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View Poll Results: What grade of gas does your MINI prefer?
94 octane 8 28.57%
91 octane 11 39.29%
89 octane 1 3.57%
87 octane 1 3.57%
Higher than what's listed 8 28.57%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 28. You may not vote on this poll

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  #16 (permalink)  
Old Aug 15th, 2005, 05:11 AM
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Quote: Originally Posted by Lanfear
I noticed that quite a few people have voted for an octane rating over 94. Either people are adding octane booster to their gas, or they are from Europe and referring to RON instead of (R+M)/2.

I guess I should have clarified, but I didn't think I'd need to in the Canadian regional forums. Oopsie!

If anyone IS actually using octane booster, let us know.

Maybe some people just have a good source of race fuel (and very deep pockets).

I actually do carry an octane booster in my "emergency" kit, just in case I'm stuck in the middle of blankity blank no where and can only get regular/mid-grade. Or if I run out of gas and someone brings me regular instead of premium.

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  #17 (permalink)  
Old Aug 15th, 2005, 01:08 PM
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Shell V-Power 91.
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old Aug 15th, 2005, 07:47 PM
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FYI a couple of months ago, I put in a tank of regular (87 octane) gas into Millie my MCS, because I was having trouble starting her on the first turn of the key, having to do it twice. My service advisor suggested putting in a tank of regular for one time only, as hs had found that this had worked for other Mini owners with similar problems - something to do with the change in the formulation of gas/petrol from a winter to a summer formulation.

Anyways, to make a long story short, it did the job - and the car actually didn't run that badly at all!!! But I did notice a bit of roughness with regards to the sound of the engine, and decided not to chance putting another tank of regular. However, I decided to see how the engine would fare to mid-grade (89 octane), seeing that I had already subjected the poor car to regular gas already

To my surprise, the roughness dissappeared, and the engine sounds almost exactly like it does on premium. So, for the next few tanks after that, I used mid-grade, always paying attention to fuel consumption and the 'sounds' from the engine (I have driven around in Millie long enough to know what she should feel and sound ), and finding no problems whatsoever. Keep in mind that I use my MCS as my daily driver, and do almost all city driving, so a slight loss of performance is not big deal and almost indiscernable when driving in traffic. I have been using only Chevron gas for the past year, going to Shell only if there's no other option.

A few weeks ago though, with soaring gas prices (now CDN 1.10 - 1.15 a litre here in Vancouver), I decided to fill up at a Husky/Mohawk gas station, which I had sworn a couple of years ago never to do, because the car didn't seem to respond well to their gas/ethaol mixture.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that Husky/Mohawk is offering their midgrade gas (90 octane) for the same price as regular gas here!!! They are only offering this in the Greater Vancouver Regional District and the province of Saskatchewan:

http://www.myhusky.ca/ethanol/mid_grade_offer.php

Their midgrade is now 92 octane, and premium is now 94 octane.

Seeing that the octane recommendation in Canada for the Mini is 91 octane, and Husky/Mohawk regular gas is 90 octane, I figured that I would give it a try, considering that it's slightly better than regular 89 octane midgrade gas. So far, with three tankfuls at this point in time, my MCS runs well on this formulation. I figure that they must have changed the formulation a while back, because I have had no problems with the gas/ethanol mixture so far - if anything, the car runs smoother, and the usual shuddering at idle speeds that we MCS owners have had to endure for the past while has been reduced a fair bit.

So for now, this is what I'm using. Worst comes to worse, I will switch up to their midgrade gas, which at 92 octane is the same as or higher than other gas company's premium gas - but at a cheaper price.
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old Aug 16th, 2005, 01:40 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by milliethemini
Seeing that the octane recommendation in Canada for the Mini is 91 octane, and Husky/Mohawk regular gas is 90 octane, I figured that I would give it a try, considering that it's slightly better than regular 89 octane midgrade gas. So far, with three tankfuls at this point in time, my MCS runs well on this formulation. I figure that they must have changed the formulation a while back, because I have had no problems with the gas/ethanol mixture so far - if anything, the car runs smoother, and the usual shuddering at idle speeds that we MCS owners have had to endure for the past while has been reduced a fair bit.

Wow... I wonder what their ratio of petroleum to ethanol is. Anyone know? A brief click through didn't show anything technical other than their marketing bulbber. I've also had mixed results in the past with some gas/ethanol blends.

I guess the next question is: how much ethanol is safe? I doubt these cars can run on pure ethanol (or most any stock passenger vehicle).

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  #20 (permalink)  
Old Aug 17th, 2005, 02:48 AM
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DIY Ethanol Content

Quote: Originally Posted by everythingsablur
Wow... I wonder what their ratio of petroleum to ethanol is. Anyone know? A brief click through didn't show anything technical other than their marketing bulbber. I've also had mixed results in the past with some gas/ethanol blends.

