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What Are Octane Ratings?

Unless you hear your engine knocking, buying higher octane gasoline is simply a waste of money. Premium gas costs up to 15-30 cents per gallon more than regular gas. The reality is that many drivers are spending hundreds of millions of dollars each year for higher octane gas they do not need.


Is High Octane Gas Worth It?


It seems like too many people are under the impression that buying higher octane "premium" gas will boost engine performance for their vehicle. However, you should always follow the gas that your manufacturer recommends. If your manual lists that your car needs regular fuel, then don't waste your money on premium. It won't make your vehicle perform better, faster, cleaner. And it certainly won't improve your gas mileage in any way. 


Octane ratings are a quantifiable measure of gasoline's ability to resist engine knock. (Engine Knock = a rattling or pinging noise that results from premature ignition of the compressed fuel-air mixture in one or more cylinders) Most gas stations offer three main octane levels or fuel grades: regular (87 octane), mid-grade (89 octane), and premium (92 octane). The ratings are required to be correctly listed on the gas tank near the fuel nozzle.



How to Check What Kind of Fuel Grade Your Car Needs

The answer is (and you probably guessed it): your owner's manual. Usually vehicles with high compression engines, like sports cars and some luxury cars, need mid-grade or premium gasoline to prevent knocking.

Will Higher Octane Levels Clean Your Engine?

No. As mentioned before, high octane gasoline doesn't beat regular octane in preventing engine deposits from forming, removing deposits, or in cleaning your car's engine. 

How Does Knocking Affect My Engine?

Occasional light knocking or pinging won't hurt your engine. It also doesn't always mean you need higher octane. However, a heavy or consistent knock can lead to expensive engine damage.


If you encounter engine knocking, our techs at Frank's Servicenter Inc. can diagnose it for you and determine if you are using the suitable fuel grade. For all your automotive needs, please give us a call or visit our shop in Southampton, PA, today!

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