Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I run out of gas

Well, I was wrong.

I tried to wait out the gas panic, telecommuting some days and driving my spouse's car on others.

Over the weekend we were on a trip to South Carolina, which generally has lower gas prices. We took my car because it's more expensive to fill up, so it would have bigger savings. Skipped one station on the way in, and then tried all of them on the way out.

Those gas stations came in 2 varities: out of gas, and only basic gasoline.

My car needs premium, so I'm pretty much out of luck. Experimentation a few years ago showed that it needs about 90.5 octane, so I was able to dilute the 93 in my tank with some 87 to give myself a little more range.

But the lesson to me is clear: next time, I need to panic with the rest of the masses.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


Unless you are driving a car with a high-performance engine or a car/truck built before 1990, you can get away with using 87 octane for a little while.

12:04 PM  
Blogger Dan Weber said...

Thanks for the pointer. It got accidentally filled with 87 a few years ago and seemed to knock and shake while driving. It could have been my imagination; I have a feeling I'll be testing that again soon. :) :/

1:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sometimes road surfaces will give a false sense of knocking/shaking, but I will emphasize the little while part I said before. Check your owner's manual for the anti-knock (AK) rating for your car and whether 91/93 is actually required or recommended. It should spell it out right there in the book. Good luck and happy gas hunting ;-)

9:02 AM  
OpenID the-pathogen said...

I'm a former mechanic and I've seen auto sells people tell them that 93 octane was required, "because this is such a high-quality engine." It's fairly common for people with BMW's and such to have that misconception. Higher octane just gives you more "oompff" with hit the gas.

1:05 PM  

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