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2013 Chevrolet Suburban
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Old 03-21-2011, 05:02 AM
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Default Cheap Gas or Premium Gas

Does anyone know if its OK to put in the cheaper gas vs. premium. Ive read that newer vehicles can take the cheaper gas because the engines are able to clean themselves. If the gas tank reads "Premium Gasoline Only", then you really should use premium. I've heard mixed reviews on the 2008 Tahoe, but know that premium is for max performance. Am I ruining the engine with Cheap gas?
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Old 03-21-2011, 07:46 AM
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Default no

"Premium" is used to describe the octane level.

Your engine was designed to run on 87 octane. There is no benefit to running higher. In fact, you can actually lose HP by running higher...

Octane rating - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

If you engine calls for 92, run that. 87, run that. etc.
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Old 03-21-2011, 09:54 AM
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How about a 2002 model? 87 octane is good enough? The PO says he always ran Premium.
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Old 03-21-2011, 10:07 AM
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Default yes

check the manual, it will specify... and do what it says. Ethanol is more of a problem than octane... damn corn monkeys...
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Old 03-21-2011, 10:31 AM
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Default 2002 Manual

Fuel (Gasoline)
The 8th digit of your vehicle identification number
(VIN) shows the code letter or number that identifies
your engine. You will find the VIN at the top left of the
instrument panel. See “Vehicle Identification Number”
in the Index.
If your vehicle has the 5.3L V8 engine (VIN Code Z
only), you may use either regular unleaded gasoline or
ethanol fuel containing up to 85% ethanol (E-85); also
see “Fuel E-85 (85% Ethanol)” following. In all other
engines, including the 5.3L V8 (VIN Code T), use only
regular unleaded gasoline.

Gasoline Octane
Use regular unleaded gasoline with a posted octane of
87 or higher. If the octane is less than 87, you may get a
heavy knocking noise when you drive. If it is bad
enough, it can damage your engine. A little pinging
noise when you accelerate or drive uphill is considered
normal. This does not indicate a problem exists or that a
higher-octane fuel is necessary.

Last edited by ELIM; 03-21-2011 at 10:40 AM.
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Old 03-21-2011, 01:31 PM
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Unless you have power adders as in a tuner you have no use for premium fuel. You will actually hurt mileage and HP by running it in an engine with less than 11.1 compression ratio. So safe to say unless specified by the manufacturer regular or mid grade will be what you need
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Old 03-21-2011, 04:32 PM
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There are times when a mid grade gas is needed such as at high elevations and when towing..... I normally use 87 in my 07 Tahoe with 5.3 E85 engine, but when on vacation last year towing a pop up camper in Yellowstone I found using mid grade gas helped with ping and power on inclines....
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Old 03-22-2011, 05:32 PM
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People seem to think that premium gas is better than regular (as the name implies). A better word is that it is just different. The octane rating of "premium" usually 91 or 93 has a faster burn rate, so typically higher performance engines (turbos, high compression, etc..) will require this gas. Your engine was designed and timed to run on an 87 burn rate, therefore if you run 91/93 you may see some power decrease and lower MPG. Run the specified fuel for the engine.
Now there is some debate on whether "premium" or higher octane gases have a higher detergent content. I'm not sure there is any conclusive evidence on this, but some would argue it is true. If you are looking for a higher detergent content then you can consider just adding a bottle of Techron or other fuel system cleaner at each oil change, rather than pay extra for higher octane gas (that may or may not have a higher detergent content).
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Old 03-22-2011, 08:59 PM
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Some of the top tier gas companies e.g. Shell advertise their premium as having better detergents, etc.
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Old 03-22-2011, 10:54 PM
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And Chevron with Techron.....
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