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POLL What octane gas is everyone using?

Help, Advice and DIY Tutorials on Volvo's extremely popular car line -- Volvo's 1990s "bread and butter" cars -- powered by the ubiquitous and durable Volvo inline 5-cylinder engine.

1992 - 1997 850, 850 R, 850 T5-R, 850 T5, 850 GLT
1997 - 2000 S70, S70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70, V70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70-XC
1997 - 2004 C70

What octane gas are you using? (US... vs. RON)

<= 84. If you're outside US/Canada -> 88 RON NON-US
0
No votes
85. If you're outside US/Canada -> 89 RON NON-US
0
No votes
86. If you're outside US/Canada -> 90 RON NON-US
0
No votes
87. If you're outside US/Canada -> 91 RON NON-US
7
23%
88. If you're outside US/Canada -> 92 RON NON-US
0
No votes
89. If you're outside US/Canada -> 93 RON NON-US
2
6%
90. If you're outside US/Canada -> 94 RON NON-US
1
3%
91. If you're outside US/Canada -> 95 RON NON-US
10
32%
92. If you're outside US/Canada -> 97 RON NON-US
1
3%
93. If you're outside US/Canada -> 98 RON NON-US
10
32%
94. If you're outside US/Canada -> 99 RON NON-US
0
No votes
=> 95. If you're outside US/Canada -> 100+ RON NON-US
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 31

Cookeh
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Re: POLL What octane gas is everyone using?

Post by Cookeh » Wed Jul 03, 2019 5:38 am

Swedish prices are generally very unrepresentative of costs throughout the rest of Europe though. It is really rather irritating going to Sweden to visit my partners parents and paying 40% more for the exact thing I bought just before flying out (water, food/beverages - its actually more like 60-70% more for alcoholic beverages - clothing, public transport, fuel, etc).

A full 15 gallons in the UK runs me around $90. A standard fill up for me is normally $75 dollars, using 95 oct. Add another $8 for 98/99 oct. The difference in price per tank (UK V US) is surprisingly low in my opinion, especially given $2.5 per US gallon here is pure tax.

I'm also shocked at the low octane rating and general poor quality of fuel in the US. It is rather interesting to note that the minimum for a turbo in the EU is 95 oct but only 91 in the US. I wonder if that impacts engine performance or longevity when comparing the two markets.



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Re: POLL What octane gas is everyone using?

Post by MoVolvos » Wed Jul 03, 2019 4:19 pm

-
Anything other than Supreme can be felt in the performance (start up, smoother and quieter accelerations). In CA it was Chevron and Costco. You can feel the difference even with Costco vs Chevron with Chevron being the better gas. In NC the Super or Supreme is 93 OCT and Costco being the cheapest. Rarely use other brand unless a trip to Costco is not in the shopping schedule.


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Re: POLL What octane gas is everyone using?

Post by matthew1 » Wed Jul 03, 2019 5:08 pm

I see votes for 95+ ... are any of you voting for non-US 95+? Because that's a different system, with higher numerical values than ours.

'97 octane “super unleaded” in Britain is roughly equivalent to 91 octane premium in the United States'


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Eddystone

Re: POLL What octane gas is everyone using?

Post by Eddystone » Wed Jul 03, 2019 5:17 pm

I suspect we are talking about more than one standard for octane, here.

If you want to buy something called "98 octane" in the USA, you're buying aviation or racing fuel. Where I live on the east coast of the USA, the highest octane I have ever seen sold is "94 octane" Sunoco.

I recently asked this question online, and another member responded offline saying that the most important factor in everyday use of the cars is what additives have been added and whether there is sufficient detergent additive to keep your valves clean. There is a marketing tool that licenses certain fuels as "Top Tier" gasolines in the USA. I suspect that suppliers who use this marketing label must pay a small royalty to use it. There are other "non-certified" gasolines that contain the same or more detergents than the "Top Tier" gasolines.

So, for my cars...

1. I buy into the high detergent philosophy and only buy gas that is high detergent. It is no more expensive.
2. I have recently switched from 87 octane (USA) to higher octanes despite the higher prices.

I have a non-turbo 98 V70 and a 99 S70 T5 with higher pressure turbo. I have never noticed ANY knocking or pinging with either car regardless of the load even with 87 USA octane. I have been putting 91 into the non-turbo for around town and 93 for long trips with mountain to climb. The non-turbo works pretty hard sometimes, and I like to give it a bit of an edge. I think it runs a little better on the higher octane and does seem to deliver slightly higher mileage.

On the 99 T5, I typically put in 91 or 93 USA just because the car has so much more zip and I drive it differently. It does seem to run better on the higher octane. It's both smoother and more powerful. Just enough to feel it.

I think the cars do get slightly better fuel economy on the higher octane gasolines, but I doubt that increase in mileage would offset the extra cost of the higher octane fuel.

So, I would advocate for and recommend the use of high detergent gasoline at all times. I would say that I don't really believe that stock engines need more than 87 USA octane to operate reliably and without damage, so go up in octane as your budget allows mainly for the fun value knowing that you may be spoiling your Volvo (as in spoiling a child).

If you've been playing around with turbo pressures and compression ratios, you're on your own. The turbo pressure of the "R" cars is even higher than what I have in my "T5" and I might feed one of those a steady diet of "Hi-Test" (as we used to call it back in the day).
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1998 V70 Non-Turbo/Auto
1993 945 Turbo/Auto
1999 S70 T5 Turbo/Auto
All U.S. market models.
All on the road and running.
PM me if you are near Philadelphia.
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Re: POLL What octane gas is everyone using?

