Does the Type of Gas I Put in my Engine Mean Much?

If driving is too costly, consider your ideas about premium vs. regular unleaded gasoline. Fortunately, you will almost never need anything more costly than regular low-octane gasoline.

Premium gasoline isn’t more rich with engine cleaners and rarely affects performance. It’s a false idea pushed by the oil industry. Start with your manual. If premium is ever going to be helpful, it will tell you. If the requirement isn’t there, avoid premium and save yourself the money.

When engines aren’t designed for premium fuel, they will not ever have a use for the higher-octane fuel. It is all about combustion. Premium fuel ignites at a higher temperature, so it can handle higher compression without reigniting. Pricier fuel also has a lower concentration of heptanes, which also makes it less likely to ignite at low temperatures. Even the Federal Trade Commission agrees – there’s no advantage for it in the average tank.

Even if the owner’s manual does list a need for premium gas, you may not always want it. Especially if you drive a 1996 or later because those engines are likely to have technology that adjusts ignition timing. With higher-performance engines that are intended to use premium gasoline, the high-compression fuel can mean better performance. The pricey fuel also prevents knocking or pinging noise. But the difference is usually minimal, and the cost difference is serious. The only exception is for automobiles that have knocking noises when regular fuel is being used, even under normal driving conditions. For these vehicles, do a little more research or talk to one of our ACE-certified technicians about using the right gasoline.

Is There a Diesel vs. Gasoline Difference?

While it’s not usually a good idea to use premium gas instead of regular if you don’t need to, it is vital that you don’t switch between gasoline and diesel. If you drive a diesel engine, filling the tank with regular unleaded will cause it to stop working entirely. Then, you’ll have to pay the high costs of flushing the system of fuel. Diesel is a little grimier and much thicker than gasoline, and the 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, air and fuel are mixed first and then the spark plugs cause ignition.

Get in Touch with Christian Brothers Anytime

If you have uncertainties about how to fill your gas tank or if you’re having any trouble with your fuel system, give our trusted mechanics in College Station, TX a call. We do maintenance, pre-pruchase checks and repairs.