Fuel for Thought


Gas prices are on the rise. This is not news. Thinking about purchasing a used vehicle?––This is good news! As you begin writing your list of all things to consider, make fuel efficiency a top priority. Why? I can think of two reasons: You save buying the car and you save using the car.

And, regardless of the model, you’ll need to consider the right fuel for your car. Here are five tips and some fuel for thought:

  1. Refer to the owner's manual. Most cars may run on economy gas. But, if you’re driving a car with a high-performance engine like a sports or luxury model, the manual will likely suggest a high-octane fuel.
  2. Talk to a skilled mechanic before you buy. Begin with the mechanic at your place of purchase. Good mechanics always consider the age and condition of your car and can usually recommend the right octane to keep the car running longer.
  3. Visit your trusted service center if you suspect “engine knock”. Knocking describes the sound the car makes when a pre-ignition explosion occurs from a compression of fuel and air in the cylinders. Knocking is not a good thing for your engine’s performance and can be dangerous.
  4. Do what makes sense. High octane fuel was produced and often used to slow the burning of fuel and increase performance. Not long ago, higher octanes were suggested for use in older cars to prevent knocking. But many newer model vehicles today have “knock sensors.” This means that you don’t necessarily need to switch to a premium fuel grade.
  5. Give your car the fuel it needs. High octane or premium fuel costs a few cents more per gallon. But, if the manual says use premium gas, then of course use it. If it says use economy, then by all means, do so.