Do Turbo Cars Need Premium Gas
Not all turbocharged cars need premium gas, but it’s a more common requirement among turbos than other kinds of engines, thanks to the way these engines work.
The name turbo comes from the turbine these engines use to inject more air into the air-fuel mixture in the combustion chamber. This generates more power density and increased fuel efficiency, making it a popular design for manufacturers that need to meet emissions standards without compromising power.
Turbocharged engines are becoming more widespread in modern auto production for one simple reason: they deliver more power without sacrificing fuel economy. Still, a turbocharged engine doesn’t necessarily mean a fast or high-performance engine. For instance, diesel cars with diesel engines, which are more often used for hauling big loads than for performance driving, often employ turbos.
The trade-off is that turbocharged engines have a higher compression ratio than non-turbo engines. That means they’re more prone to detonation and more likely to need premium gas.
You can easily calculate the difference in running costs for a vehicle that requires premium gas. Just check the difference in price per gallon at your local gas station, multiply that by the number of miles you drive each year, and divide by the fuel economy of your car. For instance, if the price difference is $0.50/gallon, you drive 15,000 miles annually, and your car gets 30 mpg, premium gas will cost you $250 extra each year.
My Car Takes Regular Gas Is There A Benefit To Premium Or Is It Just A Waste Of Money
My husband insists on using premium gas in our SUVs to pamper them, even though their manufacturers say they dont require it. When gas prices got especially high, we couldnt afford to go anywhere. Is there any benefit to using premium in a vehicle that doesnt need it, or is it a waste of money? Caroline, Vancouver
Knock, knock. If your cars built for regular, paying a premium for premium gasoline is likely only going to benefit the oil company.
Thats because, despite the name, premium gas isnt necessarily better. It has a higher octane rating to keep it from causing knocking in high-pressure engines.
My brother-in-law says he puts premium in his truck to give it a treat, said Steve Elder, automotive instructor with the British Columbia Institute of Technologys School of Transportation. But if your vehicle is built for 87 octane and you use a higher octane, it does absolutely nothing.
The rating measures gasoline stability it tells you how likely it is that gasoline will start to burn on its own. The higher the number, the more stable the gas is.
Regular gas has an octane rating of 87 and premium has 91. Theres a midgrade, which usually combines regular and premium, that has a rating of 89. Some places offer superpremium fuels, which go by various names, with 93 or 94 octane.
Its hard on your engine. If left unchecked, knocking can eventually damage it, Elder said.
Premium in name only?
When Should I Add Oil To The Fuel
Older two-stroke outboard motors on your smaller personal boat may require you to mix the fuel and oil on your own. Sometimes there is a smaller tank located near the engine for you to pour two-stroke oil into.
Some people find that they prefer to mix their own fuel, even if the boat motor offers the capability of pre-mixing it for you. Check with your owners manual to see what is recommended.
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Finding the right ratio of oil to fuel is another tricky issue for individuals who have small boats. Getting the math wrong can have serious consequences, including a smoking motor that coughs and splutters. You could even do some major internal damage to your motor if you arent careful and use too little oil.
Trying to calculate the total amounts at the pump can slow you down, so many people prefer to mix their oil with gasoline in advance.
You may even need to use more oil in the very beginning if you are just purchasing the boat:
- Some engines will require a 25:1 ratio for a specific length of time following your purchase.
- The two-stroke engines that are found in most new personal boats require a 100:1 ratio, but some people think a 50:1 ratio is better for the engine
- For the basic 50:1 ratio, this means that you will need to use 2.6 fluid ounces of oil per gallon of gas added to your tank.
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Knock Knock Who’s There
How your engine constantly invites and silences engine knock to estimate a fuel’s octane rating.
Your car doesn’t know the octane rating of the fuel in its tank. Instead, the engine controller calculates an inferred octane with closed-loop logic that continuously advances the ignition timing until it detects knock, which occurs when a portion of the fuel-air mixture ignites before the spark-plug-initiated flame front reaches it. The further the computer can advance the timing without provoking knock, the higher the octane rating.
During knock, the flame front travels through the combustion chamber up to 10 times quicker than the normal spark-initiated flame front. Left unchecked, these pressure waves can damage the head gasket, pistons, or cylinder head. But the occasional brief knock is a useful tool for checking that the engine is operating efficiently. It’s detected with one or more knock sensors bolted to the block to sense the oscillations created by the pressure waves with a typical frequency between 7 and 16 kilohertz. Stephen Russ, senior technical leader for gas engines at Ford, says this normal knock is usually detected and addressed within one or two combustion cycles and poses no threat to the engine. âET
Which Gas To Use On Mercedes
All Mercedes-Benz gasoline cars require Premium Unleaded Gas. At a minimum, you should use premium 91 octane gasoline or higher.
