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1999 OG 9-3 'vert
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I read on posts here about what fuel type to use but my owners manual says "unleaded gasoline that has a octane rating of 87 or higher"...

I bought the car 6 months ago (97' 900 SE Turbo convertible) and was using the regular all the time, not sure what the previous owner used...

Would it hurt my car to switch to premium now, or would 89 be enough? How big of a difference would it be?

I am sure somebody asked this but I cant find it, plus my owners manual does not say premium anywhere so I am little concerned...

Thanks
 

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Short story: Your engine detunes itself (on the fly) significantly when you use regular or 89 octane. That will reduce your power, if you care, and your mpg, depending on how you drive. Less economy, less fun, it's a loser overall.

I'm too lazy to post sample calcs again, but if the difference in premium is relatively small compared to the price per gallon, it tends to benefit you to use premium, even just for the MPG increase. Also, if you calculate the difference over a year in using lower octane gas, the amount of money is usually insignificant. Despite the "pain at the pump", we still don't spend all that much on gasoline in a year.

As for long term effect on the engine... likely none. The ECU will retune and keep it safe.
 

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1999 OG 9-3 'vert
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ok thx, so it is safe to just put premium after 87? Should I put some of the "gas cleaners" to clean the tank, lines, injections and all that? Do those products even work?
 

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I remember seeing your calculations and I'm going to try using Premium as you've convinced me I might make a small saving in the long run plus the bonus of better performance.

Just to put "pain at the pump" in context: here in the UK premium unleaded is approximately £1.18 a litre, that's around £5.00 or $7.50 a gallon!!! So any saving is welcome! :D
 

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I run a bottle of Lucas fuel injector cleaner in a full tank of premium gas once or twice a year in all of my vehicles, the cars seem to like it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yea I am sure if my MPG increases the price difference between premium and 87 wont be that much...I just want to see if I have to do anything special before switching from 87 to premium, is it safe basically...
Ok, I might try using a fuel injector cleaner, I guess I cant lose anything...
 

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No cleaners are needed. Low octane gas is the same as high octane gas aside from the octane ratings. It's the exact same gasoline, all comes from the same tank, they just add more octane enhancer. There was a major FTC action a few years back and they forced gasoline companies to stop suggesting that higher octane gas was in any way, other than octane level. "better".

So, no cleaner needed. That said, most of us run a bottle of Techron Fuel System Cleaner though our cars twice a year. It's one of the few that's documented to actually do something. You can pick it up at any chain autoparts store, Walmart, etc. Others would be a crap shoot.

One note: there is something called top-tier gasoline. You can google it. Those oil companies have agreed to a certain level of detergent additives in their gasoline and those levels have been agreed to by auto manufacturers as the "proper" level. But, the gasoline they sell comes out of the same tank as the cheapest sellers... the only difference is the additive package.

Me, I go with the cheap gas, high octane, and run Techron twice a year.
 
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