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Old 04-22-2004, 01:04 AM   #1
AndroXT
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Default Fuel Type

Question....

We are getting our new XT Premium this week or next as soon as it comes-in on the truck. I have read that Subaru recommends Premium Unleaded, but would like to hear what current owners' experiences are using low and medium test. Premium in our area is running $2.50 per gallon! Low test is running around $2.25 to $2.30.

Thanks much.
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Old 04-22-2004, 01:09 AM   #2
SubaruCO
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Subaru recommends premium because the XT needs it. Using anything less than 91 will cause engine detonation and long term probably engine failure. If in an emergency less than 91 can be used but I'd carry a can of octane booster in case it comes to that. The XT needs premium and you gotta pay to play.
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Old 04-22-2004, 02:05 AM   #3
AndroXT
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Thanks for the response.

Part of the reason for my questioning is that I have read that the ECM will adjust according to various conditions, one of which is fuel. Is this not the case? By adjusting, it would avoid detonation. Also, as I am not a chemist, really how much difference is there between 87 and 91 octane which are the extremes of my choices? I remember the days of leaded gas when I would buy 104 and if I remember correctly 106 octane, when the lowest was 96. A much larger spread.

Thanks again for all input.
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Old 04-22-2004, 02:39 AM   #4
irmiger
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I've run 87 octane in a pinch without any noticable detonation, but I sure as heck wouldn't do it everyday! Boy, was my XT a dog. I think the engine was doing it's best to compensate and I could really feel the lack of power with the lower octane. I would recommend running nothing but 91-93 as much as possible.
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Old 04-22-2004, 10:28 AM   #5
Bobshere
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OK, here's the scoop. Yes, FXT has engine controls which will allow it to run on less than Premium without harm (ping). Yes, FXT "requires" Premium. Many cars are sold where premium is required that don't really need it -- sort of like a prestige thing to make the owner feel like their getting a "special" performance car. FXT is not one of these. I only know of one or two people who run their FXT on regular. They report no problems (of course, their altitude, weather, quality of gas, etc., -- all things that effect detonation ping -- might be different from yours). Subaru clearly states that your can run FXT on regular IF NONE OTHER IS AVAILABLE.

Now, you could read all this and decide to just run regular, and let the engine ECU do its thing and allow the car to run without problems. But that means you're running in a sort of "fail safe" mode. Is that something you want to do with a new car ??? Also, given the extra cost of premium, IN THE WARRANTY PERIOD, compared with a new engine, especially where your warranty is denied because you did not follow the REQUIRES PREMIUM clearly stamped on FXT all over the place, as well as the owners manual, running "regular" is not something many of us are going to.

I haven't said anything about performance. It is likely, given the zip of FXT that few of us, myself included, would mind if there were a slight performance drop off on regular (those running it, by the way, say they can't tell the difference -- of course, they may not be towing a trailer up a mountain in the summer ).

So, what to do ? If you couldn't "afford" premium you probably couldn't have afforded your FXT. I don't like to throw away money and I'm not one of those people (AND THERE ARE MANY MANY OF THEM) who foolishly put premium into cars that don't need it because they think it is "better" for their cars.

I noted "Premium Required" when I bought FXT (and, sure, that was a negative). But I also noted that it "could" run on regular.

I will not put regular in the tank during my warranty period. After 5 years (power train warranty) if gas prices keep going up I may try running my FXT on regular -- of course, since I live near San Francisco which has among the highest prices for gas in the USA (approaching nearly $3 in some urban stations) I may void this strategy if prices skyrocket. Of course, if that happens regular gas will go up too -- and they remain relatively proportionate. Premium here is usually from 10 to 20 cents more.

I figured those, say, 20 cents in when I bought the car. I don't drive that much. Paying a few hundred a year more for FXT was in my equation and WELL WORTH IT for me. Zoom like we get usually costs many many THOUSANDS !!!!

So, if you'd like to be one of the brave ones, one of the early experimenters, do go ahead and run your FXT on regular. Unless it's hot and you're towing, and in the mountains you will PROBABLY be fine. Otherwise, you should wait a few years for others to play with regular in their FXT's and see what they report, and not try it yourself until you're out of warranty.

Cheers,

Bob

http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/foresterxt/
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Old 04-22-2004, 11:35 AM   #6
AndroXT
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I agree the extra cost will not be excessive. With a normal $.20 difference between 87 and 91 octane and driving say 10k miles a year...is a cost of $100 extra. Certainly not excessive. I still question the relative difference among the grades...
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Old 04-22-2004, 08:27 PM   #7
TexasForester
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Why worry about gasoline costs. Car will probably depreciate by $8-10K during first year and burn maybe $1000 of gas. Gas is probably the cheapest element of car ownership.

A nice car deserves the gas it was designed to consume.