Avoid using low octane gas such as:
- Regular Unleaded Octane 87
- Plus Midgrade Unleaded Octane 89
There are no benefits to using premium gas unless your vehicles manufacturer requires that you use high octane gas. Mercedes-Benz cars require premium gas, as do most luxury vehicles.
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Which Type Of Fuel Should I Be Using
The answer is the cheapest fuel that your car’s engine is designed for. Premium gas won’t improve your engine’s performance or produce more power if your car was designed to operate on regular octane gas. To help determine what octane rating your vehicle needs, please refer to your owners manual. Again, if it specifies “premium fuel required”then choose premium. If the manual specifies “premium fuel recommended,” then you have a choice of regular or premium. The difference in octane grade for these types of engines can mean a slight improvement in power or fuel economy with the higher grade.
How To Identify What Octane Your Car Needs:
First, open the fuel filler door.
Next, look at the gas cap and the inside of the fuel filler door. One of these should have the recommended octane fuel for the vehicle written on it.
The typical way the recommended fuel octane is listed is as follows:
- XX Octane recommended
- XX Octane minimum
Using a fuel with an octane rating under the minimum requirement is likely to cause engine knocking.
Choose fuel based on the octane number, not the name of the grade.
If the cap is yellow, then the vehicle is a flex-fuel vehicle that can take E85 ethanol.
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Can I Switch To Ethanol Gasoline
Many people wonder whether they can make the transition from using ethanol-free fuel to using E10 in their boats. Maybe they are looking for a way to save a few dollars, or perhaps the marina stopped carrying ethanol-free fuel. No matter what the reason, the question remains: can I make the switch to ethanol?
Adding ethanol into the engine of your boat can be the source of some major problems at first. Ethanol is a type of solvent that you are introducing into your boat. As a result, it tends to loosen debris that has built up inside the tank and the fuel system. This can, in turn, clog your fuel line or even the engine.
If you want to make the switch to ethanol gasoline, there are a few things you should do beforehand:
- First, you should check for any water inside your fuel tank and pump it dry if you find it. Examine the contents of what you pumped out to determine if the tank needs to be completely cleaned using a quality product designed for this purpose.
- Once you take care of this, completely fill up your tank with E10 fuel to absorb any remaining water left in the tank.
Ethanol-blended fuels like E10 can absorb a certain amount of water that is found in your tank. However, it can be problematic if there is too much water in your tank for the E10 to absorb.
When the fuel and water begin to separate, this is when the ethanol becomes the most corrosive and damaging to the tank of the boat.
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Should I Use Low Octane Gasoline On My Mercedes
Premium vs. regular is not a difference in gasoline quality one is not better or worse than the other. The difference between the gasoline grade is the octane rating.
Mercedes-Benz cars have high compression engines which create higher pre-combustion temperature and are equipped with many electronic controls and sensors. Using lower octane than recommended can cause the check engine light to come on.
Using low-grade gasoline on Mercedes-Benz cars is not recommended. Regular gas can reduce the life of the engine, trigher malfuctions such as Check Engine Light and most importantly it can cause the fuel to pre-ignite, causing pre-detonation .
Using lower rated gasoline on your Mercedes-Benz not only causes problems but also decrease the fuel efficiency. Therefore, if you will need to buy more gasoline than what you would if you were using premium gasoline.
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If Your Car Requires Premium Fill Up With Premium
Engines with a high compression ratio typically require higher octane fuel to achieve its intended level of performance, fuel efficiency and emissions. If your car requires premium gas, dont skimp out. While you might save money on gas, your car will be less powerful and fuel-efficient. This can make a huge difference in vehicles with available turbocharged engines.
What if your car requires premium gas and it isnt available? While older vehicles may be susceptible to engine knock when running on low octane fuel, modern ones are equipped with sensors monitored by the engine’s computer to help prevent knockand by extension, engine damage. Your car will probably be fine running on regular once in a while, as the engine’s computer can adjust the ignition timing, but we dont suggest putting it to the test on a regular basis.
When you use a lower grade of fuel than whats recommended or required, a modern vehicles ECU can account for different octane levels and adjust accordingly. Theres a good chance your horsepower and MPG will go down while CO2 emissions go up. You might save money on gas, but in this situation, you get what you pay for.
The Required Octane Rating Depends On The Vehicle
Most vehicles are designed to use regular 87 octane fuel. Their powertrains feature inbuilt adjustments geared toward that specific octane rating, which means that using regular gasoline is more efficient. Opting for a higher octane fuel doesnt come with any advantages and doesnt have an extra effect on the engine. Essentially, choosing premium fuel for a Toyota designed to run on regular wont harm the car, but youre just throwing money away.
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Is E10 Bad For My Car
Since 2011, all new cars sold in the UK have been E10 compatible, but despite this the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders estimate around 8% of the UKs petrol cars remain incompatible with the fuel.
