Gas: Premium-vs- Regular Unleaded
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  1. #1
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    Gas: Premium-vs- Regular Unleaded

    I'm a new Passat owner('02 1.8t)...was wondering what everyone was using lately for gas. Premium like the manual recommends, or regular unleaded, has anyone noticed, does it make a difference?

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  3. #2
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    I have been running regular in my 00 V6 and recently switched to premium and noticed a significant difference. I was getting about 29.8 MPG on highway and got 30.8 MPG on todays trip. It also seems to have better response. I say go premium if you can afford it but with gas prices going up I am not sure what I will do in the future.

  4. #3
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    B20 40+mpg on the highway...

  5. #4
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    I have tried 87 octane (regular), 89 (mid) and 91 octane in the city, highway and combined highway and city.

    I have found that fuel economy increased with each step up in grade of fuel used. In terms of a difference in cost per kilometer the difference is negligable. I have settled on mid grade as it falls within the +-2 of 91 octane reccomended on the fuel cap. There is definately a bigger difference in bum dyno from low to highest octane as well.

    Car is unchipped, but modded with intake, exhaust, EFK, underdrive pulley and LWFW.

    Hope this helps,

    Cheers,

    Malcolm

  6. #5
    My pornstar name came up "Jay the Snork."
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    you can use 87 octane if you're not chipped, the car can adjust itself to some extent to avoid getting any knock. if you're chipped, you really should use at least 91.

    ( this is all hearsay, i am no expert, but this seems to be the consensus here)

  7. #6
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    One thing to remember, as the price of gas increases the percentage difference between regular and high test DECREASES. Typically, Premium is 20 cents higher than Regular. At $1.00/gallon that's about 20% difference; at $2.00/gallon that's about 10% difference; at $2.50/gallon it's getting pretty small. And if the mileage difference is significant, there may be NO difference.

  8. #7
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    I paid 2.89/gal for premium on Saturday and 87 octane was $2.74/gal, for an extra 15 cents a gallon difference, or 5.5% more. I always use premium.

  9. #8
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    Quit your smoking habit and use that money for premium gas and synthetic oil.

  10. #9
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    Just go with the premium, it's not that big of a difference, besides, that's what the manufacturer suggests anyway. At least they can't accuse you of not following instructions when something breaks.

  11. #10
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    it really depends, i don't know too much about the v6, but i know for a fact that w/ a chipped 1.8t, most CHIP manufacturers recommend the higher octane (91+) fuels. don't ask me why, i'm not a doctor...i've just always been under the impression that it burns cleaner, so, for a turbo'd engine, i'd imagine it's better...

  12. #11
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    Okay guys in case you have not noticed, the V6 runs a quite high 10.6 to 1 compression ratio.. This is definitely in the land where gas engines running that much compression will utilize the benefits of premium gas. Most Turbo engines typically suggest premium as well. Plus the fact that VW recommends premium in both the engines is also a clue. The ECU is tuned to fully utilize premium and as others have said using premium they notice more power and better gas mileage. At the price we are paying for gas now you are looking at an extra $2-3 each fill-up, which is less than 10% over the price of regular. Many will tell you they experience about a 10% increase in mileage, so instead of saving money you are either breaking even or possibly spending a little more in the long run. I run premium in my V6 as recommended, I also run premium as recommended in my Saab 93 SS turbo, if either manufacturer recommended regular or midgrade I would happily use those instead.

  13. #12
    the deal finder!
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    you think 10.6:1 for NA is high? the new 2.0t's have 10.3:1

    buy back to the OP, go with premium. basically, whatever you saved per gallon you'd lose in fuel economy.

  14. #13
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    Wow, running the A/C must really kill fuel economy, I am lucky if I get 24!

