T Nation

Used Car Engine Issue?


I'm sure a few of you T-Nation members would have some good opinions or advice for me.

I'm getting a 2003 Acura MDX from my family and have been informed my step-dad has been putting regular fuel into it for about 5 years, whereas it's a premium recommended engine. Could this cause any issues?

I have been told I should have the engine cleaned out and start using premium fuel after the process. Would it be worth the cost of the cleanup?


here is the deal.

If the car does not make a knocking sound running on regular, its fine. The reason some cars require a higher octane rating fuel is that they run a higher compression. Octane is the resistance to burning (combusion). A high compression engine may therefore prematurely combust low octane fuel before it reaches Top Dead Center (TDC) of its stroke. If this isnt happening I would keep using regular.

The only reason to have the engine "cleaned" would be if you were using crappy walmart / such fuel that does not contain the detergents and the injectors / valves had become clogged. Run a fuel injector cleaner and always use a good quality gasoline like Shell/BP/Mobile.....

hope that helps....


Just stopping by and saying I like threads like this.

My car knowledge only goes so far as changing tires and fluids. Other than that I'm at the mercy of my check engine light. lol


Agreed with Ratchet

My 2 Cents: Make sure you regularly change the oil and do the required maintenance.


It's a 2003 Acura MDX, right now the engine sounds pretty bad when starting it up, I don't know much about car mechanics so I couldn't say what the problem is or if I could attribute it to the regular gas usage.

I'm taking it in to get a detailing in a few hours, I'll see if I can get a video with decent sound quality up of me starting it.

I don't believe I've heard any knocking in the engine, I have read Acuras have a knock sensor to prevent it, I'll look for a source later or if anyone else can confirm this?