Engine flooding due to using 87regular gas

my new suv 3200mi would not start due to engine flooding per the service dept. they told me it was because i was not using 91 octane gas, is this possible??

What is the make of vehicle?
What is the engine type/displacement?
What does the Owner’s Manual say regarding gasoline?

While I very much doubt the accuracy of what you were told by the people at the service department, until you provide more details, it is difficult to answer the question properly.

I find it difficult to understand how octane would cause flooding, but I sure don’t know everything about every car.

So how about telling us more about your car: Make model year engine fuel requirements?

If the manufacturer does say it requires high test, why are you not using it? What else are you not doing that the owner’s manual specifies. It is generally poor economics to ignore the recommendations and specifications in the owner’s manual.

Yes…more info. Sounds bogus to me.

I’ve never heard of a vehicle flooding because of using regular instead of the recommended hightest…But then again…this is a new vehicle and they may have something new that I never heard about…which is very very possible.

Flooding from the use of too low an octane seems pretty unlikely. Lower octane rating means the fuel will flash and burn at a lower combustion chamber pressure and possibly cause pinging. The engines computer would interpret this and retard the timing until the pinging stopped.

Flooding would be caused by the total lack of ignition, meaning that the fuel wouldn’t burn at all.

These two scenarios seem at odds with each other.

I suspect you’ve confused two different things someone has told you.

Somebody put one and two together and got five, in their reasoning. Something like this: engines can flood and not start. This engine did not start. Therefore, this engine is flooded. // You might think of finding another dealer / shop. Stay with the manufacturer’s recommendation/requirement with 91 octane. In the long run, your pocketbook will thank you.

That is absolutely bogus and no doubt a service advisor told you this. Most service advisors have no clue when it comes to automotive problems.

Who determined the vehicle is actually flooding and what are the symptoms?

The way I understood it, flooding was a condition when there was an extremely rich fuel mixture which could not be ignited by the ignition system, and would result in wet (with fuel) spark plugs. The fuel bridges the plug gap, and there is no more spark. This was common in the old carburetor days. i don’t know how octane could possibly figure into it.

In modern fuel injected cars, I would suspect a leaky fuel injector or a bad sensor that causes the computer to erroneously call for a very rich mixture.

I was a service advisor at a dealership for many years. WE ALL LIE! We will tell you anything we need to if we can’t make money off of you. It was my job to quickly determine if this was a money maker or not. If not, get rid of them. Quickly. IT’S NOT THE FUEL.

Bull. Period.

Be sure you get everything wriiten in detail on every shop order that you bring the vehicle back on. Including such flimsy bull. Dig out the customer problem resolution information that came with your owner’s manual. Copy the bull on the shop order and file a formal complaint. You have a problem with the vehicle that they are responsible for correcting under warranty. They’re derelict in their responsibilities. Hold their feet to the fire.

In case they don’t get it fixed, the JD Powers website will lead you to your state’s “lemon law” process.

Sincere best.

the make of the vehicle is a 2007 range rover sport and the owners manual states that 91 is recommended but you can use 87 or greater but may compromise performance. it says nothing about damaging the engine or flooding. they said the car didnt start because the engine was flooded and i must use nothing less than 91. i got the car back and did not get charged.

Forgive them if they haven’t a clue. The air compressor failed and they have no way to get air into their heads.

They’re giving you the brush-off here, I hope you realize that. The octane rating of the gas has zero/zilch/nada/absolutely nothing to do with a flooding situation; IF that was even the problem.

Do NOT put faith into anything a service advisor says. The vast majority (90% IMHO) have little or no mechanical aptitude but they’re not going to stand in front of a customer and act clueless, so they babble the BS to cover up their ineptitude.

You may have a case under the Lemon Law but you MUST have paperwork to back it up. This means on this visit you MUST have a copy of the repair order spelling out the complaint and any action taken by them on this complaint.
Without that you’re dead in the water.

Again, your vehicle is not going to flood, ever, for one second due to octane. Period.
There are a few things that could occur that could lead one to THINK the vehicle was flooding but you have not spelled out the exact symptoms here as to what the vehicle was doing.

OK. Use whatever octane fuel you wish.

thanks for the response - the car had absolutely no symptoms prior to the day the car died. i pulled it out of the garage and it sat in the driveway for a couple hours. when i tried to restart it moaned, grunted and died and had to be towed away. the only other thing i noticed was on a cold morning the day prior when i started it the engine roared (and i did not have my foot on the accelerator). so you think the car is a lemon and this might happen again?

You need to define the moaned, grunted, and died part a bit better.
Do you mean the starter motor was struggling to physically crank the engine over? As in turning slow for a few revolutions and giving up?

Or do you mean the engine cranked over fine, did not start, coughed, and that was it? If this is the case, did you try starting it with the accelerator pedal depressed a bit before having it towed?

There’s a couple of theories here but I’m not clear on the moaning and grunting part of it.
I’m trying to decide if you have an Idle Air Valve problem here. A faulty IAC could cause a vehicle not to start if the accelerator pedal was not depressed and it could also cause the engine to rev like you mention.
An '07 is a bit young for an IAC problem but anything is possible. I’m not sold on the flooding diagnosis at this point and I will never be sold on that bit about fuel octane causing this. That diagnosis is asinine to put it mildly.

It amazes me that British vehicles can be marketed outside Great Britain.

Maybe the cars engine computer had adapted to warmer temperature, and the sudden change to cold weather threw things off a bit. It may correct itself once it re calibrates itself to the cold weather and possible to winter E10 gas. My old old Dodge Stratus get cranky like that for the first few cold days then seems to figure it out, and is fine there after.

Given the abysmal reliability record of Rover products, having a lemon is highly probable.