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What Is Octane?

When you pull up to a gas station, you're often faced with various gasoline options, each with different octane levels. But what do these numbers mean, and how do you know which kind of gas is recommended for your car, SUV, or truck? Read on to learn the basics of fuel types.

What is Octane?

Octane measures a fuel's ability to resist "knocking" or "pinging" during combustion. Knocking is an undesirable effect that can occur in an engine when fuel ignites prematurely, causing the engine to run inefficiently and potentially leading to damage.

How are Octane Levels Measured?

Octane levels are measured using two rating systems: Research Octane Number (RON) and Motor Octane Number (MON). RON measures how well a fuel resists knocking under light to moderate loads and speeds, while MON measures resistance under heavier loads and high speeds. The two numbers are then averaged to determine the fuel's "octane rating."

What Kind of Gas is Recommended for My Car?

Your car's owner's manual will typically specify the recommended octane level for your vehicle. Most cars require regular unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 87. However, some high-performance or turbocharged engines may need premium gasoline with an octane rating of 91 or higher to prevent knocking and maintain optimal performance.

How to Find the Recommended Gasoline for Your Car?

If you need help determining what kind of gasoline your car needs, several resources are available to help you. First, check your owner's manual, which should provide specific information on the recommended octane level. You can also check the gas cap, indicating the minimum octane rating required for your automobile.

Additionally, many gas stations provide stickers on the fuel pumps indicating the minimum octane level recommended for a particular car make and model. This information is often based on data provided by the car manufacturer, so it's a good place to start if you're unsure.

 If you have any questions or concerns about the recommended fuel for your car, consult your owner's manual or talk to a professional auto repair shop. For fuel system and other auto maintenance and repair services, turn to our auto repair shop - Premier Automotive Service.

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