Fuel grades:

Save money by knowing the differences in fuel octane levels.

Fuel grades: why you should select the right fuel grade for your car.

Are all gasolines made according to the same formula? Should you just go for the cheapest price and pocket the difference?

Actually, oil companies are competing with each other and that means that they don't share formulas with each other, nor do they necessarily get their crude oil from the same place. That means the final product will vary from brand to brand and grade to grade. (And there's even some slight variation within brands, as gas is reformulated both seasonally and geographically.)

The best plan is to run the minimum fuel octane recommended in your owner’s manual. Extreme conditions such as heavy loads, towing and high summer temperatures may require the next higher fuel grade.

Remember that Advance Auto Parts carries an extensive selection of quality auto parts and supplies that can help improve your gas mileage.

Picking the correct fuel grades matters.

Many people pick a gas station based on price and/or convenience, probably because they feel that most brands of fuel are pretty much alike. Is that really the case, though?

Since your choice of gasoline directly affects engine performance, economy and longevity, along with the environment, it pays to know the facts about different types of fuel grades.

Use these tips to select the correct fuel grade. Save money by choosing wisely.

Selecting fuel with a fuel octane rating higher than the manufacturer's recommendation will not increase performance, fuel economy, lower exhaust emissions or increase engine/fuel system life.

  1. Check the car manufacturer’s fuel octane recommendation in your manual. If in doubt, use an 87 fuel octane gasoline.
  2. Octane number refers to the fuel’s ability to resist destructive engine knock or pinging (fuel igniting before the ignition spark).
  3. Make sure your engine is properly tuned. Adjustment of the ignition timing to the manufacturer’s specification is especially important.
  4. If your engine knocks or pings with a given fuel, try a different brand. If that doesn’t solve the problem, increase to the next fuel grade level.
  5. Higher octane fuel grades do not provide more power or fuel economy. Paying for octane you don’t need is a waste of money.
  6. Fuel price may be an indicator of fuel quality. The quality of the crude oil used to make the fuel has a direct impact on the fuel price.
  7. Cheaper gasolines frequently have more undesirable compounds, such as sulfur. Such compounds contribute to higher emissions and a shorter catalytic converter life.

What is the bottom line? Don’t pay extra for unnecessary gasoline octane ratings. If you’ve modified your engine for higher horsepower, the gasoline octane ratings requirement may be higher than the manufacturer’s recommendation.

Look to Advance Auto Parts for the high quality auto parts you need for your vehicle maintenance tasks!