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    1. #1

      Do you use premium fuel?

      I have a T5 S90 FWD and was driving it with 87 octane the week it came off the truck at my dealer/employer.

      My co-worker has a 2016 V60 T5 and advised me to put in premium and watch the performance change immensely. I knew it would make some difference but I didnt know it would make a HUGE difference. I have since filled it with premium fuel, driven it 80 miles, and can tell one hell of a difference especially when accelerating to merge onto a highway.

      I highly recommend everybody who does NOT run premium to try it for at least two fills and watch the difference.

      Let me know what you find and think.
      Expert Level Volvo Technician and MY17 S90 T5 FWD owner

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    3. #2
      I thought that it could lead to engine damage over time when using lower octane fuel. Knocking, pinging, kabooom
      The increased performance makes sense considering the engine is designed for more compression before ignition, so lower grade fuel just ignites to early for optimum performance, I think.

    4. #3
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      The sticker literally says 91 octane at a minimum on my t6 S90. How could anyone use such low grade gas in a turbocharged engine?

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    6. #4
      Quote Originally Posted by alces View Post
      I thought that it could lead to engine damage over time when using lower octane fuel. Knocking, pinging, kabooom
      The increased performance makes sense considering the engine is designed for more compression before ignition, so lower grade fuel just ignites to early for optimum performance, I think.
      Knock sensors and ECM can determine what type of fuel is used and then adjust the timing accordingly so that engine damage does not occur. That is why engine can produce huge gains when switching fuel.

      Quote Originally Posted by Afrosheen View Post
      The sticker literally says 91 octane at a minimum on my t6 S90. How could anyone use such low grade gas in a turbocharged engine?
      I did say I own a T5 as well as my co-worker which can allow for 87.... .... BUT i do know of people who do not follow the fuel requirements of their vehicles.
      Last edited by gunshow; 04-10-2017 at 05:59 AM.
      Expert Level Volvo Technician and MY17 S90 T5 FWD owner

    7. #5
      You bought an expensive car. Why would you cheap out on a few hundred dollars a year?

      Get the highest octane you can.
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    8. #6
      Quote Originally Posted by gunshow View Post
      Knock sensors and ECM can determine what type of fuel is used and then adjust the timing accordingly so that engine damage does not occur. That is why engine can produce huge gains when switching fuel.
      On this point, there is a large thread for the 2015.5 Drive-E engines having a loud clicking sound followed by reduced power, typically occurs when accelerating on an incline.

      A lot of people think its pinging, and some indicate it gets better when they use high octane fuel, but its still present.

      I wonder if the early version of the Drive-E has bad software running the anti-knock system or have bad sensors?
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    9. #7
      Junior Member Okidiver's Avatar
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      I'm guessing you are on the right trail on that one. Back to OP and if I had a turbocharged engine (I have two) and one of them was finicky direct-injected (I have one) then I'd only run premium, top-tier fuel in them both (which I do). Not doing so begs the question, "why did you buy a premium car with a turbocharged engine?" As usual, YMMV...
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    10. #8
      Quote Originally Posted by johnee View Post
      You bought an expensive car. Why would you cheap out on a few hundred dollars a year?

      Get the highest octane you can.
      GREAT QUESTION!! I can't begin to tell you how many customer cars I test drive that ping under load because of their fuel but we cant get mad because the T5 does not require premium. Even the I6 3.2 should be ran with premium.

      I ask the same question when I see a fully loaded Volvo with "road hugger" tires or some other brand from china/mexico.

      Quote Originally Posted by johnee View Post
      On this point, there is a large thread for the 2015.5 Drive-E engines having a loud clicking sound followed by reduced power, typically occurs when accelerating on an incline.

      A lot of people think its pinging, and some indicate it gets better when they use high octane fuel, but its still present.

      I wonder if the early version of the Drive-E has bad software running the anti-knock system or have bad sensors?
      I have only ONCE seen a bad knock sensor on a 2.0 (Drive-E) since they were released and it had a related DTC so I doubt that. I highly doubt it was ECM software as well.