Besides I work for an oil company and our profits are at record levels, which helps my bonus. Thank you very much.

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Old 04-23-2004, 02:11 PM   #8
rhino738
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"Besides I work for an oil company and our profits are at record levels, which helps my bonus. Thank you very much."


Im no economist, and I dont pretend to have my finger on the pulse of world events, but the above statement irks me to no end. I thought the gas prices were up due to supply and demand! But the above statement tells me that the consumer is taking a "bending over" so the oil companies can line their pockets with our money. Help me understand the reason that the consumer is paying so much for gas, while the oil companies are getting richer.

rhino
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Old 04-23-2004, 02:20 PM   #9
Chromer
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So buy stock in Exxon/Mobil and get in on the action...
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Old 04-23-2004, 02:38 PM   #10
rhino738
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Quote:
Originally posted by Chromer
So buy stock in Exxon/Mobil and get in on the action...
I cant due to all my discretionary income going to filling up my tank.
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Old 04-23-2004, 02:51 PM   #11
TexasForester
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Profits are the juice that drives our economy. Nobody whines when Microsoft rolls in the billions. So why can't ExxonMobil, Shell, BP, TexacoChevron, et al make a decent buck and have everybody cheer? Do Americans believe they have some inherent right to plentiful and cheap energy?

I'm here to tell you, you already have cheap energy. US has the cheapest and most plentiful energy supply in the world w/ the least taxation. Energy prices are cheap, even compared to almost any point in the past 40 yrs, when adjusted for inflation.

I personally feel that driving a Hummer or other humongous vehicle is an obscene waste of fuel, hence my Forester, Accords (2), BMW318is. The sole blot on my fuel efficiency standards is my son's Dodge Ram 1500 w/ 4wd. Now here's a real gas hog. It get about 12mpg around town, and maybe a whopping 15mpg on the road. Do I whine at the gas pump? Never!

I will caste a shadow on this sunny situation. I suspect we have seen the last of "cheap oil" (read sub $20/bbl) and the future holds $30+ due primarily to the Chinese. There are 7 billion Chinese clamoring to improve their life style to US standards,...get used to high gas prices.

Regards
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Old 04-23-2004, 04:06 PM   #12
rhino738
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TexasForrester,

I want to say that I completely agree with company making profits, and commend those who make a good living through hard work. I certainly did not want to take away from you, or what you do. My only gripe (and note that I have never complained in the past about gas prices), is that the crutch of why gas prices are so high now are due to economic sanctions of crude oil prices from overseas(this is how I understand it, and I may be wrong). As fighting began, oil and gas prices skyrocketed. Its my understanding, and I may be completely wrong, that the oil companies raised prices due to the rising cost of oil. I believe the rise in prices that we pay, should be directly related in the rise in prices that the oil co's pay. Based on your comment, the rise in profits do not explain the oil co's stance of higer costs lead to higher prices. If I may, I would like to say I would have a lot more respect if the oil co's would not hide behind other factors (such as war) to legitimacise(sp?) their price hikes. Again, Im not against profits.......I just find it hard to take that oil co's are experiencing their highest profits when consumers are paying record prices for gas.
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Old 04-24-2004, 07:33 AM   #13
Bobshere
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Tex,

Nova this week was on global environment. They said Chinese went from 2 million to 20 million cars in almost no time. Remember those pictures of Chinese on thousands of bikes on otherwise (car) empty streets? No more! They've got freeways now and traffic jams (cars) at rush hour. They have a MAJOR pollution problem, which cars are going to greatly exacerbate. Yes, they will be a MAJOR supply/demand factor for gas, probably effecting Middle East situation, eventually. Maybe this need will even make them more friendly with their Russian neighbors

I've owned Standard Oil of New Jersey (later called "Exxon", then ExxonMobile) for over 50 years. Nice stock. Chart it for "Maxim Duration" on BigCharts against Dow or S&P. Impressive. Actually, owning oil stocks DOES psychologically cushion pump increases -- dividends go up too. I agree, calculated with inflation we aren't payiing as much as we "feel". It's just the absulute price. I recall paying twenty something CENTS for gas in the early 70's, before OPEC felt its oats.

Bob
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Old 04-24-2004, 12:56 PM   #14
AndroXT
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Default We have got it!

Well, our beautiful Silver XT w/ Premium Package arrived and we took delivery. Subaru service confirms that premium gas is the way to go as the knock sensor isn't there to compensate for the lower octane gas although it should do it....a bit contradictory I know. Nonetheless, an extra $.20 per gallon isn't going to break the bank.

The XT is tight, fast (even in the break-in range), and certainly handles better than my 97 Toyo T100 and 2003 Toyo 4Runner SE V8, even thought the latter has the great XREAS suspension. No surprise here...might be that I need to get an XT to replace the 4Runner as the current one is for my wife!

Pix to come.
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