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Ever wonder what grade gasoline should you use in your car (what octane)? Are you paying for premium gas when you can just use regular? Are you using regular and damaging your engine? This video will bust all of the myths and tell you the FACTS on what fuel you should use and why.
Many people throw money away and fill their car with the incorrect fuel every day. Running premium or midgrade in a car designed to run regular is a waste of money and has no HP or MPG benefits. You will not make more power or get better fuel economy running premium fuel if the car manufacturer tunes the car to use regular gas in most cases. I also see some people run regular gas in cars that need premium and the knock sensors have to adjust timing significantly to prevent damaging engine knock. I also hear a lot of people say that premium gasoline has more energy or burns cooler or slower so I will put a rest to all of these "myths" with facts.
More info on fuels and additives:
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Hey guys chris fix here and today i'm going to show you what fuel you should use in your car and not only am i going to show you, but i'm also going to explain why. So we could stop all the myths and misinformation out there about different fuels. So, no matter what vehicle you drive, whether it's a luxury car, a truck or suv, a compact car, a hybrid, a sports car, a convertible or a muscle car. If it uses gasoline this video applies to you now at the gas pump.

There are a bunch of choices that you can make. You could use the less expensive, regular gas, you could use the migrate or you could use the more expensive premium or super gasoline so which one do you pick? No one wants to put the wrong fuel in their car and damage the engine, get poor fuel economy or spend extra on fuel that isn't going to help them. So in this video i'm going to show you exactly what gas your car should use and why - and i want to thank shell for supporting this video and for letting me tie up one of their pumps. So i could film and teach you guys what fuel is best for your car and once and for all, stop all the myths and give you guys the facts.

So with that said, let's get started. Here's what you're gon na see when you're walking up to a pump in this case we have diesel here which we're not going to talk about in this video. If you have a diesel truck or car, don't put gasoline in it because it won't run it'll damage. The engine, and vice versa, if you have a gasoline car, don't put diesel in it, so don't make that mistake, but we're not going to talk about this.

What we are going to talk about is the gasoline. So in america we have 87, which is regular 89, which is mid grade and 91 or 93, which is premium or high test fuel. These octane numbers tell you one thing and one thing: only the resistance the fuel has to detonation or engine knock, and i want to clear up a myth right away, that i hear all the time, and that is the bigger the number, the more energy that fuel Has so you're going to get better fuel economy because it has more energy or you're going to get more power because it has more energy and that's completely false? So all the different octanes of gasoline have the same exact energy content. 87.

89. 91. 93. All have the same energy in them now, there's some myths out there that say certain octanes burn, fuel, hotter or colder or faster or slower, and that's just not true.

These all burn the same temperature at the same speed and there's other myths out there. That say, certain octane fuels burn cleaner or more completely, and that is also not true. A more complete burn has less to do with the actual gasoline and more to do with the fuel to air ratio inside the combustion chamber. So the octane ratings that you see at the pump are exactly that.

The octane rating of that fuel, 87 and 93 have identical energy content, but the octane in 93 is higher than the octane in 87, and that is important. Octane is the resistance to detonation or engine knock and detonation, an engine not could destroy an engine so in turbocharged engines, supercharged engines or high compression engines like in this corvette, you're more likely to get detonation if you're, using a lower octane fuel with forced induction or High compression there's more heat, there's more pressure, and that means the fuel is more likely to explode before it's supposed to and that detonation that knock sounds like a bunch of marbles or ball bearings bouncing around inside the engine, making metallic pinging noises, which is not good. Let me show you why here's the combustion process inside of an engine now, when you're using the correct octane fuel, the spark ignites the fuel and the flame, starts at the spark and travels outwards. This is a smooth and even burn that creates pressure to push the piston downwards, and then the exhaust gases are forced out of the cylinder and the process repeats.

Now, let's take a look at the combustion process when you use a fuel with a lower octane than the manufacturer requires, so the fuel and air mixture is pulled into the combustion chamber and the spark plug ignites it just like normal, but as the flame moves outwards, The pressure inside the cylinder increases and causes pockets of fuel to ignite unevenly, and this creates an explosion rather than a smooth burn, and that metallic knockey here is the uneven explosion which could damage the piston piston rings valves, head, gasket and even the block so higher Octane fuel prevents detonation, enforced induction and higher compression engines. Now today's fuel injected cars have something called a knock sensor. The knock sensor is like a doctor's stethoscope, except for your car's computer. It actually listens for engine knock and when it hears the engine knock, it tries to change the timing of the engine to prevent knock, but you don't want to have engine knock in the first place.

You want to fill up with the proper fuel, so you prevent engine knock all together, so your decision at the pump is pretty important. The higher the octane fuel, the more resistant to engine knock, but that doesn't mean when you pull up to the pump. You should run the highest octane you could get because you might be throwing money away. Many cars run perfectly fine on regular gasoline and i'm going to show you in a little bit how to tell which fuel your car should be using.

So you don't put premium in a car that could use regular and vice versa. You don't want to put regular in a car that needs premium. So i'll show you that in a second but first the next myth i want to bust and that i hear all the time is that fuel from america isn't as good as fuel from europe or australia or other parts of the world, and the reason why people Think this is because we have 87 octane 89.93. Now, if you look at a pump in europe, you see 95 octane and 99 octane since 95 and 99 are bigger numbers than what you could find at american gas pumps.

