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Chevrolet Malibu Maxx Engine Questions

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Comments

  • On the Malibu rentals I've had I always have used just regular, and never heard any knocking (which is the functional test). I use Premium in my Volvo, but it is a turbo (low pressure). I have noticed a performance difference in the Volvo the few times I have tried regular in it. So far we have been sticking to mid-grade in the Maxx. Has plenty of power with it.
    :)
  • rferd43rferd43 Posts: 20
    My high mileage is on flat terrain and going no faster than 70 mpg. I like the challenge of trying to get the most out of a tank of gas. Maybe I am cheap? :D
  • mr_botsmr_bots Posts: 225
    Little off-topic, but thought I'd post. The difference between octanes is how much it can be compressed before igniting. In the past the higher octanes had better detergents but that is no longer the case as the detergents in today's 91 isn't any better than the detergent in 87. So putting premium or mid-grade in an engine designed for 87 does not improve performance or reliability, such as most non-performance engines. However, running regular in a car that "recommends" premium fuel will decrease performance. If premium fuel is "required" putting a lower grade fuel in it could damage the engine. So, putting 89 or 91 octane in a Malibu is doing nothing but costing more money.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    There is no advantage in premium as long as you use a top tier gas. In St. Louis where I live that means QuikTrip, Conoco/Phillips or Shell. Don't think Mobil or BP makes the cut, primarily because they've (because of marketing decisions) have tied high detergency to premium fuels.

    http://www.toptiergas.com/retailers.html

    TOP TIER Gasoline Retailers:

    QuikTrip
    Chevron
    Conoco
    Phillips
    76
    Shell
    Entec Stations
    MFA Oil Company
    Kwik Trip/Kwik Star
    The Somerset Refinery, Inc.
    Chevron-Canada
    Aloha Petroleum
    Tri-Par Oil Company
    Shell-Canada
    Texaco
  • I've never encountered knocking or pinging in my Maxx, using 87 octane fuel, throughout my long trips including up and down mountains.

    If I have a __lot__ of mountain climbing on a trip, I might mix in some 89 with the 87 just to be safe.

    My Prism and Camry (toyotas) did occasionally have problems with 87, though. they were "designed" for 87.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    I think need for octane goes down as altitude goes up. It's been a while since I've been in the Rockies or Black Hills but if memory serves me right, I thought the octane rating for regular was somewhere around 84. I didn't think you could get 89 or if you could it would be super premium. Of course that was ten years ago and maybe things have changed.
  • not sure. 87 is lowest octane I have seen in Calif. and Oregon. 91 is usually premium.
  • mr_botsmr_bots Posts: 225
    Elevation is related to octane rating. Lower the elevation, lower the octane. The octane ratings here are 86/88/90.
  • I guess I started a good thread with my initial reply on octane. I agree pretty much with all the threads, and will probably go to regular instead of mid-grade on our Malibu. However, there is still a detergent difference between grades on at least SOME gasoline. I do not know for sure on Top Tier, and the earlier post may be correct that all Top Tier has the same. I will investigate further with those I know in the oil industry. I do know something from my own experience. With my Volvo turbo, if I do not use premium, I get carbon deposits on the valves which cause a problem. And the car does lose power. Engineers I knew at Shell years ago had told me to watch for excess carbon build-up with lower grades on some engines. With that in mind I used nothing but premium on my 1971 Pinto (yes the exploding car) for over twenty years. Got 325,000 miles on it and only did one valve job, at 190,000 miles. So there is evidence that still leads me to higher grade gas. Also, it has been shown in many tests that you do get better gas mileage with higher grades.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    "For each 1000 feet of altitude the atmospheric pressure will drop by a little less than 1 inHg (11 kPa/km). An engine that might require 93 octane at sea level may perform at maximum on a fuel rated at 91 octane if the elevation is over, say, 1000 feet. See also the APC article."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Octane_rating
  • prdmprdm Posts: 145
    Also, it has been shown in many tests that you do get better gas mileage with higher grades.

