If you have a luxury vehicle, odds are you want to take exceptional care of it to give it the longest, problem-free life-span possible. That means, of course, giving it the right kind of fuel.
When it comes to high performance luxury cars, many manufacturers suggest Premium gas with an octane rating of 91 or more. However, the higher grade of gas comes with a far greater cost — climbing up to 50 cents more per gallon. It adds up quickly!
Especially when gas prices are already hiked because of international tensions!
But is high-grade Premium fuel really worth the cost?
It all depends on your car — how it was made and what your car owner’s manual tells you.
When Should I Opt for Premium?
Every grade of fuel is assigned an octane rating — often called the anti-knock index — specifying how much the gas can be compressed before it combusts. In other words, the rating indicates the fuel’s resistance to engine knocking, the rattling sound that happens when your engine ignites prematurely.
Here is the general breakdown of U.S. fuel octane ratings:
- Regular (typically 87)
- Midgrade (typically 89 to 90)
- Premium (typically 91 to 94)
With a higher octane rating, Premium grade fuel can improve your luxury vehicle’s performance (i.e. horsepower) and gas mileage. By increasing your engine’s knock threshold, gas in the 91 to 94 range allows for greater acceleration, speed, and torque.
But higher grade gas is not necessary — or even helpful — for all vehicles. Although Premium gas is becoming increasingly popular across the entire motor vehicle industry, many regular, non-luxury cars would see no real benefit from a fuel upgrade.
To determine whether your car needs Premium fuel, your best bet is to check your car owner’s manual.
If your manufacturer says a certain fuel octane rating is required, you NEED to follow those guidelines. If you don’t, you may be signing your vehicle up for some major engine problems down the road.
But, if your manual simply recommends Premium gas, this is where your car-owner discretion comes into play. You likely won’t do harm to your car if you use regular 87-rated fuel, but the boosted performance benefits certainly build an intriguing case in favor of the upgraded gas.
What about Top Tier Gas?
Introduced in 2004, Top Tier gas is a higher quality fuel with additives that prevent carbon from accumulating in your engine. Excessive carbon build-up decreases fuel economy and creates other issues, like acceleration hesitation, rough idling, and engine knocking.
And, unlike Premium gas, the difference between Top Tier and regular gas is generally only about 3 extra cents per gallon — totally affordable for most vehicle owners.
But where can you find Top Tier gas?
Keep an eye out for Top Tier gas signs as you drive by stations or locate gas stations that offer the higher quality gas on the Top Tier program website.
And if you’ve been using standard fuel for years, don’t worry! If you make the switch to Top Tier, the upgraded gasoline will cleanse your engine of any built up carbon.
Performance Auto Specialists | Wilmington NC
At Performance Auto Specialists, we have the experience and expertise to assist you with all of your European luxury vehicle needs and questions. Whether you’re wondering what kind of gas your car needs or thinking you may need some engine repair, we’ve got you covered!
Have more questions about your luxury vehicle’s gas requirements? Call us at (910) 343-1650.
Suspect your engine has been damaged by low-grade fuel? We’re here to help!Tags: auto mechanics in Wilmington, car care, car care Wilmington, car maintenance, car tips, European car care Wilmington, European cars, fuel economy, fuel system treatment, gas mileage, increase gas mileage, premium gas, saving fuel, saving gas