Not Logged In Log In   Sign Up   Points Leaders
Follow Us    2:50 AM

Message Forum - Read Message

Category: Fuel Economy > Topics Add to favorite topics   Post new topicPost New Topic
Author Topic: Premuim vs regular unleaded Back to Topics

Rookie Author

Joined:Sep 2011
Message Posted: Jan 24, 2013 9:59:49 PM

I have a 95 Safari van and planning a trip to Alabama to see my kid sister for a couple of weeks, would the exra few cents be worth it for fuel economy? I do use cruise control, no jack rabbit starts try to keep with flow of traffic, any suggestions would be appreciated. I also change oil every 3,000 mile, tires properly inflated.
REPLIES (newest first) Post a Reply
Profile Pic
Champion Author Phoenix

Joined:Dec 2011
Message Posted: Feb 2, 2013 1:27:06 PM

Profile Pic
All-Star Author Richmond

Joined:Oct 2005
Message Posted: Feb 2, 2013 9:22:39 AM

My 99 Astro (Chevy version of the Safari) had the 4.3 Votec V-6 that I assume you also had. My experience with that van was that I got 20 mpg on the highway regardless of how I drove it. 60mph on a flat road: 20 mpg. 75mph on a flat road: 20 mpg. Mountains: 20 mpg. Loaded down with the family and luggage: 20 mpg. In town was much lower, of course. Never got 21, never got 19 when running on the highway. It's the only vehicle I have ever owned that always got the same highway mileage regardless of terrain or driving style.
Profile Pic
All-Star Author Richmond

Joined:Oct 2005
Message Posted: Feb 2, 2013 9:14:30 AM

There is no benefit to burning premium fuel if you don't need it. With premium fuel costing twenty to fifty cents a gallon more, you are just throwing money away. I pull a sixteen foot cargo trailer with a Suburban. I tried a few tanks of high octane fuel and noticed no improvement in fuel economy. I drive about 33,000 miles a year, and it has well over 180,000 total miles. No fuel related problems yet. I reckon it would cost me $500 to $1,000 extra every year to use premium fuel.

[Edited by: 23227 at 2/2/2013 9:16:08 AM EST]
Profile Pic
Champion Author Alabama

Joined:Jun 2009
Message Posted: Jan 29, 2013 5:10:29 PM

87 octane is the specified fuel for your 1995 Safari? Then it is very unlikely to get better MPG or even run better on 89, 91, or 93 octane fuel.

On your trip there will be variations in MPG even if you could make the trip on the same gasoline you started with. There will be side winds, head winds, and tail winds. In southern TN you will go up and down hills. So you won't be able to make a conclusive statement that Brand X gasoline was better than Brand Y, or Octane Z was the best.

As for cruise control MPG, I agree with other posters that best MPG is *not* had with CC. However the CC provides a repeatable benchmark to measure against. Many over control, accelerator is constantly going up and down, same for brakes and steering. If CC results in better MPG then your other driving habits need review. Your passengers will thank you.

For best MPG you might let the car run a bit faster down hills, and let it slow a bit on the way up. The idea is to use a bit more throttle initially so you don't need as much at the top of the hill. A CC will get behind at the bottom of a hill and use extreme efforts to resume set speed at the same time climbing the hill. You might assist the CC by applying throttle early before starting up the hill.
Profile Pic
Champion Author Washington

Joined:Dec 2012
Message Posted: Jan 29, 2013 4:46:53 PM

Some cars get better gas mileage with premium but the difference is too small to cover the higher cost of gas.

As far as cruise control, if you have a steady foot, you can beat the gas mileage of cruise control. It requires a frozen foot. With the gas pedal in one position, you will slow as you go up a hill and speed up as you go down the hill. In contrast, the cruise control will maintain a steady speed, which uses a little more gas. However, with a long drive, most people are exhausted and don't want to have a frozen foot that doesn't move.

Consider putting 3 psi more than the recommended amount for better gas mileage. Mercedes Benz says to do that and they know better. They say that 3 psi will get better gas mileage and handling but worse ride.
Profile Pic
Champion Author Phoenix

Joined:Nov 2012
Message Posted: Jan 29, 2013 12:27:58 PM

use 87
Profile Pic
Rookie Author Sacramento

Joined:Jun 2011
Message Posted: Jan 29, 2013 9:41:45 AM

Premium fuels are best used in high compression engines. I'm assuming by your description that your vehicle does not have a high compression engine. Therefore, the use of regular unleaded fuels will be work just fine. It's been my experience that there is no significant mpg differences between the two grades of gas to justify the price difference.
Profile Pic
Veteran Author Virginia

Joined:Feb 2011
Message Posted: Jan 28, 2013 11:35:19 AM

My mother says regular is perfectly fine! I can't tell any difference in my Honda Accord.
Profile Pic
Champion Author Phoenix

Joined:Dec 2011
Message Posted: Jan 28, 2013 8:57:00 AM

Regular for my car.
Profile Pic
Rookie Author Ontario

Joined:Jan 2013
Message Posted: Jan 27, 2013 5:14:33 PM

It's up to you! I run premium only and just changed my plugs at 258,000kms cuz I thought I should. Funny thing is all they needed was to be gapped. Synthetic oil is what I use and the bully dog to get the best mileage. It's a 2002 gmc 5.3 V8 and the wife's car is a 4cyl cobalt running reg gas. Only cuz we're not keeping it and it's the secondary car. It averages 13 liters of gas per 100/Kms. Funny cuz the what I average in my truck burning premium gas. So ask yourself is it worth burning regular? Only if you deal your car every couple of years.. The problem with everyone's gas mileage is they hammer the gas and jump on the brakes. Anyone that says I'm full of beans can come out with me and I will teach you how to drive and save some money. I'm never in a hurry now and well 2 speeding tickets did it for me.
Profile Pic
Champion Author Chicago

Joined:Dec 2004
Message Posted: Jan 27, 2013 7:46:46 AM

Regular. The only effect premium will have is to fatten the wallet of the station owner and make yours thinner.
Profile Pic
Champion Author Des Moines

Joined:Sep 2005
Message Posted: Jan 26, 2013 10:46:35 AM

use regular
Profile Pic
Champion Author Missouri

Joined:Jul 2012
Message Posted: Jan 26, 2013 9:36:54 AM

regular, cannot afford the premium
Profile Pic
Champion Author South Carolina

Joined:Dec 2010
Message Posted: Jan 26, 2013 8:25:12 AM

Hello forkedt141. Congratulations on your first post :-). Your 1995 Safari should be happy running what fuel is recommended in your Owner's Manual. Have a good trip :-). MGY
Profile Pic
Champion Author Mississippi

Joined:May 2004
Message Posted: Jan 26, 2013 12:07:48 AM

Follow the advice of your Owner's Manual ...
Profile Pic
Champion Author San Francisco

Joined:Mar 2012
Message Posted: Jan 25, 2013 11:03:43 PM

regular in one car other car premium fuel good gas mpg
Profile Pic
Champion Author Ontario

Joined:Apr 2008
Message Posted: Jan 25, 2013 6:50:16 AM

Profile Pic
Champion Author Lexington

Joined:May 2005
Message Posted: Jan 25, 2013 5:13:56 AM

You are only wasting your money by putting in a higher octane rating than what the vehicle manufacturer recommends, plus it may clog your intakes.
Profile Pic
Champion Author Pennsylvania

Joined:Jun 2003
Message Posted: Jan 25, 2013 5:03:08 AM

What does your owners manual say? I would think regular unleaded should be fine.
Post a reply Back to Topics