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

Many of our automotive customers assume that using premium gas will mean a longer-lasting engine, and they share the incorrect ideas with anyone who will listen about premium gas having better detergents than regular gas. It’s mostly just a marketing ploy. Start with your manual. If premium is ever required, it will say so. If the requirement isn’t there, avoid premium and save cash.

When engines aren’t designed for premium gasoline, they never have a use for the higher-octane fuel. It has to do with how the fuel is ignited. Premium gas ignites at a higher temperature, so it can withstand more compression without reigniting. It also has less heptanes, and that also helps with preventing the re-ignition at low temps. Even the Federal Trade Commission agrees – there’s no reason for it in the average tank.

If your owner’s manual does ask for premium fuel, you can still probably skip 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 ignition timing. With higher-performance engines that are intended to use premium gas, the high-compression fuel can mean better performance. The pricey gas also prevents pinging or knocking noises. But the difference is usually minimal, and the cost difference is dramatic. If your engine knocks with normal driving, it’s a different situation. For these vehicles, do a little more research or ask our ACE-certified mechanics about using the right gas.

Can I Try Using Diesel?

Premium and regular can mix, but not with diesel. You could stall the engine and make it unusable. Then, you’ll have to pay the high costs of flushing the system of gasoline. Diesel is a little grimier and much thicker than gas, and diesel vs. gas engines are different in a few ways. Cars designed for diesel don’t include spark plugs. Instead, the fuel is injected directly and ignited by heat. With gas engines, air and fuel are mixed first and then the spark plugs do their work.

Contact Christian Brothers Anytime

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 Pflugerville, TX a ring. We can help with everything from looking at automobiles you’re considering purchasing to maintenance-related spark plug tune-ups or even repairs and diagnostics.