      As i said above.... I see/hear it every day at work. I make it a point to bring it up to the customer and ask them to switch for their own vehicle's good. Once they do and the adaptives in the vehicle reset/adjust..... it drives 100 times better.
      Last edited by gunshow; 04-11-2017 at 06:02 AM.
      Expert Level Volvo Technician and MY17 S90 T5 FWD owner

    11. #9
      I believe in the owners manual it states that using anything less than 91 octane can void the warranty. It is as all others have said, pretty clear, 91 or higher ONLY.

    12. #10
      Quote Originally Posted by Batdog View Post
      I believe in the owners manual it states that using anything less than 91 octane can void the warranty. It is as all others have said, pretty clear, 91 or higher ONLY.
      The details are in the print and as a technician I can not prove that a customer ran lower octane in order to void their warranty.

      Quote Originally Posted by gunshow View Post
      I did say I own a T5 as well as my co-worker which can allow for 87.... .... BUT i do know of people who do not follow the fuel requirements of their vehicles.
      Expert Level Volvo Technician and MY17 S90 T5 FWD owner

    13. #11
      Quote Originally Posted by Batdog View Post
      I believe in the owners manual it states that using anything less than 91 octane can void the warranty. It is as all others have said, pretty clear, 91 or higher ONLY.
      I'm not sure what year and engine you're referring to but my manual says that 87 is acceptable and that's all I've run in 26,000 miles. Where we live, premium is 80 cents more than regular or over 30% at current prices. For us, that translates into close to $500/year and as long as the car runs ok(which it does), that's what I'll use.
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    14. #12

      Yes I always use 91

      I remember my mechanic always tell me that turbocharged and supercharged car need the higher octane fuel. It makes sense given the higher compression ratio in the cylinder. I used to "cheat" at times and use 89 in my "old" A6 (3.2TSFI, normally aspirated) and I remember noticing performance changes (I tried 87 ONCE and the car was a slug). I stopped after my mechanic found carbon residues that he blamed on the lower grade fuel. I think that for the S90, T5 or T6 it's MUCH safer to stick to 91 gas.

    15. #13
      Member matt1122's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by gunshow View Post
      The details are in the print and as a technician I can not prove that a customer ran lower octane in order to void their warranty.
      Another problem is that even if you could prove they ran lower octane by testing the fuel, you can't prove that it was their fault it happened.

      How do you prove the gas station hasn't been running a scheme and selling regular as premium?

      It's there for the ones who will just say "we put regular in our car all the time."

      Hell, my dealership STILL puts regular in all the cars.
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    16. #14
      Global Moderator GrecianVolvo's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Batdog View Post
      I believe in the owners manual it states that using anything less than 91 octane can void the warranty. It is as all others have said, pretty clear, 91 or higher ONLY.
      There is no such thing.
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    17. #15
      Global Moderator GrecianVolvo's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Sfolivier View Post
      I remember my mechanic always tell me that turbocharged and supercharged car need the higher octane fuel. It makes sense given the higher compression ratio in the cylinder. I used to "cheat" at times and use 89 in my "old" A6 (3.2TSFI, normally aspirated) and I remember noticing performance changes (I tried 87 ONCE and the car was a slug). I stopped after my mechanic found carbon residues that he blamed on the lower grade fuel. I think that for the S90, T5 or T6 it's MUCH safer to stick to 91 gas.
      That is sort of a myth. Yes, typically, a forced induction engine will do better with higher octane but it is all about the compression. Any engine that has a compression higher than 8.7:1, should use premium fuel, turbo or non-turbo. Less than 8.7:1, you can use 87 even if it is a turbo or supercharged.
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    18. #16
      Quote Originally Posted by matt1122 View Post
      Another problem is that even if you could prove they ran lower octane by testing the fuel, you can't prove that it was their fault it happened.

      How do you prove the gas station hasn't been running a scheme and selling regular as premium?

      It's there for the ones who will just say "we put regular in our car all the time."

