93 Octane push by Shell & Exxon/Mobil

PhilF

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Have noticed lately at my local Shell dealer, as well as Exxon/Mobil, some rather aggressive advertising for their Premium fuel, indicating that it's better for your engine, causes less friction, higher mileage and, of course, cleaner. I guess conventional wisdom says that an engine set up to run on 87 would not run optimally on 93 as the computer is "looking" for 87 and would have to adjust when the burn rate of 93 is detected. I have some difficulties rationalizing all the above "magical" benefits as well as doing the math for higher mileage when the 93 is .60 cents more a gallon, which is a 20+% increase. IMHO, this is a FUD (fear, uncertainty & doubt) advertising program to sell a more profitable fuel by trying to convince you that its "better". If your engine is designed for and needs Premium, probably an excellent fuel, however all the benefits described won't make much, if any, difference in a regular gas engine, other than increasing your cost per mile. Toptier does make a difference in a DI/Turbo engine, but it's benefits are in all octane levels.



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Have noticed lately at my local Shell dealer, as well as Exxon/Mobil, some rather aggressive advertising for their Premium fuel, indicating that it's better for your engine, causes less friction, higher mileage and, of course, cleaner. I guess conventional wisdom says that an engine set up to run on 87 would not run optimally on 93 as the computer is "looking" for 87 and would have to adjust when the burn rate of 93 is detected. I have some difficulties rationalizing all the above "magical" benefits as well as doing the math for higher mileage when the 93 is .60 cents more a gallon, which is a 20+% increase. IMHO, this is a FUD (fear, uncertainty & doubt) advertising program to sell a more profitable fuel by trying to convince you that its "better". If your engine is designed for and needs Premium, probably an excellent fuel, however all the benefits described won't make much, if any, difference in a regular gas engine, other than increasing your cost per mile. Toptier does make a difference in a DI/Turbo engine, but it's benefits are in all octane levels.
I use 93. Can't hurt. Even if it doesn't do anything I don't mind since I have the Turbo. At best it will help and at worst it will make no difference.
 

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Shell answers this question:
Shell said:
Whether you believe or not that the additives in the Shell Premium gasoline actually provide these benefits, Shell actually adds some additional stuff only to their Premium (over what's required by Top Tier and what's in lower octane Shell blends). So, what they are saying is: if you do want these claimed benefits, you have to buy Premium, whether your car needs 93 octane or not.
 
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PhilF

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At .60 cents a gallon, with my 2 approx fillups of 6+ gallons a week, that's roughly $375.00 extra a year, that's a lot to spend for unverifiable benefits. If it makes you feel better, then go for it, but I can find better ways to spent it. In two years, that's the price of a good set of tires.
 

Gruber

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At .60 cents a gallon, with my 2 approx fillups of 6+ gallons a week, that's roughly $375.00 extra a year, that's a lot to spend for unverifiable benefits. If it makes you feel better, then go for it, but I can find better ways to spent it. In two years, that's the price of a good set of tires.
No, I don't think it's worth it with a NA engine which only calls for regular. I would rather use a pour-in-the -tank cleaner from time to time. I never buy premium for my 10-years old CR-V , maybe except for a periodical "Italian tune-up" and cleaning which I do sometimes on long freeway trips. (Scotty supports me on Italian tune-ups)

But...with a DI turbo engine..... Why a crossover like 2015 Audi Q3 2.0T TFSI requires premium? It's a "luxury subcompact SUV" of a Honda HR-V size, but half a ton :yes: heavier, (also much heavier than the CR-V ,:hmm: which has quite unremarkable power for 2.0T (197 hp) and not so great fuel economy. I guess it must be just inferior German engineering.... :dunno:

So buying 93 for a DI turbo which "recommends" premium, it's no brainer for me. For a bit more power, less knock at extreme conditions, and more cleaning. People often say that the detergents and solvents in the fuel won't help in preventing carbon buildup on the intake valves in a DI motor. Probably not with the Q3, but Honda allegedly did provide some sort of fuel side-spray trick. So, super clean gas might help just a bit with this, and this is not the only place that can get dirty.

 
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My 2019 Touring Coupe has a 1.5 DI Turbo which recommends 87 octane, however, in the interest of experimentation, I'll try a couple of tank fulls and see if I notice any difference in power/smoothness/mileage. Recognizing the "issues" inherent with small displacement DI Turbocharged engines, pre-ignition & carbon buildup, probably won't hurt anything, who knows. I'll post back in a while and let you know if I notice any difference, just FYI, I'll be using Shell only. I keep pretty accurate & complete mileage records, so I'll know.
 

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At .60 cents a gallon, with my 2 approx fillups of 6+ gallons a week, that's roughly $375.00 extra a year, that's a lot to spend for unverifiable benefits. If it makes you feel better, then go for it, but I can find better ways to spent it. In two years, that's the price of a good set of tires.
1- You understood by summarizing very well this advertisement
2- Unverifiable benefits like all advertising that promises us happiness.:lol:
 

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Shell answers this question:

Whether you believe or not that the additives in the Shell Premium gasoline actually provide these benefits, Shell actually adds some additional stuff only to their Premium (over what's required by Top Tier and what's in lower octane Shell blends). So, what they are saying is: if you do want these claimed benefits, you have to buy Premium, whether your car needs 93 octane or not.
:agree:

This and the environmental history and ratings are why I go with not the brands mentioned. Other brands use the same additive package on all octane ratings. If you fancy STP additives, Marathon uses that. I do not have Marathon where I live.
Some of the science behind the benefit claims on fuel brand additive packages isn't even applicable to our engines. Put as much petroleoum distillate in your fuel your heart desires, if you have poo on the back of your intake valves it makes no difference.
The same spit balling logic people duped into needlessly buying higher octane fuel (a stock non-*) end up parroting as a psychological compulsion to validate their lousy decision would be better applied to E15 fuel if you can get it. Charge cooling is physics and the equivalent octane rating is around 88, so you're "getting" more octane at less cost too. Proselytize something sensible at least.
Anyone feeling hurt where they sit... Answer me this: If unleaded race fuel were available at the pump and the price scaled along in nature to what 93 octane cost relative to 87 octane... You would buy it.
 
