Octane Boosters

Joe writing to JKat:

I have always had mixed opinions about octane boosters and actually never used them.
Portland has a Fed. mandate that we have to do better cleaning the air and as a result we have
“oxygenated fuel” which is gasohol.  Makes all cars run terrible in the name of the environment??
Anyway, the BMW just was not running right recently and has not felt up to par for some time.
That car has 10.5 – 1 compression, which I know they did for mid-range cruising economy and not for accelerating.
Anyway, I was reading that the sensor that detects the octane in the fuel, will make full use of the 10.5 compression if octane is high enough.
Unlike a distributor that has a theoretical static advance, the BMW sensors detect the real octane and from that
find the ideal.   Anyway, I tried 108 Octane Booster that a friend recommended and wow, what a difference.
The engine sounds much more fierce and performance is like adding 40 HP or so.  Someone else said that
Lucas Octane booster is very good,  but that one costs about $9.00 for a very small bottle, so i went with the 108.
At about $4.00 per tank, the 108 clearly is giving me better gas mileage and oven an entire tank of gas is paying for itself,
not to mention better acceleration.   Even my low first gear is not very noticeable with the higher octane.

3 replies
  1. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    JKat’s reply:

    Yes interesting, glad to hear that it led to improvement…I’ve not had much luck with octane boosters myself. The car doesn’t really sense the octane level, rather sensors on the engine are able to detect any pre-ignition or detonation as a result of poor fuel (or HOT weather, or heavy load, or lugging the engine etc.) and reduce the timing advance to compensate. The real problem with the oxygenated fuel is that the alcohol attracts WATER and thus fuel is easily contaminated, especially in winter when our illustrious and ignorant leaders like to give speeches to even more ignorant masses about how they are “cleaning up the air that our children breathe” It is absolute B.S. because it quite drastically REDUCES engine efficiency as there are simply less BTUs available in “gasahol”. So if you hook up a smog check machine, it looks cleaner at the moment, BUT it will consume more fuel (MUCH more as in 10-20% LESS fuel economy all other things equal), so where is the cleaner air in that? We just spend a LOT more for fuel, our cars run CRAPPY and get far worse mileage, so who’s happy? Oh yes, the farmers who see prices for corn shoot up as we take food and shove it into our gas tanks. Politicians love thumping their chests and giving speeches to farmers too….
    The whole thing is CRIMINAL ! We just get gouged on the price of many staples, our cars run like crap, our air is arguably DIRTIER, and our fuel systems suffer the effects of alcohol, which eats O rings and fuel lines and introduces water contamination into fuel injectors….oh yes its just wonderful !!

  2. ziggyzip
    ziggyzip says:

    Joe’s reply:

    Thanks for the details. The Portland area, which includes Lake Oswego, is in a Fed. area that has had higher than allowable air pollution levels. It is a smaller “bowl” version on the L.A. basin, although pollution is nothing like L.A. here. Anyway, from Nov. 1 to April 1, the winter months when there is more water in the air as you mention below we get gasahol. Possibly the 108 octane booster does increase the octane as it claims, but may also absorb or chemically change water in the gas?? Good question. If there is time when the gearbox is done, maybe I can drive down to see you again and you be the judge. I think you will be surprised. Now the Bimmer seems to really make use of what ponies it has to great effect and as someone with a good ear for mechanical sounds both good and bad, the engine sounds like it should. I could also speculate that the Oregon mixture of fuel is really poor because the state employs something like 1 or 2 people statewide to check service station pumps. So, it is just on trust only that a person is getting premium fuel out of the premium pump. One local independent station operator that I used to know told me that many stations continue to add the alcohol mix year round, which lowers their costs. It also means in the summer when we need and are supposed to get the best fuels, it isn’t. OK, sorry to raise your blood pressure over 108 Octane booster. At least for the BMW it works. A happy sounding engine has to equate to a longer life engine.


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