Is paying extra for high-octane fuel worth it? Users share their views

The only benefit I see is reduced knocking when driving at a higher gear than usual.

BHPian Ritkon recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Saw this gem of a thread while browsing through Team-BHP.

The thread is quite old and was last updated in 2011, when fuel prices were, let’s just say affordable.

However, now that we are in an era when fuel prices are hotter than a combustion chamber, do you still pamper your beloved 2 or 4 wheeled buddy with the premium liquid? If so, is it just because of mental satisfaction or do you actually see some benefit out of it?

I use the XP95 on both my car (Grand i10 BS4) and bike (Yamaha FZS V3 BS6). The only benefit I see is reduced knocking when driving at a higher gear than usual. Added to that is the fact that it is supposed to keep the engine cleaner. No significant benefits were noticed in fuel efficiency (actually it’s a bit worse), NVH or even emission tests (yes I tried). I don’t think it is worth the premium, but have become a slave to the habit and just cannot go back to the usual petrol.

Here’s what BHPian Jeroen had to say on the matter:

Well, we really have a different thread for this. But from an engineering point of view what is relevant is the octane number your engine was designed for.

That is mentioned in the owner manual. The Internet might tell you differently, but they won’t refund you the difference in price!

The octane number is directly related to the compression ratio of your engine. That is fixed. If it was designed for 95, putting 98 in is not going to be much if anything. The other way around is a problem.

Can you actually hear your engine knocking? Many modern engines have knock sensors that will advance/retard the ignition timing. Some engines can benefit a bit from a higher octane number, but really only if you rev high and hard.

I have never seen that in India. I don’t think I have ever seen any engine in any car in India go over 2000rpm. And the. Of course, many cars are diesel too.

I use premium high octane on all my old and classic cars here in Europe. The only reason is that premium brands such as Shell, BP and Esso still sell 98E5. And the actual ethanol content in these fuels is zero per cent. Old cars and E10 don’t mix well, irrespective of octane number. All 95 octane these days is E10.

Here’s what BHPian vikred had to say on the matter:

I drive a 2015 Toyota RAV4 (2.5L gasoline engine) in the US. The manufacturer recommends “Unleaded gasoline (Octane rating 87 or higher)” which is the regular gasoline here. I always used the 87 octane fuel ever since I started owning this vehicle, and have never gone above that.

Anecdotally, I believe whatever fuel efficiency or performance you gain (If you gain) over the recommended grade by using a more premium tier fuel is negated by the higher price of the fuel. Example: gaining 5% efficiency by paying 10% more.

Here’s what BHPian Shreyas_H had to say on the matter:

I drive a Polo 1L TSI. I have regularly been putting in 95 octane petrol. while the VW sales guy said normal should be fine, the fuel flap says use 95 octane petrol!

I do see a slight difference in engine smoothness/noise levels. Not really sure if it impacts mileage but people say it does improve it.

Given the already super high petrol prices, a 4.5 to 5 rupee premium for XP95 is fine for me!

Here’s what BHPian Turbanator had to say on the matter:

I will differ a bit, most EU engines work based on the tune. Say a B58 BMW engine in India will have a different tune for low-quality fuel. So until we change that tune, not much can be achieved even with a higher octane fuel and similarly, no harm should be caused to such engines even by using regular fuel.

As I mentioned above, cars or motorcycles which are manufactured and delivered for higher octane will benefit the most. On others, it will be mostly a placebo.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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