Are You Using the Right Fuel?

We all know how important gas is to a vehicle. it powers the engine and keeps your car moving. But, which type of gas is the best one for your car? If you have ever stood at the pump and wondered what the difference between regular unleaded, plus, and premium is, you are not alone. While some people simply spring for the cheapest option it may not be the best one for your vehicle. On the other hand, not every car requires that you use premium gasoline. So how do you know which one to choose?

What is the difference between unleaded and premium?

There are a few differences between unleaded and premium, but it all boils down to their basic makeup. Regular unleaded is the by-product of crude oil which is also the world’s most common type of gasoline. Premium actually contains extra additives that help lower emissions and keep the engine clean in the process.

The different makeups are behind the cause for the other major differences between unleaded and premium. Because unleaded gasoline burns faster it is compatible with engines that have a lower compression ratio. On the other hand if you drive a vehicle with a turbocharged engine or a high compression ratio, premium may be the right choice for you because it takes more work for it to burn.

Engine compatibility isn’t the only difference. Cost and octane ratings are also a factor in choosing the right fuel for your car. On average, premium costs around 30 cents more a gallon. That may not seem like much, but it adds up. These two fuels also have different octane ratings. An octane rating is a performance measure of fuel. It shows how much compression the fuel can withstand before igniting. The higher the number, the higher the compression. The typical octane rating for regular unleaded is 87 and premium is normally 90 or above.

Which one should you choose?

The truth is, that depends on your car. Putting premium fuel in your car that doesn’t require it may seem like a great way to boost performance, but that isn’t necessarily the case and sometimes you can’t even tell the difference. That being said, putting regular unleaded fuel in a vehicle that requires premium is never a good idea. At Fast Lane Automotive we recommend consulting your owners manual and trusted mechanic before you make the decision to change the type of fuel you are using in your car. It isn’t a question of which fuel is best, but which fuel is best for you.

Whether you drive a vehicle that runs great on unleaded or higher performance vehicle that calls for premium fuel, the experts at Fast Lane Automotive are here for all your auto maintenance and repair need. Call us today to schedule your next appointment.

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