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Since I am a new owner of a 2008 Smart, and never have used high test until now, is there differences between brands? A friend of the family who is a mechanic has told us that of all the engines he has rebuilt, the only engine that was ever clean inside was an engine that used Shell gasoline. I use Exxon or Sunoco in my cars since day one, BUT I want only the best for my 451. Any suggestions? I did fill it with Exxon 93 on first fill up. Thanks for you input.
 

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I know it seemed that my 08 runs better with shell, but it is not convenient for me (not too many shells in my area). I use wawa, been using wawa for years without any problems.
 

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Some brands perform better than others, I have found that anything with ethanol does not work as well, and most premium gas doesn't contain ethanol. You also should take a look at the octane rating, I try to use the highest rated I can as this seems to help with performance and fuel economy.
 

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Other than the first free tank on the dealer (no idea the brand), my car has never had anything except Shell 93 octane premium. I am lucky that there is a Shell station just outside my subdivision. I have even used the same pump about 95% of the fill ups.
 

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for the first 6 months, i used 93 octane from Sam's Club, then i switched to the 87 octane cheap stuff, no noticeable difference, i was always running a SGII or an UG. i have over 72K miles and 68K of those were on 87 octane. i get a little over 50mpg in the summer and lower 40-something mpg in the winter, car takes forever to get up to 188F coolant temp, optimal temp for fuel economy. idling fuel usage drops even lower when coolant hits 210F, from .18gph to .17-.16gph, but once you're actually moving, the coolant drops back to 188F. 8+ years driving experience in a smart.
 

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There is some evidence that switching up the brand you use once in a while may be good for the engine. The different brands all use a slightly different additive package, and by varying it, it may help keep deposits to a minimum. I have always used Marathon gas in my smart when available, but it also does well on Shell.
 

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I remember my 98 horsepower, 1990 Geo Storm base model, with its 1.6L 4-cylinder 5-speed stick shift. I used to love that little car with "rumble tuned" exhaust. Anyways, it would climb the I-5 Grapevine Southbound at a consistent 65 to 70 mph with the accelerator pedal to the floor on just about any gas. Any interruption by slow moving traffic would force a downshift, and in 4th it could hold its own at any speed up to probably about 90 uphill. But it wouldn't climb beyond about 70 in 5th gear.

Unless I used some 711/Citgo gasoline off Stockdale Highway and Real Rd (Bakersfield, CA), premium 92 octane (which is non-existent these days in California). That was the only fuel that would allow that little Geo Storm to literally accelerate from 55mph to 80 while staying in 5th, while climbing the Grapevine. It was remarkable. I have never seen a performance difference strictly credited to gasoline. I tested over and over and over again for years, it was that 92 octane Citgo gas. Things have changed. We're all using 91 octane in CA now, and the Citgo gas has been reformulated since then. Ah well, it was good while it lasted...

Fuel definitely can make a difference.
 

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There is some evidence that switching up the brand you use once in a while may be good for the engine. The different brands all use a slightly different additive package, and by varying it, it may help keep deposits to a minimum. I have always used Marathon gas in my smart when available, but it also does well on Shell.
if you go to "gasbuddy.com" you can find stations in your area that have "top tier" gas, fuel with a few extra additives not required by the local government. i haven't bought gas since august and i'm at half a tank now. probably running a tank or two of "top tier" gas every now and then would keep your engine cleaner, usually it's withing 2% of the price of surrounding stations in your area. you just have to find them online, they never state "top tier gas" at the stations. i've heard putting a little Marvel Mystery Oil in your gas now and then isn't bad.

my last job was in another town/county, lower taxes, so buying there was cheaper than the local Sam's club and i'd buy BP 87 with "detergent" a lot, no noticeable change, at 8-1/2 years, 72,000+ miles, car still runs great, oil tested, less than normal metal in the oil, bearings, cylinder and ring wear is minimal. i've been running 8 years with 87 octane gas. i think you're screwing yourself buying premium that is like $0.50-0.60 more per gallon than 87. the ECU detects "knocks" and adjusts the spark accordingly. the 451 engine in japanese cars is rated to use 87 octane, this "premium fuel" thing is a mercedes "construct".
 

