What Is Premium Fuel And How Does It Matter?

Anirudh Sk
October 26, 2018

We all might have seen the extra booth at a petrol station that provides a higher order fuel (if you may say). These premium fuels are nothing but normal ones with higher octane. This additional property calls for a striking difference in cost with the latter costing much more than the regular unleaded one.

It’s a different story if you drive a high-performance car. This calls for higher octane fuel to maintain the condition of the engine and retain the stock output figures. But if you are wondering if higher octane fuel would make a difference in a mid-level sedan, we’ve got a lesson for you.

Premium Petrol.

In simple words, it’s the octane rating of the fuel that makes it premium or regular. Octane is a chemical component of petrol. The amount of octane in the fuel determines its ability to work well in higher compression engines. The most common type of premium fuel that is mostly used all around the world is the 95 octane. However, in many countries, a premium fuel with lower octane rating is also available.

The usage of lower rating octane fuel makes the car’s engine susceptible to ‘knocking’. This is essentially an engine condition that occurs when the fuel/air mixture inside the combustion chamber does not burn properly, leading the engine to sound rough with a pinging noise when it’s running. While the rare use of such fuel might not bother the health of the engine, in the long run, it may cause engine failure.

On the other end of the spectrum, a 95 octane fuel might fall short of the required amount of octane for performance cars. A 95 octane fuel could cause disrupt the internal combustion leading to knocking in higher performance cars. This is because these cars feature a higher compression ratio, hence a higher octane rating. However, you don’t need to break your head over the choice of optimal fuel for your car as the right fuel is always mentioned in the driver’s manual.

Cars with lower compression ratios do not necessarily need premium fuels as such cars have been set up to work properly using regular unleaded petrol. However, when talking about performance cars (even hot hatches), premium fuel can be a huge help for the health of the engine and its performance. The right fuel will bless a driver with improved throttle response and a purring engine.

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