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PhilF

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Interesting perspective, small displacement DI/turbo engines, designed to meet higher mileage standards have come with their own unique set of problems, pre-ignition & valve deposits, problems just recently being addressed with fuel additives, octane computer tweaks and, next spring, a new GL5 oil standard. Create a problem, caused primarily by government requirements and then drop the whole mess in the servicing dealers & consumers laps. Addressing the issues post-manufacture is both inefficient and wasteful of resources. I had a Civic CRX 1.3 in the early 80's that was ULEV and got 65 mpg so it can be done. Gasoline is still the most effective & efficient fuel and can be used with proper respect for the environment, just please, fully develop the product before inflicting us with more paradoxical problems to solve.
 

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Interesting perspective, small displacement DI/turbo engines, designed to meet higher mileage standards have come with their own unique set of problems, pre-ignition & valve deposits, problems just recently being addressed with fuel additives, octane computer tweaks and, next spring, a new GL5 oil standard. Create a problem, caused primarily by government requirements and then drop the whole mess in the servicing dealers & consumers laps. Addressing the issues post-manufacture is both inefficient and wasteful of resources. I had a Civic CRX 1.3 in the early 80's that was ULEV and got 65 mpg so it can be done. Gasoline is still the most effective & efficient fuel and can be used with proper respect for the environment, just please, fully develop the product before inflicting us with more paradoxical problems to solve.
CRX HF was horrible up hills lol....but I still got 56 mpg after 320k. It was only 61 when new, but man was that nice.
 
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PhilF

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Mine was the pre HF 1.3, never noticed a problem on hills.
Just got to wondering while I'm waiting for my next fill-up, has anyone else who was running exclusively 87 changed to 93, specifically Shell? If so, what changes did you notice?
 

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Comparing the fuel economy of a 2000 lb vehicle with 60 HP to a 3000 lb vehicle w/ 200 HP is pretty disingenuous. Also, highway speed limits were 15-20 MPH lower back then which makes a huge difference. Take the 1.5T and slap it in a the CRX and cruising along at 55 MPH I guarantee you'd beat the fuel economy of that 1.3.
 
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PhilF

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Comparing the fuel economy of a 2000 lb vehicle with 60 HP to a 3000 lb vehicle w/ 200 HP is pretty disingenuous. Also, highway speed limits were 15-20 MPH lower back then which makes a huge difference. Take the 1.5T and slap it in a the CRX and cruising along at 55 MPH I guarantee you'd beat the fuel economy of that 1.3.
Not disingenuous, our CRX was fully loaded with 2 people (we and my wife) and a weeks worth of vacation gear, Harrisburg to Virginia Beach, ran 65 + most of the trip. Point I was making was that Honda had the technology and ability to make both emissions and mpg standards 30 + years ago, so what happened? Gasoline as a fuel can be used very efficiently, but now we've got electrics with no range, and hybrids that haul around heavy batteries AND an engine. The newer emissions standards and demand for higher horsepower are probably a major factor. Would have loved to have my 91 CRX Si with a 1.5t, would have been killer.
 

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Not disingenuous, our CRX was fully loaded with 2 people (we and my wife) and a weeks worth of vacation gear, Harrisburg to Virginia Beach, ran 65 + most of the trip. Point I was making was that Honda had the technology and ability to make both emissions and mpg standards 30 + years ago, so what happened? Gasoline as a fuel can be used very efficiently, but now we've got electrics with no range, and hybrids that haul around heavy batteries AND an engine. The newer emissions standards and demand for higher horsepower are probably a major factor. Would have loved to have my 91 CRX Si with a 1.5t, would have been killer.
You bet it's the tightening of the emission standards, which happens according to a schedule concocted by politicians and bureaucrats with no connection to reality. It turned out to be very hard to make the electric car cheap or practical, against their wishful thinking, not because of an evil conspiracy of the oilmen, but because of the lack of miracles in battery development. But it's always possible to make the ICE engines more expensive and less reliable, which will bring the same effect.

The cars of the 80's/90's with the best gas mileage, like the Hondas, were running combustion lean and hot, which is the most efficient way to run an ICE. To stop this nonsense, the NOx emissions standards were soon tightened, making it no longer possible. This brought upon us the thinner oil, the introduction of the gas turbos to the mainstream cars, the push for CVTs, DI, and other Ecos and Earth Dreams. Some people have been very angry at the persistently low prices of fossil fuels, which in their sick minds are responsible for no progress in such things of beauty as windmills and electric cars. But against their constant prophecies of the looming end of oil, for the last 40+ years the oil just doesn't want to get expensive any time soon.

Here's one of these false prophetic books, published in 2004 about the perilous new world "when the wells run dry".

https://www.amazon.com/End-Oil-Edge-Perilous-World/dp/0618239774
 
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Ok, short-term update, switched to the "New" Shell 93, now on 3rd fill-up (should be pretty much all 93 by now)
Observations so far: slight measured mpg increase, maybe 1-2 mpg. Engine seems to accelerate more smoothly with less hesitation, seems a bit quieter at idle, overall difference is, at best, subtle. Will run two more fill-ups and calculate mileage. Not seeing any magic or mystical differences yet.
 

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