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Engine sluggish in morning - need octane upgrade?

(2005 Audi A4 Quattro)
in San Francisco, CA on November 11, 2009
The dealership checked and said everything is firing ok in the engine. But, the first 10 minutes are sluggish in the morning. Someone suggested that the Quattro needs the highest octane level of gas, could this be the problem? (I'm using the cheapest grade)
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Popular Answer
on November 11, 2009
Audi certainly recommends using at least 91 octane gasoline in their engines, as they are high performance. You car, however, will operate perfectly on 87 octane and what you would most likely experience is some horsepower loss.

RepairPal has some additional information on the trade-offs: http://repairpal.com/regular-gas-is-it-ok-to-use-in-your-car

The best thing to do is to switch to 91 octane and test whether you experience a difference.
on November 22, 2009
some guy is right to recommend a fuel system cleaner. I'd just add that 87 octane isn't necessarily cheap gas--87 octane from Chevron or Shell will have all of the detergents and optimal blends, same as the 91 octane from the same pump. But cheaper gas from off-brand stations can definitely cause exactly what he says.
on November 22, 2009
cheap gas usually does not contain much detergent and may have too much ethanol. both can cause power loss due to mixture and deposit problems. do not use dry gas (more ethanol) but do use some type of fuel system cleaner (techron or the stuff audi sells).
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