Saving Your Car By Understanding Octane Ratings

Taking proper care of your car requires so much knowledge and attention to detail. Tracking routine maintenance, getting mileage related services and even choosing the right gas will keep you on your toes if you want your car to last. When it comes to selecting fuel, a little understanding can go a long way. This quick guide will explain the differences in gasoline ratings so you can make informed decisions that keep your car running at its best.

The first thing to understand is what an octane rating really is. When you go to the station, there are usually a few different options that might be ok for your car. While you know to avoid diesel or other specialty fuels, is there really an advantage to choosing premium over regular? Answering that question starts by looking at the number associated with those different gasses. You may already know this, but the number refers to the octane rating. Higher numbers will cost more, and it’s usually the biggest difference in the premium levels.

So how does a higher octane rating help your car? The short answer is that it doesn’t. Unless your engine is specifically designed to run at a specific octane, you can use the lowest rating without fear. However, if you have a luxury or sport edition vehicle, double check the owner’s manual to see what rating is recommended. Engines designed for higher octane often get better gas mileage with the premium gas. There are several factors that contribute to this, but the primary reason is that higher octane fuels burn at slightly higher pressures, so when an engine is designed around those higher operating pressures, you get improved efficiency.

Even if your car does recommend a certain octane, driving lower rated fuel is unlikely to hurt the engine. Ultimately it’s best to experiment and use the fuel that gets the most mileage. The improved performance lets you know that the car is running as designed.

To make sure your car is protected from more than just fuel choices, check in with Insurance Center of Green Valley. A representative can make sure you have coverage that will take care of you when you need it most.