Super octane booster worth the money?

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  #1  
Old 03-13-08, 01:37 PM
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Super octane booster worth the money?

Just got back from the dollar store. They had a national brand of the stuff. 12 oz. bottle. Treats up to 20 gallons. Besides other various claims made on the bottle it says it improves gas mileage.

Obviously then comes the question: Is it worth the dollar? And what do you suppose the "petroleum distillates" is, that it is made out of?, that they can sell the stuff for this price. Maybe if we knew what it was, we could make our own even CHEAPER. The manufacturer must be making a profit selling it for the dollar, even after shipping costs and the retail stores cut. (It sells for higher at other stores.)

And just how much does it raise the octane level in a tank of gas, since they call it "super"? What if you dumped the whole bottle in 10 gallons as opposed to the 20 gallons? If your car does not ping now, is this really going to help the car's gas mileage? Doesn't high octane actually slow the burn? You would think you WOULDN'T want that. You'd think if the gas burned slower, in theory, that it would still maybe be exploding as the exhaust valve started opening. You'd think you'd want the most rapid fire of gas as possible without the ping. What can you share about this?
 

Last edited by ecman51; 03-13-08 at 01:46 PM. Reason: added more
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  #2  
Old 03-13-08, 02:31 PM
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Ouch ecman! Want yer can of worms back?

My thoughts...new engines...waste of money, since they're all computer controlled.

Old engines, possibly a benefit, but since you can manually retard the timing to compensate for octane levels, again..waste of money.

Hmmm guess its the same opinion for different reasons.
 
  #3  
Old 03-13-08, 02:35 PM
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My take on it is octane levels allow an engine to do something, rather than forcing it to. Anything past the level it needs is wasted money.

So, say your engine needed an 89 octane level and you bought 88 octane and elevated it to a 95 octane . You would have wasted your money to the tune of 6 points.

Pinging has always been the threshold you didn't want to cross and slowing the burn of the fuel is a way of avoiding that problem. But too slow of burn is one of the problems with E85 = the engine can't complete combustion in a conventional engine configuration. When an engine is setup for E85 it has to have different valve/ignition timing as well as valve duration modifications. There's probably a lot of other things as well.

My two cents
 
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Old 03-13-08, 02:43 PM
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So then I wonder how the bottle can make the claim it does? I can't recall the word "may" in there. I might have to go and look again, but I don't think it said "may".
 
  #5  
Old 03-13-08, 03:13 PM
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I think it all depends on the twist they put on it. The distillates, I imagine they would say, cleans the fuel system, so it would work to improve mileage. The octane boost would help, but only to the point it was needed to overcome an octane deficiency.

There are some oxygenating additives (don't ask me to name them) that are said to improve mileage and help with octane requirements. May or may not be, dunno. There are a ton of variables in gas mileage and I'm not sure anyone (engineers or whoever) has it all figured out.

As far as your bottle of stuff, though, they will always think what they wrote makes sense if they got it sold.
 
  #6  
Old 03-13-08, 03:26 PM
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Gasoline is a 'petroleum distillate', as are lots of other chemicals. But to the point........on modern engines, if it actually boosts the octane, which I doubt, it only confuses the computer. It will try to tune the engine to the factory parameters, regardless of the fuel. Then when that tank is gone, it will retune as needed. The O2 sensor is the most important feedback to the computer of what the engine is doing. it will adjust timing, fuel supply etc., as needed to make that correct.

Additives that clean injectors or valves make sense, but octane boosters anly take your money. And most name brand fuels(Exxon/Shell/etc.) have those things already added.
 
  #7  
Old 03-13-08, 03:58 PM
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What about the old, "drop a moth ball in the tank"?
 
  #8  
Old 03-13-08, 04:29 PM
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Why would you arbitrarily want to increase octane?

Here's a surefire way to increase octane: Add WATER to your fuel. Ohh... does the engine still have to work? Then pour a little lawnmower oil in there. Anything to keep the fuel from detonating like it would have otherwise.

I don't think that'what you want to do? I may be wrong.
 
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Old 03-13-08, 05:23 PM
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Along the same line, in the winter, the diesel distributors add cetane to their fuel to keep it from gelling. This decreases your fuel mileage by about 2 mpg. Summer time it pops right back up where it should be. In addition, the removal of a huge amount of sulphur from diesel has older engines like mine starving the $3000 injector pump of proper lubrication. You can buy additives all you want, but the main ingredient is cetane. Why do you want that? One ounce of 2 cycle oil per gallon, no more, every time you fill up adds enough lube to keep it quiet and running longer. Just another angle.
 
  #10  
Old 03-14-08, 05:40 AM
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old wine, new bottle

Crude's at $109/bbl, and the snake-oil guys are coming up through the floor boards again.
In the 70's it was a gadget you put between the carb and the intake manifold, which would increase mileage by 10-20%.
How about the 'ram aircharger', or the 'rocket' you put on the top of the distributor to 'boost' power.
They are out there, guys - selling "I lost 20 pounds in 4 Days!"
or investment newsletters which only make $$ for guess who...
Times are rough and will get rougher.
Stay connected here, keep that old bus goin' for the two to four years this slump will be with us, and stay away from the snake-oil salesmen.
 

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  #11  
Old 03-14-08, 06:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Mike.B View Post
What about the old, "drop a moth ball in the tank"?
What was that supposed to do, and why hasn't it caught on?

