What Fuel to Use In Your Car?

April 14th, 2017 by

Deciding on the right octane fuel can be confusing. Some may be tempted to choose a higher octane than is recommended, thinking it must be better. However, sticking with what the manufacturer recommends is always your best choice.

Understanding what an octane rating is may help. The octane rating is the measure of the fuel makeup and its ability to resist knocks or pings. Vehicles are powered by combustion engines which mix air and fuel that ignite with a spark. Knocking is heard when the fuel and air mixture ignites prematurely.


How is octane measured? The octane rating is determined by two measurements, the Research Octane Number (RON) and the Motor Octane Number (MON). RON is determined on a test engine under controlled conditions. MON is also run on a test engine but with more strenuous conditions like higher engine speed, preheated fuel mixture, and variable ignition timing. In the United States, the octane rating is the difference between the RON and MON numbers.


There are three levels of fuel offered at most gas stations in the United States: regular, mid-grade (Plus, Special, Mid, Silver), and premium (Premium, Ultimate, Super). The Regular octane rating is 87, mid-grade is 89, and premium is 93.


Although most vehicles have a recommendation of octane 87, it is important to check your owner’s manual and use the correct fuel. Contrary to what is believed, using a higher octane fuel than what is recommended is not better for your car, especially under regular, day-to-day driving conditions. Under no conditions should you use a lower octane fuel than what is required. Using a lower octane fuel in your vehicle can damage your engine and emissions system. This will cause your engine to run poorly and your fuel economy to suffer. Even worse, it could potentially void your warranty. Stick with what the manufacturer recommends.


We hope this helps you better understand the importance of the fuel octane rating, how to determine your vehicle requirements, and making smart choices at the pump. If you need assistance determining the proper fuel for your vehicle, don’t hesitate to stop by or contact us at www.tischerauto.com.

Posted in Driving Tips