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Has anyone experimented with using a higher octane gas...like 93 vs. 87. I find the vehicle underpowered, especially at high speeds lacking passing power. I have filled two tanks with 93 octane and this seems to help a little. Thoughts and or suggestions...... I had the highlander and that screwed in comparison. Same engine, lighter vehicle, one more gear on the tran (at least the model I had 2014).
 

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My 1998 Avalon V-6 has tons of power, I use 87 octane and put in fuel injector cleaner in the gas tank twice a year, I also get 22-26 MPGs with regular around town driving and 30 MPGs + highway. I also have done the basic tune up of NGK plugs and new spark plug wires. I also have a new exhaust system on it. Low power could be caused by a plugged cat converter or old worn out spark plugs or a very dirty air filter..
 

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Sadly, the deletion of the V8 in 2010 and later 4Runners along with a heavier vehicle has caused many complaints like yours. You'll just have to live with it being underpowered. Your owners manual says 87 octane or higher. No additional benefit is noted with use of higher octane.


Although most of the time I don't notice any difference, interestingly, with my prior gen 2003 4Runner 4.0L, the owners manual states:




Fuel type:


Unleaded gasoline, Octane Rating 87


(Research Octane Number 91) or higher.


For improved vehicle performance, the


use of premium unleaded gasoline with


an Octane Rating of 91 (Research Octane


Number 96) or higher is recommended.










 

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You definitely won’t win any drag races, but you hopefully didn’t buy it for that purpose. I drive it slow like the boat it is and enjoy every minute of it.


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Has anyone experimented with using a higher octane gas...like 93 vs. 87. I find the vehicle underpowered, especially at high speeds lacking passing power. I have filled two tanks with 93 octane and this seems to help a little. Thoughts and or suggestions...... I had the highlander and that screwed in comparison. Same engine, lighter vehicle, one more gear on the tran (at least the model I had 2014).
I really can't tell any difference between 93 and 87. I also installed a Borla cat back and K&N intake but have seen very little increase in gas mileage. So there's always the possibility that it's all in my head. I made the same mods on a 2015 Tahoe LTZ 5.3 and I was able to get 26Hwy. The best I can get with the Runner is 20.
 

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Octane will not, all things being equal, impact mileage. Octane will impact pre-detonation, or knock. Higher compression engines tend to need higher octane fuel. These Toyotas only need the 87 range octane. Some owners have indicated they have knock/ping and the higher octane removes that.
 

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I run 93 octane in my 19 taco v6. The biggest difference I notice is right off of idle, with 87 octane I would get a hesitation or lag, with 93 octane it goes immediately when touching the go peddle. More power, maybe, its debatable, but overall it just runs smoother and transmission downshifts smoother with 93, no hesitation there either, when it downshifts it downshiftss, not this I wanna, wait a second, ok down shift. Mileage is Probably about the same, deffinately not worse, but id be lying if I was to say getting "better " gas mileage.

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Unless your ECM adjusts timing for the higher octane, which would allow more aggressive timing, you will actually see less power with higher octane.
Higher octanse are for higher compression, more aggressive timing engines, which require a slower burning fuel to prevent pre ignition
 

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The ECM does use a knock sensor to adjust timing. That's where the difference comes from. You can actually find the published power rating differences with some Google-fu.
That being said, it's quite a small difference. I believe the 4th gen was only about 5hp or so and the 5th about 15ish? In real world testing, I found little difference. The MPG was within margin of error for driver testing.
As far as power, I was hard pressed to feel the difference in the 4th gen. On my 5th gen, I only perceive the difference while towing my boat when ambient temps are high (FL summer). Maybe I feel it without the boat? If I have to ask, then there isn't much difference.
Here the price jump from 87 to 93 is very high. There is no possible way the mpg will offset the cost. I personally only run 93 when I'm towing in high temps. The winter is always 87 since I can't tell a difference in cooler temps.
People seem to forget, hp is measured at full throttle. With newer engines having more power, the power increase in terms of percentage is relatively small. In normal day to day driving a conservative driver rarely uses more than 35% throttle. If 15 hp is only about 5.5% more than rated power with 87 octane, then 35% of the 5.5% is only about 2%. At the end of the day it's not much different but the numbers make us feel like it is.
 
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