Regular gasoline for a hybrid

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Old 04 Dec 2011, 09:21 am   #1 (permalink)
Gary
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Default Regular gasoline for a hybrid

I just bought a new Lexus CT-200h hybrid and had a question of my
salesman regarding gasoline for the car. I wasn't satisfied with his
answer. Maybe someone here has a better take on what kind of gas to
use for my new hybrid.

Usually gasoline manufacturers add detergents and other cleaning agents
to their premium gas. I always thought that the regular octane gas had
much less of these sorts of chemicals. That means that if you buy the
recommended regular gas, you are inviting buildups of carbon and other
contaminants.

On the other hand, the car is designed for regular gas. There might be
other consequences that I don't know about to using a higher octane gas
than is called for.

So what's the best gasoline practice for a hybrid? Should I adopt
occasional use of the small bottles of fuel system cleaners you can buy
at WalMart or auto supply stores?

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Old 04 Dec 2011, 09:36 am   #2 (permalink)
Elmo P. Shagnasty
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Default Re: Regular gasoline for a hybrid

In article <4edb81e7$0$15490$c3e8da3$f017e9df@news.astraweb.c om>,
Gary <gary_w1@hotline.com> wrote:

> I just bought a new Lexus CT-200h hybrid and had a question of my
> salesman regarding gasoline for the car. I wasn't satisfied with his
> answer. Maybe someone here has a better take on what kind of gas to
> use for my new hybrid.
>
> Usually gasoline manufacturers add detergents and other cleaning agents
> to their premium gas. I always thought that the regular octane gas had
> much less of these sorts of chemicals. That means that if you buy the
> recommended regular gas, you are inviting buildups of carbon and other
> contaminants.


20 years ago, that was the case--the "premium" labeled fuels had
distinctly better detergents across the board.

Then in 1995 the feds mandated a minimum level of detergents for all
fuels.

Now it seems that some brands (Shell is an example, and BP claims to be
an example) are still maintaining the delta, with their premium truly
having an advantage over their regular when it comes to detergents and
whatnot, but most brands are not doing that. Most brands are sticking
with octane level as the differentiator of their "premium" labeled
fuels, and are using the EPA's minimum levels of detergency (which have
dropped since 1995, btw).


> On the other hand, the car is designed for regular gas. There might be
> other consequences that I don't know about to using a higher octane gas
> than is called for.


If your car is specified for 87 octane fuel, then use that. Higher
octane in and of itself gets you nothing, and may even degrade your
performance.


> So what's the best gasoline practice for a hybrid? Should I adopt
> occasional use of the small bottles of fuel system cleaners you can buy
> at WalMart or auto supply stores?


There is no "best gasoline practice for a hybrid". You have a gasoline
engine that requires 87 octane fuel, just like 98% of all the passenger
cars out there in the country. Your gasoline engine is no different
than theirs.

Toyota and some other manufacturers have recognized your exact concern,
and have addressed it:

http://www.toptiergas.com

I can tell you that a few years ago I acquired a 120K mile 1993 Lexus
ES. The gas mileage was OK, but nothing stunning. I spent a few tanks
running Shell 93 in it, to get their level of detergency to clean things
out, and then I ran Shell 87 in it after that. My mileage jumped up a
decent percentage and stayed up.
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