Drivers of cars registered before 2002 are advised not to use E10 in their vehicle as problems can occur. If you put E10 in an incompatible car it will still run, but seals, plastics and metals might be damaged over time due to bioethanols corrosive properties. As a hygroscopic, it absorbs water from the atmosphere and leads to condensation in fuel tanks if the car is left unused for too long.
If you do accidentally put E10 in an incompatible vehicle, the effects will depend on the type of vehicle, engine and how much fuel was used. It might cause some pre-detonation, a little rough running and/or cold starting.
But dont fret too much if you do find yourself in this situation, as there are solutions. Top up the fuel compatible with your vehicle as soon as you can when around a third to half of the tank is used.
For more information on this new blend of petrol and to find out how it could affect you both here and abroad, check out our complete guide to E10 fuel.
Can You Use A Higher Octane Gas
If your car is designed for regular-octane gas, you can safely use higher grades of gasoline. But under normal driving conditions, there is little to no benefit with buying fuel with octane levels greater than what is recommended. However, if you have an older car experiencing engine knock, filling up with premium gas for a few tanks might fix that problem.
If you unintentionally fill up your tank with a gasoline grade with an octane rating less than or greater than what is recommended for the car, there is no reason to panic.
What is a cause for concern is putting diesel fuel into the tank of a gas vehicle or pumping gasoline when the car requires diesel.
Its difficult and uncommon, but not impossible, to put diesel fuel into a tank intended for gasoline. A diesel pump is a different color, usually green, and its nozzle is larger so that it wont fit into a gasoline tanks opening. If you accidentally put diesel into your gasoline tank, you will need to pay to have the engines fuel lines drained and cleaned at a dealership or local car repair. Similarly, having gasoline in a diesel engine can cause damage to the fuel pump, filter, and injectors.
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Should I Always Use Premium Gas When It Is Indicated And Never When It Is Not
Some cars may indicate something like premium fuel recommended. What this means is that your car is safe to run on regular 87-octane gas, but there can be benefits from using a higher octane. If this is the case, you may want to just go with the cheaper gas, or experiment and see if the amount you make up in fuel economy and the difference in power is appreciable enough to justify the higher cost of the premium fuel.
What about the other way? Does higher octane gas ever help a car not designed for it? If there is no premium recommendation for your car, putting in higher octane gas will not improve fuel economy, and you are just throwing away money.
If your vehicle calls for diesel fuel, you have a diesel engine, which is an entirely different system. There is no negotiating fuel if you have a diesel engine. You need to fill it with diesel fuel and nothing else. If you put regular or premium unleaded gasoline in a diesel engine, not only will the vehicle not run, you can do catastrophic damage to the engine.
What Kind Of Gas Do Pontoon Boats Use
Pontoon boats can be manufactured in a variety of ways, so it helps to know exactly what your make and model recommends. Most of the boats that fall into this category have an outboard motor to propel them through the water. The larger the pontoon is, the more powerful this outboard motor is required to be.
For the most part, pontoon boats can be operated off of the same unleaded fuel that you would use in your car. You also want to keep the ethanol content of the fuel in mind when you are filling up your pontoon boat. E10 is the maximum amount of ethanol that you will want to use in your motor.
Higher ethanol content is available, but it is not approved for use in boat motors. Avoid filling up at pumps marked as E15 because this could damage the motor on your pontoon.
If you have an older pontoon model, you may have a two-stroke outboard motor. This requires a little bit of extra work in the way of adding two-stroke injection oil into a separate tank somewhere near the engine. The specific ratios of oil to gasoline will vary, but most people estimate that you should have them in a 50:1 ratio. A newer motor may require half that ratio at 100:1.
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Does Your Car Need Premium Gas
While everyday engines made for just driving around town run fine on regular gas, high-performance engines have an array of features that need premium gasoline to run their best.
An engine designed for high performance may have a higher compression ratio or be turbocharged and needs premium gasoline to ensure proper combustion.
That can also be the case with trucks, which are large, heavy-duty vehicles that need to maximize fuel efficiency.
In today’s advanced engines, if regular gasoline is used when premium gasoline is required, horsepower and fuel economy may decline as the electronic control unit or ECU makes adjustments to compensate.
You could also cause damage to your engine by causing pre-ignition, which in turn can cause a host of other issues.
The place to find out whether your car needs premium gasoline is either inside the fuel door or in the owner’s manual. If the vehicle requires premium gasoline, there will be a sticker inside the fuel door that reads “premium unleaded fuel only” along with a minimum octane rating.
If your car requires premium gasoline, the best choice is to spend the extra money and fill up the tank. Your engine will run at an optimum level in both power and efficiency, and you can be sure pre-ignition won’t occur.
If the manufacturer only recommends premium gasoline, it’s up to you to try both premium gas and regular gas, then try and notice any difference in performance. If there isn’t any, regular gas is a safe choice.