3 ways you can choose the right fuel for your car
Updated on September 14 2023
METRO MANILA, – In the midst of an era when gas prices are skyrocketing, a typical driver will always think of ways to get the best fuel economy.
Most people focus on searching for the most fuel-efficient automobiles. But have we ever considered if the fuel that we currently use is providing us with the maximum mileage?
The truth is, it may not be good to rely too much on the cost of fuel, especially when selecting a specific type of fuel to power your vehicle.
We will discuss three useful ways in choosing the right fuel for your car. These include some considerations before you start filling up your vehicle.
Check the octane rating
For any gasoline-powered vehicle, a higher-octane rating means a higher resistance to auto-ignition, or simply put, your fuel’s resistance to detonate under pressure.
The fuel mixture should only burn as much as possible when the spark plugs fire during the piston’s power stroke. However, because of the piston’s compression stroke, the pressure that the air-fuel mixture is exposed to may lead to early combustion.
As a result, a ping or knock might be heard or felt that can cause your engine to deteriorate and perform poorly.
With that said, check your owner’s manual. You should never use any type of fuel with a lower octane rating than what your vehicle requires. Make no mistake, though – this does not imply that you must use a higher-octane rating to get optimal fuel efficiency.
The principle is different for diesel engines, which don’t have spark plugs and must rely solely on compression to induce combustion. The higher the cetane number of the fuel, the faster it will combust, so a high cetane number would actually benefit your diesel engine.
To be clear, a greater cetane number does not mean improved fuel economy. But it will mean less soot in your tailpipes, quieter idling and less noise from your engine.
Keep the additives in mind
Fuels are infused with detergents.
No, this doesn’t mean that you can use gasoline to wash your clothes!
When you think about it, the chemicals in your fuel perform the same thing that your laundry detergent does for your clothes: they clean your engine.
The longer you use the engine, the more residue you accumulate in the pistons. As these deposits build up, your engine will have to burn more gas to keep running.
Your engine’s muck exerts needless stress on your pistons and it burns more fuel than it should. If left uncontrolled, gunk attracts other gunk, making the situation worse.
Most fuels contain detergents as additives, as advertised on television, and you should look into it. In the same way, there are additives available to aid with the muck in diesel engines.
Take your fuel consumption into account
A good way of checking this would be to drive a pre-defined route.
For instance, if you drive to and from the office on a regular basis or you come and go to school five days a week, you can record the mileage you get. We don’t advocate making educated guesses because each drive will have its own set of variables.
Keeping track of your fuel consumption while taking note of the price you pay every time you fill up can be beneficial. Before switching to a fuel with a higher or lower octane rating, make sure to establish an accurate baseline, as this will give you a better idea of which fuel to use in your everyday commutes.
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Automart.PH Senior Content Creator VJ Bacungan contributed to this story.