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Regular vs E-Free Premium, results

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Old 07-09-2015, 10:15 PM   #1
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Thumbs up Regular vs E-Free Premium, results

Disclaimer, YMMV! Been a hybrider for 8 years, so know how NOT to break the egg.

Back in 2012 had a 2012 F150 Lariat 4x4 Max Tow EB, Loaded. It had the ubiquitous Shudder, Stutter crap and suffered from poor gas mileage. I expected to get 18 and got 16, while the EB Flex SEL that I traded in for it got 21-24 MPG with AWD. Of course Ford could not fix the shudder, stutter adn thankfully never encountered the fall on its face on the highway others have had, however their answer to the poor MPG, use Premium. I asked, where in the manual does it say that, it doesn't, only for heavy use or towing performance. Well I was skeptical, but tried it anyway and indeed it did climb up, to 19 MPG. Got 24 on the Interstate too. With the shudder, stutter adn other issues I didn't keep it(now I wish I did).

Fast forward 3 years, and several cars later I now have a new 2014 F150 Lariat, not fully loaded, 1 wheel drive, but I love it! I ran it for the first 5000 miles on regular, including several hundred towing a large enclosed trailer on the Interstate. After the first oil change and tire rotation, I switched to Ethanol free BP premium, in fact all gas but the first tank has been BP, most from the same pump, so consistent fills, and gas quality.

Using the 87 regular BP with 10% crap in it, I was averaging about 19 MPG with 120 mile DD on 60 MPH highways.

Using E-Free premium for about 1800 miles, the first thing I noticed is pulling power towing the trailer has increased, No surprise, but the MPG while towing also went up to about 17 from 12. That was a surprise. The average MPG though also went up to 21. To verify the results the last three tanks have been regular and the MPG dropped down to around 19 again, so next tank, back to premium.

I haven't done the math for the 700 miles per week I put on Premium vs regular at .40c a gallon more for a 2 or so MPG increase, but it does feel good seeing 21+ MPG on the display. I use Fuelly to calculate true MPG and almost every fill under premium was about 20.8 MPG. When I had the 2012 though the difference in MPG I was seeing actually made using Premium less expensive overall. Most likely in the long run it will pay off, especially if I get a MPG tune for Premium that boost MPG even higher, and if swapping out the gearing for 3:31 or 3:55 for the 3:15 when I go from one wheel drive to two wheel drive(posi install).

Having an increase in one vehicle was a fluke, but to be able to repeat it in another one makes me think that in some vehicles using Premium actually saves money in the long run.
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Old 07-09-2015, 10:24 PM   #2
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There's tons of factors involved with this calculation, but the general rule is that the higher the octane-the more stable the fuel is. That means it burns cleaner and more thoroughly. I've noticed the same thing with my truck. Consistent 18.5 mpg with 87, but with 91 I'm getting 19.5+ depending on how hard I shove my foot in it in town. Lol. It makes me curious how much better I would get with 93 octane or above.

There are a couple threads on here where people have spread sheets with the mileage and fuel costs. Pretty slick, but again there's tons of variables as to why people get that reading. Congrats on the truck getting that good of mileage.
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Old 07-09-2015, 10:43 PM   #3
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What I am curious about is the difference between E-Free and 10% crap Premium fuels. Since I have been filling up at the same station near my work, which is the only one that has E-Free Premium, and my tanks have been hitting the same mark when I am at work I haven't had the need to fill elsewhere.
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Old 07-19-2015, 10:27 AM   #4
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I used to run 91 no ethanol when I could get it for .10 more than 91 with ethanol back in KS. I got about 3 MPG more and the truck was running way better.
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Old 07-19-2015, 04:41 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Razrielle View Post
I used to run 91 no ethanol when I could get it for .10 more than 91 with ethanol back in KS. I got about 3 MPG more and the truck was running way better.
There are still a few stations that sell ethanol free 91 around Wichita. I have it figured even at $.40 more a gallon (est.), I can get better cost savings if I have 1.5 mpg or more above what the 87 is. More than $.40 and I'd have to get closer to 2mpg more to be better at the cost savings. I went from ~430 miles per tank to almost 500 by going to the 91. Again that's if I drive the same and don't bury my foot in the go pedal. Lol.
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