Category Archives: fuel

Image of gas pumps

Not All Gasoline is Created Equal

In our previous article, we provided you with some tips and suggestions about refueling your vehicles. In this article, we will go into more detail about the quality of fuel you should be using and why it matters. With today’s fuel prices escalating, our Norlang Auto customers in the Lower Mainland frequently ask us whether it is worth paying that little bit extra for premium gasoline.

Quality/Grade of Gasoline

At almost every gas station you visit, you will have a choice of regular (87 octane), mid-grade (89 octane) and premium (91 – 93 octane) gasoline. Of course, the higher the octane, the higher the price will be. Higher octane, however, does not always improve engine performance, unless your car is equipped with a high-performance engine which has a higher engine compression ratio. These high compression engines need premium gasoline because this fuel can be compressed to a higher ratio without detonating. Naturally, in order to produce premium gasoline, it is necessary to create a more complex blend of chemicals, which includes alkylates and reformates, to achieve a higher octane level. Consequently, you will have to pay a little more for this blend of fuel.

Modern cars, basically most vehicles manufactured in the last decade, have much more fuel efficient and powerful engines which require or it is recommended that you use premium gasoline. The type of fuel required by your vehicle is printed inside the fuel filler door so that you or the person refueling will be sure to use the correct fuel mixture.

The Move to Premium Gasoline

Car manufacturers have been designing smaller and smaller engines that are much more fuel efficient in order to adhere to the ever more stringent government regulations regarding fuel economy. However, since most North American car buyers also prefer to buy vehicles with decent horsepower and acceleration, engines are now turbocharged or have direct injection which have higher compression ratios that require/recommend higher octane gasoline.

Adhering to Your Automaker’s Instructions

It’s important to note that if you have an older vehicle for which the manufacturer requires you to use premium gas, you shouldn’t attempt to save a few bucks by filling it up with regular since you may end up damaging your engine. Fortunately, if you drive a new car, it is most likely equipped with fuel detection systems to prevent any damage to your engine, but by using regular grade gasoline, you will most likely reduce your car’s performance and fuel efficiency. Therefore, in the long-run, it’s better just to fill-up with what is required or recommended by your automaker.

Top Tier Gasoline Revisited

Another point we brought up in our previous article is buying Top Tier Detergent Gasoline. Again, we’d like to remind you that most of the big automakers recommend this fuel since it helps keep your car’s engine free of deposit build-up. Whether your automaker recommends it or not, using Top Tier gasoline is safe and preferable.

For more information about your vehicle’s fuel system, visit us, call us at 604-337-1515 or book an appointment online now.

Lady refueling her car

Fuel for Thought: 5 Tips for Choosing Your Fuel

Most of our Norlang Auto customers in the Lower Mainland care about their vehicles and are always asking our team of expert technicians about some of the things they can do to keep them running in top condition. One of the simplest things we always remind our customers, especially those whose engine warning light has been activated or those with carbon build-up in their intake tract and valves, is to choose their fuel more carefully!

5 Tips for Choosing Your Fuel

  1. Buy fuel from high-volume stations. This will ensure it is relatively free of any deposits or sediments that may have built up in gas stations’ reservoirs.
  2. Top Tier Gas LogoChoose “Top Tier Detergent Gasoline,” that contains effective detergent additives to prevent the build-up of deposits inside your engine. The world’s top automakers recommend this and as of 2017 have included this recommendation in their owner’s manuals. By using this type of fuel, you will be able to maintain a higher standard of engine cleanliness and performance as compared to using fuel which only meets the EPA requirement. What’s more, Top Tier fuels are less likely to contain metallic additives, which can damage your vehicle’s emission system and create pollutants. Fuel brands that have the Top Tier Detergent Gasoline designation can be identified through their marketing campaigns, and/or by fueling station signage.
  3. Use the octane your car’s engine has been designed for. You can find this information in your owner’s manual or on your dashboard near the fuel gauge or on the inside of your fuel cap. Remember, that higher octane does not always mean higher engine performance. However, high-performance engines need higher octane fuel because of higher engine compression ratios.
  4. Switch to a higher octane fuel at about 150,000 km since your engine will most likely develop carbon build-up and there is an increased possibility of pre-detonations. Of course, you can avoid this issue by having your intake valves cleaned by our expert technicians who will use walnut blasting to clean the carbon deposits and restore your engine’s performance and fuel efficiency.
  5. Hot and cold weather can affect how well your vehicle runs. It’s recommended that if you are driving in areas with extremely hot temperatures, you should choose higher octane fuel. This is because when hot air enters the cylinder, there is an increased possibility of pre-detonation as it is mixed with the fuel and compressed.

Some Safety Suggestions While Refueling

  • Never keep your engine running.
  • Smoking or lighting matches/lighters is strictly prohibited and extremely dangerous.
  • Cell phones and other electronic devices should be turned off and left in the vehicle.
  • You should never get back into your vehicle while refueling even in cold weather.
  • Avoid any activity that might result in static electricity build-up and discharge.
  • Do not attempt to “top off” your vehicle’s fuel tank.
  • Make sure that the gas cap is securely tightened after refueling. If it’s not your  “Check Engine”  amber warning light may be activated.

For more information about your vehicle’s fuel system, visit us, call us at 604-337-1515 or book an appointment online now.