<VV> low octane gas accident

RKHenry robert.henry at earthlink.net
Thu Oct 20 23:53:02 EDT 2005

> So tonight I put some gas in the clinker and I was in la-la land and
> accidently put in 87 instead of 93.  Yikes.  It only took 7 gallons so
> it's half good stuff still.  It didn't knock and ping on the way home but
> I'm a little concerned.  Should I be?  If it does start pinging is there
> anything I can or should do?  On the other hand, if it doesn't ping, I
> wonder if I can't just put the cheap stuff in all the time.

A few years ago, I put some 93 octane from a roadside convenience market in
my '65 Turbo and when I got back out on the Interstate, it immediately
became apparent that what I'd pumped wasn't actually the 93 octane that I'd
paid full price for. This was back before the state started checking gas
octane. The car knocked almost incessantly with the slightest exertion and
could hardly get out of its own way. I could only limp along with a very
light foot on the gas to avoid making any noises in back. Driving slowly
enough to be almost a hazard to other traffic, I was able to nurse the car

I got myself stuck in the passing lane trying to get around a semi when it
started hammering away back there. I backed off the gas to quiet the noise
and tried to slip back behind the truck. A Mercedes Benz, impatient with the
delay, pulled over into the grass median and passed me there. That was
somewhat spectacular, to see a fancy car slip-sliding around in the grass at
70 mph. 

The cheap stuff is best if you can get away with it but if the car can't
stomach 87 octane you could siphon out the bad gas and put it into a car
that can handle 87. I assume there's no lead in it. Then dilute what's left
in the tank with some more of the good stuff. That ought to do it.
Meanwhile, try to avoid pushing it. Usually, you only need the higher octane
under extreme conditions, but then who can manage to avoid taking a Corvair
to the extreme?

Bob Henry

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