Fuel 101

Fuel 101

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between the types of fuel at the pump? Bartow Ford, your Lakeland area Ford dealership, can help you make sure that you’re fueling up properly.  

Types of Gas
Gas stations typically offer three different types of gasoline: unleaded (also known as regular), premium, and diesel. Each has a different octane and is considered a different grade of gas.      

Regular, or unleaded, is typically your cheapest option at the pump. However, that doesn’t mean you should feel like you’re cheaping out! Thanks to better quality and integrity of the fuel systems found in today’s car, there is no advantage to using premium gas in a car that doesn’t require it. 

Premium gas has a higher octane than regular gas. A higher octane level is beneficial in cars that have higher-compression engines; it prevents the fuel from pre-igniting and causing damage. Your car’s manual will specify if your engine requires premium gas. 

Diesel should only be used for a diesel engine. Diesel engines don’t require a spark, like typical engines, resulting in a denser fuel. Diesel fuel is commonly used for trucks, boats, buses, trains, and machinery. 

What Happens if I…

Put regular into premium:
There’s a reason your car requires premium gas; it has a higher pressure engine. Using regular gas in your premium car can cause engine knock or pinging, which will eventually damage the pistons and engine and leaves you with decreased fuel economy and poor engine performance.

Put premium into regular: 
Other than your wallet, you’ll likely notice no difference if you put premium gas into your regular car. Your engine will not perform better or faster, you’ll just have spent a few more cents at the pump. 

Put regular into diesel:
If you realize that you’ve put regular fuel into your diesel engine, it’s crucial that you don’t drive your car; you could risk serious damage. If you were to start the engine, the regular gas wouldn’t ignite, causing failure of the injection pump, injections, and engine. Have your car towed so that a technician can properly flush the system. 

Put diesel into regular:
Putting diesel into your regular engine can make your car run poorly, eventually resulting in the engine smoking, leaving you at risk of your fuel pump, lines, and injectors all being damaged. Rather than risking engine failure, have your car towed to Bartow Ford so that they can drain the fuel tank. 

If you’ve put the wrong type of gas in your tank, the technicians at Bartow Ford, your Lakeland area Ford dealership, can make sure your engine has no damage. Give us a call at (800) 303-4016 to schedule an appointment.

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