A Tale of 3 Fuels: Premium, Regular Unleaded or Diesel

It might be time to reconsider some common ideas about premium vs. regular fuel. Most of the time, all you need is regular gasoline, according to your team of auto experts at Christian Brothers in Lubbock, TX.

There aren’t detergent benefits, and costly fuel usually doesn’t mean a longer-lasting engine. It’s just marketing. Read the owner’s manual. If premium fuel isn’t called for, skip it. If the requirement isn’t there, avoid premium and save money.

When auto engines aren’t made for premium fuel, they never benefit from the higher-octane fuel. It is all about combustion. Premium gasoline ignites at a higher temperature, so it can deal with high levels of compression without reigniting. It also has lower levels of heptanes, which also makes it less likely to ignite at low temperatures. Even the government regulators agree – there’s no benefit for it in the average tank.

In cases where the owner’s manual does call for premium gasoline, you can still probably skip it. This is especially true for autos built since 1996 because your plugs and injectors will make up for any octane differences. With premium-designed engines that are designed for premium fuel, the low-temperature can mean better performance. The pricey fuel also prevents knocking or pinging noises. But the difference is usually unnoticeable, and the cost difference is dramatic. If your engine is knocking with normal driving, it’s a different tale. For these vehicles, experiment or ask our ACE-certified mechanics about using the right fuel.

Can I Use Diesel?

Gasoline and diesel don’t play well together. You could stall the engine completely. You will have to pay for a system flush. Diesel is thick and oily compared to unleaded, and gasoline engines are different in important ways. These don’t have spark plugs. Instead, the fuel is ignited by the heat of compressed air, which is injected right in the chamber. With gasoline, fuel and air are combined first and then the spark plugs ignite the mixture.

Get in Touch with Christian Brothers Anytime

If you have questions about how to fill your gas tank or if you’re having any trouble with your fuel system, give our trusted technicians in Lubbock, TX a ring. We advice, maintenance, repairs and more.