    Absolutely false!
  • While it is not much better mpg (a few percent)it is actually true. Higher octane does give better mpg. I have seen the test results in the past when my job was in transportation. It is not enough to make up for the higher cost though.
  • All right, I was told to leave the Malibu Maxx discussion with this side-bar on fuel octane. Here was my last post:

    "I guess I started a good thread with my initial reply on octane. I agree pretty much with all the threads, and will probably go to regular instead of mid-grade on our Malibu. However, there is still a detergent difference between grades on at least SOME gasoline. I do not know for sure on Top Tier, and the earlier post may be correct that all Top Tier has the same. I will investigate further with those I know in the oil industry. I do know something from my own experience. With my Volvo turbo, if I do not use premium, I get carbon deposits on the valves which cause a problem. And the car does lose power. Engineers I knew at Shell years ago had told me to watch for excess carbon build-up with lower grades on some engines. With that in mind I used nothing but premium on my 1971 Pinto (yes the exploding car) for over twenty years. Got 325,000 miles on it and only did one valve job, at 190,000 miles. So there is evidence that still leads me to higher grade gas. Also, it has been shown in many tests that you do get better gas mileage with higher grades."

    What do others have to say about fuel octane. As discussed above, I really do believe octane makes a performance difference. I have primarily used premium in all my cars, and have obtianed better life that "normal" life on cars for more than 30 years. What do others say?
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    As I said before we were all so rudely interrupted by closing down the general Maxx board. No real advantage, especially if you use a top tier fuel. I find BP to be especially egregious in trying to pimp high octane fuels by cutting detergency on regular.

    Now for the real reason I responded again. I don't know about the rest of you but splintering all of these forums is a big mistake IMHO. What kind of legs will this board have? Ten posts and it'll drop off the page in no time.

    The big mistake is when the new 'Bu and the old Classic model were mixed on the board. That plugged up all of the non-Maxx boards with comments about 02 classic bu's. At least the Maxx board stayed pure.

    By mixing the Maxx and the sedan 'Bu you no longer have access to the Maxx through hatchback or wagon boards. I've fought over Edmunds decision to make the Maxx a wagon instead of a hatch. Whatever it is, the mixing of the Maxx and the failure to recognize it as a hatch was bad marketing on the part of GM and (now) Edmunds. I want my Maxx board back!
  • marlapmarlap Posts: 18
    going to pick up my 05 maxx for the third time at the dealership tomorrow for the same problem with the starter hanging up. on the 2nd visit they ran the new program to correct the problem with the computer. it was okay for awhile then slowly but surely it has started again. Not as often as before but still doing it. does anyone know it this will tear something else up on the car if it continues. of course it would not do it for them as it never does. as least my husband had heard it so i am not some crazy lady!!!
  • Can someone please clear something up for me and settle a bet. My father-in-law says that because the manual for my Maxx says not to use methanol for fuel, I should also not be using ethanol. I claimed to him that the two are different but he says that the ethanol blend fuel here in Iowa has the same negative effects on my engine and fuel systems. Can someone please clear this up for me?
  • mybooomybooo Posts: 92
    Hello fellow Iowan! I am in Waterloo. But, I haad used ethanol (10%) in our Maxx, and I got about 3 or 4 mpg LESS than the regular 87 gas. Even with 87 being a few cents more, it is still cheaper for me to use the 87 NON ethanol. I tried the same test on my previous car, and had the same results. So I don't use ethanol. Where ya from?
  • I live in Ankeny. Actually my wife and I just traded our two vehicles for two new used ones last Thursday night. She used to drive a '00 Ford Windstar SEL w/ 118,000 miles, loaded w/ leather interior. I was, and always have for as long as I have known my wife, driven the "beater" car. I have driven many different ones, but this one was a '95 Ford Contour w/ 90,000 miles. I got the Maxx, which I LOVE!! '05, dark metallic blue and loaded. The only option I don't think it has is the 6 disc changer. It only has one disc capability. She got a 2003 Toyota Prius, loaded. Toyota of Des Moines made us a pretty sweet deal on a two car trade, especially since one was a domestic and they don't have much market for them since most people who go there are looking for a Toyota.

    So the 10% ethanol isn't "bad" for my engine, but it doesn't have the performance of a non-ethanol gas?

    Talk again later!! Go Hawks!
  • mybooomybooo Posts: 92
    You got it! There are some benifits to ethanol in the winter I guess, but I have had better luck with the 87 non ethanol. Nice cars ya got! Congrats!
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,714
    with the recent lukewarm-start programming fix.
    Engine seems to start more reliabily, but it's still early into the repair.
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