Car and truck cost is already a big part of most family budgets, but factoring in the price of gas can up your driving costs substantially. The good news, according to our team of experienced mechanics at Christian Brothers in Tomball, TX, is that for most automobiles most of the time, it’s just fine to use regular gasoline rather than shelling out for premium gasoline.
Many of our customers believe that using premium fuel will mean a longer-lasting engine, and they share the incorrect ideas with their friends and families about premium fuel having better detergents than regular fuel. It’s mostly just a marketing ploy. Start with your manual. If premium is ever needed, it will be listed. Don’t waste your money.
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 gas ignites at a higher temperature, so it can withstand higher compression before reigniting. It also has less heptanes, which also helps with preventing the reignition at low temps. Even the FTC agrees – there’s no advantage for it in the average tank.
In cases where the owner’s manual does call for premium gas, you may not always want it. If your car isn’t more than 10 years old, that’s especially the case because those engines are likely to have technology that adjusts to different octanes. With higher-performance engines that are intended to use premium gasoline, the lower ignition rate can mean better performance. The premium fuel also prevents knocking or pinging noises. But the difference is usually unnoticeable, and the cost difference is pretty big. The only exception is for cars that have knocking when regular fuel is in the tank, even under standard driving conditions. For these vehicles, use your best judgment or talk to one of our ACE-certified technicians about using the right gasoline.
Is There a Diesel vs. Gasoline Difference?
Premium and regular can mix, but not with diesel. You could stall the engine completely. Then, you’ll have to pay the high costs of flushing the system of fuel. Diesel is thicker and oilier than gasoline, and the engines are different in important ways. These don’t include spark plugs. Instead, the fuel is ignited by the heat of compressed air, which is injected directly into the chamber. With regular gas, fuel and air are mixed first and then the spark plugs cause ignition.
Call Christian Brothers Anytime
If you have concerns about how to choose fuel or if you’re having any trouble with your fuel system, give our trusted auto experts in Tomball, TX a call. We do maintenance, pre-pruchase checks and repairs.