common misunderstandings with premium petrol

Someone fuelling up at petrol pump

common misunderstandings with premium petrol

Petrol is, at times, very confusing! Carmakers design engines for a minimum octane rating, which makes little sense to those who know little about the technical side of cars, engines and performance. Pop open the fuel flap on a contemporary car today, and you’re likely to see “Unleaded Fuel Only” inside the flap. Other options include “Premium Unleaded Only” or “98 Octane Unleaded Only”. Carmakers have incorporated this on to almost every fuel flap to now help car owners understand which fuel they should be using for their car. Yet, even with this guidance, many drivers may not be using the most suitable petrol for their car.

A common misunderstanding is that putting a higher octane fuel into your car is good for it now and then to clean the engine and improve power. For example, some car users will use premium petrol rather than the referred 91 octane with the assumption that it is better for their cars.

Here’s the thing; while you CAN put a higher octane fuel in a car instead of the manufacturer’s recommendations (and it won’t negatively affect the car), it is mostly a waste of money. A modern engine designed for 91 unleaded petrol will only deliver a very small amount of additional power if fed 95 or 98. 

Some engine design experts regard running higher octane fuel in an engine designed for a lower octane fuel as basically a waste of money. 

However, keep in mind that while moving UP to a higher quality fuel won’t harm your vehicle, it can be detrimental to put a lower-octane fuel in an engine than the one recommended by the manufacturer and can lead to severe engine damage.

Given that premium octane can sometimes be up to 12+ cents more a litre, car users can stop wasting money on using premium fuel (above the manufactured recommendations) that is not proving any better efficiency for their car. To ensure the best performance and health for your car’s engine it is important to follow what is recommended on the fuel flap of your car. 

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