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CONSUMER REPORTS: Premium Gas not needed for Acura TLX 4 cylinder

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CONSUMER REPORTS: Premium Gas not needed for Acura TLX 4 cylinder

 
Old 05-26-2016, 11:59 PM
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CONSUMER REPORTS: Premium Gas not needed for Acura TLX 4 cylinder

LINK->Why You Might Not Actually Need Premium Gas
To find out whether using regular gas in a vehicle that recommends premium gas had any effect on fuel economy or acceleration, we evaluated two models: the 2015 Acura TLX four-cylinder and the 2016 Nissan Maxima V6.

Both sedans achieved the same fuel economy when tested with regular fuel as with premium. During this testing, the cars felt and sounded the same; we did not experience any engine pinging or knocking noise in either car when using regular fuel.

The owner's manuals indicate that you might notice a decrease in performance when running on regular, but our test results say otherwise. The 0-60 mph acceleration times were identical in the TLX and Maxima on regular and premium gas.

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Old 05-27-2016, 06:25 AM
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Consumer Reports is full of crap on a good day IMO...

Regarding their study, I doubt that they are testing these cars long term with regular vs premium - Their study was on one specific TLX i4 and one specific Maxima over the course of one tank. Statistically a horrible sample. Maybe there are no immediate effects that can be measured with one tank, but if someone uses a car for 5 years running regular when premium is recommended, would it be the same story? I'd personally say there will be a difference. Lower quality octane gas can lead to fuel injectors and fuel components with more gunk and crap in them over a long period of time.

CR just seems to be throwing out a controversial story to get readers IMO.

Also - Is that a clear/chrome accented tail light I'm seeing on the TLX?!
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Old 05-27-2016, 07:45 AM
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I agree with the assessment of how poorly CR obtained their results. How can 1 tankful tell you anything when the manuals and representatives state "long term" potential effects?

I know the debate about regular vs. mid-grade vs. premium has been discussed on this forum already, but at least in that thread there was some intelligent debate about the merits of each.

I said before in that thread and I'll re-state it now here. I don't know if it would matter using regular but why take the chance. I still feel using premium gasoline will be better "long term" on my car's engine.
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Old 05-27-2016, 07:47 AM
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Hmmm... I'll just stick to the manufacturer recommended fuel.
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Old 05-27-2016, 08:19 AM
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I've always felt max performance requires the higher octane levels. That could be regular driving habits (merging into traffic, mountains, heavy loads, etc...) or emergency situations (extreme weather, need max mpgs, saving you $$ from engine wear/tear). I always used 91 octane because I don't want to find out in an emergency if 87 octane fails me at its limits.

Never made sense to me for someone to purchase a expensive performance machine just to cheap out and put 86/87 octane gas? It is like buying a 70 inch HD TV just to watch standard definition TV shows only?
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Old 05-27-2016, 08:33 AM
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try it. you'll feel the engine rumble from lack of octane as well as the drop in mpg seeing possibly a drop of miles for your dollar.

with gas prices as they are you'd rather pinch pennies than get the most out of your 35k car?

Originally Posted by niray9 View Post
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Old 05-27-2016, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by CTNYC View Post
Consumer Reports is full of crap on a good day IMO...

Regarding their study, I doubt that they are testing these cars long term with regular vs premium - Their study was on one specific TLX i4 and one specific Maxima over the course of one tank. Statistically a horrible sample. Maybe there are no immediate effects that can be measured with one tank, but if someone uses a car for 5 years running regular when premium is recommended, would it be the same story? I'd personally say there will be a difference. Lower quality octane gas can lead to fuel injectors and fuel components with more gunk and crap in them over a long period of time.

CR just seems to be throwing out a controversial story to get readers IMO.
FYI, The following is also in the story:

Wondering about the long-term effects of switching to regular fuel? Here's what we know: In conversations with manufacturers, never was there a connection made with using premium fuel for reliability reasons. The manufacturers only talk about higher octane in terms of performance.

