A Tale of 3 Fuels: Regular, Premium and Diesel

If you’re thinking about ways to save expense in your transportation budget, one of the first things we recommend is evaluating your costs at the pump. Most of the time, all you need is low-octane regular gasoline, according to your team of auto mechanics at Christian Brothers in Alpharetta, GA.

There aren’t detergent benefits, and pricey gasoline usually doesn’t mean more longevity. It’s a false idea pushed by the oil industry. Read the owner’s manual. If premium fuel isn’t a listed requirement, you don’t need it. If the requirement isn’t there, avoid premium and save cash.

When auto engines aren’t designed for premium gas, they never have a use for the higher-octane fuel. It is all about combustion. Premium fuel ignites at a higher temperature, so it can withstand more compression without reigniting. It also has a lower concentration of heptanes, which also prevents reignition. Even the Federal Trade Commission agrees – there’s no advantage for it in the average tank.

In cases where the owner’s manual does call for premium gasoline, chances are you don’t always want it. If your car isn’t more than 10 years old, that’s especially true because your engine will make up the difference. With engines that are designed for premium gas, the high-compression fuel can mean better performance. The premium unleaded gasoline also prevents knocking or pinging noises. But the difference is usually minimal, and the price difference is dramatic. If your engine preignites fuel with normal use, it’s a different story. For these vehicles, use your best judgment or speak with our ACE-certified auto experts about using the right gas.

Can I Try Using Diesel?

Premium and regular can mix, but not with diesel. If you drive a diesel, filling the tank with gasoline will cause it to stall. You will have to pony up for a system flush. Diesel is a little grimier and much thicker than unleaded, and diesel vs. gas engines are different in many ways. These don’t use spark plugs. Instead, the fuel is injected directly and ignited by heat. With gas engines, fuel and air are combined first and then the spark plugs ignite the mixture.

Call Christian Brothers

If you have concerns about how to fuel your engine or if you’re having any issues at all with your fuel system, give our trusted team in Alpharetta, GA a ring. We advice, maintenance, repairs and more.