A Tale of Three Petrols: Premium, Regular Unleaded or Diesel

If driving is too costly, consider your ideas about premium vs. regular unleaded gasoline. The good news, according to our team of technicians at Christian Brothers in Wake Forest, NC, is that for most passenger vehicles most of the time, it’s just fine to choose regular gasoline rather than shelling out for premium gas.

There are no detergent benefits, and expensive gasoline usually doesn’t mean more longevity. It’s mostly just a marketing ploy. Look at the owner’s manual. If premium is ever going to be helpful, it will say so. If the requirement isn’t there, avoid premium and save money.

When auto engines aren’t created for premium fuel, they never benefit from the higher-octane fuel. It has to do with engine combustion. Premium gasoline ignites at a higher temperature, so it can withstand more compression before reigniting. Premium gas also has lower levels of heptanes, which also prevents reignition. Even the government regulators agree – there’s no advantage for it in the average tank.

In cases where the owner’s manual does ask for premium gas, you can still probably skip it. If your car isn’t more than 10 years old, that’s particularly the case because your engine will make up the difference. With engines that are designed for premium gas, the lower ignition rate can mean better performance. The pricey fuel also prevents pinging or knocking noise. However, if you’re not going fo top performance, the difference in power is slight but the difference in cost is stark. The only exception is for cars that have knocking noises when regular fuel is in the tank, even under normal driving conditions. For these vehicles, use your best judgment or talk to one of our ACE-certified technicians about using the right gas.

Is There a Diesel vs. Gasoline Rule?

Gasoline and diesel don’t play well together. You could stall the engine and need to be towed. Then, you’ll have to pay the high costs of flushing the system of fuel. Diesel is a little grimier and much thicker than gas, and the engines are different in a few ways. Cars designed for diesel don’t include spark plugs. Instead, the fuel is ignited by the heat of compressed air, which is compressed before the fuel is injected directly into the combustion chamber. With gas engines, fuel and air are mixed first and then the spark plugs cause ignition.

Get in Touch with Christian Brothers

If you have concerns about how to choose fuel or if you’re having any problems with your fuel system, give our trusted team in Wake Forest, NC a call. We do maintenance, pre-pruchase checks and repairs.