      Hell, my dealership STILL puts regular in all the cars.
      The Volvo dealerships I have worked for never put premium in the new cars. The vehicles do run just fine without premium but they run SOOOOOO MUCH better with it.

      I have read somewhere in my Volvo literature that premium is required for T6 and recommended for T5. Not sure where I saw it though. I know my Polestar literature says premium is required.
      Quote Originally Posted by GrecianVolvo View Post
      There is no such thing.
      No physical book but there is a free downloadable PDF. I even downloaded and read it for my S90 despite being to Volvo training for the vehicle and working on them daily.
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    19. #17
      Global Moderator GrecianVolvo's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by gunshow View Post
      No physical book but there is a free downloadable PDF. I even downloaded and read it for my S90 despite being to Volvo training for the vehicle and working on them daily.
      Again, using 87 octane fuel is not going to void your warranty but it is silly to use it since 91 is what is required for "best performance". Using gasoline (even premium) that contains methanol, that could void your warranty since such fuel can damage critical parts in the fuel system. Last, any fuel having more than 10% ethanol (by volume) shall not be used, as well.
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    20. #18
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      Well the best I can get is 90 proof - ethanol free for my area. I used the below site to locate a dealer:

      http://pure-gas.org/about

    21. #19
      Quote Originally Posted by GrecianVolvo View Post
      That is sort of a myth. Yes, typically, a forced induction engine will do better with higher octane but it is all about the compression. Any engine that has a compression higher than 8.7:1, should use premium fuel, turbo or non-turbo. Less than 8.7:1, you can use 87 even if it is a turbo or supercharged.
      I think we're "violently agreeing" that higher compression ratio require higher octane to prevent knocking/pinging. My mistake was assuming that turbocharged/supercharged engine had a higher compression ratio than normally aspirated car. It's actually the other way around where higher boosts are paired with lower compression ratio (my older A6 was 12.5 but I think the S90 engines are about 10.3).

      At the end, I think it's pretty straightforward that higher octane is better for the S90 and most (all) premium cars. I don't think any of them have low compression ratios or even high detonation margins when using forced aspiration on a lower compression ratio (even with 8.7:1 and would be worried about the boost contributing to knocking).

    22. #20
      Member Bmo Pete's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by johnee View Post
      You bought an expensive car. Why would you cheap out on a few hundred dollars a year?

      Get the highest octane you can.
      Amen!
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    23. #21
      Member matt1122's Avatar
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      For the reasons mentioned above, they could never put it in any writing that the warranty is void if you don't use the right petrol fuel even if they wanted to.

      Even Ferrari and Bugatti vehicles have knock sensors and retard the timing if necessary.

      You usually just lose performance, and if there is any damage it's because the knock sensor and engine management system didn't do its job well enough and then that's still on the manufacturer.
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    24. #22
      This is directly copy and pasted from the owners manual:

      Octane rating
      Volvo requires premium fuel (91 octane or
      above) for best performance
      Expert Level Volvo Technician and MY17 S90 T5 FWD owner

    25. #23
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      Quote Originally Posted by gunshow View Post
      This is directly copy and pasted from the owners manual:

      Octane rating
      Volvo requires premium fuel (91 octane or
      above) for best performance
      Reading that, the point is best performance. In my XC60 I6 T6, the manual states that 87 octane is fine.

      And to answer some of the other questions, I have a corporate fuel card. Because I have an owners manual that states 87 octane is fine, I can't get my fleet manager to OK providing fuel paid by the company that is above 87 octane.

      So, I run 87 octane. I put about 25k miles a year on my vehicle currently and until this point have had zero issues.

      Let me make a point that's clear. I understand your point about performance. But let me explain one simple point I have, until they changed my software for the transmission, I could spin my tires until about 40 mph... on 87 octane.

      How much more performance do I need?

      Were I able to get higher octane fuel on my corporate card, I would be using it.

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    26. #24
      I cannot comprehend this discussion. We own forced induction cars for whatever reason. It is generally accepted that forced induction cars perform better with higher octane fuel. Why not feed our engines so that we get the maximum performance when we need it, whenever that may be? Cost be damned.

