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Honda Pilot Real World MPG



  • kingfans1kingfans1 Posts: 137
    so your point is the engine with 10:1 compression doesn't need preminum 91 or higher..

    If you look at 2006 MDX which has 3471 CC 10:1 compression, required 91 or higher.

    Of course you can use octane 87 on Acura MDX, but you are going to loose some HP.. for normal drivers wouldn't probably notice.

    I do believe Honda Pilot engine really need octane 91 or higher. because of the weight of the car, and engine.
  • justaveragejoejustaveragejoe Posts: 267
    edited March 2010
    Yes, for 2006 you are correct and make a good point. Both the Pilot and MDX have the same compression ratio and displacement (I made a mistake in my prior post, I meant to show 3.471 Liter).

    Yet the MDX gets a higher HP rating? I imagine the MDX engine computer was "tuned" to perform better than the Pilot because it is a premium brand of car (Acura vs Honda) and people expect more for the premium price they pay. This performance tuning, things like increasing the maximum ignition timing through programming of the computer, requires premium gas to prevent pre-ignition or "pinging" during hard acceleration. Thats when timing needs to be advanced the most. If an OBDII sensor detects pre-ignition because the octane is too low for the MDX, it will compensate by adjusting some engine controls, such as retarding the timing. Maximum performance would not be achieved.

    But I don't think the Pilot can achieve more HP with premium gas because it was deigned and programmed to run on regular. I think the computer has its limits and as long as the gas is letting the computer run everything at optimum, then that's all she's got.

    I set the timing in my old truck by manually turning the distributor cap. It also has a vacuum advance and centrifugal advance. These methods are primitive compared to computers but they helped the car run more efficiently. The specs for my truck call for 2 degree advanced. I can advance it up to 6 degrees before I get any pinging. I keep it at 4 degrees to prevent any pre-ignition that I can't hear. I have always run premium in that old thing.

    Anyway, people should feel good about whatever they do. A lot of stuff is opinion (including my babbling) and folks should do the things that increase the enjoyment they get when driving their vehicles.

    Edit: Hey, check it out. Post number 1000 in this thread.

  • kingfans1kingfans1 Posts: 137
    I always fuel up my car with chevron 91. It always show 420 miles range at 2 different chevron gas station after fuel up.

    today I fuel up with shell V-power, the miles range show 429. I will let you guys know if shell gas brand give me good mpg.

    so far shell v-power is excellent brand. performance is great. no problems going up on the mountains ( 8000 feet ). the car breathe better.
  • I sell Pilots and 87 is all you need. 91 octane is a waste as stated above the engine is designed for 87 and will not perform any better or different with 91. If you beleive it does it is probably because you have convinced yourself of it.

  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Every "miles to empty" computer I've ever seen calculates this based on MPGs over the last few hundred miles. Ford, Hyundai, Toyota. Hate to break it to ya, but that computer isn't analyzing the fuel and saying "yep, this gas feels a little better than the last stuff." It just means your driving style and/or how much fuel was in the tank meant mathematically, you'd get a little further on that tank.

    I've read several different articles mentioning how the higher resistance to ignition of premium can be a detriment to your mileage. I don't disagree or agree; I'm no engineer.
  • kingfans1kingfans1 Posts: 137
    Octane 91 like chevron, shell, brand name have more cleaning agents than 87. In the long run of using 91, it will maintain your engine max performance.

    lets say you drive 15,000 miles a year. 20 mpg. regular vs preminum 91 difference is .20 cents. Using preminum will cost you $150 more.

    yea I believe 91 perform better than 87.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    edited March 2010
    At Chevron (I know at least in Alabama because I have bought it exclusively for years) there is the same amount of cleaning agent in 87, 89, and 93. All feature "Techron."

    I've used 87 in my Honda all of its life with no problems or performance issues at all. I've only got 209k miles on it though, so its not nearly used up.
  • kingfans1kingfans1 Posts: 137
    Hi jeffinva,
    you mentioned you got 24 hwy. is that 2wd or 4wd? how often you average 24 hwy? I assume 24 mpg only show couple minutes....

    please post the prof.. thanks
  • haleypophaleypop Posts: 4
    I'm wondering if there is any site that rates gasolines by the amount of energy they produce. Diesel produces something like 17% more energy per gallon, probably because it is denser. I suspect that there is a difference in brands of gas.

