If you're wondering why do some gasoline types cost more than others, this is because of the different octane levels and the different additives companies use to improve the engine's performance.
Gasoline prices are the biggest and most popular topic in 2022. People struggle to pay for their daily community because of the insanely increasing gas prices. That's why many customers reach out to us for methods and tips to understand so they can save on fuel as much as possible.
One of the most important things you must consider is that gasoline types do not cost the same, and some are more expensive than others. There is a common misconception that you'll get the best gasoline quality if you go with the most expensive gasoline type. However, that's not always the case.
This article walks you through all you need to know to help you answer the question, why do some gasoline types cost more than others? It also highlights the different factors that go into the gasoline car price and provides some recommendations about what type of gasoline you should use for your vehicle.
Octane rating overview
Before we dive into why some gasoline types cost more than others, we must get a basic understanding of the octane rating.
Some think that the different numbers on the gasoline pump represent the different qualities. However, that's a big common misconception. These numbers represent how stable the fuel is, which doesn't necessarily mean how good the fuel is for your vehicle if it doesn't need it or if it doesn't have stability problems.
Typically, the higher the number on the gasoline pump, the more stable the fuel is; therefore, the more your vehicle will use it without issues related to knocking or pinging. If you have a knocking problem, it'll be very obvious, and you will hear it as allowed detonating sounds every time the combustion process happens in the engine.
During combustion, your vehicle uses gasoline and air to create energy. This energy will not be created unless a spark is sent at the right time to ignite the air-fuel mixture. Certain vehicles might have problems with the air-fuel mixer getting burned, which is why these vehicles typically produce weird knocking noises that might be extremely loud and get drivers very worried.
Therefore, drivers suffering from weird knocking noises in their vehicles must use a higher-octane level. The way to determine whether fuel has a higher-octane level is through the motor octane number or the research octane number. These two numbers show how suitable this fuel is for your vehicle to prevent engine knocking.
What are the different octane levels?
1. Regular octane fuel
As the name suggests, this regular octane fuel represents the lowest octane level, which might not mean this fuel is suitable for your vehicle if it has a knocking problem. However, if you are driving a car with no locking problems, the regular octane fuel typically has an octane level of 87.
2. Mid-grade octane fuel
The mid-grade octane fuel is somewhere between the lowest and the highest-octane levels, and it's typically around 89.
3. Premium octane fuel
Finally, the premium octane level represents the top octane level in any fuel. This type of fuel is recommended for vehicles with knocking problems; the level is typically somewhere between 91 and 94.
Keep in mind that some companies might use names like super premium or ultimate premium, which still refers to the octane level and doesn't necessarily mean that this fuel is very good for your vehicle.
What type of gasoline should you choose for your car?
Since you understand the different octane levels well, the next question you need to answer is what type of gasoline you should use for the car curate. You must first understand that there is a big difference between when fuel is recommended and when it's required.
Let's look below:
1. Required fuel type
As the name suggests, the required fuel type is the type of fuel your manufacturer requires. If you use any lower octane level than this fuel, your vehicle will be in big trouble, and you might easily sacrifice the engine causing significant problems.
You should find information about the required fuel type from your vehicle owner's manual.
2. Recommended fuel type
On the other hand, you might hear the term recommended fuel type, which, as the name suggests, is just recommended purist; therefore, if you don't necessarily use the cyber fuel, this will not mean that your engine will be in any trouble, but if you use the recommended fuel, you might get better benefits.
As a rule of thumb, automotive experts always require that you follow recommendations in your vehicle's owner's manual, and if your manual recommends using premium fuel, you must use it. Otherwise, your vehicle is going to have a lot of problems. However, if it says that your vehicle is recommended to use premium fuel, then it's your say to decide whether you should use this expensive fuel or go with a lower octane level based on what's required in your car.
All you need to know about flex fuel
There is a popular type of fuel that's referred to as flex fuel. This flex-fuel relies on a different composition of chemicals included in it. Typically, the flex fuel consists of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. Of course, this fuel is typically much cheaper than regular gasoline, so you'll have a lot of savings when using this fuel.
