts to degrade almost instantly. CR didn't test that either.

My local Polaris dealership is constantly fighting fuel problems. So much now that Polaris has required them to do a test on the fuel for certain conditions of warranty. This is as of about 18 mos ago.

My string trimmers (3) all start on the first pull now. My hedge trimmer that was always running about half throttle, now has an idle. My SB no longer needs the choke on to run. My saws (4) all start WAY more easily. The pros far outweigh the cons. In fact, the only con is cost, which in the amount they use, to me, is inconsequential. To be fair, my Kawasaki powered mowers run no different with the fuels, but they get premium/AV anyways.

So, for me, I'm consistently getting better fuel economy in my van and as well, the dreaded sticking fuel sender in the tank straightens itself out while using premium. That doesn't mean I use it all the time, as it is hard to source regularly, and, I won't pay an extraordinary premium. But if I can get it for about $0.05/l extra, I'll do it.

Quote interweb all you want. No one says you Must use this type of fuel. Its your pocket book. And like me, CR has an opinion. Thats all it is. No one should believe everything they read, books or interweb. But the idea is to share and perhaps find something that may help some with the same troubles. We've done this for years, be it as a conversation in a coffee shop, a how to book, a forum or a CR article.

But, for me, my evidence is all around me. And the little bit it costs for the better fuel is far worth it to me. That, is my fuel story.


leibold
Premium,MVM
join:2002-07-09
Sunnyvale, CA
kudos:10
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET
reply to PremTech101
said by PremTech101 :

Being low lead would it harm my mower or gas trimmer?

As long as you don't use it in any engine with catalytic converter you should be fine. However the high octane won't give any benefit to your gas powered appliances while it may give an edge to your racing buddy. If I were you, I'd make the friend happy.
--
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AsherN
Premium
join:2010-08-23
Thornhill, ON
reply to chmod
said by chmod:

I was mf'ing my snowblower 2 years ago. Alas it had the illusive "key" in the off position. I will reluctantly mention it may have been after a few beers also.

Been there. Took out the spark plug, cleaned it, re-gapped it. Was ready to take it to the shop...


PremTech101

@aircloud.com
reply to leibold
You may be right, plus it'll take me forever to use it all up. I'll give him the good news tonight..


Grumpy
Premium
join:2001-07-28
NW CT
Reviews:
·Comcast
·AT&T Yahoo
·Callcentric
reply to Pacrat
Just some random thoughts

Stihl brand 2 cycle oil requires the use of 89 octane (mid grade) fuel.
Some claim the higher octane burns a little cooler. Not sure.

Ethanol is essentially alcohol. Alcohol readily absorbs water. Almost every gas tank is susceptible to condensation. Stale ethanol gas = problems.


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
said by Grumpy:

Just some random thoughts

Stihl brand 2 cycle oil requires the use of 89 octane (mid grade) fuel.
Some claim the higher octane burns a little cooler. Not sure.

Ethanol is essentially alcohol. Alcohol readily absorbs water. Almost every gas tank is susceptible to condensation. Stale ethanol gas = problems.

Been using regular in my Stihl equipment for years with no adverse problems.


stev32k
Premium
join:2000-04-27
Mobile, AL
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Mediacom
·DIRECTV
·AT&T Southeast
said by Jack_in_VA:

said by Grumpy:

Just some random thoughts

Stihl brand 2 cycle oil requires the use of 89 octane (mid grade) fuel.
Some claim the higher octane burns a little cooler. Not sure.

Ethanol is essentially alcohol. Alcohol readily absorbs water. Almost every gas tank is susceptible to condensation. Stale ethanol gas = problems.

Been using regular in my Stihl equipment for years with no adverse problems.

I used regular gas in my Stihl chain saws for years also, but when I started using 93 octane I could tell a significant difference in starting ease and running RPM.

Ethanol in gas is one of the main reasons I started putting fuel stabilizer in all the gas for 2 and 4 cycle engines. The stabilizer will prevent ethanol from absorbing water (at least they claim it will).


Grumpy
Premium
join:2001-07-28
NW CT
Reviews:
·Comcast
·AT&T Yahoo
·Callcentric
reply to Grumpy
I'm not advising on Stihl 2 stroke 89 octane fuel requirements - I'm just reading the label. I figure the Stihl engineers know more about which octane to use than I do. For the sake of twenty cents extra a month, I do what they recommend.

If memory serves, (and that's always questionable for me), the Stihl 89 octane labeling first appeared a year or so ago?


