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I have a concern lately in my Honda Pilot 2018 ' I have been hearing knocking on my engine when I start it. Does gas usually causes it? are all gas company has the same octane, which Honda allows regular on its vehicle.if I am going to use a higher octane for the time being will it resolve the issue>? Thanks!
 

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It's a myth. Higher octane does nothing for your vehicle. As long as you use the required octane you're fine. People will swear they get better mileage etc. with higher but it's false. If the engine is designed to work with 87 octane it will work fine with that grade. You could have gotten some bad gas, that can happen I suppose
 

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Engine knock due to using fuel that is too low in octane will usually manifest itself under hot, heavy load conditions, not at startup. So I don't think gas octane has anything to do with your issue. I'm not sure what you would characterize as sounding like "engine knock", but startup noises that fade away usually have to do with engine accessories, or less commonly, problems in the valvetrain (like a stuck lifter). A tapping noise might be a valve out of adjustment, although this shouldn't manifest itself for many, many miles.

- Mark
 

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It's a myth. Higher octane does nothing for your vehicle. As long as you use the required octane you're fine. People will swear they get better mileage etc. with higher but it's false. If the engine is designed to work with 87 octane it will work fine with that grade. You could have gotten some bad gas, that can happen I suppose
Your 100% correct !
 

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Excess noise at startup is due to lack of oil in the valve train because the oil has drained back while the engine was sitting not running. This is more noticeable with new engines due to less buildup of varnishes and sludge that happens over time and has a quieting effect from damping the high frequency noises. That, combined with the ultra-light oil (0W20) or perhaps even lighter, increases the tendency of the oil to drain back when sitting turned off.

The situation of engine knock is due to something entirely different, as another member said, occurs when the engine is overloaded and cannot generate sufficient torque. This can be mitigated by adjusting the octane to prevent detonation that causes the knock or ping. The upside of this is that the knock sensors optimize the engine for greater power and torque output, which is why the 3.5 litre engine (exactly the same in the MDX model) produces 290 horsepower with high octane gas instead of the 87 octane gas that is the minimum spec for the 3.5 litre engine in the Pilot model. This modest increase in tuning compensates improves performance and fuel efficiency, and is why most Honda engines benefit from high octane gas. I just bought my Pilot a little over a week ago, and still have half a tank of the 87 octane gas left. I’m looking forward to seeing the performance and fuel efficiency improvements after filling up with Ultra 94 gas.
 

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Excess noise at startup is due to lack of oil in the valve train because the oil has drained back while the engine was sitting not running. This is more noticeable with new engines due to less buildup of varnishes and sludge that happens over time and has a quieting effect from damping the high frequency noises. That, combined with the ultra-light oil (0W20) or perhaps even lighter, increases the tendency of the oil to drain back when sitting turned off.

The situation of engine knock is due to something entirely different, as another member said, occurs when the engine is overloaded and cannot generate sufficient torque. This can be mitigated by adjusting the octane to prevent detonation that causes the knock or ping. The upside of this is that the knock sensors optimize the engine for greater power and torque output, which is why the 3.5 litre engine (exactly the same in the MDX model) produces 290 horsepower with high octane gas instead of the 87 octane gas that is the minimum spec for the 3.5 litre engine in the Pilot model. This modest increase in tuning compensates improves performance and fuel efficiency, and is why most Honda engines benefit from high octane gas. I just bought my Pilot a little over a week ago, and still have half a tank of the 87 octane gas left. I’m looking forward to seeing the performance and fuel efficiency improvements after filling up with Ultra 94 gas.
There will be no improvement with higher octane. As I said above it's a myth, but you'll probably convince yourself there's a difference. Hey, it's your money. LoL
 

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I think there is a post from Honda engineer that covers regular vs premium for Honda Pilot engine floating around on the internet. The engineer did mention a slight increase of power in the mid range RPMs on premium fuel. However, a 5 percent power increase doesn't justify a 30 percent increase in gasoline cost. Perhaps, the myth here is not power but rather cost efficiency?

My 19 Pilot runs quieter and smoother on premium, the shifts feel firmer as well. It could be in my head ? I usually run regular gas though.
 

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I have actual proof from experience that all Honda engines with OBD-I and higher run more efficiently and produce more power with higher octane gas. If you want to believe different grades of gas are part of a conspiracy, that’s a you problem. It is the only reason why the MDX version of our vehicles produces 10 more horsepower with an identical powertrain.
 

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I have actual proof from experience that all Honda engines with OBD-I and higher run more efficiently and produce more power with higher octane gas. If you want to believe different grades of gas are part of a conspiracy, that’s a you problem. It is the only reason why the MDX version of our vehicles produces 10 more horsepower with an identical powertrain.
It's been written about for years a debunked many times. It's all in your head. Higher octane isn't helping unless the engine is designed for it. My father was a mechanical engineer, my brother is a master Auto tech and they both told me it's false. I've read it over and over. The only people claiming higher octane is better are unqualified members of groups like this lol. Like I told the other guy, it's your money so do what you want.
 

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The Acura MDX and Honda Pilot are both powered by 3.5-liter V6 engines. The MDX’s is tuned to achieve 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. The Pilot’s power plant delivers 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque.

It's NOT because of premium fuel being used that allows the MDX to achieve a higher HP rating. It's the different tuning from the factory.
 
