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From Acura.com

"Using gasoline with an octane lower than 91 octane may cause damage to the engine. Please consult the owner's manual for details."
Hmmm. Didn't like what you posted so did a search of the owners manual. Pages 22 and 384 say, "Unleaded gasoline with a Pump Octane Number (PON) of 91 or higher is recommended. Use of lower octane gasoline can cause occasional metallic knocking noise in the engine and will result in decreased engine performance. Use of gasoline with a pump octane less than 87 can lead to engine damage."

Oh well. ;)
 

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davidG -

Are you sure that statement you quoted isn't for the 2013 and older MDX? I know that this area changed between the previous gen and current gen but the engines are also different between the two gens (3.7 vs 3.5).

I think the statement you posted is for the previous gen and the statement dialleft posted is for the current gen.

btw - I use premium in it. The cost of it really isn't that significant - maybe $100/10K miles - over the course of 5 yrs/50K miles, the lifetime of usage for some people here, that's an extra 1% of the cost of the vehicle - way less than people pay in extra sales tax dollars and registration dollars for the more expensive car. People spend a lot more than that for the 'look' of a fog light or running boards, blingier wheels, paying someone else to wash their car, someone else to change their oil, etc. Theoretically, and as stated in the owner's manual by engineers who know more about this vehicle than any of us here, there's a tradeoff of some performance by using the lower octane which can translate to lower mileage which will dilute that $100/10K miles cost to some extent.

Basically, if I can afford a $50K vehicle I can easily afford an extra $100 per year (for me - about 10K miles/yr). I do my own oil changes, car washings/waxing/cleaning, and much other maintenance so I by far make up for that cost. If I couldn't easily afford that extra $100/yr then I'd be a fool to be spending as much money for a vehicle as this MDX costs. That doesn't mean I wouldn't mind having the extra $100 in my pocket - just that I calculated it in to the cost of ownership of this vehicle and decided to by it at that COO price.

At the end of the day people should simply just follow what's in the owner's manual and not try to second guess it.
 

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davidG:

I just followed the path you indicated and saw the same thing. Weird. It's not consistent with what they have in the Owner's Manual although they disclaim their footnote by using the word 'may cause damage' and by saying to read the owner's manual. I also noticed it's a general footnote that seems to apply to almost all Acuras. The owner's manual gives more complete info though so it makes sense to follow that as the guideline.
 

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I use Premium in the MDX largely because I believe that once ping is detected with regular the mixture is enriched and the savings evaporate. Add in the risk of damage and I see no advantage to using regular.
I once had a Volvo V70 with the 5 cyl 2.5L Turbo which had Premium recommended I found it ran well on mid grade 89. I might consider that if I do not have access to Costco sensibly priced Premium.
 

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Okay so I am also a conservative with money especially cause of the gas prices. Here in LA it's almost $4 a gallon for premium. I have tested both using 89 and 91. I do allot of in town driving so my MPG already sucks only averaging 11, but I do notice a huge difference when I use the 89. Yes I spend less for a full tank but I suffer for how much I get out of my tank. If I fill with 89 I average around 170-200 miles per tank but when I use the 91 I get closer to 250-270 depending on traffic conditions. Plus I have also found that when I only use Shell gas I get the higher of the 2. I have even gone as far as trying the 89 octane and adding a fuel additive that states it will increase mileage "which doesn't work". So in the long run I decided to only fill on Shell 91 cause they add cleaners to their fuel which also helps the life of your car. I figure I'd pay that little bit extra to prevent a major problem down the road. Just incase you do highway driving when I do use the 91 I get average 320 miles to the tank and on 89 around 279. Hope this helps.
 

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Okay so I am also a conservative with money especially cause of the gas prices. Here in LA it's almost $4 a gallon for premium. I have tested both using 89 and 91. I do allot of in town driving so my MPG already sucks only averaging 11, but I do notice a huge difference when I use the 89. Yes I spend less for a full tank but I suffer for how much I get out of my tank. If I fill with 89 I average around 170-200 miles per tank but when I use the 91 I get closer to 250-270 depending on traffic conditions. Plus I have also found that when I only use Shell gas I get the higher of the 2. I have even gone as far as trying the 89 octane and adding a fuel additive that states it will increase mileage "which doesn't work". So in the long run I decided to only fill on Shell 91 cause they add cleaners to their fuel which also helps the life of your car. I figure I'd pay that little bit extra to prevent a major problem down the road. Just incase you do highway driving when I do use the 91 I get average 320 miles to the tank and on 89 around 279. Hope this helps.

you should defiantly be getting more than 11mpg, unless that was a typo.

