When at the Gas Station, have you ever wondered which grade of Gasoline would be the best for your car? The different grades of gasoline can ultimately benefit, or end up damaging your vehicle’s engine. By running the correct grade of gasoline, your vehicle can continue to run smoothly.
All gasoline is produced from oil, however, how the oil is processed determines the grade of fuel.
Here in North America, the main types of gasoline grades include regular, midgrade, and premium. These fuel types can be easily identified by the Octane Rating Number.
- Regular Gasoline has an octane rating between 85- 88.
- Midgrade gasoline has an octane rating of 88 -90.
- Premium gasoline has an octane rating that is larger than 90.
Premium Fuel is more expensive due to the components used for processing the oil.
What is an Octane Rating?
An Octane Rating is the measure of performance of an engine fuel. The higher the octane rating, the more compression the fuel can withstand before igniting.
Should I use Premium Gasoline?
*Only use Premium Grade Fuel if specified by the vehicle’s manufacturer.
High-performance engines use a larger compression ratio in order to produce more power. They compress the mixture to a smaller size than regular passenger vehicle, thus creating extra heat, which can cause the fuel to ignite early. These performance vehicles need high-octane fuel (Premium) to ensure the gasoline doesn’t ignite early.
What Fuel Grade should I use?
Using the incorrect Fuel Grade can seriously damage your engine. If you accidentally put the opposite grade (example: diesel fuel in your gas vehicle or vice versa) your engine will not run. The fuel you put in the tank will need to be drained, cleaned, and the engine’s fuel injection system may need to be cleaned before it functions correctly once again. Putting Premium Fuel in a vehicle that runs regular, is unlikely to boost acceleration or fuel economy. This can result in potential damage, accompanied by an audible engine knock or pinging. It is ideal to use the lowest octane fuel that your car will run optimally.
To find out which fuel grade is specified for your vehicle type, ensure to check your owner’s manual. Most gasoline vehicles are designed to run on regular grade gasoline, but others such as sports/high performance cars are designed to use higher octane fuel.