What's more, in the Acura owner's manual, Acura only recommends using "top-tier detergent gasoline"—which can be of any octane grade, regular or premium—for performance and reliability reasons. But there is nothing in the manual that equates premium gas with improved reliability.
Anyways, everyone can do their due diligence.

Last edited by niray9; 05-27-2016 at 10:46 AM.
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Old 05-27-2016, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by mrgold35 View Post
I've always felt max performance requires the higher octane levels. That could be regular driving habits (merging into traffic, mountains, heavy loads, etc...) or emergency situations (extreme weather, need max mpgs, saving you $$ from engine wear/tear). I always used 91 octane because I don't want to find out in an emergency if 87 octane fails me at its limits.

Never made sense to me for someone to purchase a expensive performance machine just to cheap out and put 86/87 octane gas? It is like buying a 70 inch HD TV just to watch standard definition TV shows only?
I have never run regular on my Acura. But I'll try it over the next few tanks to check it out.
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Old 05-27-2016, 11:12 AM
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Well I looked in the TLX Owner's Manual and this was all I found....



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Old 05-27-2016, 11:14 AM
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... and for the V6:


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Old 05-27-2016, 11:15 AM
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But why would you follow the owner's manual...
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Old 05-27-2016, 11:27 AM
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From the manual
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Old 05-27-2016, 11:38 AM
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One thing to be aware of is the refiners not putting a full additive package in the 87 to make the low price.

Places like COSTCO run the full package in their regular but you should ask at the station.

Personally to me what you might save is not worth it.
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Old 05-27-2016, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by niray9 View Post
From the manual
why would you highlight the "recommended" part but not the


"can lead to engine damage"
selective reading much?


at the end of the day, it's your car. Do what you want to it, just don't try and convince others to do the same.

This isn't a new discovery and has been overanalyzed and discussed multiple times in multiple subforums of AZ:

https://www.google.com/search?q=site...hrome&ie=UTF-8
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Old 05-27-2016, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by thoiboi View Post
why would you highlight the "recommended" part but not the


"can lead to engine damage"
selective reading much?


at the end of the day, it's your car. Do what you want to it, just don't try and convince others to do the same.

This isn't a new discovery and has been overanalyzed and discussed multiple times in multiple subforums of AZ:

https://www.google.com/search?q=site...hrome&ie=UTF-8


because it says using gasoline BELOW 87 octane can lead to engine damage... it does not say using 87 will do that.


Honestly, I think Acura only says to use premium to help distinguish itself from Honda. I just buy premium because I like the taste better than regular. Plus, those few additional octane points really help with the buzz I'm always chasing after.
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Old 05-27-2016, 11:50 AM
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Their experience reflects mine with my TLX V6.

After having played with both fuel, I now always put regular in it.

This is the very same powerplant as in a 2016 Pilot and regular is recommended. Only a 10HP sacrifice at peak power, no big deal.

I was worried because regular presumably contains more ethanol, but I can't see a difference in fuel economy. Regular is 13% cheaper here.
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Old 05-27-2016, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by thoiboi View Post
why would you highlight the "recommended" part but not the


"can lead to engine damage"
selective reading much?


at the end of the day, it's your car. Do what you want to it, just don't try and convince others to do the same.

This isn't a new discovery and has been overanalyzed and discussed multiple times in multiple subforums of AZ:

https://www.google.com/search?q=site...hrome&ie=UTF-8
Too much personal focus <highlighted in quote above in bold>

Recommended is highlighted because I searched through the manual for the Keyword "recommended".

I don't know about selective reading but properly reading a complete sentence/document is most important.

Your name ends with "boi", How old are you?

Have a nice day.

Last edited by niray9; 05-27-2016 at 11:58 AM.
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Old 05-27-2016, 12:49 PM
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I always fill up from Costco.

Here's from Costco webpage:

Since 1995, all gasoline sold in the U.S. must include an EPA-approved deposit control additive. Commonly called detergents, all Costco gas has always contained these additives. Costco gas stations are well maintained and our fuel has always been 100% guaranteed.