Post by June » Wed Jul 03, 2019 7:04 pm

matthew1 wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 5:08 pm
I see votes for 95+ ... are any of you voting for non-US 95+? Because that's a different system, with higher numerical values than ours.

'97 octane “super unleaded” in Britain is roughly equivalent to 91 octane premium in the United States'
Matt it's worth noting when my S80 was in it's first few years of life I ran soly Shell 95 octane in sunny South Florida. I have not seen a Shell with it in years. My car loved it.

Here in North Florida Sunoco has some stations with even higher octane than 95 pump gas available, but its it's really expensive. I'll investigate the actual octane number next time I drive by the Sunoco. June
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1989 740 GLT ordered
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Re: POLL What octane gas is everyone using?

Post by matthew1 » Wed Jul 03, 2019 7:12 pm

Thanks June. I’d love to know more.
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June


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Re: POLL What octane gas is everyone using?

Post by June » Wed Jul 03, 2019 7:43 pm

matthew1 wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 7:12 pm
Thanks June. I’d love to know more.
The pump says 260GT 100 octane fuel. Sunoco brand at 8210 Beach boulevard location. One pump of course! The price is quite high. June
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My Volvo cars owned
1989 740 GLT ordered
1994 850 4door standard shift ordered
1996 960 ordered
1998 S90 ordered totalled after 3 weeks
1998 V70 GT dealer stock car
2002 S80 T6 ordered totalled
2004 S80 T6 dealer stock car and current car owned

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Re: POLL What octane gas is everyone using?

Post by abscate » Thu Jul 04, 2019 3:33 am

A smile on your face is priceless, though.


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Eddystone

Re: POLL What octane gas is everyone using?

Post by Eddystone » Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:28 am

American fuel vs European fuel – Fuel quality on both sides of the Atlantic explained

“Fuel in the US is really bad compared to Europe and the rest of the world” – is a very untrue statement. Fuel in the United States is as good as anywhere else in the world. What changes is how Americans describe their fuels in terms of quality – octane number. They use a different system so their numbers do not translate well into the octane numbers that the rest of the world uses.

How is fuel quality measured and rated

Gasoline quality is measured experimentally but using different tests. Depending on the test that is done to control fuel quality, we get

Research Octane Number (RON) , used in Europe and most of the world
Motor Octane Number (MON)

Because two different tests define RON and MON, with MON testing done under more difficult conditions, MON number is always lower than RON.

Europe vs the States

In Europe, gas stations describe different types of gasoline based on their RON rating. It is typical to have 100, 99, 98, 97 or 95 RON with prices varying accordingly. In the States the descriptions look a lot like RON, but they are not.

Pump gas

In the United States gas stations describe the types of gasoline based on the Pump Octane Number (PON). That number is the average between RON and MON. This causes many problems.

If a fuel is 98 RON then it will be 93 PON -> 93 PUMP
If a fuel is 95 RON and 87 MON then it will be 91 PON -> 91 PUMP

Is American fuel quality bad after all?

No, not at all. Contrary to popular belief, fuel quality in the States is as good as anywhere else in Europe. Most Americans think that because they are running 91 octane fuel, their engine will blow up. It is the same as if they were using European 95oct fuel.

In our website you will find RON ratings required for each remap stage.
98/100 RON means you will need to use 93 PON in the States.

95 RON means you can use 91 PON in the States.

Everywhere else in the world, 98 RON and 95 RON gasoline usually are fit.Anything lower then that and your modern engine will have a lot of trouble adjusting, even on the stock calibration.


1998 V70 Non-Turbo/Auto
1993 945 Turbo/Auto
1999 S70 T5 Turbo/Auto
All U.S. market models.
All on the road and running.
PM me if you are near Philadelphia.
;-)

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Re: POLL What octane gas is everyone using?

Post by Eddystone » Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:35 am

USA gas octane ratings versus Europe & Japan (RON vs AKI)

If you've ever wondered what octane your JDM engine required, or what octane that JDM ecu, stock or chipped, requires, this will solve that question once and for all. I made this a couple years ago with info from multiple sites scattered across the internet. And if you didn't know the differences in the octane, well now you do

In Europe 98-octane gasoline is common and in Japan even 100-octane is readily available at the pumps, but this octane nomenclature is misleading to Americans as foreign octane ratings are derived entirely differently from our own... So, like every other measurement system it seems that everyone else uses a different scale than we do, but unlike most other instances where we have had the good sense to create different units of measure in this case we all use the same name...

Japan and Europe use a system called RON or Research Octane Number to determine the octane rating of their gasoline, while stateside we use a system called AKI or Anti-Knock Index to determine gasoline's octane rating... Interestingly, to further complicate things it would seem that our own AKI system is actually derived from the average of the RON system and another more complicated system referred to as MON or Motor Octane Number... So, to recap our methodologies for measuring gasoline's octane rating are different, but share some common elements...

So, with the commonality of RON in mind a good rule of thumb is as follows, multiply the foreign RON Octane rating by 0.95 and you will have the US AKI equivalent.

( RON Octane Rating x 0.95 = AKI Octane Rating )
98 RON Octane x 0.95 = 93.1 AKI Octane
100 RON Octane x 0.95 = 95 AKI Octane

So, as you can see the 93 octane fuel we are all paying an arm and a leg for is actually quite comparable to the higher octane fuels found in Europe and Japan. The people who have to worry about low octane rating are our friends out west in places like California that are subjected to substandard 91 octane.
91 AKI Octane (USA) = 95.5 RON Octane (Europe/Japan)

Image


1998 V70 Non-Turbo/Auto
1993 945 Turbo/Auto
1999 S70 T5 Turbo/Auto
All U.S. market models.
All on the road and running.
PM me if you are near Philadelphia.
;-)

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