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I thought I would start up the discussion again due to current market conditions.

I live in the Chicago area. BP has the big oil refinery in the area here that feeds all the different brands of gasoline. About 9 months ago or so, they had a breakdown that caused the gas prices to shoot up for a few weeks. Here is the problem. Before the breakdown, premium gas at my local Costco was about 35 cents per gallon more expensive or about 15% more expensive at the prices of the time. After the breakdown was repaired, I was waiting for premium to return to normal and it hasn't. Today for example, Costco has regular at $1.44 and premium at $2.09. A 65 cent swing. 45% more expensive. At this rate, I think it will be best to fill up with regular gas.

I have heard there are people who run nothing but regular in their Volt. Can anyone say how it has effected their mileage? I can pretty much guarantee they are NOT experiencing a 45% decrease in mileage.

I should also note, I go on a long trip every 2-3 months, so the gas in my tank doesn't stay there long.
 

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The only problem that might come back and "bite" you in the ass, is if you have an ice warranty problem you might have to pay any repair out of your own pocket if they check and you aren't using premium fuel per requirement.
I use 93 octane and only put $10.00 worth in at a time which lasts me thru a 260 mile trip no problem
 

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I went from a Jeep Cherokee sucking down AT LEAST 37 gallons a WEEK (37 x $1.65 = $61.05 per week MINIMUM)
Now I'm running a Volt that, if I never charged and just ran the REX, would do the same drive on about 10 gallons (10 x $2.09 = $20.90 worst case) for a minimum savings of $40.15 per week, Which is why I just can't take these "Should I ignore the manufacturer specifications so I can save $5.85 on a tank of gasoline" conversations very seriously.

The phrase "penny wise pound foolish" springs to mind. Since nobody actually knows (except maybe GM engineers) I think I'd stick with their recommendations.
 

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I was told at the Chicago Auto Show that GM was unnecessarily concerned about fuel quality and went to premium fuel. I am not aware that it voids any warranty or any problems if you do not use premium. I myself, if going on a long trip where all the gas will be burned up, often just use ethanol blends. In the winter where gas is mostly being used for heat, I just use regular. And for normal fillups in the summer, I used standard special ethyl.... I havent seen where the blend changes fuel mileage in any significant way. The wind and weather seem to play a much bigger role than the grade of gas.
 

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No idea how market conditions impact re-hashing an age old discussion again?
Vehicles have had octane requirements for decades. Most people follow it, some don't. Of those who don't some claim to not experience any difference, most experience expected issues such as pinging.

The difference in price is negligible, especially on a vehicle with high MPG such as the Volt.

Don't be cheap :)
 

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As with most things, both can be true.
Using regular won't hurt anything AND using premium is not that much more expensive.
 

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Our 2014 Volt from myvolt.com went 23 miles on gas last month, Jan. 2016, and used .52 gallons of gas, 44.231 mpg. This is with costco 87 reg. octane 10% ethanol gas. No noticeable difference when using premium, sometimes I think reg. gas may get even better mpg's. My wife's car.
 

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The only problem that might come back and "bite" you in the ass, is if you have an ice warranty problem you might have to pay any repair out of your own pocket if they check and you aren't using premium fuel per requirement.
They would have to prove that running regular cause the problem. Granted they could cite BS as proof on the assumption that you would not fight their claim.
 

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How many other naturally aspirated 4 cylinder engines with 1.4 liter displacement with only 84 HP max need to run on premium gas only???
 

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How many other naturally aspirated 4 cylinder engines with 1.4 liter displacement with only 84 HP max need to run on premium gas only???
How many of those engines run about 30 minutes a month?
 

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AT MOST GAS STATIONS THE ADDITIONAL COST FOR PREMIUM IS EXACTLY THE SAME AS IT WAS WHEN GAS WAS $4.00 PER GALLON

- When gas was $4.00 per gallon $.40 more (in most cases) resulting in an additional $3.60 if you filled a completely empty 9 gallon tank.
- Today, it is still $.40 more per gallon (in most cases) resulting in an additional $3.60 if you filled a completely empty 9 gallon tank.

