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Premium Gasoline Required?

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Old 10-13-2010, 03:26 PM   #1
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Default Premium Gasoline Required?

Is premium gasoline a requirement or a suggestion for the Q5?

Will I harm my engine or cause "knocking" if I use lower grade gasoline?

Has anyone driven their Q5 with lower grade gasoline and not experienced any problems?

I know someone who has used only 87 octane gasoline for their A4 and has had no problems whatsoever.
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Old 10-13-2010, 04:05 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by NMW1982 View Post
Is premium gasoline a requirement or a suggestion for the Q5?

Will I harm my engine or cause "knocking" if I use lower grade gasoline?

Has anyone driven their Q5 with lower grade gasoline and not experienced any problems?

I know someone who has used only 87 octane gasoline for their A4 and has had no problems whatsoever.
There is a lot of info on the subject in the Forum archives if you care to search. Audi recommends premium fuel. One can use a lesser RON fuel, but it is not recommended. The ECU will adjust to a certain extent on timing, etc. but you will not achieve the MPG or the performance that the highest grade of fuel you can buy will give you. For the few extra dollars you spend for Premium Grade fuel, be it 93 or 91 octane (US) the benefits of increased mileage, response and peace of mind is worth it, and may be a push, dollar to dollar. Here in Oklahoma we have the luxury of being able to buy 100% gasoline and are not forced to buy an ethanol blend of any %. One can feel the difference in the seat of one's pants and mileage.......not to mention no degradation of seals, fuel lines, etc.
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Old 10-13-2010, 04:34 PM   #3
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On my first Q5, I used premium and then switched to middle. Never noticed a difference, even on fuel economy. And what you would save in fuel economy by using premium, you would spend in the difference in price. Negligible difference. I've only used middle grade on my '10 Q5, and it's been completely fine.
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Old 10-13-2010, 05:10 PM   #4
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Audi recommends 91 and up. You can use 87 with reduced engine performance. Anything below that and Audi says you can wreck your engine. A manufacturer recommends something for a reason and I dont' think Audi is in bed with the oil companies. In a 40K+ car, I don't see the point of trying to save a buck by going with a lower grade but to each his own.
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Old 10-14-2010, 05:17 AM   #5
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On my first Q5, I used premium and then switched to middle. Never noticed a difference, even on fuel economy. And what you would save in fuel economy by using premium, you would spend in the difference in price. Negligible difference. I've only used middle grade on my '10 Q5, and it's been completely fine.
I dont understand why people use mid grade, its only 10 cents difference, you only save a $1.50 on a fill up.
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Old 10-14-2010, 05:27 AM   #6
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all modern vehicles have knock sensors that will pull timing to compensate for lower grade fuels. Running 87 will NOT ruin your engine. What it will do is reduce peak power output and reduce gas mileage.
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Old 10-14-2010, 06:24 AM   #7
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Exactly.

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Originally Posted by rs4-380 View Post
all modern vehicles have knock sensors that will pull timing to compensate for lower grade fuels. Running 87 will NOT ruin your engine. What it will do is reduce peak power output and reduce gas mileage.
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Old 10-14-2010, 08:14 AM   #8
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I have used 91 all the time.

What is this fuel price drama? You guys buy 40k car, complain about few pennies and barely drive the car anyways...
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Old 10-14-2010, 08:36 AM   #9
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I dont understand why people use mid grade, its only 10 cents difference, you only save a $1.50 on a fill up.
Because I don't see a difference in performance or fuel economy, and I don't really care. I lease my cars and get new ones every 1-2 years, so I'm not worried about long term, if it even has an effect. The $$ is not the point. I just don't see a use for it. The only thing I do care about, if the brand. I only use Shell or Chevron.
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Old 10-14-2010, 09:16 AM   #10
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all modern vehicles have knock sensors that will pull timing to compensate for lower grade fuels. Running 87 will NOT ruin your engine. What it will do is reduce peak power output and reduce gas mileage.
You dont think that constant slight knocking and retardation of timing will hurt an engine over time? This cycle happens over and over again when using the low octane gas. At the very least, timing retartdation will create a incomplete burn cycle, this will cause carbon build up, especially in direct injection engines.
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Old 10-14-2010, 09:23 AM   #11
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You dont think that constant slight knocking and retardation of timing will hurt an engine over time? This cycle happens over and over again when using the low octane gas. At the very least, timing retartdation will create a incomplete burn cycle, this will cause carbon build up, especially in direct injection engines.

Our mid grade is 89 here, and I've never had any knocking, ever.
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Old 10-14-2010, 09:29 AM   #12
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Our mid grade is 89 here, and I've never had any knocking, ever.
Same here, its 89 for mid grade. 89 should be fine, you are not pulling your timing all the way back. Even with 87, you wouldnt hear any knocking. The knock sensor will pick it up and retard the timing before you hear or feel and knock. I know people who lease cars that require high octane and put 87 octane in. That is one of the reason I dont like to buy used cars coming off a lease.
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Old 10-14-2010, 02:09 PM   #13
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Because I don't see a difference in performance or fuel economy, and I don't really care. I lease my cars and get new ones every 1-2 years, so I'm not worried about long term, if it even has an effect. The $$ is not the point. I just don't see a use for it. The only thing I do care about, if the brand. I only use Shell or Chevron.
If you don't care about octane why care about the brand. It's all the same stuff anyways.

