Gas prices are dropping in Arizona, as they are through the entire country. This week, the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline was $2.05. Gas costs are expected to consistently stay low through a minimum of the first quarter of 2015. Fluctuations in supply use a major influence on prices in the pump, so it’s difficult to predict long-term costs with any certainty.
Now that charges are lower, drivers might be inclined to spring for higher grades of fuel. It is important to know very well what makes each fuel type different to make the best choice for your vehicle. Naturally, you must fill your tank with whatever gas type your manual says. Picking a higher grade may be helpful if you have flexibility.
Here’s what you need to know:
You will find three grades of unleaded gasoline: Regular, mid-grade and premium. These are generally common names for gas that is actually rated by its octane level. Regular unleaded gas has an octane rating of 87.
Octane ratings refer to gasoline’s capacity to withstand compression. The higher the number, the more pressure it can withstand before it ignites. When fuel explodes instead of burning in a controlled manner, it can create a knocking in the engine.
Regular unleaded gas provides the lowest octane and, therefore, can withstand the least level of compression. Would not be appropriate for high-performance vehicles, even though it is suitable for use in most standard automobiles.
Regular unleaded gas is additionally the least refined type of unleaded gas. It provides more contaminants, which some believe can reduce fuel efficiency and longevity.
Mid-grade fuel has an octane rating of 89. Most vehicles will either require unleaded gas or premium unleaded gas. No cars state that they must use mid-grade gasoline specifically. In fact, many drivers either use regular unleaded gas or skip straight to premium.
Mid-grade fuel offers an option for those who would like to get higher performance from their engine but don’t want to pay as much as premium.
Premium unleaded gas has a octane rating of 91 or 93. Premium unleaded gas is usually required by high-performance vehicles, such as sports cars. Those whose vehicles that do not require premium unleaded gas may still utilize it in order to maximize the potential of their engine. Premium gas is also better for cars driving in extreme heat (common for Arizona summers) and for those towing lots of weight.
Premium gas also offers the fewest contaminants, so using it will also help with fuel efficiency.
In engines that use unleaded gas, a spark plug is used to ignite the fuel. Diesel fuel automatically ignites when it is subject to extremely high pressures. Diesel is not measured by an octane rating, but rather a cetane index and number.
Diesel fuel is not an optional fuel. An engine must be designed specifically to make use of diesel fuel because of the way it is behaves. Therefore, diesel engines cannot use regular fuel, and cars made for regular fuel cannot use diesel.
Historically, diesel was actually a cheaper fuel than unleaded gas. It has recently become much more expensive than unleaded gas, however.
Picking the right kind of fuel will make a major impact on your engine’s performance and the life of your respective car. Choosing the right fuel additives and getting an Arizona mechanic perform regular maintenance for your fuel line and engine are also essential, however. Scottsdale Muffler and Automotive can help you be aware of the maintenance service that your car needs and recommend the proper schedule for it. We can recommend the right fuel additives and explain how different grades of fuel will affect your car’s engine specifically. Give us a call today to schedule the maintenance your car needs.