When filling up their cars’ gas tanks, people will oftentimes choose the cheapest type of fuel simply because it’s easier on the wallet. They all keep the car running, so what’s the big deal? Getting cheaper gas will be fine in the meantime, but it could be affecting your car in ways that you may not even notice until further down the road. There is an assortment of different types of fuel you’ll encounter at gas stations, and understanding the importance of using the proper fuel will help you take better care of your vehicle.
This may seem like basic knowledge, but many people don’t know there’s a difference between diesel fuel and unleaded gasoline. Each fuel goes through combustion, which is essentially the process of igniting the fuel. Diesel is ignited by way of super-heated compressed air, while gasoline requires the combination of compressed air and fuel ignited by a spark. If you put diesel in a system designed for regular gas, the car will simply stop running because the engine cannot combust diesel fuel. Your vehicle will have to be towed and drained of the errant fuel, which is tedious and costly, often ranging from $500 to $1000.
Different Gasoline Grades
Unleaded gasoline is used most frequently in passenger vehicles but the different grades or levels of gasoline aren’t usually addressed. Drivers will usually see the higher price tag on the “plus” or “premium” options and immediately select the “regular” gas. What’s the difference, and how do you know what kind is best for your car?
Each grade of gasoline is defined by its octane rating. The higher the octane number, the more compression the fuel can withstand before detonating (igniting). In broad terms, fuels with a higher octane rating are used in high-performance gasoline engines that require higher compression ratios.
Every engine has different requirements or suggestions as to what will help it run properly and efficiently. In order to find out exactly what octane rating is best for your vehicle, the information can often be found inside the owner’s manual, by contacting the vehicle’s manufacturer or talking to an expert like the mechanics at Wrecktify Collision.
When you load your car with its optimal fuel octane rating or if you jump to the next “level”, your fuel efficiency and engine performance could be enhanced, depending on the vehicle and engine model. However, if you use a gasoline with a lower octane rating than recommended, there are long-term negative effects on your engine that range from the emissions system to power to mileage and overall performance.
In order to care for your car and its engine, contact the technicians at Wrecktify, where you’ll receive expert opinions on fuel usage and how to repair the damage done by using the wrong fuel.