    The best car ever was my 98 Honda Accord. It had a sweet spot at 88 mph. More than once I got 27+ mpg at 88 but when I had to slow down to 70, I only got 22 mpg.

    One thing I did notice over the years was that if I used synthetic or synthetic blended oil, the mileage didn't improve after changing oil.

    My 4 Hondas run smoother on premium gas, but I can't tell any difference in fuel mileage.
  • kipkkipk Posts: 1,576
    >"Octane 91 like chevron, shell, brand name have more cleaning agents than 87. In the long run of using 91, it will maintain your engine max performance. "

    Please show proof....Thanks!
  • jeffinvajeffinva Posts: 6
    Hello kingfans1,

    I have a 2WD Pilot. We avg right around 24 MPG on straight hwy trips during the warmer months (march-nov). I'm in richmond, VA and the trips i take in the colder months (dec-feb) usually AVG around 22.5. Most trips are with a family of 4 (2 adult-sized teenagers). Of course when I'm sitting in heavy traffic for a super long-time, that changes things some. We have 29k on the pilot so far. Its been great.

    I have also had (2) 400 mile round trips on I95 from Richmond, VA to Baltimore during the summer where I got 26.8 MPG. It obviously doesn't match an accord but I think its great for the size of the pilot. I have always just used 87 octane.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I don't think I'd use a commercial for Shell as proof. I do note that, at least here in Alabama, Shell is one of the only gas station chains that makes you pay for premium to get extra cleaning agents. Chevron, Texaco, BP, etc... all have extra detergents in all octanes; 87, 89, 93. No octane sold has more agents than another.
  • kingfans1kingfans1 Posts: 137
    ok. I think 24 mpg hwy is about right for your pilot. 17/23 according to Honda. I do understand it is 100% safe to use octane 87 on the pilot. just make sure the gas brand is from top tier.

    I want to gain some HP/torque on my pilot. since all 2009 /2010 pilot have factory cold air intake already installed, so after market air intake is out of question.

    i think 2011 pilot will get same hp/torque rating.
  • kipkkipk Posts: 1,576
    Thank you!

    For automotive enthusiasts with high compression, direct injected, turbocharged motors or for those drivers who expect the most from their car’s performance, there’s Nitrogen Enriched Shell V-Power®. As a high-quality premium gasoline, Shell V-Power boasts the highest concentration of the Shell Nitrogen Enriched cleaning system. With five times the cleaning agents found in fuels that only meet the EPA requirements, Shell V-Power is designed for those looking for maximum engine performance, especially for those with vehicles that recommend or require a premium gasoline.."

    "All Shell gasolines meet TOP TIER standards and stop gunky build-up on critical engine parts to help cars perform at their best."

    For high performance engines, requiring or recommending premium fuel they suggest using premium fuel. Honda recommends 87 octane. All Shell Gasolines meet TOP TIER standards.

  • kingfans1kingfans1 Posts: 137
    I think i will start using shell or chevron 87 octane for a year. lol.. I am getting my 2010 white pilot windows tinted... it will cost $275 for full vehicle tint. life time warranty. they will use metalized film. I am in Nevada. so i can have 35% front sides and 5% back/rear.

    anyone have their car windows tinted? please provide some pictures..
  • kingfans1kingfans1 Posts: 137
    hi mr thegraduate,

    you are wrong what you said in the post #1003. Honda cars are equipped with ‘Knock Sensors’ that detect the octane quality of the fuel used, enabling it to automatically adjust spark timing to prevent engine knocking.

    honda have compact 4-valve combustion chambers and precise fuel injection and spark control..

    so if you are using octane 91 or higher, your engine will always have the best spark timing.. and even if VTEC kick in..
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    edited March 2010
    "Using a fuel with a higher octane rating than the vehicle requires sends unburned fuel into the emissions system and catalytic converter. This puts unnecessary stress on the emissions system. For some vehicles, a rotten egg smell coming from the tailpipe signals use of too-high octane gas." (link)

    That may not hurt your mpg, but it doesn't make sense to spend more for premium and get less.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Thanks for the link, steve.
  • kipkkipk Posts: 1,576
    edited March 2010
    >"you are wrong what you said in the post #1003. Honda cars are equipped with ‘Knock Sensors’ that detect the octane quality of the fuel used, enabling it to automatically adjust spark timing to prevent engine knocking. "

    Your statement seems to suggest the sensors somehow chemically analyze the fuel itself. Therefore adjusting the timing ahead of time. Is that what you are saying?