Many of the latest model vehicles perform better using fuel that contains more than the minimum EPA detergent requirement. In fact, several automobile manufacturers recommend the use of TOP TIER™ gasoline to maintain optimal performance.
As our valued member, you expect Costco to always offer the finest quality products at the best possible price. Gasoline is no exception. Costco has closely studied fuel additives and engine deposits, and conducted extensive engine tests at nationally-recognized laboratories. As a result, we decided to increase the detergent additives in our fuel to provide a better value to our members. As of March 2014 Costco is listed as a TOP TIER™ gasoline retailer. Find out more at Retailers.
Kirkland Signature™ Gasoline contains five times the EPA detergent requirement in both regular unleaded and premium grades. Kirkland Signature™ Gasoline helps remove any existing deposits and keeps your engine clean.
Don't own Costco stocks , if anyone so suspects.

Link -> Kirkland Signature? Gasoline
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Old 05-27-2016, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by niray9 View Post
Too much personal focus <highlighted in quote above in bold>

Recommended is highlighted because I searched through the manual for the Keyword "recommended".

I don't know about selective reading but properly reading a complete sentence/document is most important.

Your name ends with "boi", How old are you?

Have a nice day.
Honestly the last part was completely unnecessary. Let's play nice folks, it a forum and your subject is polarizing.
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Old 05-27-2016, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by CybrRdr View Post
Honestly the last part was completely unnecessary.
I agree. However, here's another quote.

Originally Posted by thoiboi View Post
But why would you follow the owner's manual...
Originally Posted by CybrRdr View Post
Let's play nice folks, it a forum and your subject is polarizing.
The subject might be polarizing to some so, let's stick to the subject.
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Old 05-27-2016, 03:44 PM
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The dealer told me directly that I did not have to use premium. I did not use it on my TSX +2 years and my TLX. No issues.
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Old 05-27-2016, 03:46 PM
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We're really not talking about a lot of money here to get premium. Let's do the math...

Let's assume you drive 12,000 miles/year on average, and get the EPA number of 25 miles per gallon combined average, and the difference between regular (87 octane) and premium (91-93 octane) is $0.20 which is the difference in my area.

Using those assumptions we get the following:

12,000 miles/25 mpg=480 gallons

480 gallons/year * $0.20/gallon = $96/year

For me, the risk isn't worth the roughly $100/year. Of course, if you drive more or fewer miles or the difference in price is greater or less than $0.20/gal, or you achieve better or worse gas mileage, then YMMV (no pun intended). 🙂
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Old 05-27-2016, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by CTNYC View Post
Consumer Reports is full of crap on a good day IMO...

Regarding their study, I doubt that they are testing these cars long term with regular vs premium - Their study was on one specific TLX i4 and one specific Maxima over the course of one tank. Statistically a horrible sample. Maybe there are no immediate effects that can be measured with one tank, but if someone uses a car for 5 years running regular when premium is recommended, would it be the same story? I'd personally say there will be a difference. Lower quality octane gas can lead to fuel injectors and fuel components with more gunk and crap in them over a long period of time.

CR just seems to be throwing out a controversial story to get readers IMO.

Also - Is that a clear/chrome accented tail light I'm seeing on the TLX?!
Not to be rude, but I will take their opinion over yours or anyone else saying CR is BS. In this particular case, having run regular gas in 2 acuras and a performance car that required premium I agree 100% with their assessment. I have never had an issue.

Perhaps what's really needed is your definition of performance. I bet your definition only applies to 1% of the driving public.

On my TLX I get 28 combined with mostly local driving. On the highway as high as 35 and thats from 30 mile trips.
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Old 05-27-2016, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by neil0311 View Post
We're really not talking about a lot of money here to get premium. Let's do the math...

Let's assume you drive 12,000 miles/year on average, and get the EPA number of 25 miles per gallon combined average, and the difference between regular (87 octane) and premium (91-93 octane) is $0.20 which is the difference in my area.

