Accidentally Used Regular Unleaded in my 2013 WRX for the first 3,000 miles!!
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This is a discussion on Accidentally Used Regular Unleaded in my 2013 WRX for the first 3,000 miles!! within the Everyday Impreza Talk forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; Hey all, I know that this question has been posed in this forum before but I can't seem to find ...

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    Accidentally Used Regular Unleaded in my 2013 WRX for the first 3,000 miles!!

    Hey all,

    I know that this question has been posed in this forum before but I can't seem to find the correct threads that I stumbled upon from a friends computer the other day. In a nutshell, I recently bought a 2013 WRX and took the car on my Thanksgiving vacation/business trip to VA and back (from FL) to break it in, get a better feel for it, etc. It was not until my return trip that I noticed the sticker on the inside of the fuel door stating to use premium fuel only. As a perfectionist and someone who bought this car purely for the performance and fun factor, I am sick to my stomach that I made such a bonehead mistake for the first 3,000 miles of my car. How much damage did I likely do and how can I best remedy the situation besides the obvious solution of putting premium only gas in the vehicle from here on out? Should I have the dealer reset the ECU? I am a complete newbie to the WRX (obviously) and performance cars in general, so any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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    Pro Manscaper Mikie13's Avatar
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    Your car is going to blow up.

    Kidding....or am I?


    Seriously, you will probably be ok. You were probably experiencing some knock while driving it all that time, especially if you were in boost...but the ECU will pull timing to help reduce detonation and knock. It's not the best scenario, but stay out of boost until you clear out all of the low octane gas.

    You don't need the dealer to reset the ECU. Just pop the negative terminal on the battery off...stomp the brakes for about 30 seconds. Reconnect...restart the car.
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    Bond, James Bond McBill's Avatar
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    Yeah, I did something similar to this too. (still kicking my own ass for it) follow Mike's advice. Nothing too serious, Don't beat yourself up too hard over it.

    Edit: run you're tank that has 87 down till the light comes on then fill up with premium. I've also read that if you can drive mildly on your first tank back to 93 (ie. stay out of boost) then it could be better for the computer going back to 93. But that is just what I've heard.
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    Thanks for the info guys, I didn't realize it was such a simple process to reset the ECU. I am learning a valuable lesson about reading the owners manual when you purchase a new car. I will definitely take it easy on the first tank of Premium. Regardless of whether it is true or not, while driving the vehicle mildly is not always easy it does more good than harm for the car anyway - so thanks for the advice.

  6. #5
    Admiral Ackbar the 1st mycologist's Avatar
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    Don't reset it. It will learn rapidly enough on its own. That is actually the only thing that causes a problem here - it can learn to pull the timing quickly, but it is always trying to put some back. You can run 87 in emergencies, and emergencies can add up to 3000 miles over the life of a car. If you were following the break-in procedure, you have nothing to worry about because you weren't boosting the car hard or hitting high RPM. I had to put some in once in NY because I was out in the middle of nowhere and none of the stations I passed for 60 miles had premium.

    The damage you did is probably none, and certainly not likely to be enough otherwise to cause any major issues. You would know if there was a real problem like a hole in your piston or a cracked ring. A little erosion of the combustion chamber or pitting of the piston top isn't going to do any real damage. If you really want to know you can pull a spark plug and look for little beads of metal stuck to the electrode. I saw some on mine when I had knock issues from a loose inlet clamp on stage II. Six years later and it still runs better than new.

    Here is what happened - consider it a learning opportunity:
    http://www.romraider.com/forum/topic1840.html
    "From a little spark may burst a mighty flame." - Dante
    "The stitch is lost unless the thread is knotted." - Italian proverb

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    Registered User Raymond_Tengen's Avatar
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    As long as the turbo doesn't kick in, you're fine for the most part. That's what the salesperson told me.
    Midnight~

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