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Winter Gas Woes...

oddspyke

Autocross Champion
Location
Delaware
Car(s)
2016 GTI, 2018 ZL1
Last summer, I had a custom 93 octane tune completed by Stratified for my FBO, IS20 GTI. Everything had been running great (very little KR under any conditions) but as the the weather turned cold (Eastern PA) and the winter gas mix arrived, I have been seeing quite a bit of KR on all 4 cylinders of up to -5, but intermittently. I tried splashing in 1-2 gallons of E85 and it cleaned it right up and all the plugs look like new and are gapped correctly, which leads me to the conclusion that it's the gas.

I had thought about ordering a top-up tune, but I really don't want to go through the trouble of logging and doing revisions again. My thought was that I could just order a 91 flash tune to give myself plenty of headroom on winter gas and I wouldn't lose much performance since my winter tires break loose in 3rd gear on my current tune. Then I can switch back to my 93 octane tune in the summer when I put the sticky tires back on. I'm looking for opinions or experiences with running a separate tune for winter gas; have you done it? what did you tune for? how bad was the winter gas where you live?
 

Diggs24

Autocross Champion
Location
de plains! de plains!
Car(s)
2015 GTI
have you done it? what did you tune for? how bad was the winter gas where you live?
Yes, I set my own timing curve.
The main issue is the E85, which is no longer E85 and is mixed with more crappy 87. My E50 tune was showing -5s and even up to -9!! at spool up. It was bad.
 

ChrisMk77

Autocross Champion
Location
Sweden
Car(s)
2018 GTI Performance
I run EQTs base 93 as a winter tune and on Swedish 98ron there is zero knock. The sensors basically only pick up some road noise so his base 91 will most likely work great for you.
 

jimlloyd40

Autocross Champion
Location
Phoenix
Car(s)
2018 SE DSG
Last summer, I had a custom 93 octane tune completed by Stratified for my FBO, IS20 GTI. Everything had been running great (very little KR under any conditions) but as the the weather turned cold (Eastern PA) and the winter gas mix arrived, I have been seeing quite a bit of KR on all 4 cylinders of up to -5, but intermittently. I tried splashing in 1-2 gallons of E85 and it cleaned it right up and all the plugs look like new and are gapped correctly, which leads me to the conclusion that it's the gas.

I had thought about ordering a top-up tune, but I really don't want to go through the trouble of logging and doing revisions again. My thought was that I could just order a 91 flash tune to give myself plenty of headroom on winter gas and I wouldn't lose much performance since my winter tires break loose in 3rd gear on my current tune. Then I can switch back to my 93 octane tune in the summer when I put the sticky tires back on. I'm looking for opinions or experiences with running a separate tune for winter gas; have you done it? what did you tune for? how bad was the winter gas where you live?

You could use Torco octane booster for the winter. I got a case of 6 -32 ounce cans from Amazon for $19 per can. Actually got a new dyno tune after starting to use Torco and am very happy with the results.
 

DrewB

Ready to race!
Location
Central, PA
Car(s)
'17 Pure White Sport
Oddspyke, Central PA here.. I'm running EQT's S2 93 base tune. I honestly haven't logged since I switched to the latest v1.25 a month or so ago. I'll try to pull a log to see but on the previous rev of his tune, I never had any KR issues.
 

oddspyke

Autocross Champion
Location
Delaware
Car(s)
2016 GTI, 2018 ZL1
I run EQTs base 93 as a winter tune and on Swedish 98ron there is zero knock. The sensors basically only pick up some road noise so his base 91 will most likely work great for you.
This is kind of what I'm wondering about; would a 93 octane base/flash tune provide enough headroom or should I do 91 just to be safe?

Second thought was that 91 would also future proof me if I had to road trip and want sure about the availability of 93 octane.
 

marc5800

Drag Race Newbie
Location
Ottawa
Yup. Being in Canada, we basically had winter gas as of October (according to my logs).
I use Eurodyne but basically went from 98oct slider (10-11 degrees of timing advance) to 92oct slider (8-9 degrees of timing advance) to compensate for the winter gas.

All this while using 94oct pump gas.

As someone mentioned, you can always use an octane booster (the legit ones) like Torco or Boostane. However, the long term affects are debatable and the orange build-up is inevitable and gets everywhere (sparkplugs)
 

blaqsheep

Autocross Champion
Location
Canada
Car(s)
IS38 GTI
For those with a Cobb e-tune on one fuel type, let's assume 91, what do you do in the winter months? I just picked one up and I guess it doesn't make sense to get an e-tune until the spring/summer. But even then, I was considering separate tunes for 91 and 94.
 

jimlloyd40

Autocross Champion
Location
Phoenix
Car(s)
2018 SE DSG
For those with a Cobb e-tune on one fuel type, let's assume 91, what do you do in the winter months? I just picked one up and I guess it doesn't make sense to get an e-tune until the spring/summer. But even then, I was considering separate tunes for 91 and 94.

As posted above I use Torco octane booster. No reduction in fuel mileage like ethanol either. Plus it's simpler especially if you don't have an ethanol station that's convenient.
 

blaqsheep

Autocross Champion
Location
Canada
Car(s)
IS38 GTI
As posted above I use Torco octane booster. No reduction in fuel mileage like ethanol either. Plus it's simpler especially if you don't have an ethanol station that's convenient.
Sorry, meant to edit my post. I don't have access to ethanol or octane booster.
 

marc5800

Drag Race Newbie
Location
Ottawa
Can't you order Torco from Amazon? Or directly from Torco.
Ya you can. Amazon should have it. The only thing about octane booster is the fouling on spark plugs and the real longterm affects.
Have you checked your plugs / o2 sensors since using that stuff?
 

oddspyke

Autocross Champion
Location
Delaware
Car(s)
2016 GTI, 2018 ZL1
I think octane boosters are the opposite of what I want to do; I have access to ethanol near my house, but I don't want to drive out of my way for every fill up when I'm commuting to work or keep a a case of Torco on hand. If I'm going out racing,I can always reload my 93 map and splash in a gallon of e. I just want to be able to commute to work and not worry about stomping on the gas in the winter. I think a 91 map will be the direction I go. I'm sure it will cost me a decent amount of power, but like I said in the first post, I already can't hold traction with winter tires, so I don't think I'll miss it.

Drew, if you can pull and post logs, that would be great. I wouldn't mind using a 93 tune if it'll run safely.
 

jimlloyd40

Autocross Champion
Location
Phoenix
Car(s)
2018 SE DSG
Ya you can. Amazon should have it. The only thing about octane booster is the fouling on spark plugs and the real longterm affects.
Have you checked your plugs / o2 sensors since using that stuff?

Yes I have checked those parts. The spark plugs have a rusty looking color on them after 15,000 miles but it didn't affect the performance and the O2 sensor looked fine. No coating at all. It doesn't foul the plugs it only discolors them which has no effect.
 
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