Premium fuel isn’t more rich with engine cleaners and rarely has an effect on performance. It’s a false idea pushed by the oil industry. If you’re not quite sure about what to use to fuel your engine, first check out the owner’s manual. If premium fuel isn’t called for, you don’t need it. Don’t waste your money.
When automobile engines aren’t created for premium fuel, it means they never benefit from the higher-octane fuel. It has to do with how the fuel is ignited. Premium gasoline ignites at a higher temperature, so it can withstand high levels of compression without reigniting. Premium gas also has less heptanes, and that also makes it less likely to ignite at low temperatures. Even the U.S. government agrees – there’s no benefit for it in the average tank.
If your owner’s manual does ask for premium gasoline, chances are you don’t always want it. If your car isn’t more than 10 years old, that’s particularly true because of technology that adjusts timing based on ignition rates. With premium-designed engines that are designed for premium gas, the lower ignition rate can mean better performance. The expensive unleaded gasoline also prevents knocking or pinging noises. But the difference is usually minimal, and the price difference is dramatic. The only exception is for automobiles that have knocking noises when regular fuel is being used, even under normal driving conditions. For these vehicles, use your best judgment or ask our ACE-certified technicians about using the right gas.
Do I Always Need Gas vs. Diesel?
Premium and regular can mix, but not with diesel. You could stall the engine completely. Then, you’ll have to pay the high costs of flushing the system of fuel. Diesel is thicker and oilier than gasoline, and diesel vs. gas engines are different in important ways. First, diesel engines don’t have spark plugs. Instead, the fuel is ignited by the heat of compressed air, which is compressed before the fuel is injected right in the combustion chamber. With gasoline, air and fuel are combined first and then the spark plugs do their work.
Get in Touch with Christian Brothers
If you have uncertainties about how to fill your gas tank or if you’re having any issues at all with your fuel system, give our trusted team in Garland, TX a ring. We advice, maintenance, repairs and more.