Though it’s probably just a habit by now, every time you fill up your tank you select an octane rating. Despite the range of choices at the pump, few people actually know what octane ratings mean. We’ve put together a post on understanding octane ratings.
According to Exxon and Mobil, there are three main ratings: Regular (87), Special (89), and Super (91-93). The recommended octane rating for most cars is 87, though you should check with your owner’s manual to be sure.
Octane denotes the fuel’s resistance to compression before exploding. In gasoline engines, that means the higher the octane, the better the performance. Sports cars and even airplanes use high-octane fuels in order to prevent “knocking,” which results in engine misfires. Diesel engines don’t require high-octane fuel because these engines compress air, rather than fuel, for combustion.
Normally, your car will require 87-octane fuel, which is cheaper than other octane levels. However, if you have a sports car, you are towing, or you are driving at high altitudes, high-octane gas can increase performance. So choose your Octane Rating wisely!
Let us know if you have other questions you would like answered and we at Highway Ford will do our best to answer you!