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the 451 engine in japanese cars is rated to use 87 octane, this "premium fuel" thing is a mercedes "construct".
You are giving bad advice. The 1.0L engine in the smart is designed for premium fuel. These engines need premium fuel for maximum performance and longevity. I'd argue that the engine would be happier with 92 octane.
 

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i've run the last 68,000 miles on 87 octane, 50+mpg in the summer 40+mpg in the winter. in 8-1/2 years the only service my smart required is brakes, suspension and coolant, none of those were fuel related. 8 years is not an anomaly my friend. you can look up the specs for the engine with mitsubishi and in japan these engines run on 87. i've seen people here getting 25-30mpgs and complaining in the past, i had to wonder what the heck they were doing! one tank is one thing, 68,000 miles is another :nerd:
 

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i've run the last 68,000 miles on 87 octane, 50+mpg in the summer 40+mpg in the winter. in 8-1/2 years the only service my smart required is brakes, suspension and coolant, none of those were fuel related. 8 years is not an anomaly my friend. you can look up the specs for the engine with mitsubishi and in japan these engines run on 87. i've seen people here getting 25-30mpgs and complaining in the past, i had to wonder what the heck they were doing! one tank is one thing, 68,000 miles is another :nerd:
68,000 is not that many miles, and just be careful. I've heard these engines ping on 91 octane. You might have the right blend in your locale.
 

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68,000 is not that many miles, and just be careful. I've heard these engines ping on 91 octane. You might have the right blend in your locale.
maybe i'm "lucky", but lower octane allegedly yields lower fuel economy, my commute was 75% highway (cruise control) and 25% city and i was clocking a solid 50mpgs. i wonder if i could hear a ping over the din of my solo exhaust. shouldn't get a "ping" if the ECU is working properly. i'll have to hook up my SGII and see what the timing advance/retardation is. (i got a new one before i went into the hospital 2 months ago) then run it dry and fill it with 93 octane. all our fuel has 10% ethanol in it here, maybe that helps?

(what a pain, if i had waited another week, i would have woken up dead, lunch yesterday with my mother and aunt affirms my poor judgement...
)
 

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maybe i'm "lucky", but lower octane allegedly yields lower fuel economy, my commute was 75% highway (cruise control) and 25% city and i was clocking a solid 50mpgs. i wonder if i could hear a ping over the din of my solo exhaust. shouldn't get a "ping" if the ECU is working properly. i'll have to hook up my SGII and see what the timing advance/retardation is. (i got a new one before i went into the hospital 2 months ago) then run it dry and fill it with 93 octane. all our fuel has 10% ethanol in it here, maybe that helps?

(what a pain, if i had waited another week, i would have woken up dead, lunch yesterday with my mother and aunt affirms my poor judgement... Bad Religion - "Better Off Dead" - YouTube)
There's only so much the engine computer can control. Various conditions have an effect on what octane may be best for the engine on a given day. Hot weather, hill climbing, varying driving conditions can make a car more prone to knock or ping. I've heard mild ping in many small engine vehicles, whether they required 87 or required premium. Ours is a little 3 cylinder with only 1 liter of displacement.

At peak performance, anything less than premium is robbing the engine of efficiency (power) and as such it is likely mildly knocking or pinging even if you don't hear it. I wouldn't recommend treating your car that way. It wasn't designed for 87 octane. You mention the "Mitsubishi" engines that are 3 cylinders and 1.0liters, but you didn't mention their comparative lack of power when compared to their smart car cousins. Ours are tuned for higher output, and as such are engineered to take advantage of the higher octane. Stepping down is a bad idea IMO. Especially in the hotter climates (most of North America in the Summer).

I've seen the internals of damaged engines from poor fuel, and I've seen it happen to smarts as well. People trying to get by on 87 octane. Some get burned, some won't. Some will sell their car used before their engines prematurely give up due to incorrect fuel octane.
 

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i only got 15 years left, maybe i'll spend the few extra sheckles on premium fuel. i just blew a valve on my heart, the new one may be good for 15 more years. thanks for the "reality check".
 

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Come on guys, let's all play nice...

I have given up on arguing the merits of premium fuel. Anybody asks, it's all I've ever used in my smart. 183K miles can't be all wrong. But I also drive it like I stole it, and I'm convinced that's why I've never had valve trouble either. All of my vehicles require premium, so I'm used to it.

I don't condone using 87, but if somebody is happy with it, more power to you..

Why argue?:shrug:
 
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