Regarding the water business that Core mentioned: Remember this device you could buy that would create this mist?, with the theory that this helps the fuel burn better, more evenly? And I remember hearing the sales pitch where the guy would say, "Remember how on a foggy day, how much better your car would run?" I'd always then try to reminiss and think, "Yaaaaaa, I think it DID!" But I wasn't really sure, or if that was oen of those things where you start to believe something,and it seems true. Now if it IS true, why didn't THAT catch on?

Back to the octane booster: Does anyone know what that active ingredient is, and how much octane it can boost it to? Whatever the cheapest form of "petroleum distillate" is, that is probably it, I bet.
 
  #12  
Old 03-14-08, 06:41 AM
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I never heard about the moth ball thing from Mike. He'll have to jump back in on that one. May have possibilities. I have more of those around than I have $4.00 for a gallon of gas.

The water injectors I have tried, years back. They make a difference, but more on the basis of necessity. When the air is very dry (low humidity) they make a big difference - regulates the burn, supposedly. Plus you have different expansion properties to the fuel/air mix. It's been a while since I did anything with them, but under certain conditions you got pretty good results. I think the reason they never really took over was they had limited benefits, cost extra, and had the ongoing expense of the water or misting agent used. You had to use a pressurized can of store bought for it.

As far as the petroleum distillate thing, I believe that is on the can for either health(cancer causing) or environmental protection issues. As noted before gasoline, diesel, motor oil, etc. are all derived from petroleum. Most carb, injector, and fuel system cleaners fall into that category, as well. Those have gone through a more involved refining process than say axle grease. It's all a stratification process where heat is applied to crude oil and the lightest(and most volatile) stuff rises to the top and the heaviest (paste grease stays on the bottom. Then they scoop it up, put in additives for whatever, stick it in a can or on a truck and sell it.

I don't know what the active ingredient for the octane boost itself would be. It may be the distillate or another additive. Often the distillates mentioned on the can are precautionary labels rather than the key ingredient.
 
  #13  
Old 03-14-08, 02:22 PM
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If you search the archives here we had a pretty long thread on mothballs and other exotic ways to try to achieve better mileage/performance. The Mythbusters have attacked the subject, too.
 
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Old 03-14-08, 04:56 PM
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I believe the active ingredient in most of the additives is AVJET1. Smells like it anyway.
 
  #15  
Old 03-14-08, 07:54 PM
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Increasing octane percentage above compression threshold will not gain you any performance. In other words the compression ration of the engine dictates the octane level needed for max pedrformance and anything above that rating will not boost output or performance.

Many years ago it was common and legal for gas station commercials and advertising literature to entice customers to go for the higher octane/priced gas in order to gain sales. After several suits in courts for fraud companies no longer dare advertise in a way that suggests that higher octane equates to higher performance or gas milage. On the other hand what they can and thus
will do is equate that cleaning aditives will restore or improve gas milage and performance on engines that are operating at less than optimal conditions due to degragation.

Bottom line your compression ratio sets your octane requirement and anything above that rating is wasted money.


If something works to increase performance/milage the auto manufacturers would incorporate it assuming it does no harm.


cheers
 
  #16  
Old 03-15-08, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by core View Post
Why would you arbitrarily want to increase octane?

Here's a surefire way to increase octane: Add WATER to your fuel. Ohh... does the engine still have to work? Then pour a little lawnmower oil in there. Anything to keep the fuel from detonating like it would have otherwise.

I don't think that'what you want to do? I may be wrong.
Sarcasm rarely helps!
 
  #17  
Old 03-15-08, 07:29 AM
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Originally Posted by solutionsbob View Post
If something works to increase performance/milage the auto manufacturers would incorporate it assuming it does no harm.
In this particular case though, wouldn't you mean the oil companies rather than the car manufacturer?

But regardless, I guess if octane boosting is what you are after, the option is at the pumps to pay the additional cost for it. So therefore, there must be this thinking where the manufacturer figures that the unwary buyer will first figure out what the higher octane gas costs at the pump per tankful, and then weigh out if it is cheaper to buy regular gas and instead add the 'only $1' super octane booster because it might be cheaper that way, AND, perhaps you are even getting MORE octane due to the fact it claims to be "super".


But I guess we have all learned something now in this thread that it is a waste of money putting an additive like this in, if your car does not need it, and that it won't help your fuel economy. Therefore, the broad-brush claim by the manufacturer is not really true in many cases. And therefore I don't think they should be able to make the claim they do, without going into more detail such as Bob did above. Buyer beware. The gov't isn't protecting us from all claims, I guess.
 
  #18  
Old 03-15-08, 11:09 AM
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Remember sunoco 260 and marvel mystery oil for upper cyl. lub. I had a 1965 caddy convertable 429 c.i. wish i still had that car.
 
  #19  
Old 03-15-08, 11:26 AM
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mmmmmm Sunoco 260 (in a Homer Simpson kinda voice)

Man, my GTO loved that stuff, when I could pony up the $.27a gallon, instead of the $.18 for regular.
 
  #20  
Old 03-16-08, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by e150club View Post
Remember sunoco 260 and marvel mystery oil for upper cyl. lub. I had a 1965 caddy convertable 429 c.i. wish i still had that car.
I used to put a TIGER in my tank with (at that time) ESSO Super Octane(105). Kept the valves from rattling!

Did Eman51 open this can of worms? Brings back memories! By the way, Marvel Mystery Oil was GOOD STUFF!
 
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