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Discussion Starter #1
I have read most of the threads here on what grade of gas to burn in the MDX, and I still wanted to find out for myself. I'm from the old school: use the lowest octane that doesn't knock; anything else is just wasting money (or supporting the oil companies). I realize (after reading the C&D article) that modern engines retard the timing to avoid knock at some cost to performance. But if I'm satisfied with the performance, why pay more. I have always used the lowest price gas I can find in all of my cars, and we usually run them for 10+ years with good service. Right now I don't think I will handle the MDX differently. I buy gas at 'generic' stations and truck stops (Sams, Pilot, Petro, Raceway, etc.) and have gotten fewer 'bad' tanks than I used to at name brand stations.

I just have 2200 miles (2/3 Interstate) on it, but here is my experience so far:
After using most of the dealer's tank of 91 octane, I ran 2 tanks of 89 with no knock, ping, or noticable performance degradation. Before leaving for a road trip (1400 miles) I mixed in a 1/2 tank of 87 octane. After no problems with the mixture, I used a full tank of 87--still no problems. The next fillup was at a Sams with incredibly low prices, so I topped off (1/2 tank) with 91 octane (@ $1.089!). After 2 fillups (9 gal each) of 87 octane, I probably have pretty straight regular in it now.

During all this time we couldn't really tell the difference in performance between the different gas grades. We pushed it on some steep hills to try to make it knock or stumble, but didn't experience any hesitation. The gas mileage varied more by the type of driving (interstate vs. country roads vs. urban) than by gas grade. (overall average: 20.3 mpg)

One of the attractions of the MDX for us was the fuel economy, and I can't see paying 20% more for gas to get benefits that I can't see or feel. My plan is to run mostly 89 octane (my 'main' station sells it for $.08 over regular vs. $.10 most places here). When I find some cheap premium, I'll use it, but when I have to buy at a high price station, I won't hesitate to pump 87 octane. (I will also use premium when towing or in other 'harsh' conditions.)

The MDX is going to cost more to drive than its predecessor (Mazda 626), but it will be a lot more fun and more useful. (So far MDX $.051/mile; 626 $.041 (lifetime), but $.030 since 10/1/01.)

[I know some of you will say "read the manual", but those same people are using 10W-30 oil, and I don't see that in the manual. ;) ]

- Conrad
 

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Hello and Welcome Conrad!

OK, I for one have to be kept updated on this one. I've seen a 20/20 that talks about 'sludge' you get with cheaper gas, but that all the name brands are about the same (even with additives).

So please do let us know how your MDX continues to perform, and what your mileage looks like as time goes on and mileage goes up...

Rob :cool:
 

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It is good to hear you have no performance lags. I know with my GSR the lower octanes had a big effect on my car's performance wise and gas mileage wise. It think you would notice it even more with the VTEC engaged. On the GSR the VTEC engaged around 4400-4500 rpm's depending on your ODB version, I would think it would be the same for the MDX, but I am still waiting for mine.:(

We had simlar results with our 626 ES V6, it had even more noticable performance decreases and a big hit on gas mileage. I will wait and see. If you could post your results with the different octanes over the same trips/speeds that would great.
 

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OH MY GOD!!!

If 91 octane is $1.089 per gallon where I live...I fill the tank full each day!!

91 octane costs $1.49 per gallon where I live and I still buy it....

Man...I guess that is where I get screw for living in an area where it's blue skies, 77 degrees 350 days out of the year! Locations....Locations....Locations...
 

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Conrad: re oil. Look in the index in the back of your manual for
"Oil: Selecting Proper Viscosity Chart". In the '01 manual, it's on p. 262 and it DOES show that 10W30 is OK above 18 degrees F. I would not think that Acura would have made a change in recommended oil viscosity between the '01 and the '02, but I haven't seen an '02 manual.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
That chart is also on p.262 in the '02 manual, but it only shows 5W-20 spanning all temperatures (-20-100 F). The page on oil on Acura's web site specifies 5W-30, but it is a page that applies to all models. I can't find an easy way to contact Acura to get a clarification.
- Conrad

frostyra said:
Conrad: re oil. Look in the index in the back of your manual for
"Oil: Selecting Proper Viscosity Chart". In the '01 manual, it's on p. 262 and it DOES show that 10W30 is OK above 18 degrees F. I would not think that Acura would have made a change in recommended oil viscosity between the '01 and the '02, but I haven't seen an '02 manual.
 

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Fireblade6 said:
OH MY GOD!!!

If 91 octane is $1.089 per gallon where I live...I fill the tank full each day!!

91 octane costs $1.49 per gallon where I live and I still buy it....

Man...I guess that is where I get screw for living in an area where it's blue skies, 77 degrees 350 days out of the year! Locations....Locations....Locations...
I don't know, Fireblade - a place without weather is like, well, California! Just popping out of the hot tub into the 8 degree air (it's one of the warmer nights), I'll take these deep winters, the spring greens, the crisp falls, and those almost summers.

And 91 was a buck 14 last week...

:)
 

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You must be lucky to get 91 Octane. I have yet to find a gas station in Massachusetts that sells it. What I have found is 87,89,92,93,94 Octanes. For the past month 1/2 93 has been at $1.19 not bad even better with 6 cents off on Wed's.
 

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cheap gas

I have also tried every type and combination of gas with my mdx, and i have consistantly gotten 1 to 1.5 mpg less when using gas from either sam's or other cheap gasolines. Heck 3 months after I had concluded all of my testing, i was tempted by the 1.06 per gallon price of premium at sam's and i filled up with it. Actually 2x in 10 days and guess what? 1.5mpg less then i had averaged the past 3 months. I went back to my shell plus grade (89) and everything is all good again. btw, after my comprehensive test, i concluded that shell 89 gave me the best mpg.
 

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Expecting my MDX by the middle of next week - what octance does the owner's manual specify?

Thanks!
 

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Markdoc ~

It recommends premium fuel of at least 91 octane.
 

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If the MDX and the new Honda Pilot have the same engine, why does it say in the new issue of Motor Trend that the Pilot will take regular fuel? Any insights?
 

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Pilot/Regular vs. MDX/Premium

A guess [bet subsequent comments will indicate whether it is close or not]:

I believe that the Odyssey, MDX, and Pilot all share the same 3.5L engine and that they are all rated at 240 ponies. I also believe that all BUT the MDX use regular.

I suspect that the answer to the MDX thirst for premium lies in the computer control and the spark advance. Premium allows more agressive use of ignition advance [without predetonation] which will be experienced in better acceleration.

.... now let's here from someone who really knows!!
 

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Salesman/Serviceman suggested atleast octane 91 and above only. Manual has the same rec.

Fortiunately only one gas pump has octane 91(mid grade) in my area. I dont care as long as it is 91.

Maybe better for the engine function and if you want to keep for long time. One of my Colleague uses 89 for his mdx..

2002 MDX
 
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