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
said by Grumpy:

I'm not advising on Stihl 2 stroke 89 octane fuel requirements - I'm just reading the label. I figure the Stihl engineers know more about which octane to use than I do. For the sake of twenty cents extra a month, I do what they recommend.

If memory serves, (and that's always questionable for me), the Stihl 89 octane labeling first appeared a year or so ago?

I don't know when it appeared but I've been using regular in mine for years with no adverse effects.


Grumpy
Premium
join:2001-07-28
NW CT
Reviews:
·Comcast
·AT&T Yahoo
·Callcentric
Not that it matters to you, but once you add oil to gas to create a 2 cycle blend, the octane level drops. You're actually running 86.X octane in your Stihl(s). Then there's the ethanol. If you happen to live where the gas is not cut with 10% ethanol, congratulations. 'Round here all we can get is alcohol cut gas.

Boring story about ethanol - A buddy & I were riding west across NY to Buffalo. After running 100 or so miles on 100% / no ethanol gas bought in interior NY, we stopped for a break. I asked if his bike was running better. He replied he was just about to ask me the same thing. The engine performance difference in our usual and customary CT bought ethanol cut gas vs. no ethanol gas was significant.

sparks

join:2001-07-08
Little Rock, AR
reply to Pacrat
Well we have 2 stations here that sell NON ethanol gas and after they said it was better the EXPERTS had to be interviewed on the local news. ethanol gas is great and you should run it and not using ethanol is wrong for the environment bla bla BLA

So the gas stations got an expert and he said that 10% ethanol cut up to 25% off fuel economy and proven test show only minimal gains in emissions. The reason they want you to use it is because at $3+++ a gallon they make more money, while it cost you just as much and you get to buy more of it.

Lets get in there and give the oil companies more kick backs its the only way for politicians to get bigger bribes.

Knowing how corporations run the country I keep wondering if the 85 or 87 ratings are used before they add the ethanol.

bemis

join:2008-07-18
Reading, MA
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to Pacrat
A friend has an old generator which has a low-oil sensor. The sensor is OK once the engine is running, but during "start up" it will act like a kill switch.

He rigged a doorbell button to the side of the generator so that he can press the button (bypassing the low oil switch) while he's pull starting, then release it after the engine is running.

If you have a generator that doesn't start and you find no spark, try bypassing the low oil sensor... if you get spark you know the culprit and replace the sensor or add oil

ctvarner

join:2005-05-20
Fairview, PA
One fine spring day I pulled out all the mowing machines, changed the oil, and took all the spark plugs to the hardware store to get new ones. I put a new plug in the tractor and mowed the yard. I put a new plug in the push mower and did the trimming. I grabbed the string trimmer, which always starts on the 4th pull, and pulled the rope about 50 times. My wife called from across the yard, ever so sweetly, "Did you put the new spark plug in it?" Furious at the (expletive) trimmer, I positively BELLOWED back at her, "OF COURSE I PUT THE ... oh." 8-)


Pacrat
Old and Cranky
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-10
Cortland, OH
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
That may be a better tip than mine! Always replace the spark plug before attempting to start a gasoline engine! Even the old one is better than none.

I'm sure the wife will soon forget that ever happened... right?
--
Keep your eye on the ball, your shoulder to the wheel, your nose to the grindstone, and your ear to the ground. Now, try to work in that position!!!


marigolds
Gainfully employed, finally
Premium,MVM
join:2002-05-13
Saint Louis, MO
kudos:2
reply to Pacrat
Another really good tip is to wear jeans.

I was wearing shorts the first time I started up our electric trimmer. Well, somehow the bump feed went a little crazy while the trimmer sat over winter and I ended up with the tip of an inch long piece of string stuck into my shin.

bemis

join:2008-07-18
Reading, MA
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to ctvarner
said by ctvarner:

I grabbed the string trimmer, which always starts on the 4th pull, and pulled the rope about 50 times. My wife called from across the yard, ever so sweetly, "Did you put the new spark plug in it?" Furious at the (expletive) trimmer, I positively BELLOWED back at her, "OF COURSE I PUT THE ... oh." 8-)

As least it should have been very easy to pull the rope w/ no plug in place right? :-P

AnonShawUser

join:2006-06-17
Calgary, AB
reply to marigolds
Another really good tip, is to make sure you pay attention to your update processes after a site rebuild, to make sure that you don't keep only a single thread as a "hot topic" for several weeks. Otherwise, it stands a chance of ultimately becoming a dumping ground of random thoughts.

talz13

join:2006-03-15
Avon, OH
reply to Pacrat
Off topic, but why is this the only thread that's appeared in the "EMERGING" and "ACTIVE" tabs of the forum topics box on the home page for the last week or so?