I average about 17mpg in the city right now, AWD, and I remote start in the morning for 10 minutes so car is warm when I drive the kids to school. also me and my wife take turns running in stores leaving the car running too. once its warmer my mpg should move up.
 

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depends on the city. people's views of cities vary greatly. my city has a population of 85k. there's traffic but not bad, so MPGs don't get crushed too bad. being stuck on the LA freeway.... yeah... I could see 11 mpgs. I'm also on AWD. very little Hwy miles, but averaging between 17-20
 

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I have even gone as far as trying the 89 octane and adding a fuel additive that states it will increase mileage "which doesn't work". So in the long run I decided to only fill on Shell 91 cause they add cleaners to their fuel which also helps the life of your car. .
Check page 383 of the owners manual. Some additives can cause damage, depending on what is in them. Also, almost every reputable source like Consumers Reports, Car Talk and even Wikipedia say the only benefit of premium is the prevention of premature detonation. All the rest is hype. In San Francisco the gas companies are prohibited from making claims about their gas being better because most of it comes from the same few refineries. I have heard rumors that Chevron adds something from a can directly into their gas station tanks - Tetron? - to make theirs different.

Your personal experience admittedly goes against that point of view - but I wonder how, even on LA highways, you get 11 MPG. I drive rentals a lot in LA and often get caught in the worst traffic jams like driving from Costa Mesa to Silver Lake a 5:30pm via the 405 and the 5, and all the options to link the two, and have never experienced anything like that. Maybe you should have your MDX checked.
 

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Check page 383 of the owners manual. Some additives can cause damage, depending on what is in them. Also, almost every reputable source like Consumers Reports, Car Talk and even Wikipedia say the only benefit of premium is the prevention of premature detonation. All the rest is hype. In San Francisco the gas companies are prohibited from making claims about their gas being better because most of it comes from the same few refineries. I have heard rumors that Chevron adds something from a can directly into their gas station tanks - Tetron? - to make theirs different.

Your personal experience admittedly goes against that point of view - but I wonder how, even on LA highways, you get 11 MPG. I drive rentals a lot in LA and often get caught in the worst traffic jams like driving from Costa Mesa to Silver Lake a 5:30pm via the 405 and the 5, and all the options to link the two, and have never experienced anything like that. Maybe you should have your MDX checked.
Most stuff is mixed at the station or the tanker. Even Ethanol is mixed when they fill the tanker, which is why some shifty stations out there take the 85 octane, skip the ethanol and sell it as 87.

Be more concerned with how fresh the fuel is (in particular since I'm in a 10% ethanol state). If I'm at a station that doesn't look like they sell a lot of premium I'll go with 87 without a second though. A place like Costco gets a lot of churn, I'd by that vs premium at a BP station in the middle of nowhere.
 

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I took two readings back to back

my first tank with premium 91, 17.8 mpg.. all city driving
my second tank with regular 87, 17.5mpg all city driving

same streets same driver same weather and same gas station.
I have same experience on my testing. No difference in mileage.
But my MDX runs smoother with premium and it does vibrate less.
 

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I really don't know why anyone would use anything other than what the car's manufacturer recommends, which is 91-93 octane premium. Why spend $40-60K on a high-performance luxury SUV, only to be so cheap that you put the wrong fuel in it, just in order to save a few dollars a fillup? If you're too cheap to put the recommended fuel in it, you would have been better off buying a less expensive, lower performance vehicle. Makes no sense to me. Same as people who spend a lot of money for a new car, and then don't do the scheduled maintenance for it. Why spend the money on a car if you're not going to take care of it the way the manufacturer recommends doing so?
What I don’t understand is why someone would pay more for premium when you don’t need to$
 

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What I don’t understand is why someone would pay more for premium when you don’t need to$
There are a lot of things we don’t understand. Some people could say that about buying a new car. Or a newly redesigned car. Why would someone go on a brand new forum and start questioning decisions other people make?
 

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What I don’t understand is why someone would pay more for premium when you don’t need to$
Its just preference. Some people wants all the ponies they paid for whereas some have a strict budget.


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What if my pumps are only 87, 89, and 93?
It will still be a choice of preference. The MDX is tuned for both 87 and 93 (91 for those states who thinks 93 is overkill). Heck, go for 89 if you want too.


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