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Every engine requires fuel to operate. Using the proper grade of gasoline or diesel fuel can have a significant impact on your vehicle’s performance and reliability, and on your wallet.

Gasoline Grades
Gasoline is sold in three grades: regular, mid-grade and premium. The main difference between the grades is octane, which is the ability of the fuel to resist harmful detonation – also known as pinging, pre-ignition, or spark knock.

As long as your engine does not detonate on a given grade of fuel, there is nothing to be gained by spending more for a higher grade. Contrary to popular belief, premium grade fuel does not contain more energy, burn cleaner or improve fuel economy in vehicles that do not require it. Most cars today are engineered to run on regular grade fuel, though some models with more highly tuned engines call for premium.

Modern engines are equipped with knock sensors that allow use of lower grade fuel if the required grade is unavailable. However, engine performance and fuel economy will suffer. Never use less than the recommended fuel grade when the vehicle is heavily loaded or being used for towing.

If your vehicle detonates on the recommended grade of fuel, try switching to another brand; octane ratings can vary slightly between brands. If this doesn’t help, try going up one grade. If this cures the problem, its possible internal carbon deposits have raised the engine’s octane requirement. If your engine knocks regardless of fuel grade, it has a problem that will require the diagnostic skills of a repair professional.

Feel free to come into any of our locations around the Reno-Sparks area to speak with an ASE Certified Professional. We will make sure your back on the road in no time.

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