Many of our automotive customers think that using premium gasoline will mean a longer-lasting engine, and they repeat unfortunate myths about premium gasoline having better detergents than regular gasoline. It’s a false idea spread by the oil industry. Start with your manual. If premium fuel isn’t listed specifically, you don’t need it. Don’t waste your money.
When automobile engines aren’t designed for premium fuel, they never have a use for the higher-octane fuel. It is all about combustion. Premium gasoline ignites at a higher temperature, so it can deal with more compression before reigniting. It also has less heptanes, and that also prevents reignition. Even the government regulators agree – there’s no reason for it in the average tank.
If your owner’s manual does call for premium gas, chances are you don’t always need it. Especially if you drive a 1996 or later because your plugs and injectors will make up the difference. With engines that are designed for premium fuel, the lower ignition rate can mean better performance. The premium unleaded gasoline also prevents knocking or pinging noises. But the difference is usually unnoticeable, and the price difference is serious. The only exception is for automobiles that have knocking sounds when regular fuel is used, even under normal driving conditions. For these vehicles, use your best judgment or speak with our ACE-certified technicians about using the right fuel.
Do I Always Need Gas Instead of Diesel?
Premium and regular can mix, but not with diesel. If you drive a diesel engine, filling up on gas will cause it to stop working entirely. You’ll need a complete flush. Diesel is thick and oily compared to gas, and diesel vs. gas engines are different in many ways. First, diesel engines 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, fuel and air are mixed first and then the spark plugs ignite the mixture.
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If you have questions about how to choose fuel or if you’re having any problems with your fuel system, give our trusted auto experts in Colorado Springs, CO a ring. We advice, maintenance, repairs and more.