A Tale of Three Fuels: Regular, Premium and Diesel

Premium gas isn’t more rich with engine cleaners and rarely has an effect on performance. It’s mostly just a marketing ploy. If you’re unsure about what to use to fuel your engine, first check the owner’s manual. If premium is ever going to be helpful, it will say so. Don’t give the oil corporations more profit!

When automobile engines aren’t created for premium gasoline, it means they never benefit from the higher-octane fuel. It has to do with how the fuel is ignited. Premium fuel ignites at a higher temperature, so it can deal with high levels of compression without reigniting. Pricier fuel also has lower levels 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 fuel, you may not always want it. Especially if you drive a 1996 or later because of technology that adjusts timing based on ignition rates. With higher-performance engines that are meant for premium fuel, the low-temperature can mean better performance. The pricey fuel also prevents knocking or pinging sounds. But the difference is usually slight, and the cost difference is pretty big. The only exception is for automobiles that have knocking when regular fuel is being used, even under standard driving conditions. For these vehicles, experiment or speak with our ACE-certified auto experts about using the right fuel.

Can I Use Diesel?

Premium and regular can mix, but not with diesel. You could stall the engine completely. You will have to deal with the costs for a system flush. Diesel is a little grimier and much thicker than gas, and gasoline engines are different in a few ways. These don’t use spark plugs. Instead, the fuel is ignited by the heat of compressed air, which is injected directly into the chamber. With gas engines, air and fuel are combined first and then the spark plugs cause ignition.

Get in Touch with Christian Brothers

If you have questions about how to fuel your engine or if you’re having any issues at all with your fuel system, give our trusted technicians in Missouri City, TX a call. We advice, maintenance, repairs and more.