Recomended vs. Required Octane - Audi Q3 Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 03-12-2015, 09:37 AM Thread Starter
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Recomended vs. Required Octane

I was just checking out my Q3 and Tiguan brochures and noticed that the Audi requires premium gas and the VW recommends premium gas. This seems kind of odd considering both cars currently use the exact same engine and tune. I guess this the same crap that I encountered 20 some years ago when I was looking at a V6 Camry and a Lexus E330. Everything was the same except that Lexus required premium but the Camry recommended regular. So I asked the Lexus salesman about it and his response was “When people buy a premium car they expect to use premium gas.”, huh. I know both VAG cars have turbos but so does my 1.8T Passat and I have been using regular in it for 11 of it’s 12 years with no fuel related problems. The Passat also requires premium gas but the service writers at my truly top notch, seriously, VW dealer told me to just use regular. I also know that the newer VAG engines use Direct Injection and mine doesn’t so that might make a difference. This normally isn’t a real problem but it can be. Last Fall I was driving through central Virginia when my wife decided that I had to get gas because the range was less than 100 miles. So I pulled into the next branded gas station which had a listed price of $2.30. When I walked up to the pump I saw the premium price was $3.30, OMG. Knowing that a BMW 330 probably wouldn’t do real well on regular, I put in 4 gallons of the liquid gold. Now I was good for another 120 miles before the dreaded low fuel warning at 100 miles remaining goes off.
This is more of a rant than a question, but. I’m sure the answer will be in the owner’s manual but I am not yet an owner.

Will a current 200HP Q3 run, without doing any harm to itself, on regular 87 octane gas? At least in Dollar a gallon emergencies.
Will a face lift 220HP Q3 run, without doing any harm to itself, on regular 87 octane gas?

Please excuse the miss spelled title.

Last edited by BobInPa; 03-12-2015 at 09:46 AM. Reason: Spelling
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post #2 of 10 Old 03-12-2015, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by BobInPa View Post
I was just checking out my Q3 and Tiguan brochures and noticed that the Audi requires premium gas and the VW recommends premium gas. This seems kind of odd considering both cars currently use the exact same engine and tune. I guess this the same crap that I encountered 20 some years ago when I was looking at a V6 Camry and a Lexus E330. Everything was the same except that Lexus required premium but the Camry recommended regular. So I asked the Lexus salesman about it and his response was “When people buy a premium car they expect to use premium gas.”, huh. I know both VAG cars have turbos but so does my 1.8T Passat and I have been using regular in it for 11 of it’s 12 years with no fuel related problems. The Passat also requires premium gas but the service writers at my truly top notch, seriously, VW dealer told me to just use regular. I also know that the newer VAG engines use Direct Injection and mine doesn’t so that might make a difference. This normally isn’t a real problem but it can be. Last Fall I was driving through central Virginia when my wife decided that I had to get gas because the range was less than 100 miles. So I pulled into the next branded gas station which had a listed price of $2.30. When I walked up to the pump I saw the premium price was $3.30, OMG. Knowing that a BMW 330 probably wouldn’t do real well on regular, I put in 4 gallons of the liquid gold. Now I was good for another 120 miles before the dreaded low fuel warning at 100 miles remaining goes off.
This is more of a rant than a question, but. I’m sure the answer will be in the owner’s manual but I am not yet an owner.

Will a current 200HP Q3 run, without doing any harm to itself, on regular 87 octane gas? At least in Dollar a gallon emergencies.
Will a face lift 220HP Q3 run, without doing any harm to itself, on regular 87 octane gas?

Please excuse the miss spelled title.
BLUF : you CAN use regular in a pinch - it's just that you'll have to decide how long or how far that pinch is. These engines will likely adjust their "tune" themselves on the fuel you put in it - at least to some degree. And that degree is also a matter of range - the range of adjustments.

Now for a bit more (but not too much more) depth : there are a few different ways to make these 'adjustments' , anti-knock sense of timing advance, fuel rail pressure to a/f mass, etc. and the tuner boxes both at the ECU and piggy-back types, take advantage of these to maximize power against fuel - remember higher octane is slower burning, but with with more consistent flame propagation at higher compression - so has more kinetic energy/mass - hence a bit more air = a bit more power (so long as the REST of the system can accommodate - carburetors can't, but today's TFSIs CAN).