"What’s more, your local Chevron station may sell gas refined by Shell or Exxon Mobil. Suppliers share pipelines, so they all use the same fuel. And the difference between the most expensive brand-name gas and the lowliest gallon of no-brand fuel? Often just a quart of detergent added to an 8,000-gallon tanker truck."

http://www.smartmoney.com/spending/r...-19750/?page=3
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Old 10-14-2010, 05:30 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by hmn4858 View Post
If you don't care about octane why care about the brand. It's all the same stuff anyways.

"What’s more, your local Chevron station may sell gas refined by Shell or Exxon Mobil. Suppliers share pipelines, so they all use the same fuel. And the difference between the most expensive brand-name gas and the lowliest gallon of no-brand fuel? Often just a quart of detergent added to an 8,000-gallon tanker truck."

http://www.smartmoney.com/spending/r...-19750/?page=3
I've heard this as well. How to reconcile this then with Audi's recommendation of using specific retailers on toptiergas.com?
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Old 10-14-2010, 06:49 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by hmn4858 View Post
If you don't care about octane why care about the brand. It's all the same stuff anyways.

"What’s more, your local Chevron station may sell gas refined by Shell or Exxon Mobil. Suppliers share pipelines, so they all use the same fuel. And the difference between the most expensive brand-name gas and the lowliest gallon of no-brand fuel? Often just a quart of detergent added to an 8,000-gallon tanker truck."

http://www.smartmoney.com/spending/r...-19750/?page=3
Not exactly true. I have been to the tank farm where dozens of tanker trucks load each day. There are multiple zillion gallon tanks however the name brands each have their own tank and rack to load from. Then there is the "no name" brand tanks that all the rest of the trucks load from.
I personally stick with Shell brand gasoline 92 octane, with nitrogen!
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Old 10-15-2010, 05:09 AM   #16
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Not exactly true. I have been to the tank farm where dozens of tanker trucks load each day. There are multiple zillion gallon tanks however the name brands each have their own tank and rack to load from. Then there is the "no name" brand tanks that all the rest of the trucks load from.
I personally stick with Shell brand gasoline 92 octane, with nitrogen!
I spoke to a distributor for one of the Exxon gas stations in town once and they told me that only a certain percentage of the gas delivered to the station had to be branded Exxon.

The blurb was talking about the refined fuel could be from anyone one of oil companies not necessarily the end product. But then it pointed out there's not much difference between any of the end products either.
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Old 10-15-2010, 08:23 AM   #17
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If you don't care about octane why care about the brand. It's all the same stuff anyways.
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Because when you live where I live, you have to be careful that you're not going to some crap station that sells watered down crap gasoline and charge less to make people buy there. Trust me, it happens. I only go to top-tier highly rated gas stations. I've had bad gas before, and it's not a fun experience.
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Old 10-15-2010, 09:07 AM   #18
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Do you consider member-store gas stations "no names" like BJs, Sams, or cosco? I buy my gas at BJs and save some good money. Usually at least 10 cents cheaper.
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Old 10-15-2010, 10:15 AM   #19
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Do you consider member-store gas stations "no names" like BJs, Sams, or cosco? I buy my gas at BJs and save some good money. Usually at least 10 cents cheaper.
Here in Tulsa we have 3 gasoline refineries and a humongous tank farm and pipeline distribution head. We also have the headquarters of QuikTrip Corp., a top-tier rated convenience store gasoline retailer. QT guarantees their fuel. If someone fills up, has a fuel related problem such as water in the fuel and has their receipt, QT will pay for the tow and the resultant repair to the vehicle. Extremely rare! But it does happen, especially after torrential rains. Be aware that sometimes the fill caps on the underground storage tanks can have poor seals or be loose. If water gets up and over that riser pipe from flooding rains, it will get into the underground tank and go straight to the bottom where the sub pump will pick it up. Some retailers use a Hydrosorb filter that traps the water before it gets to the nozzle and virtually shuts off the flow of fuel. Most do not because they are expensive filters.
Much of the fuel is "generic" and the major oil companies dose their transports with their additive recipe while the fuel is loaded.....hence the branding of the fuel. It does make a difference, but it is usually impossible for you and me to tell the difference in the seat of our pants.
My advice is to stick with major brands and top-tier rated ones at that. Stay away from small C-store operations, especially when buying premium fuel. Not much turnover of the fuel in those locations and sediment, condensation, maybe no filtering at all.

Probably more info than you wanted to know, but it pays in the long run to buy the freshest and best fuel you can each and every time you fill up.
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Old 10-15-2010, 10:51 AM   #20
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Here is The List of The TOP TIER Gasoline Retailers:

76
Aloha Petroleum
Chevron
Chevron Canada
Conoco
CountryMark
Entec Stations
Esso
Exxon
Kwik Trip / Kwik
MFA Oil Co.
Mileage Stations
Mobil
U.S. Oil
Petro-Canada
Phillips 66
QuikTrip
Rebel Oil
Road Ranger
Severson Oil
Shell
Shell Canada
Sunoco Canada
The Somerset Refinery, Inc.
Tri-Par Oil Co.
Turkey Hill Minit Markets

The quality of gasoline in the US is pretty bad to start with. You would be doing your car a dis-service by using to a non-top tier gas. The prefer brand for Audi according to Audi USA and some Audi mechanics are Shell V-Power and Chervon.

Last edited by The G Man; 10-15-2010 at 10:56 AM.
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Old 10-15-2010, 10:51 AM
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