Octane boost additives

My wife’s car (2006 Nissan Maxima)recommends premium fuel and my car requires premium (2005 BMW X3). Question, how much does “Zecol Octane Treatment” add to 87 level gas? The container doesn’t say, it only says “octane treatment”. It is recommended for 20 gallons of fuel and with the increasing prices of premium fuel relative to regular fuel the additive seems like a better solution (less costper tank).

I hear a little bird singing, “Cheap, cheap, cheap.”

You own two vehicles that require or recommend the use of premium fuel but you don’t want to pay for it. Living above your means, perhaps? Hey, you’re not alone.

Here’s a hint; if the container doesn’t say how much the product increases the octane of regular gas the increase is ZERO. It doesn’t say “octane booster,” it says “octane treatment,” whatever that means. You’re wasting your money on this product.

If I owned a BMW I would feed it nothing but premium gasoline, regardless of cost. Anything else is asking for trouble.

Cheap, cheap, cheap.

I agree. Why pay for a premium car and not feed it properly? If they don’t wanna spend the extra couple dollars to do that, imagine the shock when they find out how much even normal maintenance items are over the everyday cars like Civic and Accord

06 Maxima: 20 gal. capacity
05 BMW X3: 17.7 gal. capacity

high octane is 20 cents more than regular around my area. If you ran both vehicles dry and fueled up, you’d save only $4 by going with 87 for the Maxima and $3.54 for the BMW. Though running them dry on gas brings up a whole 'nother can of worms as well.
How much does a bottle of this “octane treatment” cost?

i tried Googling this product. Not much information available. Seems to be connected to “Monster Garage.” Can’t go wrong there, can we?

You’re kidding, right?

Would you actually put this “product” in your vehicle, or your wife’s vehicle? Please answer.

If you don’t want to buy premium, check that out before you buy a car that calls for it. Remember not feeding it properly may result in lower mileage or damage to the car. It is really cheaper to buy the right fuel to start with or dump your cars and get cars that use the fuel you want to use.

Too bad you can’t get a Maxima with a pedestrian 4 cylinder.

MANY cars labeled “Premium Fuel Only” run fine on regular fuel. If you can not detect any spark knock or detonation (sounds like a cup full of ball-bearings being poured on a tin roof) then no damage is being done to your engine…

Many talk about “destroying your engine” or “damaging your engine” but I have never seen an “unleaded fuel only” engine damaged or destroyed because of lack of octane…The difference between 87 and 91 octane is not great enough to cause destructive detonation. I’m a retired, certified, mechanic and that’s my opinion…

It should also be noted that detonation only occurs at or near full throttle acceleration. By simply reducing throttle, it can be controlled if it is detected…

So you’re saying if I had something like a Ferrari Enzo, It would be perfectly acceptable to run 87 octane in it?

No need to call me names. And no, I don’t leave beyond my means. I paid cash for both my cars and I haven’t had a car loan for twenty years because of my frugal ways. Can you say that? I’m putting premium in the BMW, but was wondering if this product was worth it in added octane.

Yes, I have. Apparently it’s a bad idea? How do I know that the station is legit with the 91 octane gas? You know, sometimes it seems like I get “bad” gas.

“live” beyond… ooops!

It costs $1.35 on sale and $1.50 regular price.

What I’m saying is that 87 octane would not hurt it…It MIGHT rattle a little, but it would not be damaged. Small multi-cylinder engines tolerate low octane much better than large bore engines…An engines octane requirement is dependent on its compression ratio, not the nameplate or trim package…

At one time, “regular” was 90 octane and “premium” was 100 octane. Regular burning cars had 9.5 to one compression and true premium cars used 10.5 to one…Paying .20 cents a gallon for 4 octane points improvement is ridiculous…

There has been significant progress in engine design over the years. The 3.6L DOHC GM V6 has a compression ratio of 11.4:1 yet it only requires 87 octane. These days compression ratio doesn’t mean much when trying to determine fuel requirements. Additionally the 430 HP,6.2L V8 LS3 engine found in the C6 Corvette requires and recommends 87 octane as well. The game has changed.

You are right Daddy, by using computerized engine controls and advanced combustion chamber design, they can boost the compression ratio and still control detonation. This provides for greater efficiency at high manifold vacuum when detonation is not a problem…I suspect we may see more turbochargers with water injection to control detonation at WOT as the new mileage standards kick in and more efficient engines are produced…

Caddyman, I’d argue that the new technologies make it safer to use lower octanes in higher compression engines by PREVENTING rattling. And I think it’s important here to define “compression”. A compression ratio, the mechanical piece, is what it is, but higher “compression” (as defined by cylinder pressures) can be safely achieved only when appropriate by turbos and superchergers. These techniques were unheard of on daily drivers until recent years.

Rattling is always bad, IMHO. It’s the manifestation of shock waves occurring at a point where they’re not properly absorbed through the pushing down of the piston. It’s always a sign of something potentially damaging. Yeah, I know here are plenty of cars out there that rattle as a part of their daily use and seem to go on indefintely, but I’m guessing that if one were to compile data these engines experience serious operating problems much earlier than those that run quietly. I confess that I’ve never seen any such data compiled, but there are a lot of things that are real even though I’ve never seen them. IMHO the theory is sound.

Shock waves do damage. As does an intense hot spot.

As to the original question, if the manual requires premium the owner uses otherwise at his own risk. If he blows a headgasket I’d have to wonder if not using the proper fuel was a contributor…perhaps even the cause.