Does the Type of Gas I Use in my Auto Matter?

Repairing and maintaining cars and trucks is already a big part of most family budgets, but the kind of gas you use can make it even worse. Most of the time, all you need is low-octane standard gas, according to the team of auto mechanics at Christian Brothers in Round Rock, TX.

Many of our customers think that using premium fuel will mean more longevity for the engine, and they repeat unfortunate myths about premium fuel having better detergents than regular fuel. It’s a false idea spread by the oil industry. If you’re unsure about what to use to fuel your engine, first check the owner’s manual. If premium fuel isn’t listed specifically, you will never need it. If the requirement isn’t there, avoid premium and save cash.

When auto engines aren’t made for premium fuel, they never have a use for the higher-octane fuel. It has to do with engine combustion. Premium gasoline ignites at a higher temperature, so it can withstand higher compression without reigniting. Premium gas also has less heptanes, and that also helps with preventing the reignition at low temps. Even the FTC agrees – there’s no benefit for it in the average tank.

If your owner’s manual does call for premium fuel, chances are you don’t always have to use it. Especially if you drive a 1996 or later because your car’s computer will make up for any octane differences. With engines that are intended to use premium fuel, the lower ignition rate can mean better performance. The pricey fuel also prevents pinging or knocking noises. But the difference is usually unnoticeable, and the price difference is pretty big. The only exception is for automobiles that have knocking when regular fuel is used, even under everyday driving conditions. For these vehicles, experiment or speak with our ACE-certified technicians about using the right fuel.

Can I Switch Between Diesel and Regular Unleaded?

Gasoline and diesel don’t play well together. You could stall the engine and need to be towed. You’ll need a complete flush. Diesel is thicker and oilier than gas, and diesel vs. gas engines are different in important ways. These don’t include spark plugs. Instead, the fuel is injected directly and ignited by heat. With regular gas, fuel and air are combined first and then the spark plugs cause ignition.

Get in Touch with Christian Brothers Today

If you have questions about how to choose fuel or if you’re having any problems with your fuel system, give our trusted mechanics in Round Rock, TX a ring. We can help with everything from checking out cars you’re considering purchasing to maintenance-related spark plug tune-ups or even repairs and diagnostics.