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April 10, 2014

Which Gasoline Should You Buy?

Deciding on the right type of gas can be quite confusing. Typically, gas stations offer three choices: regular, mid-grade, and premium. Unfortunately, filling your gas tank with the wrong fuel could cause a few issues. Here are some tips on selecting the best gasoline for your ride.

Regular versus premium gas
Your owner’s manual for will state the recommended type of gas for your vehicle. Most vehicles are engineered to run perfectly fine on regular gasoline. Automakers program each vehicle to use a specific grade of fuel. Contrary to popular belief, premium gas is not better for your vehicle. High octane fuel is formulated to be used in performance vehicles that have a high compression ratio. If your vehicle demands premium gas, both the fuel filler flap and the instrument panel will have “premium fuel only” written on them. Many sports cars and exotic sedans must use premium fuel in order to extract the most power from the engine. On the other hand, the average family sedan only needs regular or mid-grade fuel.

Knock sensors
To prevent engine damage, modern vehicles are equipped with knock sensors. Engine knock, also referred to as detonation, is caused by fuel that is burned unevenly. Detonation can have a destructive impact on the health of an engine. An insufficient level of octane can certainly cause engine knock. If the knock sensors detect the audible sounds of detonation, the computer will reduce the engine’s power output. This helps to protect the engine in the event that you obtain a bad batch of gas. Knock sensors are also critical for high-performance car owners who accidentally fill their tank with the wrong type of fuel.

Octane requirement increase
While it is true that most stock vehicles are designed to use regular gas, the octane requirement may gradually increase over time. As an engine ages, it is not uncommon for carbon deposits to slowly build up in the combustion chamber. This buildup of carbon effectively raises the compression ratio of the engine. This means that the car owner must use a higher grade of fuel in order for the vehicle to run properly. Stepping up to mid-grade fuel solves this problem for most motorists. High-mileage vehicles are a lot more prone to needing an increase in octane.

Best place to purchase gasoline
The government requires that all gasoline have a certain amount of additives. These additives help to keep your engine clean and efficient. However, keep in mind that fuel tends to lose octane over time. To prevent this problem, purchase gas from well-maintained gas stations that frequently refuel their in-ground gas tanks. Fresh gas is much more reliable.

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