Are all gasolines the same?
Most vehicles today require 87 octane fuel to perform as designed. Some luxury and high performance vehicles require the use of 89, 91 or even 94 octane gasoline to provide peak performance. There is no benefit to putting a higher grade gasoline than required by your vehicle so save your money. If your vehicle requires high octane fuel however, and you use low octane fuel instead, the effect of pre-ignition also known as “knocking or pinging” will be detrimental to the internal components of your engine.
Octane rating is defined as “the ignition quality of a gas (gasoline)”.The higher the number, the slower the fuel is to burn, providing a more complete combustion, making the engine less susceptible to pre ignition (knocking or pinging). The lower the rating, the more volatile a fuel is and the more likely it is to burn away before the completion of the engine’s power stroke, which leads to knocking.
Another important difference in gasolines is the use of additives and detergents. Each supplier has their own secret cocktail of additives, both for engine performance and/or marketing strategy: Shell has a “nitrogen enriched gas” whereas Petro Canada boasts “winter gas”. Six of the world’s top automakers (Audi, GM, BMW, Honda, Toyota and Volkswagen) have established strict standards for gasoline quality. This standard is referred to as top tier fuels. Not all retailers in Canada are top tier fuel retailers. Here’s a list of the more popular top tier retailers in Canada: Chevron Canada, Co-op, Costco Wholesale, Esso, Petro Canada, Shell Canada and Tempo.
To keep your vehicle running at its best, my suggestion would be to use top tier gas and the recommended grade of gasoline for your vehicle’s make and model.
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