I guess the next question is: how much ethanol is safe? I doubt these cars can run on pure ethanol (or most any stock passenger vehicle).

  • GraHam Energy
    • 8%
  • MacEwen Petroleum
    • 10% (in Ethanol Mix Product)
  • Mohawk Canada Ltd.
    • 10% (in all "Premium Plus" blends)
  • Mohawk Canada Ltd.
    • 10% (in "Regular Plus" blends in Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan)
  • Mohawk Canada Ltd.
    • 5% (in "Regular Plus" blends in Alberta and British Columbia)
  • Mr. Gas
    • 6% (only in "Ethanol Plus" blend)
  • Pioneer Petroleum
    • 8% (only in Magnum 93)
  • Sonic
    • 5%
  • Sunoco
    • 8% (all blends)
  • United Farmers of Alberta (UFA)
    • 10%
  • UPI Inc.
    • 8% (all blends)
  • Ontario and Quebec based independents supplied by Coastal Canada (including Drummonds, Francis Fuels, Sunys, W.O. Stinson)
    • Between 5.5 and 6%
The above table is from data published in 2002 on Environment Canada's website. I would imagine that the ethanol levels are higher in winter than in summer.

Use of Higher than 10 volume percent Ethanol/Gasoline Blends in Gasoline Powered Vehicles

I'll see if I can find anything newer! As for the amount of ethanol that is "safe", the 2005 MINI U.S. Owner's Manual (because I'm too lazy to go get mine) says this:

Quote:
Field experience has indicated significant differences in fuel quality: volatility, composition, additives, etc., among gasolines offered for sale in the United States and Canada. Fuels containing up to and including 10 % ethanol or other oxygenates with up to 2.8 % oxygen by weight, that is, 15 % MTBE or 3% methanol plus an equivalent amount of co-solvent, will not void the applicable warranties with respect to defects in materials or workmanship.


Last edited by Lanfear; Aug 19th, 2005 at 03:42 AM. Reason: Yikes ... Formatting!
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  #21 (permalink)  
Old Aug 17th, 2005, 03:31 AM
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Has the price range beween regular and premium increased? The sign said 96.6 for regular, but when I finally pulled into the pump, premium was 1.09

Traditionally, I've noticed that it's only been a difference of 10 cents.

Anyone encounter the same thing?
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old Aug 17th, 2005, 03:04 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by YQTYYZ
Has the price range beween regular and premium increased? The sign said 96.6 for regular, but when I finally pulled into the pump, premium was 1.09

Traditionally, I've noticed that it's only been a difference of 10 cents.

Anyone encounter the same thing?

Well, I don't think there's a hard and fast standard for the price difference between grades. I have seen Premium ranging from 10-16 cents more than regular (though the high end was Sunoco Ultra94), and usually around 11 or 12 cents for 91. So need a raise...

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  #23 (permalink)  
Old Aug 17th, 2005, 03:26 PM
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87 octane

I have been using 87 since I got my mini. I still get 31.4 to the gallon and haven't noticed any drop in power. My mini is an Automatic so maybe I wouldn't notice it?
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old Aug 17th, 2005, 10:07 PM
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^
Possibility that you'll pay for it down the road. Others who are more versed than I will let you know the pros and cons.

All I know is that it says a minimum of 91 (Premium) in the owner's manual.
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  #25 (permalink)  
Old Aug 18th, 2005, 02:00 AM
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Quote: Originally Posted by Lanfear
GraHam Energy 8% MacEwen Petroleum 10% (in Ethanol Mix Product) Mohawk Canada Ltd.10% (in all "Premium Plus" blends) 10% (in "Regular Plus" blends in Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan) 5% (in "Regular Plus" blends in Alberta and British Columbia) Mr. Gas 6% (only in "Ethanol Plus" blend) Pioneer Petroleum 8% (only in Magnum 93) Sonic 5% Sunoco 8% (all blends) United Farmers of Alberta (UFA)10% UPI Inc.8% (all blends) Ontario and Quebec based independents supplied by Coastal Canada (including Drummonds, Francis Fuels, Sunys, W.O. Stinson) Between 5.5 and 6%
The above table is from data published in 2002 on Environment Canada's website. I would imagine that the ethanol levels are higher in winter than in summer.

Lanfear, thanks for the gas/ethanol breakdown by gas company, that's great!!!

You know, we are on to something here.

when I tried Mohawk gas over a year ago, it was a tankful of their premium gas, which would be their 'Premium Plus' formulation - that's the one with 10% ethanol, which was the blend that my MCS didn't respond particularly well too.

Right now, I'm using their mid-grade enhanced 90 octane blend, which we pay the regular gas price for. This would be a 'Regular Plus' blend, which according to Lanfear's research, in British Columbia only has a 5% ethanol content.

