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How do you choose the appropriate gasoline octane number for your car?

How do you choose the appropriate gasoline octane number for your car?

Having a solid understanding of how to choose the right octane rating for your gasoline is essential to achieving the optimal performance and longevity of your vehicle. Choosing the correct octane number ensures efficient combustion and protects the engine from costly wear. In this note, we will explore the main factors to consider when choosing the right petrol for your vehicle.

What is octane?

To find out what type of octane your car has, you need to know what it means. Octane is derived from hydrocarbons, consisting of 8 carbon atoms mixed with fuel that comes from combinations of chemicals and other hydrocarbons. Octane is measured by the shock resistance of the fuel ranging from 87 octane to 100 octane.

Gas stations have different octane levels in the fuel.
Credit: Shutterstock

What is the best octane?

Each engine is made for different types of markets on all continents. Gasoline quality is not the same as in the United States, Mexico or the rest of the world. The user manuals for each car must mention the recommended octane number, and owners must follow this rule so that no malfunctions appear in the future.

87 octane gasoline

It is the most widely used fuel in the world, the standard used by most vehicles and the most recommended. In some countries you can get 89 octane, and there will be no problems if you use it.

Gasoline 91, 93 and 95 octane

They are the fuels used in America and Europe, recommended for cars of the latest generations, from about 10 years ago until today. Most European countries require 95 octane gasoline for both cars and motorcycles.

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98 octane gasoline

It is a much more powerful fuel to use in high-displacement vehicles, and it is one of the most expensive fuels and is not sold in many places.

Gasoline with more than 100 octane

This fuel is used for extreme competition and auto racing and is most commonly used in aircraft. You won’t get it at gas stations.

The injection system does not need to be serviced if high quality gasoline is used.
Credit: Shutterstock

What happens if the proper octane rating is not used?

Vehicles that do not use the right fuel may suffer poor performance, combustion systems may be damaged over time, and gasoline will burn faster.

The recommendation will always be to use the type of fuel indicated in the user manual. If you’re in a place where your fuel type isn’t available, you can resort to buying an additive to improve the octane number of your gasoline until you’re running back to the recommended fuel.


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