      Otherwise, I hear Toyota will sell you a fine car.
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    27. #25
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      This is why. Performance vs reliability.

      Note: Some things in manuals are from a theoretical point of view. Check the far right where it talks about not using cell phones near gas fumes--which has been disproven in a few places.

      This image is from an XC60 manual

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    28. #26
      Global Moderator GrecianVolvo's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by tarrbot View Post
      Reading that, the point is best performance. In my XC60 I6 T6, the manual states that 87 octane is fine.

      And to answer some of the other questions, I have a corporate fuel card. Because I have an owners manual that states 87 octane is fine, I can't get my fleet manager to OK providing fuel paid by the company that is above 87 octane.

      So, I run 87 octane. I put about 25k miles a year on my vehicle currently and until this point have had zero issues.

      Let me make a point that's clear. I understand your point about performance. But let me explain one simple point I have, until they changed my software for the transmission, I could spin my tires until about 40 mph... on 87 octane.

      How much more performance do I need?

      Were I able to get higher octane fuel on my corporate card, I would be using it.
      Since you made your points, this is the final point: your car is an XC60 and does not have a Drive-E engine. Different fuel requirements since they are different power plants.

      Quote Originally Posted by qaz996
      I cannot comprehend this discussion. We own forced induction cars for whatever reason. It is generally accepted that forced induction cars perform better with higher octane fuel. Why not feed our engines so that we get the maximum performance when we need it, whenever that may be? Cost be damned.
      As far as my personal opinion goes, I am of the same belief.
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    29. #27
      Quote Originally Posted by mainsail View Post
      I'm not sure what year and engine you're referring to but my manual says that 87 is acceptable and that's all I've run in 26,000 miles. Where we live, premium is 80 cents more than regular or over 30% at current prices. For us, that translates into close to $500/year and as long as the car runs ok(which it does), that's what I'll use.
      We would seem to be in a minority here, but I am with you. 87 octane has worked just fine in all of my recent Volvos. Getting increased performance, be it modest or dramatic, is simply not a priority, let alone a necessity, for me. I would rather spend the $500 a year on something, anything, else.
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    30. #28
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      Quote Originally Posted by GrecianVolvo View Post
      Since you made your points, this is the final point: your car is an XC60 and does not have a Drive-E engine. Different fuel requirements since they are different power plants.
      I understand that. Which is why I bolded my comment that it was a different engine.

      However, it was brought up that the I6 should be run with premium.

      Which is a matter of preference, honestly.

      Invariably, as most things like this online go, it's a matter of opinion in that specific case.

      I gave a specific reason why I am using 87 octane--one that is legitimate.

      I just find it extraordinary that the two ardent advocates of premium fuel here are part of the Volvo payroll. This is not to suggest any fishiness--just to note that it is people on the manufacturer side pushing that belief. If I had people paying for my vehicle, it would be easier to justify the fuel costs.

      And I do realize that there are some non-Volvo employees who follow that same belief and that's not an issue. But let's be blunt here: this is a concept that you would never tell someone to their face. In the real world, no one would be implying someone is wrong to put this manufacturer-approved fuel in their vehicle.

      It's almost like trying to discuss things with vegans.

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    31. #29
      Quote Originally Posted by tarrbot View Post
      I understand that. Which is why I bolded my comment that it was a different engine.

      However, it was brought up that the I6 should be run with premium.

      Which is a matter of preference, honestly.
      As an expert technician that works on your vehicle nearly daily, I disagree. Your engine sounds like a bolt rattling around in the cylinders with low octane. I received complaints from customers about this noise nearly every week when the engine first came and and it was remedied by telling them to switch to premium.

      87 SHOULD not damage your engine if the knock sensors and ECM do their job but you drive a $50k+ vehicle, take the engineers advice that build the vehicle and treat it like you should.

      I understand if your company wont spring for premium and that I can forgive, but for you other cheap people, stop it.