Maybe this is why my MCS seems to be running better on a gas/ethanol formulation now, because there's actually less ethanol in the blend sold here!!! So it might only be unique to BC and Alberta, and not to the rest of Canada where Husky/Mohawk gas is sold.

Oh, and in BC, it's approx a 5 cent difference between regular and mid-grade, and a further 5-6 cent difference between mid-grade and premium, depending on whether premium is 91 or 92 octane. And there is approx a 3-4 cent difference between 91-92 premium and 94 premium.

Finally, to crimprof - I would venture to say that it might be better for you to move 'up' to midgrade rather than continue to put regular in your Mini - just to be on the safe side
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old Aug 19th, 2005, 03:48 AM
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Quote: Originally Posted by milliethemini
Lanfear, thanks for the gas/ethanol breakdown by gas company, that's great!!!

You know, we are on to something here.

when I tried Mohawk gas over a year ago, it was a tankful of their premium gas, which would be their 'Premium Plus' formulation - that's the one with 10% ethanol, which was the blend that my MCS didn't respond particularly well too.

Right now, I'm using their mid-grade enhanced 90 octane blend, which we pay the regular gas price for. This would be a 'Regular Plus' blend, which according to Lanfear's research, in British Columbia only has a 5% ethanol content.

Maybe this is why my MCS seems to be running better on a gas/ethanol formulation now, because there's actually less ethanol in the blend sold here!!! So it might only be unique to BC and Alberta, and not to the rest of Canada where Husky/Mohawk gas is sold.

Oh, and in BC, it's approx a 5 cent difference between regular and mid-grade, and a further 5-6 cent difference between mid-grade and premium, depending on whether premium is 91 or 92 octane. And there is approx a 3-4 cent difference between 91-92 premium and 94 premium.

Finally, to crimprof - I would venture to say that it might be better for you to move 'up' to midgrade rather than continue to put regular in your Mini - just to be on the safe side

How did you even read my post!? The formatting got completely messed up! I had to go back and edit it so I could read through the numbers again myself. It looks better now. I think.

But yeah you're right. I think that ethanol content may very well have to do with how happy the car seems to be. The only thing that doesn't make sense is that many people report that their cars run more smoothly in the winter. That's typically when more ethanol is added to the fuel, I think. That's also when fuel economy goes in the crapper.

I agree, crimprof, you might want to move up to 89 at least. I wouldn't even put 87 in the 1989 Camaro IROC-Z that I used to drive. If I was in a nasty mood, I'd fill it with 89. Otherwise, 91. I wouldn't even have put 87 in my SUV. Except on the last tank before I got rid of it. It ran like crap on 87, by the way! If you have a reasonably new car, there's probably little reason that you should be using a low grade fuel. 89 should suffice for most (non-sporty) cars, though 91 is recommended for ours.
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Old Aug 19th, 2005, 04:40 AM
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Lightbulb More Ethanol in the summer!

Quote: Originally Posted by Lanfear
But yeah you're right. I think that ethanol content may very well have to do with how happy the car seems to be. The only thing that doesn't make sense is that many people report that their cars run more smoothly in the winter. That's typically when more ethanol is added to the fuel, I think. That's also when fuel economy goes in the crapper.

I think I may have answered my question by reading this article on Wikipedia:

Quote:
Ethanol is flammable and pure ethanol burns more cleanly than many other fuels. Assuming it is derived from biomass, the combustion of ethanol produces no net carbon dioxide. When fully combusted, its combustion products are only carbon dioxide and water which are also the by-products of regular cellulose waste decomposition. For this reason, it is favoured for environmentally conscious transport schemes and has been used to fuel public buses. However, pure ethanol reacts with or dissolves certain rubber and plastic materials and cannot be used in unmodified engines. Additionally, ethanol has a much higher octane rating (about 115) than ordinary gasoline, requiring changes to the compression ratio or spark timing to obtain maximum benefit. To change a gasoline-fueled car into an pure-ethanol-fueled car, larger carburetor jets (about 50% larger) are needed. A cold starting system is also needed to ensure sufficient vaporization to maximize combustion and minimize uncombusted nonvaporized ethanol. If 10 to 30% ethanol is mixed with gasoline, then no engine modification is needed. Many modern cars can run on the mixture very reliably.

The term "E85" is used for a mixture of 15% (by volume) gasoline and 85% ethanol. This mixture has an octane rating of about 105. This is down significantly from pure ethanol but still much higher than normal gasoline. The addition of a small amount of gasoline helps the engine under cold start conditions. E85 does not always contain exactly 85% ethanol. In winter, especially in colder climates, additional gasoline is added (to facilitate cold start). E85 is sold at prices competitive with gasoline.

By george, I think I've got it!
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