Difference Between Octane Grades


When you step back to compare grades of gasoline, you will see why some fuels are cheaper than others and how certain grades affect your vehicle. Although all types of gasoline are sourced from oil, the specific treatment and chemicals added to the oil is what determines particular purpose and grade. Using the proper fuel grade in your automobile helps to ensure its efficiency and protects the motor from excessive friction and overheating. The following information will help you understand the differences between the available grades of fuel.

The history of gasoline

Gas was once marketed in tiny bottles as a head lice remedy. Gasoline began to be used for fueling cars in the 1920s and it was leaded to help boost the efficiency of car motors. Fuel grades were also first developed during this period, beginning with two different grades: regular and plus. These gasoline grades were applied based on the amount of octane a fuel held.

Identifying fuel grades

Regular, plus, and premium fuel grades are all distinguished by how much octane they contain. Octane amounts indicate how volatile a particular grade of gasoline is. Regular gas carries an octane level rating between 85 and 88, with an average rating of 87. Plus grade gas carries an 88 to 90 octane level rating, with an 89 average. Premium gas comes with a 90 plus octane rating that averages out to about 92.

How different fuel grades burn

Fuels of different grades will not burn the same way. The less octane a fuel contains, the easier it burns. For machines and vehicles controlled by powertrains, the motors are created to consume the ideal amount of fuel at all times. The specific grade of fuel does not have much impact on a car’s overall performance in this case. Although all grades of gasoline produce similar levels of heat power, their rates of combustion can vary.

Benefits of different grades

The grade of a fuel lets you know how readily it will combust inside of your engine. Fuels with lower levels of octane usually burn faster and stronger when they are pressurized, which produces a ticking or knocking noise in your motor. Car motors that run on regular gas are designed to apply the ideal amount of pressure to prevent internal knocking sounds.

SUVs often run best on plus to premium fuels, as their motors are intended to produce more fuel compression for enhanced drivability. However, it is always best to check with the manufacturer or manual about the correct grade of fuel. There is no extra advantage to using plus or premium grades of gasoline if your automobile is designed to use a regular fuel grade.