  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    edited March 2010
    I think it's more like the sensor watches for pinging and advances or retards the spark to compensate.

    Too low an octane could cause pinging, so the sensor sends a signal to the ECU to change the timing (or throw a code).
  • poodog13poodog13 Posts: 320
    Recently drove round trip in my 2009 Pilot Touring from Pgh metro to DC metro areas, via I-68 through Cumberland, MD. Had cruise set at 75-80 through most of the trip, which winds up and down some pretty hilly terrain. Averaged 20 MPG's for the trip.
  • kingfans1kingfans1 Posts: 137
    yes sir, thats what I am talkin about.. Knock sensor mechanism device ensures that you're getting maximum performance for the lowest amount of gasoline. Cylinder pressure is also affected by the ignition timing: But the best power and efficiency are reached when the timing is advanced as far as it safely can be, just before knock starts to happen. A knock sensor helps the engine management to find this point: a sensor in the cylinder detects the intense shockwaves produced by knock as soon as they start to happen, and a signal is sent to the engine management, which in turn holds the ignition at a point where these shockwaves are only just occurring.
  • etroupetroup Posts: 7
    There is no difference in "Power" as expressed in BTUs between a drop regular gasoline and a drop of high octane gasoline. The only difference has to do with the resistance to pre-ignition. Higher compression engines, above 8:1 or 9:1 or so generally begin to require antiknock or anti pre-ignition additives.

    However, it not correct to say that using premium sends unburned fuel into the emissions system. The exact same amount of fuel is used in both cases. It is just that in a lower compression engine, there is no benefit from the addition of antiknock additives.

    Computer monitoring systems on modern engines can automatically adjust ignition timing and fuel injection timing to optimize engine output for a given fuel. Some engines that like to burn premium fuels can run on regular without damage because the computer adjusts its settings so as to avoid harmful knocking. These engines produce less power when running on regular - not because of the gasoline itself but because the engine computers have deliberately detuned it to avoid engine damage. Flexfuel or military multifuels are specific examples.

    Using premium in a engine that requires only regular fuel does no harm but it is a waste of money.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    edited March 2010
    it not correct to say that using premium sends unburned fuel into the emissions system

    All I know is what the Ph.D. in my link said. Somewhere I'm sure there's a link to counter that one. ;)

    But we're in complete agreement that putting premium in an engine that only requires regular is a waste of money.
  • kingfans1kingfans1 Posts: 137
    I am not happy with the statement you say using preminum in an engine that only requires regular is a waste of money.

    Most Pilot and Ridgeline owners getting 17 mpg on their truck....

    I am a good driver using preminum octane and get around 21-23 mpg..sometimes i rev, activate the vtec. Lets do the math..

    regular cost $3.03, preminum cost $3.25. Vehicle drive 20,000 miles.

    17 mpg truck using regular , gas will cost $3564 for the 20,000 miles.
    21 mpg truck using preminum, gas will cost $3095 for the 20,000 miles.

    so my point is I can still enjoy using preminum octane, keep an engine on top performance, and I am actually saving money for a being a good safe driver.. such as driving the post speed limit.. :)
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    edited March 2010
    Try switching back to regular - your mpg may improve. :D

    Mr_Shiftright, "What about fuel types & gas mileage?" #232, 15 Jun 2006 2:33 pm

    Shifty also famously said "premium gas is not a doggie treat for your car".
  • kingfans1kingfans1 Posts: 137
    no. I will always use Preminum.. You can also gain 10 HP using preminum octane. Gary Flint from ridgeline forums point out the benefit of using preminum... I agree with his statement. If you want to read, i will send you a link..
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    I'm comfortable running what my owner's manual recommends and I don't really want to buy a car that requires me to run premium.

    I gained 10 hp when my van was new by throwing away the middle bench seat. If I could drop 30 pounds, I'd really be something to watch at the stop light drag races. :shades:
  • kingfans1kingfans1 Posts: 137
    I see many honda pilot owners doesn't want to spend any money on their truck.. not even on the preminum gas.. lol. if you go to RL forum, many rl owners are spending on accessories.. i should have get the rl.
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