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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
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Premium Gas

I just purchased a new 2016 Malibu Premium 2.0T. It is recommended to use 91 or above octane. Should it be used on every fill-up? Do some of you run regularly on 87 (regular) octane? My sales rep said you did not need to run hi-test in it - but was he just trying to use that as a selling point. Would like the forum's opinions. THanks!
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 06:47 PM
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Premium Gas

A lot of turbocharged cars have an ECU that has a factory tune for for 91+ and a tune for lower octane fuel. The ECU can "sense" lower octane fuel by reading O2 data, afr data and knock sensor data. Usually the lower octane tune greatly detunes the engine by lowering boost and retarding timing. You could also see worse fuel economy. Not sure if the Malibu ECU is capable of this but I wouldn't be surprised. So if you run straight 87 octane, you could get power loss, lower boost, timing being retarded and your car running richer to prevent knock in order to protect the engine.


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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 07:08 PM
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Re: Premium Gas

Had my Premier since March. I have only used 93 octane gas in it and have no issues at all. I am extremely reluctant to give the Turbo any excuses to act up. Gas is cheap now and want to follow owners manual advice.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 11:16 PM
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Re: Premium Gas

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Originally Posted by G089372 View Post
Had my Premier since March. I have only used 93 octane gas in it and have no issues at all. I am extremely reluctant to give the Turbo any excuses to act up. Gas is cheap now and want to follow owners manual advice.


additionally, if something goes wrong with the engine a dealership can't use the fuel type against you in warranty situations, which I have seen with other brands when it came to turbo charged engines. You won't have potential problems with your turbo, it will be engine knock.


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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 07:33 AM
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Re: Premium Gas

Read your owners manual: 91 or higher is recommended but you can occasionally use 87 without issue, though you will have decreased performance and fuel mileage.

I have run a few tanks of 87 through when i have forgotten or higher test wasn't available without issue. I normally run a non-oxy 91, however, in my 2LT 2.0T.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 08:36 AM
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Re: Premium Gas

Stick with premium gas. You've already spent the money on the high output turbo engine, just feed it the good stuff. Low octane gas is more likely to create deposits as your engine tries to compensate, and losing that extra MPG or two from lower octane is going to offset half the money you save at the pump anyway.


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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 09:54 AM
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Re: Premium Gas

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Originally Posted by jbucki View Post
I just purchased a new 2016 Malibu Premium 2.0T. It is recommended to use 91 or above octane. Should it be used on every fill-up? Do some of you run regularly on 87 (regular) octane? My sales rep said you did not need to run hi-test in it - but was he just trying to use that as a selling point. Would like the forum's opinions. THanks!
If the Owner's Manual is telling you to only use 91+ it might be wise to not use anything less. In my opinion, the folks who put it in writing know better on that subject than those that didnt.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 05:02 AM
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Re: Premium Gas

Yeah, I'm gonna have to agree with the above. The fuel system is optimal at the recommended octane.
If you use the lower grade, there's the possibility of setting off engine codes related to fuel usage.. (which may lead to a trip to the dealership to have it looked at.)

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-13-2017, 06:59 AM
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Re: Premium Gas

I'm actually running mostly 87 octane, with 93 maybe once every 4 or 5 fill ups. I use mainly Costco, which is a Top Tier labeled fuel, but have also used Kroger fuel a couple times.

I have noticed a distinctly less acceleration power (but still more than adequate) using 87 vs. 93, but never any knocking. Fuel economy doesn't seem any different between the 2.

From the owner's manual:
Quote:
Fuel
Use of the recommended fuel is an important part of the proper maintenance of this vehicle. When driving in the U.S. and Canada, to help keep the engine clean and maintain optimum vehicle performance, we recommend using TOP TIER Detergent Gasolines. www(dot)toptiergas(dot)com for a list of TOP TIER Detergent Gasolines.

For vehicles with the 1.5L L4 engine or the 1.8L L4 engine hybrid vehicle, use regular unleaded gasoline meeting ASTM specification D4814 with a posted octane rating of 87 or higher. Do not use gasoline with an octane rating below 87; as it may cause engine damage and will lower fuel economy.

For vehicles with the 2.0L L4 engine, use premium unleaded gasoline meeting ASTM specification D4814 with a posted octane rating of 91 or higher. Regular unleaded gasoline rated at 87 octane or higher can be used, but acceleration and fuel economy will be reduced, and an audible knocking noise may be heard. If this occurs, use a gasoline rated at 91 octane or higher as soon as possible. Otherwise, the engine could be damaged. If heavy knocking is heard when using gasoline with a 91 octane rating or higher, the engine needs service.
As I read it, you should have no problems using 87 Octane as long as you don't experience any engine knock.


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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-14-2017, 05:03 AM
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Re: Premium Gas

depending on what engine you have, using less octane than recommended may dial back your timing which could explain the less performance you write about...just because you aren't hearing the knock doesn't mean your car isn't experiencing performance deficits...it may be because your spark knock detector has reduced timing (performance) so that the engine doesn't knock.

Good luck with your choice,

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