Does the Type of Gasoline You Get Really Matter?

May 8, 2018 Published by Leave your thoughts

Pulling up to a gas station back in the day was much simpler than it is today. Nowadays, you have options for the type of gasoline to put into your vehicle’s fuel tank, such as regular and premium, yet many drivers are not clear on which type of gas their car needs. Because of this, you could be overspending at the pump, and may even be causing unseen damage to your car’s engine. Do some research about your vehicle to avoid potential problems now and later on.

Here’s something to ask a mechanic at your next auto tune up in Lubbock, TX: Does the type of gasoline we put in our vehicles really matter? What’s the difference?

The difference in fuels

The most obvious difference between types of gas is the price. On average, premium gas typically costs an extra 20 cents or more per gallon than regular gasoline. Look at the premium gas label and you’ll see that it comes with a higher octane level, either 92 or 93 for premium compared to 87 for regular gas. Sometimes you will come across midgrade gas, though less commonly used, with an octane level of 89.

What is octane? The octane level describes how much compression a fuel can withstand before igniting. Higher octane gas won’t pre-ignite as quickly, which is why high-performance vehicles powered by higher compression engines often need higher octane gas. Furthermore, an engine that takes higher octane fuel tends to work more efficiently, while also producing less emissions and exhaust.

The right fuel matters

Yes, the right type of fuel matters. Car manufacturers design their vehicles to run on specific types of fuels. Check your owner’s manual to find out which fuel is best for your car. But what if you are tempted to fill up on a different type of fuel? Some vehicle owners with cars that take more expensive octane gas may decide to gas up on cheaper priced regular gas.

A word of warning if you own a car that requires high octane gas: if you are thinking about filling up your gas tank with fuel with a lower than recommended octane level, there’s a chance that the gas may combust too fast for the engine. You will hear a knocking noise coming from the engine if this happens, as well as experience low power and fuel economy that can lead to engine damage.

On the other hand, you may decide to use a higher octane fuel than is recommended by the manufacturer—the opposite of what was just mentioned. In this case, the risk of danger is lower. However, using premium gasoline in a vehicle that can safely run on regular gas will not yield any additional benefits in terms of engine life, reduced emissions and fuel economy. This also wastes money.

The next time you bring your car to M & M Tire & Service Center for an auto tune up in Lubbock, TX, ask the auto technician if the gasoline you are using is helping or hurting your engine. Schedule your next appointment soon!

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