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Old     (lugwrench)      Join Date: Jul 2002       03-30-2018, 7:03 AM Reply   
I recently picked up a used 2013 F-150 with the 3.5L ecoboost engine and was wondering what others are using in terms of fuel octane. The manual says it's designed to run on 87 but you will notice a performance gain using premium. This is a highly debated topic over at the F150 site so I was wondering what any of your experiences are. Some recommended 87 as a daily driver and 91 when long distance towing. Any of you guys run this engine and notice a difference on different octanes?
Old     (Stazi)      Join Date: Sep 2011       03-30-2018, 7:36 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by lugwrench View Post
I recently picked up a used 2013 F-150 with the 3.5L ecoboost engine and was wondering what others are using in terms of fuel octane. The manual says it's designed to run on 87 but you will notice a performance gain using premium. This is a highly debated topic over at the F150 site so I was wondering what any of your experiences are. Some recommended 87 as a daily driver and 91 when long distance towing. Any of you guys run this engine and notice a difference on different octanes?


Turbocharged cars are very sensitive to detonation. Using higher octane fuel pushes off the chance of detontation, as higher octane fuel actually burns slower and therefore won’t flash off as fast. This allows the ECU to use more spark advance (as it listens to the knock sensor for signs of detonation and will advance spark until it can detect it) and make more power, than with regular lower octane fuel. This is why a lot of older turbocharged cars were only tuned to run on premium to maximize power. In your case you will probably see a bigger gain on premium than on a naturally aspirated car would. Also while towing the load on the engine is much higher and therefore the chance of detonation increases, therefore premium fuel use here is highly recommended.
Old     (psudy)      Join Date: Dec 2003       03-30-2018, 9:11 AM Reply   
^what he said. I run premium in mine and it "seems" to run better. The gas mileage absolutely sucks with that engine though(I get 13mpg on the highway). I wish I would have gotten the 5.0.
Old     (lugwrench)      Join Date: Jul 2002       03-30-2018, 5:40 PM Reply   
Thanks guys, I've been running mid grade in mine but I've got my first long haul comng up so I might give premium a try to see if there is a difference.

I had an old high strung 4 cylinder turbo that I had the boost cranked up through the roof and it was definitely sensitive to detonation on low grade gas. But then again it had a pretty dumb ECU, a trick we found out was that I could unplug the battery for a couple of minutes and the ECU would reset itself to its defaults and the car would run fast as hell for a couple of hours before it would tune itself back down.

Paul, 13 seems really low. I've been getting 14.5 in my F150 and I do only city driving. Highway I've been getting 18ish and I'm not exactly a hyper miler.
Old     (shawndoggy)      Join Date: Nov 2009       03-30-2018, 6:05 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by lugwrench View Post
Paul, 13 seems really low. I've been getting 14.5 in my F150 and I do only city driving. Highway I've been getting 18ish and I'm not exactly a hyper miler.
Same here. I get 15 around town and 18ish on the highway.
Old     (psudy)      Join Date: Dec 2003       04-02-2018, 8:32 AM Reply   
^thats what I thought. I am taking it in to have it looked at. I bought the truck slightly used. It has a flow master exhaust on it. I am wondering if it wasn't properly adjusted when the did it.
Old     (norcalmalibu)      Join Date: Jun 2004       05-08-2018, 2:47 PM Reply   
It also depends on which Pinion Gear the truck has.

If you have the 3.31 package you will get around 15-16, I had the 3.73 package and I averaged around 13 pretty consistently.
Old     (TTyler89)      Join Date: Jun 2015       05-11-2018, 7:34 AM Reply   
I’ve got a 13 4x4 limited with 3:73s and get 13-14 in town and 17-21 on the highway. If I stay between 60-65 then I get 21 but anything faster and it falls off. I run 93 in mine but I’ve got a 93 performance tune on it and love it. I don’t mind spending extra at the pump when I get that much more hp and enjoyment out of it. When towing I run either 89 or 91 tow tunes depending on where I’m headed and always run better octane than what the tune octane is. Ie, running 91 on 89 tune or 93 on 91 tune. Again this depends on where I’m going as not everywhere has 93. I always run a higher octane so that the tune doesn’t start pulling timing when the IA temps get hot. I also run a Wagner intercooler and that helped my towing tremendously. That thing keeps IA temps down to 10* above ambient running up steep grades in the mountains towing. The stock intercooler sucked at this. It gets heat soaked quick and doesn’t recover for a while. On the stock tune I ran the highest octane around when towing. It just pulls better and I’ve noticed when it does start pulling timing when IA temps climb on a bone stock truck that it’s not as noticeable. Hope that helps.

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