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Cars > alwaysakid’s Garage > Blog > I Might Want to Buy a Baja


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M –63
Osburn, Idaho
United States


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I Might Want to Buy a Baja

By alwaysakid

I was looking at a 2006 Subaru Baja today. I might want to buy it.
But I was troubled because the sales dude said the turbo version requires premium grade gasoline, whereas the Baja without a turbo can run on regular unleaded gasoline. Why does a turbo require higher octane? It's the same engine and same compression ratio in the cylinders.
With the price of gasoline continuing to rise, I don't think I want to have to purchase the higher priced premium gasoline.
But without the turbo, the Baja drives like any other regular car.
Does anybody know, does the addition of a turbo really bring the need for the higher grade of gasoline in the Subaru? Or is that a automotive legend and the Subaru with a turbo can run just fine on regular gasoline and still maintain its reputation for longevity?

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Read comments on this blog post 1 – 10 of 11

alwaysakid’s Profile Photo
Jul 3, 2011 at 3:02 pm
UPDATE: I didn't buy a Baja. The ones with the turbo require premium fuel, when regular gas is already getting quite high. The ones without the turbo have unimpressive acceleration. And the price of a used, low-mileage Baja isn't much less than that of a brand new SUV, supposedly because they're hard to find (although the local dealer had three to choose from). I decided there are a lot of new vehicles that would give me much more bang for the buck.
rhonda’s Profile Photo
Apr 29, 2011 at 9:09 pm
I'm not sure, but it looks pretty cool.
donjuan’s Profile Photo
Apr 26, 2011 at 9:55 pm
Yeah Ive always liked them old or new they are great idea winter or summer. Id buy whatever you need if you dont haul or tow and you dont load up the Baja with lots of people or stuff get non turbo and enjoy.
TATA455’s Profile Photo
Apr 25, 2011 at 3:52 pm
The Knock Sensor is intended to retard the timing within the scope of using the higher grade of fuel. It is not intended to adjust to the degree that would allow you to run a low grade (standard) fuel.

If you want the car to last and minimize any risk of engine damage, you will need to run the better grade of fuel.
Metalmikejr’s Profile Photo
Apr 25, 2011 at 3:03 am
wish i could help. Im like a deer in the road unless im workin on an older SBC or BBC.
CorvairJim’s Profile Photo
Apr 24, 2011 at 11:56 pm
I have to agree with what Dan said. A turbocharger increases the output of an engine by cramming more mixture into the cylinders, increasing the apparent compression ratio. Therefore, even if both versions of the engine have the same static compression ratio, the turbocharged engine's apparent ratio under boost could be several points higher. I'd stick with premium in any turbocharged car, and go by the book on all recommended maintenance too.
JerryandMary’s Profile Photo
Apr 24, 2011 at 10:02 am
Knock, knock, be prepared for eventual damage using the regular unleaded fuel (mileage could also suffer but I'm not familiar enough with the Subaru to say for sure).

Shotrod64’s Profile Photo
Apr 24, 2011 at 9:27 am
I am of no help really as i know nothing about turbo other than it used to be turbo meant higher insurance in the 90s at least and now half the cars out there have turbo. I wonder what some searches would reveal on turbo fuel requirements? I only know the oldies and some need higher octane or the ping and knock no matter how you adjust the timing and others only use premium because the "book tells them too". Mine tells me that also but i have never done what i was told by a book. hahaha Good luck in your choice, that's a cute little rig.
oldmandan’s Profile Photo
Apr 24, 2011 at 8:33 am
The higher octane prevents the gasoline from self igniting.

In a turbo engine, with the additional pressure boost (from turbo), it is very easy for the pressure inside to piston to go critical (and beyond) where the gasoline + air + pressure ignites.

So high octane is critical.
710576d9’s Profile Photo
Apr 23, 2011 at 10:04 pm
Come to think of it if the Baja has a knock sensor it should have the ability to retard the timing and maybe eliminate some of the boost which should avoid engine detonation.

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Cars > alwaysakid’s Garage > Blog > I Might Want to Buy a Baja

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