Your car won’t go anywhere without fuel. It’s as simple as that. But before you fill your tank, you need to make sure you choose the right fuel for your vehicle. Types of fuel depend on what kind of vehicle you use, so it’s important to know that first.
But what if you pour in the right fuel, your engine isn’t broken, but you still see that your car may not be working correctly? Chances are that your fuel injector is contaminated. That’s why you should always have a fuel injector cleaner with you. To see which one you should use, visit My Car Needs This.
The cleaner won’t help you if you pour in the wrong type of fuel into your car, though. So, if you’re not sure what type you should use, you must learn a couple of simple rules.
Types of Fuel
Let’s find out more about the fuel itself before we dig into what type of fuel you should or shouldn’t use. There are five basic types of fuel, so it’s best to know at least a little about every one of them. This knowledge is the first step to avoid any fuel mistakes.
Let’s start with ethanol, also known as ethyl or grain alcohol. Most of the gasoline we buy has ethanol in it (E10). Adding ethanol increases octane, which boosts engine power and it’s overall performance.
There are also fuel blends with higher ethanol percentages, like E85 (51-83%), that are becoming more and more popular. The most significant advantage of ethanol is the fact that it increases the engine’s efficiency. Thanks to that, your car will burn less fuel allowing you to save a few bucks.
The second type is ethanol, which is also alcohol. It’s the main component of windshield wiper fluid, and it’s the fuel that is the most popular among race cars. All thanks to it’s higher octane and lower flashpoint. It increases the power of the engine, and it’s safety in the event of a crash.
The third type of fuel is gasoline, which is extracted from crude oil on refineries. This type of fuel has to be blended with various components that increase its low octane level. Without them, gasoline is likely to harm your engine, decrease its efficiency and performance.
The fourth primary type of fuel is diesel. As well as gasoline, diesel has to undergo the whole refining process. Unlike the widespread belief that diesel engines are harmful to the environment, this type of fuel is more effective than gasoline. It also emits fewer greenhouse gases.
And now the last basic fuel type, natural gas. It’s mostly used in delivery and heavy-duty vehicles, but everyone can convert their cars to make it run on natural gas. The cost of conversion is high. EPA certified kits cost from 5,000 to 10,000 dollars, but the gas itself is the cheapest option from all basic types of fuel.
What you shouldn’t do
By using the wrong type of fuel, you can bring severe damage to your vehicle. Different types of engines demand different fuel types, so you need to know what kind of engine your vehicle has. It also depends on whether your car or motorcycle is a new or older model.
The first, probably the most important rule is: don’t pour gasoline into diesel engines and vice versa. It sounds obvious, but there are still plenty of people who either can’t read labels on gas stations or don’t have basic knowledge about their vehicles.
If you pour diesel into a gas engine, it will ride a few miles until it uses all the gasoline. Then it shuts down, and you have to take your car to the nearest shop. Or to be more specific, your vehicle will be towed to the nearest shop. The shop workers will drain your tank and clear your fuel rail, lines, and injectors from all diesel left in them.
Now, when it comes to pouring gasoline into your diesel engine. Doing that can even be more harmful than the situation described above, a little chemistry lesson. Aside from fuel, diesel is also a lubricant.
That’s why running your diesel engine on gasoline, will starve the fuel injector pump of lubrication. Also, gasoline detonates too early in high-compression diesel engines causing many severe problems. In that case draining the tank may not be enough and you might be forced to replace certain parts. And that’s, of course, much more expensive.
Regular or Premium
Now another question you should find the answer to. Does your car require premium petrol? It depends on the vehicle. In some cases, your vehicle will be provided with a manual on which type of gas you should use. If not, you should use gas with a higher octane rating.
Octane rating refers to gasoline’s ability to resist early ignition. A higher octane rating means that this gasoline is more resistant to early ignition. Remember that those octane ratings don’t have anything to do with fueling more energy, so don’t believe all the commercials you see.
Now, in older cars using lower octane rating gas would equal engine damage. Modern vehicles can avoid early ignition, so you can use lower octane gas to run them. But that doesn’t mean you should, though.
This type of gas will lower your vehicle’s performance. It will reduce engine power and fuel efficiency. What’s more, if you use it in the long run, it may indeed damage your engine.
Premium gas that contains more octane may cost more, but it’s highly recommended to use it, especially if you have a more luxurious car or just a vehicle with a stronger engine. You can use regular petrol in older cars, but it’s still better to use a premium. Better to be safe than sorry
In conclusion, it’s essential to know what kind of petrol your car requires. If you use the wrong type, you can be sure that you’ll cause damage to your engine. That’s why you should always have at least some basic knowledge about your car.
You have to know whether it runs on diesel or gasoline or whether it requires premium or can you use regular gas. Knowing these simple things will avoid lots of troubles, and more importantly, you’ll avoid spending enormous amounts of money on repairs.