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The Acura MDX and Honda Pilot are both powered by 3.5-liter V6 engines. The MDX’s is tuned to achieve 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. The Pilot’s power plant delivers 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque.
It's NOT because of premium fuel being used that allows the MDX to achieve a higher HP rating. It's the different tuning from the factory.
MDX horsepower is specified at 6200 rpm versus at 6000 rpm for the Pilot.
 

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The MDX powertrain is exactly the same as the Pilot powertrain. Zero difference whatsoever. Look at each part number. Yep, they are all the same Honda part numbers. Same compression ratio and guess what the only variable is? The knock sensor is permitting greater ignition advance because the engine is not pinging until a higher amount of advance is dialed in, and kids, that is due to better preignition resistance from using higher octane. This isn’t rocket science!
 

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The MDX powertrain is exactly the same as the Pilot powertrain. Zero difference whatsoever. Look at each part number. Yep, they are all the same Honda part numbers. Same compression ratio and guess what the only variable is? The knock sensor is permitting greater ignition advance because the engine is not pinging until a higher amount of advance is dialed in, and kids, that is due to better preignition resistance from using higher octane. This isn’t rocket science!
Yep, that's why I said it is a different tune from the factory. Could very well in fact be the same identical part numbers, BUT the tuning of the ECM or other controls is DIFFERENT! This allows for the engine/powertrain to produce higher HP in the MDX versus the Pilot. Kind of like adding a "tune" to or "tuner" to certain engines in trucks and cars. Same parts for the engines, but a different tune!

Almost all modern engines have a knock sensor to compensate for different qualities of fuel being used in the engine. It helps guard against and prevent pre-ignition damages.

Not rocket science either knowing how to tune or add a tune. Putting high octane gas in your Pilot is not going to provide you with the 10 or so additional HP that the MDX puts out. I will continue to use 87 octane, hope you get the results you are looking for or at least believe you are getting the results you are seeking when you fill up with Ultra 94.

Your post #8 said the only reason the MDX gets 10 more HP is because of using premium fuel. Now you say there is a difference in the knock sensor. Which is it according to you. If you put an MDX knock sensor in a Pilot, would you get the additional 10 HP?
 

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Alright then, let’s just agree that we disagree. Heck, I’ve only put C$65,000 and a tank of Ultra 94 in so far, after the “free” tank full of 87 octane gas the dealer delivered my Pilot with. I don’t know how much more of a commitment to this test a person could make. My admittedly subjective finding so far is that my Pilot has noticeably more get-up and go now. It only has 500km on the odometer, but with the 87 octane gas it was as quick as a Winnebago, and that was my observation about the demo Pilot that I test drove before buying mine. If I knew of a facility that could do a four wheel dynamometer test, I’d have it done. But suffice it to say that my Pilot has some urge now when I hit the gas. Ten more horsepower out of 280 is a meagre 3.6% improvement, but not out of the realm of possibilities when you consider that advancing the ignition timing is the oldest trick in the book to make an engine produce more power. When all other things are equal, as we know they are, this accounts for the difference. Put another way, what would motivate Honda to do a complete rewrite of the fuel map for the MDX version of the Pilot when both vehicles are mechanically identical? (Hint: they are focussed on the bottom line.)
 

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Oh, I forgot to mention that there is a connection between octane and the use of knock sensors. The knock sensor is used as part of a feedback loop with the ECU to regulate ignition timing and to a lesser degree fuel mixture. This keeps the ignition timing advanced to a point just under the detonation threshold. The greater the ignition timing advance, the greater the power and torque output and fuel efficiency of an internal combustion engine. Higher octane raises the detonation threshold, and thus more power and torque are produced. The fuel map can be tweaked to lean out the mixture for greater fuel efficiency up to a point also, but again, it will reach a threshold where detonation occurs. This secondary feedback loop also makes use of the knock sensors. This is not rocket science. All you need to do is understand these basic systems operating principles to realize that there is no magic or mystery involved.
 

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It would be interesting if both engines actually had the same tuning to make manufacturing easier / cheaper, but the Pilot was advertised as less so as not to snipe sales from Acura. Along this line of thinking Honda would assume nobody would really notice because they'll never put higher octane fuel in.

I can easily see this happening.

I personally wouldn't use the higher octane if that were the case, because I don't need the extra power...except when I am towing a trailer it sure would be nice.
 

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The engine is more responsive with the Ultra 94 gas. Overall more satisfying to drive, especially considering I previously drove an Acura TL with a 3.2 litre engine that produced 270 horsepower, I miss that power to weight ratio. If a higher octane gas was available, I’d try it, but 94 is it.
 

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Well, the octane rating doesn't mean the fuel is inherently more powerful or anything, it just rates a fuel's ability to resist pre-detonation due to heat and compression. To get the most power out of your engine you definitely want an octane rating as high as your engine can take advantage of with its level of compression. But once you go above that point, you won't see any benefit. It used to be that putting lower octane in an engine than it wanted would cause pre-detonation (knocking), but these days the sensors quickly figure out the fuel's octane and adjust the engine to use it.
 

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The knock sensors are used to calibrate the ignition timing to the greatest level of spark advance for any octane level. Higher octane allows more ignition spark advance, and therefore more power and torque produced. The high compression ratio is something that does not change even though the I-VTEC system does control valve timing and duration, octane level is exploited by ignition timing.
 
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