Keep in mind that although the fuel is a great idea and will provide you with a lot of savings for your gasoline prices if your vehicle is not designed to accept this type of fuel, there is a very high chance that you're sacrificing the car and introducing a fuel that will cause significant problems causing you the entire engine.
Did you know how serious it is to use different types of fuel that will cause your engine problems? Unfortunately, insurance companies might not even cover any problems that could happen when using the wrong fuel type; therefore, you have to be very careful about testing and trying cheaper fuels that could cause damage.
How about diesel fuel?
Have you ever looked at the gas station and realized that there is one pump that looks different? This pump is typically for diesel fuel. The diesel fuel is designed specifically for certain vehicles that are typically larger heavy-duty trucks.
Diesel is not designed to be used in your regular car, and there are many discussions about what could go wrong if you use different fuel types in your vehicle. Unfortunately, a common mistake is that people pick the wrong fuel nozzle and pour diesel into their gasoline vehicles.
If you start your car, the diesel could run inside the engine and cause significant damage to your vehicle.
Therefore, you must be very careful and prevent making this mistake. Typically, the gasoline nozzles are at the external pumps, meaning that if you just picked the middle lane in your gas station, you will most likely only see gasoline nozzles, preventing you from picking the wrong one by mistake. However, you should not only rely on this, and you got to be extremely careful about which nozzle you're picking and which fuel you're pouring inside your car.
Ethanol-free gas: the Ins and outs
There is a new type of gasoline that does not have any ethanol. Some experts say it will save you a lot on gasoline, and it's better for your vehicle. However, before switching and deciding on using a different fuel type, you must check with your vehicle's owner's manual or at least discuss with your mechanic to stay on the safe side and prevent problems from happening.
Keep in mind that ethanol-free gasoline is more expensive than typical gasoline, and if it's not going to bring you any benefits, it might not be worth it unless you're confident it will bring benefits.
Why do some gasoline types cost more than others?
After this general idea of all the different types of gasoline and what to consider when looking at the numbers on the gas pump, the next question is to understand why some gasoline types cost more than others.
Typically, the different octane levels are the first differentiation between the different gasoline types. We've discussed this and mentioned that you don't necessarily need to go with the most expensive gasoline unless your vehicle's owner's manual Requires it.
However, you might see the same type of gasoline with the same octane level but at different prices at different gas stations. That could be a little bit weird!
Typically, these companies provide some additives to the gasoline, which provides more benefits for your vehicle and sometimes boosts your engine performance.
You might come across some unleaded gasoline or regular gasoline. All these gasoline types are just different names for certain additives included in the gasoline. These additives can make a huge difference and even make your regular gasoline type more expensive than the premium gasoline type in a different company.
For example, some experts did some math and found that it might cost you more than $11 for every 15 gallons of gasoline at a lower octane level from one gas station compared to the premium gasoline type from another gas station.
Therefore, you must understand whether these boosted characteristics and the improvements added to the gasoline are going to make a difference or not.
Important factors for gasoline prices
Aside from the composition of your gasoline, there are some other factors to consider and keep in mind when comparing gasoline prices.
Did you know that gasoline prices are not the same every season?! Unfortunately, yes! Typically, drivers notice that gasoline prices are higher during summer. For example, you might notice that the price per gallon is about 15 cents higher during summer than in other months.
When the temperature is hot outside, especially during the summer, there's a high chance that some of the gasoline might evaporate. This means that manufacturers and companies must use specific additives to account for this loss and prevent any problems during the emission test. Therefore, whatever blunts are added to the gasoline will impact the price, and that's why you'll see gasoline more expensive during the summer season.
Understanding the different types of gasoline helps you decide whether you should go with the most expensive one or not. This article helps you answer why some gasoline types cost more than others, and it also highlights some tips and tricks to consider when choosing the right type of gasoline for your vehicle.
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