Using those assumptions we get the following:

12,000 miles/25 mpg=480 gallons

480 gallons/year * $0.20/gallon = $96/year

For me, the risk isn't worth the roughly $100/year. Of course, if you drive more or fewer miles or the difference in price is greater or less than $0.20/gal, or you achieve better or worse gas mileage, then YMMV (no pun intended). ��
For my area the difference is minimally 30 cents. And what did you get for the extra $99.....nothing. Seriously, what did you achieve. What do you think is going to go wrong with your engine?
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Old 05-27-2016, 04:01 PM
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The point I was making is that the CR article is not accurate at all. The Acura TLX Owners Manual does not say 87 octane is okay and does specifically say to use 91 or higher octane.

The bottom line is you are free to do whatever you want to your car. If you feel regular is fine... Then good for you. However it is not the recommended fuel as per your owners manual.

Btw, my brother in law has always used reg unleaded in his TL. I don't approve but its his poor TL.
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Old 05-27-2016, 04:01 PM
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Wow, fascinating article. 2012 TSX Wagon here, and this is counter to my experience. Running 87 instead of 93, I lose about 1-2 mpg. My butt-dyno isn't sensitive enough to detect differences in HP though.

The TLX, however, has an 8 speed automated manual. I'm wondering if it is good and smart enough to make the car fuel efficient regardless of octane, and also provide power for acceleration when needed. Note that CR used 0 to 60 times to determine acceleration "power." They did not put the car on a dyno to measure bHP.

The Nissan Maxima V6 has a CVT (infinite gears) which might also be negating the effects of 87 octane vs 93 octane.

My TSX Wagon has the traditional Honda 5 speed automatic. The spacing between gears would make the difference between 87 and 93 noticeable. In addition, new models probably have lower coefficient of drag, lower internal engine friction, runs cooler (more efficient), and uses lighter yet stronger materials. Driving normally, octane matters less to these vehicles. Driving on a racetrack, octane will matter (among other things).
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Old 05-27-2016, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by EricInMaryland View Post
For my area the difference is minimally 30 cents. And what did you get for the extra $99.....nothing. Seriously, what did you achieve. What do you think is going to go wrong with your engine?
I don't think anything is going to go "wrong" with my engine, other than knocking, pinging, and decreased performance. I have a SH-AWD V6, so not sure what CR tested besides the 4 cyl.

Why do you think high compression engines come from the factory with either a requirement or recommendation for premium fuel? Do you think the mfg thinks it sounds cool or that more people will buy the car if they recommend higher priced fuel?

$100 a year (and for me it's probably lower) is a drop in the bucket. Maybe it's wasted and maybe it's not, but if I use premium I never have to be concerned.
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Old 05-27-2016, 05:55 PM
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I would never use regular gas. I use nothing but the best
They can save that regular gas for regular cars.
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Old 05-27-2016, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Rae Rad View Post
I would never use regular gas. I use nothing but the best
They can save that regular gas for regular cars.
Your sarcasm is misplaced, at least on me. If I gave a rat's ass about status, I wouldn't be driving an Acura TLX. I'd be the first to put regular in the tank if that's what the mfg recommended, but it's not.

Acura could make a selling point of the car running on 87 octane, but they don't. There's a reason.
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Old 05-27-2016, 08:09 PM
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Follow what the mfg recommends. It's pretty simple.

Detonation and timing pulled is not worth it.

Last edited by ggesq; 05-27-2016 at 08:14 PM.
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Old 05-27-2016, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by ggesq View Post
Follow what the mfg recommends. It's pretty simple.

Detonation and timing pulled is not worth it.
Not for an average of $2/week. If you can't afford to put gas in the car, then don't buy a car that uses premium fuel.
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Old 05-27-2016, 08:23 PM
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If you can afford an Acura you should be able to afford the gas, don't cheap out.
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Old 05-27-2016, 08:37 PM
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Again the Pilot 2016 with the same powertrain runs on regular (280HP), while the TLX V6/MDX requires premium (290HP) if you are really, really interested by that 10HP at 5500rpm+.

Premium is waste of money if the engine tolerates it on everyday use and you are not on a racetrack. Not interested in the little religion.
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Old 05-27-2016, 09:02 PM
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I'm guessing the 2016 Pilot is tuned differently than the TLX despite same compression ratios.