    BTW, I either go with premium, or Sunoco 91 Octane. Life is too short to deal with low-grade gas in a high-grade car

  15. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by D.Passat00
    you think 10.6:1 for NA is high? the new 2.0t's have 10.3:1

    buy back to the OP, go with premium. basically, whatever you saved per gallon you'd lose in fuel economy.
    Yes, I do think it's in the high range, like I said it's well into the range where premium makes a difference. And yes, the new 2.0t's are running a very high compression for a turbo engine, this is the called progression. Back when the 2.8L was introduced 10.6 seemed higher compression than it does today, things change, and engines keep pushing more and more power while getting better gas mileage. Regardless, both enines still utilize the benefits of premium and that's the point i'm trying to make.

  16. #15
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    Go with premium you will notice the diference.

  17. #16
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    I would say you should never use the lower grade stuff. The whole reason you buy higher octane fuel is because is burns cleaner and it has a higher anti-knock rating which is good for any engine.

    I found this 76 station that sells 100 octane racing fuel and lately i've been putting a few gallons in between fillups. I have only put 91 in my V6 4mo since the day i got it, but when i run it to empty and put in a few gallons of that jet fuel the engine revs a lot more freely.
    Also i have noticed when i fill up another full tank of 91 after using the 100 octane i get a good 20 to 30 extra miles on a tank.

    The only thing is that the 100 octane shit is $4.30 a gallon. :Yikes:

    I got in on that Wett chip group buy and i was wondering if anyone with a chipped V6 has tried running 100 octane. If you have was a there a noticable difference?

  18. #17
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    I have tried only once to use 87 octane and man did the car ran like total crap. It took about two tanks of 93 octane to make it run good again. I always use 93 octane and never had a problem.

  19. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malcolm S. Freeman
    I have settled on mid grade as it falls within the +-2 of 91 octane reccomended on the fuel cap.
    ^^lie

    Check your local regulations before saying that. In Illinois, gasoline at the pump can be almost 1 entire point off from whatever the sticker says. So, if the pump says 89 octane, it could be 88 and still be legal. That's a 1.12% decrease in the rating - which pulls you that much farther away from what the manufacturer recommends.

    Personally, the only time I fill up with midgrade is when I'm in Rockford, IL. There, mid is either 90 or 91 octane, premium is 93 (most places). And it's still less than I pay north of Chicago (where I live).

    What the heck is up with Colorado? My parents can buy 85 octane as their regular petrol. (I'm sure it has to do with air pressure and oxygen ...)

  20. #19
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    the Colorado thing is due to the thinner air. 85 essentially behaves there like 87 behaves at a normal altitude.

    It will forever baffle me as to why people would think that a car manufacturer would require (or recommend) premium fuel if there was no purpose in it. Lets face it, car companies spend millions of dollars on R+D on their cars. Why would any sane person assume that they suddenly know better than a huge body of research conducted in million dollar laboratories.

    If it says premium, run premium. Sheesh.

  21. #20
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    I run only premium. I put regular in it a few times and it ran like crap and my car was not chipped back then. That gave me a clue that only premium will do.

  22. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by graymulligan
    It will forever baffle me as to why people would think that a car manufacturer would require (or recommend) premium fuel if there was no purpose in it.

    If it says premium, run premium. Sheesh.
    Lobbying from the oil companies, Money from the oil companies for "research". "Hey if you put Premium Only on the car we'll give you $$$.....

  23. #22
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    I always ran the cheapest gas I could find in my 95 Passat GLX VR6 for ten years and 110K miles (it was spec'd for premium, I think). Always seemed to run fine, and no real problems. But, it failed the last smog check due to high HC. The fix was a complete clean of the intake system and injectors using Snap-On's "FuelKare" system. Dropped all the emissions significantly and it passed smog with ease.

    I don't know if this problem could have been avoided by my using premium or a name-brand fuel, but whatever problems my budget fuel strategy caused took a long time and a lot of miles to show up. YMMV.

  24. #23
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    The new 2.0 turbo runs higher compression because of the Direct Injection. It injects fuel into the cylinder LATER in the compression cycle, therefore lowering the risk of detonation. Taking advantage of this fact, a 10.3:1 compression ratio is used which is unheard of in a pump gas turbo engine.

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