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Posted by on Sep 3, 2013 in Tips | 0 comments

Is Higher Octane Better For Your Car?

Is Higher Octane Better For Your Car?

There is a myth among car drivers that, because premium gas costs more, it’s better for your car. However, this isn’t a very accurate way to look at it. The truth of the matter is that just because you put the highest octane fuel in your vehicle doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s better for your car. It won’t improve your car’s fuel economy, nor will it give your vehicle an added power boost. The octane rating isn’t about how good it is, but rather a measure of how much you can compress before it ignites.

Why Certain Cars Need Higher Octane Fuel

When you hear people say that their car requires premium gas, or 91 octane, it’s because the engine compresses the fuel more before it ignites it. If you were to put a lower octane fuel in an automobile that requires higher octane gas, then what you could get from your engine is a knocking noise, which is not good for your car. The one exception to improved performance and mileage with premium fuel is with some vehicles that require high octane gas.

Engine Knocking

For the most part, you should be able to use 87 octane gasoline in your vehicle, unless your car specifically says it needs higher. If you use regular 87 octane and you hear a knocking or pinging noise from your engine, that’s telling you that the gas isn’t igniting when it should be. Here is a situation where a higher octane is better for your car. The high octane fuel will help to reduce or even eliminate the engine knocking, in turn allowing your engine to operate more efficiently.

Not a Necessity

Is higher octane better for your car? In a word, no. Unless your vehicle specifically requires high octane fuel in order to deliver the best performance and fuel economy, there’s no reason why you should be spending money on more expensive gas. If your vehicle was designed to use premium gasoline then obviously use it, otherwise using it won’t improve your gas mileage, nor will it increase your vehicle’s power or performance levels.

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