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what to expect with octane 93

Posted on 2011-02-25
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
i accidentally put the high grade gas, while regularly put regular without thinking.. can i expect the engine to perform better? it is a dodge caravan.
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Question by:anushahanna
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Amick earned 100 total points
ID: 34986106
The Caravan may perform better if the computer adjusts the performance parameters to take advantage of the extra octane, but it is doubtful such programming exists in this vehicle.  There is generally no advantage to higher-octane fuel than an engine is designed to use.
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ID: 34986250
There can be a disadvantage. The engine may suffer from pre-ignition (or pinking), as the difference in fuel needs to be offset by a change in the timing. It feels a little like a misfire and you can hear a sort of 'chattering' from the engine. Continuous pre-ignition can damage the bearings etc in the engine as you have pistons still compressing while the gas is exploding.
I wouldn't worry too much though, just add some normal fuel when you can to gradually dilute the high octane back to the normal level.
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by:Michael-Best
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ID: 34989163
"can i expect the engine to perform better?"
No and no disadvantage:
(except for the price of the gas)

RobinD: The engine may suffer from pre-ignition (or pinking)  
No way:

A higher octane rating means the fuel is less likely to cause your engine to knock or ping. Knock, also known as detonation, occurs when part of the fuel-air mixture in one or more of your car's cylinders ignites spontaneously due to compression, independent of the combustion initiated by the spark plug. (The ideal gas law tells us that a gas heats up when compressed.) Instead of a controlled burn, you get what amounts to an explosion--not a good thing for your engine. To avoid this, high-octane gas is formulated to burn slower than regular, making it less likely to ignite without benefit of spark.

Car engines nowadays contain knock sensors that detect detonation and automatically retard the spark to compensate.
 
An additional amount of( high octane gas ) less than half of what was in your tank (of regular gas ) will have no affect, so just top it up with the correct gas as soon as you can.

Further reading:
http://www.cartalk.com/content/features/premium/questions.html
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Apologies, I had that the wrong way round. Thanks for pointing that out Michael.
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by:Michael-Best
ID: 34989586
RobinD:
Apologies accepted, we all appreciate your iinput.
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by:David Brugge
David Brugge earned 100 total points
ID: 35004105
Just to dispel a persistent misunderstanding caused by gasoline advertising--higher octane gas does not have more power.

It burns at the same rate and gives the same energy as the same gas with a lower octane rating.

What the octane does, as Michael has explained, is keep the gas from igniting too early in high compression engines.

A high compression engine, running gas with too low of an octane level, will indeed fire prematurely, robbing the engine of power. Switching to a gas with more octane will let the engine run properly. To an advertising man, this means more power. However that's like saying a clean air filter adds more power to your engine. It doesn't add more power, it's just that a dirty filter takes away power and a clean one puts it back.
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by:Tiras25
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No, it won't run any differently.

However,  MPG may drop.
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by:dhsindy
dhsindy earned 100 total points
ID: 35038446
Just don't put diesel in it by mistake.

I was using 93 octane in my Ford Ranger when I first got it until, my son the trained/certified mechanic told me, "Your wasting your money."  That is one of the few times I listened to him and I went back to regular.
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by:anushahanna
ID: 35041500
quiet information - i will be careful next time. thank you.
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