      I am NOT on a Volvo payroll, I am the highest rated technician you can be for Volvo and work for a family owned dealership. I am merely here to help with experienced advice.

      Quote Originally Posted by qaz996 View Post
      I cannot comprehend this discussion. We own forced induction cars for whatever reason. It is generally accepted that forced induction cars perform better with higher octane fuel. Why not feed our engines so that we get the maximum performance when we need it, whenever that may be? Cost be damned.

      Otherwise, I hear Toyota will sell you a fine car.
      x1,000
      Last edited by gunshow; 04-15-2017 at 10:12 AM.
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    32. #30
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      Quote Originally Posted by gunshow View Post
      As an expert technician that works on your vehicle nearly daily, I disagree. Your engine sounds like a bolt rattling around in the cylinders with low octane. I received complaints from customers about this noise nearly every week when the engine first came and and it was remedied by telling them to switch to premium.
      This is where I get to once again complain that Volvo should not have named the Drive-e engines the same Tx nomenclature as the previous generation since my T6 is fine and does not sound like a bolt rattling around in the cylinders. In the S90 manual it specifically states the 91 octane rating. However, in the 2016 XC60 manual it only details out the engine number Btxyz34T32x64-hut-hut-hut which is stupid but necessary because the idiots at Volvo did not differentiate between engines that are T6 Drive-e and T6 inline 6.

      As someone who works with people everyday on cars, surely you can see that this is confusing to some people less mechanically inclined.

      87 SHOULD not damage your engine if the knock sensors and ECM do their job but you drive a $50k+ vehicle, take the engineers advice that build the vehicle and treat it like you should.
      As above, I am taking the engineers advice and using what's necessary to push my vehicle down the road. I'm treating it exactly per the operators manual.

      I am NOT on a Volvo payroll, I am the highest rated technician you can be for Volvo and work for a family owned dealership. I am merely here to help with experienced advice.
      This was not to insult you nor Yannis but you do get paid indirectly by Volvo--assuming it's an actual Volvo dealership and not an independent.

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    33. #31
      Quote Originally Posted by tarrbot View Post
      As above, I am taking the engineers advice and using what's necessary to push my vehicle down the road. I'm treating it exactly per the operators manual.
      The engineers allow for 87 because the engine "detunes" itself but they clearly recommend and/or require premium for performance. This is tricky as a customer like you thinks "who needs performance this is not a hot rod street racer" BUT in fact performance also means fuel economy. As you use more volatile fuel with lower octane rating (it burns quicker) the engine retards timing to prevent ping. If you search around you will see that retarded timing causes overall lower MPG's than advanced timing.

      Premium fuel = advanced timing = better economy and power.
      87 octane = retarded timing = less mpg and power
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    34. #32
      Member matt1122's Avatar
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      Honestly, the engineers allow for 87 because 87 is sold and they know people will put it in their vehicle one way or another. And there are also bad batches of fuel out there which will have lower octane than they are rated for.

      And despite the fact that people won't want to believe you that advanced timing gives better economy, it is the truth. Engines operate more efficiently (in terms of power produced per unit of fuel consumed) at their peak torque. When you retard timing and therefore reduce torque by running lower octane fuel, you are reducing the amount of power produced per unit of fuel consumed. More fuel will be needed to move the car the same distance because of this.
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    35. #33
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      What is the big cost savings of 87 vs 93? 30cents/gallon x 15 gallons=$4.50/fillup x52 fillups/year=$235 in additional savings or cost annually. Makes sense to get the 93.

    36. #34
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      Quote Originally Posted by adkmooserider View Post
      What is the big cost savings of 87 vs 93? 30cents/gallon x 15 gallons=$4.50/fillup x52 fillups/year=$235 in additional savings or cost annually. Makes sense to get the 93.
      You make assumptions on prices elsewhere as well as how often a fill happens.

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    37. #35
      Member Gary-16-Xc90's Avatar
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      Just follow the manufacturer's fuel recommendation and you will be fine. EOS.
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