Costco may be the exception, but if you compare $2.09 to what you paid for premium before, there still is significant savings.

If you want to risk a $35,000 vehicle over a $3 premium, go for it...

You may look to buy gas at places other than Costco, where the premium is not $.65 more than regular. You might find it to be less than $2.09
 

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No real reason to revisit this again. It's the same car that it was before. The factory recommendations haven't changed for Gen 1. You want to save a few bucks running regular and maybe increase the risk of engine issues down the road, heck, it's your car.
 

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I thought I would start up the discussion again due to current market conditions.

I live in the Chicago area. BP has the big oil refinery in the area here that feeds all the different brands of gasoline. About 9 months ago or so, they had a breakdown that caused the gas prices to shoot up for a few weeks. Here is the problem. Before the breakdown, premium gas at my local Costco was about 35 cents per gallon more expensive or about 15% more expensive at the prices of the time. After the breakdown was repaired, I was waiting for premium to return to normal and it hasn't. Today for example, Costco has regular at $1.44 and premium at $2.09. A 65 cent swing. 45% more expensive. At this rate, I think it will be best to fill up with regular gas.

I have heard there are people who run nothing but regular in their Volt. Can anyone say how it has effected their mileage? I can pretty much guarantee they are NOT experiencing a 45% decrease in mileage.

I should also note, I go on a long trip every 2-3 months, so the gas in my tank doesn't stay there long.
Think in terms of dollars, not in terms of percent.

If you think in terms of percent, then also think in terms of the percent of your salary that you are paying annual for gas. You may find it is .0001% more for premium.
 

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In one of the Volt videos on youtube, Pamela Fletcher (GM powertrain engineer) stated they designed for premium to get 5-10% better efficiency. They felt the improvement in mpg was worth the slight extra cost of premium. She talks about the ICE at about the 3 minute mark: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=an-VyIau-FM
 

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A fact not well discussed is that if you are not AT sea level the volt will require some octane other than 91, in my case at my elevation in Wisconsin its around 90 but a little shy in most areas.

Another fact not well discussed is that e85 in many areas is cheaper than e10, sometimes by a large margin
Add to this the volt is rated for e15 and you will find you can make your own mid-grade by mixing ethanol free 87 octane (which for me is only about a nickel more or the same price as e10) with about 17%ish of e85 and you will end up with mid grade fuel at a lower price than real mid grade and about a buck a gallon cheaper than premium (at least in my area)

In many areas 89-90 octane mid grade is more than adequate and it can be made at or below the price of real mid grade and possibly cheaper than standard 87 octane. Fuel economy, oddly enough is not affected much during the summer months, winter yes but not enough to justify a buck a gallon extra.

Cheers
Ryan
 

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The appropriate financial comparison is not the cost difference of premium with respect to the cost of regular, but the cost difference of premium with respect to the cost of your engine.

If you imagine yourself to be more knowledgeable about the engine than the engineers who designed it, go ahead & use regular.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I do know that the octane is it's resistance to pre-detonation. With engines from the carbureted years it was known that if you don't get any pre-detonation (pinging) with regular fuel, there is absolutely nothing a higher octane will do for you (other than the tendency to have more detergents added). With the invention and wide spread use of knock sensors, pinging is pretty much a thing of the past.

Many good points were made that pinching a few dollars here just isn't worth it considering how little gas the car uses in the first place. One of my problems is that my wife's Ford Escape now makes a 400 mile trip cheaper than my Volt with much more room for all. So I guess I really want to know, why hasn't the premium price dropped back down to the 35 cent per gallon increase it used to be. Why is it 65 cents per gallon more?
 

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In many areas 89/90 octane is premium, I'm not burning standard fuel
 
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