Octane booster bogus?

I have a 2010 Honda Odyssey and live in a country with very poor quality unleaded gasoline. All the gas stations sell Octane booster to put in each time you fill up. Is it wise to use this stuff?

Yes, octane booster can help if your engine is pinging or acting sluggish due to the knock sensor retarding timing.
Just be sure the booster doesn’t contain any lead compound.

Thanks. A friend here said that it is not worth the plastic bottle they sell it in.

What’s bad about the gas, if you know? If it’s contaminated or low on detergents and other typical additives, then octane booster won’t really help, but a good fuel additive like Techron might.

If you need higher octane, then it does work. But I don’t think an Odyssey has a high compression engine, so it is probably OK to go without. Instead, change your fuel filter more often.

I am certainly not an expert, but have been told that a study was done on the gas and it rated at 65 octane. I have a Mazda 5 ('07) and the new Honda. Both are American specs, so were not designed to run on such low octane. I can’t say I have noticed a difference in performance when filling with or without the octane booster.

65 octane? Seriously? I’m not sure even octane boost will help you much there - it’s a bit much to expect a bottle to bring a full tank up by nearly 25 octane. I’d be trying to find a gas station with better gas, if I were in your shoes.

Now that you posted that it might be as low as 65, it might help some, but…wow

It’s true! I’m in the Middle East and some people go the thirty minute drive to the neighboring country to fill up at Esso. Ironic that the places where the gas comes from don’t keep any of the good stuff for themselves.

Well if I were you, I’d be making that 30 minute drive myself. I wouldn’t even put 65 octane in my lawn mower.

The question is “Do you need higher octane.” Octane is not a measure of quality, it is a measure of how fast the fuel will burn. Higher octane burns slower so you are less likely to get the pinging. By its nature low octane fuel does not have more or less power.

Using higher than needed octane will just cost you money and not deliver any better operation of your car.

I suggest you use whatever octane your car’s owner’s manual recommends. More is OK, but it cost more and does not help your car. Less may give you less power and lower mileage.

I simply want to avoid harming my 40k purchase. I can’t change where I live, but I would like to do what I can to make the Odyssey last (in good working condition).

BTW: The Car Talk guys are right: The Odyssey is a great vehicle (3 kids under 5).

I’d be inclined to use the octane booster. It’s a small price to pay to add a bit of protection for a large car investment.

Since the gasoline is poor quality, you might want to consider an injector cleaner additive too.