Quite simply, the reverse is true too - you could prolly expect your 200 hp Q3 to run at 180 hp under regular gas, but prolly not much else to go "wrong" - ditto the 220 hp version (and not merely a like or proportionate percentage, but prolly also the same - absolute value - 180 hp). This is true because the 220 hp version is likely just a bit more tuned up and WILL require the higher octane with more consistency and expectability (not sure if that's a real word, but my wife thinks my mission to 'create' prolly isn't so good either...) even to make its 220 hp.

hope that helps a little - but I cannot take responsibility to recommend your choices -


- Roger
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post #3 of 10 Old 03-12-2015, 10:29 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Roger,

I hope you’re not BLUFfing me.
I sort of hoped that would be the case. I wouldn’t plan on running around on Regular gas but in an “Are you kidding me” situation it is a viable alternative for at least less than a tank at a time.

It sounds like you are saying that the 220 engine is the same as the 200 engine with a “Chip”. So the 220 engine is not a completely new/different engine?
The Audi representative, salesman, I spoke to at the Philly show said the face lift 2016 would have a new 220 HP engine, a new non jerky DSG transmission and get about 15% better gas mileage. Is anything he said true? I know you’ve got connections
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post #4 of 10 Old 03-12-2015, 11:16 AM
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I agree with using high test. A month or so ago, I ran 87 as an experiment for a few weeks. The performance was still good but I noticed on hard acceleration, the engine was not as smooth. No octane knock however. My A4 has the same 2.0 turbo but the compression ratio is higher, 10.5 to 1; 200 hp 207 torque. Also seemed to get decreased mpg but it was colder too!

Back in the days of points, one could open the points a bit, advance the timing two degrees and get a better performing engine. This would make using high test more important to avoid octane knock and potentially damaging the pistons.

Today, it seems the ECU can detect these changes and retard the timing if need be to avoid engine damage. From what I've gathered from some chipping options is that these safeguards are dialed back giving more power, but requiring higher octane fuel to avoid damage.

So, I like premium fuel although you can use 87. If so, I'd drive more gingerly with the 87. Most important to remember, this is an opinion.

Now, what's this about the Q3 jerky transmission? I didn't notice this on the test drive and mine coming in is not a face-lift.

John

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post #5 of 10 Old 03-12-2015, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
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Now, what's this about the Q3 jerky transmission? I didn't notice this on the test drive and mine coming in is not a face-lift.
What the representative said was that the current Tiptronic transmission was going to be replaced but not with a "jerky DSG". Our Passat has a 5 speed Tiptronic and it has been great.
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post #6 of 10 Old 03-12-2015, 12:44 PM
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I had never heard the DSG described as jerky. I test drove the A3 when it first came out with DSG and was amazed. If it weren't for the throttle blip, I would not have noticed a shift. It was certainly better than I could ever drive a stick. Unfortunately, at that time DSG and Quattro were mutually exclusive.
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post #7 of 10 Old 03-12-2015, 02:42 PM
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The DSG was avoided for our Q3 because of NAR customers 'complaining' that they thought the shifts were too jerky. IMHO this is crap. I think they used the Tiptronic to lower costs to get the Q3 here at a certain pricepoint, to see where actual demand crossed supply - The Q3 has been a phenomenal success for Audi outselling forecasts by almost 20% leaving it sold out for allocations. NOWHERE else in the whole world where the Q3 has been on the market since 2011 has the Tiptronic been used ...

I have an older (2009) DSG (S-Tronic) in my TT and it is NOT jerky to me - but then again I'm also perfectly comfortable, happy and non-jerky (when I need to be ) with a stick ... or even an R-Tronic (SMG).


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post #8 of 10 Old 03-12-2015, 03:21 PM
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Thanks all for the clarifications!

John

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post #9 of 10 Old 03-12-2015, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by BobInPa View Post
Thanks Roger,

I hope you’re not BLUFfing me.
I sort of hoped that would be the case. I wouldn’t plan on running around on Regular gas but in an “Are you kidding me” situation it is a viable alternative for at least less than a tank at a time.

It sounds like you are saying that the 220 engine is the same as the 200 engine with a “Chip”. So the 220 engine is not a completely new/different engine?
The Audi representative, salesman, I spoke to at the Philly show said the face lift 2016 would have a new 220 HP engine, a new non jerky DSG transmission and get about 15% better gas mileage. Is anything he said true? I know you’ve got connections
I don't think the engine is all new - but it may have a different turbo - but again prolly not. The CCTA engine is easily good for a 220 hp tune. The DSG will come as standard - should've in the first place, but really the Tip is fine. Not quite sure where the 15% improvement in mileage is coming from - could just be the 7th cog...


- Roger
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2015 Q3 2.0 Quattro Prestige S-line, Tundra/Chestnut
2016 TTS, Nano/Express Red
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post #10 of 10 Old 03-16-2015, 02:19 PM
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As I mentioned elsewhere, regular gas is approved in the owner's manual. I ran a full tank of it and noticed nothing unusual.
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