Do I REALLY need SUPER UNLEADED?


#1

I have a 99 Honda Prelude, which, before the recent spike in gasoline costs, I was happy to feed its ‘required’ hi-test fuel…HOWEVER! Now I am so very tempted every time I fuel up to go for the cheap stuff.

Would I DAMAGE the engine by using the cheaper gas, or would I just lose performance?



If I CAN use the cheap gas, what else should I feed this car to protect it from damage, or increase its lifespan?


#2

Are you sure premium is “required” for this car? I though all Hondas (except the S2000) ran on regular.

If your owner’s manual says “required,” then you should continue to use premium. If the manual says “recommended,” you can try a different grade of fuel and see what happens.


#3

This is something you could easilly find in the “search” function.

To briefly answer your question, if you owner’s manual says “premium required” you have to use premium or you’ll wreck your engine. If it says “premium recommended” you can use regular, but the engine will have to de-tune itself to run properly on it with the result of lowered performance and usually lower gas mileage. Typically the reduced mileage will eat up any savings from using the cheaper fuel, especially now since the price difference between premium and regular hasn’t changed as the overall cost of gas has gone up.


#4

Do some calculations,compare what you would be saving against even the slightest negative consequence,then decide.


#5

“If it says “premium recommended” you can use regular, but the engine will have to de-tune itself to run properly on it with the result of lowered performance and usually lower gas mileage.”

I can verify this from personal experience. My car, a 6-cylinder Outback, is one for which premium is “recommended” by the manufacturer. A few times, I have filled up with the mid-grade gas in order to save a few pennies, and the result each time has driven me back to the premium gas.

Yes, it will start, idle, and run very decently on mid-grade gas. However, the normally incredible acceleration of my car deteriorated to…good but not impressive…acceleration, and this was quite evident when merging into traffic on an Interstate highway. Also, my mpg on the mid-grade gas fell off by about 1.5 mpg each time that I used the lower-octane stuff.

For a few cents more, I will stay with the premium gas that was recommended. Being able to call up your engine’s full power for highway merging is a safety factor that I do not want to sacrifice, and that factor, coupled with lower mpg makes the mid-grade gas a poor bargain, IMHO. I really can’t imagine that I would be happy with the car’s performance if I really cheaped out and bought regular gas!