If you're mostly doing highway driving, using 87 won't cause much detonation, retarded timing. If you're doing more city driving, you can bet the TLX will pull timing to adjust.

The engine will pull enough timing to try to keep knock at a minimum, but it's not just a performance issue, you're throwing unburnt fuel down the pipes.

Many of you could be losing mileage in the long run. The unburnt fuel is damaging the monoliths in your catalytic converters and could be fouling your oxygen sensor.

Last edited by ggesq; 05-27-2016 at 09:10 PM.
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Old 05-27-2016, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by EricInMaryland View Post
Not to be rude, but I will take their opinion over yours or anyone else saying CR is BS. In this particular case, having run regular gas in 2 acuras and a performance car that required premium I agree 100% with their assessment. I have never had an issue.

Perhaps what's really needed is your definition of performance. I bet your definition only applies to 1% of the driving public.

On my TLX I get 28 combined with mostly local driving. On the highway as high as 35 and thats from 30 mile trips.
Oh - no offense taken - Everyone is entitled to his/her own opinion/thoughts. I personally found that long term, TL's that use regular had a rough idle/didn't accelerate smoothly as ones that only used octane 93 gas (Cars with ~100k miles on them) Did anything fail? no, but I also used to easily drive 40k to 60k miles a year, a good chunk of them relatively hard miles in DC and NYC, so I personally would rather spend more on whatever Acura recommends to have my car run smoother (at least in my head).

Also - To the others saying premium is only 20 or 30 cents higher than regular, I envy you.. Around me, it is common for premium to be 60 cents to 90 cents higher than regular Premium is currently around $3.09/gal around me... But as cheap as $2.39 for premium in the suburbs But then I'd need to go to the suburbs
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Old 05-28-2016, 01:35 AM
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My fathers 09 TL he bought new he only puts in 87, hes closing 100K and never had any problems.

Me, I ONLY put 91 in my car, I actually fill it up before loaning it to him so he doesnt accidently put 87 in it. Maybe for 100K-150K miles putting 87 in is fine, but I wanna keep mine till 200+ as long as the electronics dont fail on me first
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Old 05-28-2016, 05:42 AM
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Originally Posted by ggesq View Post
I'm guessing the 2016 Pilot is tuned differently than the TLX despite same compression ratios.

If you're mostly doing highway driving, using 87 won't cause much detonation, retarded timing. If you're doing more city driving, you can bet the TLX will pull timing to adjust.

The engine will pull enough timing to try to keep knock at a minimum, but it's not just a performance issue, you're throwing unburnt fuel down the pipes.

Many of you could be losing mileage in the long run. The unburnt fuel is damaging the monoliths in your catalytic converters and could be fouling your oxygen sensor.
The 87 guys have been trying to justify its use in every web site with performance tuned engines from the factory. Seems like its a point of honor with the smartest people in the room.

When they pull out to pass under load & the engine starts ringing like a bell, despite the ECU pulling timing, its the cars fault not theirs.

Let them be happy saving $100 a year to prove a point & I will be happy with a car that can run up to the potential I paid for.
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Old 05-28-2016, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by ggesq View Post
I'm guessing the 2016 Pilot is tuned differently than the TLX despite same compression ratios.
Pilot 280HP TLX 290HP. They don't even need to be tuned differently; 3% can be attributed to the use of different fuel.

Many of you could be losing mileage in the long run. The unburnt fuel is damaging the monoliths in your catalytic converters and could be fouling your oxygen sensor.
unburnt fuel means high fuel consumption: not the case. That's a far stretch, unsupported.
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niray9 (05-30-2016)
Old 05-28-2016, 07:36 AM
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WHY?!?! Why do people spend some much energy trying to discuss something that amounts to a few dollars a month?!?

Can we not be discussing more relevant and meaningful topics....

Here are the options:

1. Put regular and drive it
2. Put supreme and drive it

END OF STORY!
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5 Acuras (05-28-2016), mapleloaf (05-28-2016)
Old 05-28-2016, 10:11 AM
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There is a third option, if you are unsure about the mechanical science, and want to save a few bucks here and there - Alternate fills.
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