auto maintenance January 04, 2018

Is Higher Octane Gas Better For My Car?

If it costs more, then it’s better – right? Well, it depends on what the product is, but when it comes to gasoline for your car, that is certainly not always the case. What is better for your car is actually determined by the automobile manufacturer and is listed in your owner’s manual. So now, you’re probably wondering what the difference between octane levels really is.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, most cars on the road today are supposed to run correctly and most efficiently on regular octane gasoline – the lowest priced unleaded fuel available at the gas station. Honestly, using a higher octane gasoline than what is intended for your vehicle offers absolutely no benefit – your car will not run better, go faster, run cleaner or get better gas mileage if you use a higher than required octane level.

Typically, premium gas – the high octane gas – is on average 15 to 20 cents more per gallon than the regular unleaded gas. For the average driver, this adds up to at least an additional $150 in added fuel expenses each year for no reason. Recent studies have shown drivers across the United States are spending hundreds of millions dollars each year than they need to simply to buy high octane gas.

That brings us to exactly what the octane rating is. You pull up to the gas pump and see three octane grades, regular (87 octane), mid-grade (89 octane) and premium (92 or 93 octane) and hopefully you know what is recommended for your car and you make the right selection. However, apparently – according to the studies – most Americans are simply picking the most expensive button to push because they think it’s the right thing to do. But, octane ratings are the measurement of the gasoline’s ability to resist engine knock – what is described as a rattling or pinging sound that is caused by premature ignition of the compressed fuel-air mixture in at least one of the car’s cylinders. If you choose a higher octane gas than needed, it just means you’re paying more than you need to without any additional benefit since your vehicle fires appropriately at the lower octane level.

For more tips on automotive repair and use, speak with the trained professionals at Wiygul Automotive Clinic. Serving Burke, VA, Fairfax Station, VA, Clifton, VA, Fairfax City, VA and Springfield, VA, Wiygul Automotive Clinic provides quality service from trusted professionals.

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