Which Octane Gas Should I Use?

April 5, 2018

Do the different types of gasoline at the gas station make a difference? We go to the gas station and we use whatever type of fuel we’ve been told to use either by our vehicle owners manual, the previous owner, or our mechanic. But what would happen if we used a different type of gasoline?

The type of gasoline you use does matter, and using the wrong gasoline can affect your vehicle’s performance and health in a variety of ways.

Here’s all you’ll need to know about the different gasoline octanes.

Which Octane Gas Should I Use?

How Gasoline Works with Your Engine

Knowing how an engine works in tandem with gasoline is the first step to finding the answer to this question. Your engine has what are called pistons, which compress gasoline once it has entered your engine. Then, the pressurized gasoline is ignited by your spark plugs. The different octane levels of gasoline have varying abilities to withstand this compression without igniting on their own prematurely.

This part is important because the air and fuel mixture in your engine should only ignite when the spark plug fires. It should not ignite before then. This is why the correct type of fuel is important.

What Happens If I Use a Lower Octane Fuel?

Simply put, if you use a lower octane in an engine which requires a higher octane than the engine will misfire prematurely. This is because the lower octane fuel cannot stand up to the pressure a high octane fuel engine requires. This will create an issue called engine knocking—which gets its name because of the loud knocking noise it creates.

If you’ve put a lower octane fuel in your vehicle, it’s not the end of the world. That said, it can cause damage. So if you’re worried, or start to experience issues, bring your vehicle into your local Annapolis, MD auto repair mechanic and have them help you.

What Happens If I Use a Higher Octane Fuel?

If you use a high octane fuel in an engine which demands lower octane fuel types, not much really happens. Your vehicle will run as normal. The major issue here is you paid a bit too much money for gasoline when a lower priced octane would have been fine. It’s like paying for a steak dinner and receiving hamburger.

What Gas Should I Use?

You should use whatever octane of gasoline outlined in your owners manual. If you can’t find this information, or are unsure of what you’re reading, your local Annapolis, MD auto repair shop can help you answer this question.


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