Nevada and North Carolina Auto Repair

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Understanding Fuel Grades: Regular vs. Premium

If you've owned your car for a while now, you probably know what kind of gas it takes. However, you'd be surprised to know that some people have no clue what the differences between regular and premium gas are. Some people associate their names or numbers with quality and performance; however, that is a common misconception.


What Is The Difference in Octane Levels?

Octane is the measure of gasoline's ability to resist igniting before the spark plug goes off. Both fuel and air are compressed in the engine's combustion chamber. When the pressure in the chamber reaches a specific point, the gas will combust. You want your spark plugs to ignite the gasoline at precisely the right time. When your gas combusts prematurely, you will hear knocking sounds which usually signal damage.


All gas stations supply three octane grades, and the law states that they have to be listed as premium, midgrade, or regular. Some places even have their 93 octane top-tier fuel labeled as "ultra".


Can I Switch Between Regular and Premium Gas?

Every car is designed to run with a specific type of gas. High-performance cars with higher compression ratios often require higher octane gas. Engines that take higher octane tend to work more efficiently and emit fewer emissions.


The bottom line is that your car has a recommended octane rating - usually indicated on a sticker in the fill-up area - and you should always follow that guide. If you choose to use a lower than recommended level, the gas may combust too quickly and cause unnecessary sounds, poor fuel economy, and engine damage.


On the other hand, if you purchase gas with a higher octane rating than suggested, the risk of danger is minimal. However, you may be wasting money because using a higher octane level gas than recommended does not add extra benefits.


No matter what kind of gasoline you choose to put in your car, there will be some build-up on your valves, pistons, and fuel injectors over time. A professional fuel system cleaning is necessary to maximize your fuel efficiency. If you require a fuel pump repair or injection, bring your car to The Car & Truck Guys.

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