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Discussion Starter #1
The QT stations in Atlanta have added No Ethanol gas. I tried a tank. I was surprised to see the octane rating was 87.

I have now used regular, mid-grade, and premium. No Ethanol was the lowest MPG. Followed by regular, premium, and mid-grade.

I did similar tests with three 4 cy Camrys over the years. No No Ethanol of course, but mid-grade always was around 10% better.
 

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Interesting, I have been using 100% gas for a couple of years now, (87 octane) as both of my vehicles get 3-4 mpg increase. The price is a break even for me, higher cost offset by the increased mpg but a further price differential will kill the 100% gas for me.
 

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I've always received about a 6-10% increase in fuel economy when using ethanol free fuel, but it is typically more than 10% more expensive than comparable E10 fuel. A lot of stations around here have ethanol free 89 for boats, but it typically runs 15-20% more expensive than E10 89.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
In Atlanta the mid-grade costs 5 - 8 % more than regular.


I started using mid-grade when my 1989 Camry was pinging on a slight upgrade on the way to work.



So the cost vs mpg is roughly equal, but the performance is better.
 

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Given a choice, I would prefer to use non-ethanol fuel. Your car will run "cooler" and you don't have to worry about the side effects of ethanol.
 

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Ethanol free will technically give you at least a 3-5% boost in MPG as gasoline has a higher energy content by volume than ethanol.
Additionally, you will get zero mileage difference between using fuel of a different octane rating because octane rating has nothing to do with energy content, the energy content is the same for all three fuel grades.

The reason you're getting the results you are is test method error, MPG varies based on driving style, and you the operator and not blind to the test condition. Control for driving conditions, blind the operator, and gather enough samples sizes to compare means of the varying test conditions, then report back ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
My driving and conditions are almost unchanged over time. I've had this car for nine months and have driven 3400 miles. Almost all on residential streets to and from my golf course. With two of my Camrys most of my driving was the same 25-mile route to and from work.
 

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Doesn't matter, you'll still be subject to variation in how you accelerate, temperature, how many red lights you hit, etc. I have the same commute and generally same-ish destinations on the weekend, and my mileage varies by 5-10% every week i fill up. That's without switching fuels. You can expect the same level of variation in your driving style as well. Since you are looking for such a small response in your data, you will need multiple sample sizes in order to truly run your experiment and draw a reliable conclusion.

The other reason I say that you have test method error is simply that the science itself doesn't back up your conclusion. The link I posted above is at least one reliable source stating that non-ethanol fuel will give you around a 3% mileage increase. Any reliable source on the internet will also state that an engine designed for 87 octane fuel will not benefit in any way from use of higher octane fuels. Octane measures the anti-knock (or rather, the ability of the fuel to withstand premature combustion during compression) ability of a fuel, not its energy content, the two are not related.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
A 14-gallon fill-up lasts me a month, 20 trips I'm guessing. I've never counted. Any variation in driving style should wash out over that sample size.
 
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