Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Cambridge IL - USA
I have a 2019 Redline 2.0 that has only been fed 93, sometimes 91 octane fuel. I've never experimented with using 87 or 89.
These small displacement, direct injected, turbo boosted engines have the tendency to exhibit the LSPI phenomenon that has preceded internal engine damage/broken pistons.
This along with the 9 speed transmission that tends to favor shifting into a higher gear ratio sooner than maybe desirable; this tends to make the engine lug somewhat, contributing to a pre-ignition issue.
Another factor is summer driving in hot ambient temperatures with the AC on, thinner air, leaner air/fuel ratios and higher expressway speeds; this also places extra demands on these tiny engines that could enhance a pre-ignition issue.
I do realize that the engine is calibrated for 87 octane, and under many conditions this is an adequate fuel choice. If the engine controls sense a knock or excessive temperatures, the computer will do a couple of things; one is to pull timing advance, the other is to add fuel; both of which aren't desirable for performance or economy. The problems arise when the engine control systems cannot compensate enough to protect the engine, and the operator doesn't realize there is something going wrong.
Because of the above concerns, and the GM powertrain engineers high recommendation of using premium fuels; personally I will use the recommended octane, as I'm not one to gamble losing an engine to save a few dollars worth of fuel.
Note: This is my perception and an opinion; I'm not saying using one fuel or another is either right or wrong; it's just something to consider before making a decision how to fuel your vehicle.
2019 Chevy Equinox; 2.0 - LT - FWD - Silver Ice/Redline - Purchased 10/20/2018; Mills Chevrolet, Davenport IA
2016 Chevy Equinox; 3.6 - LTZ-AWD - Black/Black - Purchased 7/7/2016; Mills Chevrolet, Davenport IA
2017 Chevy Malibu; 1.5 - LT - Pepperdust - Purchased 8/2017; Green Chevrolet, East Moline, IL
2009 Chevy Silverado; 5.3 -LT - 4WD - Ext. Cab - Granite Met. - Purchased 02/2009; Green Chevrolet, East Moline IL