It must mean the fuel here has higher octane and actually this is misleading, because in europe they use ron research octane number as their rating for octane. In america we use pond pump. Octane number for r rating, so fuel from europe and fuel from america are basically the same. Europe's 95 octane is like our 89 or mid grade.

Europe's 99 or 98 octane is like our 93 octane or premium. So hopefully, that clears that myth up the fuel here in america is very similar to the fuel in europe. The octane rating system is different, but the octane is the same or very similar all right. So now you know, octane is the main difference between the different fuels and how important octane is, but there's one other thing i want to talk about, and that is fuel additives.

So every brand has to add a fuel additive. It's set by the government to keep your engine clean. Each brand has their own proprietary ingredients and they all do it in their own specific ways. Some of them use the exact same amount of additive in each of their fuels.

I know specifically for shell, they use seven times more additive than required by law in their premium fuel. Now. What does this additive do? Well, it helps clean carbon deposits, also known as gunk and sludge. If you don't have these additives in the fuel over time, your engine will become a lot less efficient, so you could get carbon deposits in your fuel injectors.

You could get it on your pistons or on the piston rings, and you could get it on your valves. Now, i'm not the type of person to just tell you these things. I like to show examples, so you could really understand so i'll show you dirty fuel injectors on the fuel injector tester here, but first, let's take a look at the difference between clean and dirty valves. Here are four different valves from a port injected four-cylinder motor.

This is a completely clean valve to give you a reference of what a clean valve looks like and here's a good comparison. This is a valve with the normal amount of carbon deposits on it. This right here is what you would find in a normal daily driven port injected vehicle. You can see there's some carbon deposits on the valve, where it seats against the head.

There's some carbon deposits right here and there's some carbon deposits on the valve stem, but nothing significant. Also, if we take a look underneath the valve, you can see there's carbon deposits under here as well and again, this gives you a good idea of what you would normally find and here's a good example of a valve that has some carbon deposits on it. This isn't even that bad direct inject engines could be much worse with carbon deposits building up on the top of the valve right here now. The problem with this gunk and sludge is it's going to lower the efficiency of your vehicle, so fuel isn't going to atomize with the air as well.

The air traveling over this valve isn't going to travel as smoothly into the combustion chamber. The valve might not seat properly against the head and not steel properly, so you'll lose fuel economy and you'll lose some power, and that's why it's important to make sure your engine stays clean, so you're able to see the difference between clean and dirty valves. Now let me show you the difference between clean and dirty fuel injectors using this fuel injector tester. So here are four fuel injectors and you can see.

Injector 1 and 4 have a good, even spray pattern, but injector 3 is a little dirty and the spray pattern isn't as strong and injector 2 is by far the dirtiest and has a very poor spray pattern. Here's the clean injector number one next to the dirty injector number two and you can see the difference in spray pattern: the clean injector atomizes the fuel and makes a fine mist, whereas the dirty injector has more of a stream. It's not atomizing the fuel and that'll cause poor fuel economy and a decrease in power because the fuel isn't going to burn as evenly like in the rest of the cylinders. So if you have a slight misfire lower fuel economy, a decrease in power, there's a potentially have a clogged injector like this, and this is where using a good high quality fuel could help clean the injector and restore the proper spray pattern.

And i think that's so cool to be able to see the fuel injectors and how they spray. Now. The last thing i want to show you is the top of a piston. Now i don't have any pistons because they're hard to get out of an engine, so instead we're going to go into the engine using a special borescope camera and i'm going to show you what it looks like in there and how the carbon deposits form on the Piston head, so i took the spark plugs out and i'm going to slide the borescope camera into the spark plug hole.

So we can see the top of the piston and you can see the dark spots on the piston i'll circle them in red. These are the carbon deposits now a little bit of carbon deposits is normal. This right here, what you see is completely normal, but if this builds up too much, you could increase the compression of the engine or create hot spots which both of those could cause detonation. So that's how fuel additives help keep the engine clean from valves to injectors to piston heads but shell's v-power, nitro plus does a couple of other things.

I just want to mention real quickly because it's pretty impressive. So, let's take a look inside of an engine to see what the fuel additive does. More specifically, let's look at what the piston is doing. It's important to prevent, wear and tear inside the engine, so it lasts a long time and that's not easy because inside of an engine there's a lot of fast moving parts that are undergoing some pretty tough conditions.

The engine oil is the main protector of all these moving parts, but now this new fuel additive actually helps out a little bit. It'll get on the cylinder wall and help protect the upper piston rings against friction and wear. So that's some pretty cool technology and there's one more benefit i want to mention. So if your car doesn't get used a lot, maybe only take her out on track days, otherwise she's getting stored, or maybe you store your car for the winter and doesn't get started.

You want to make sure you protect your fuel system from corrosion like you see on this valve, and this fuel additive will actually do that. It'll help protect the metals from corroding, so they don't end up. Looking like this. So now you know about octane.

You know about the fuel additives, but what does this all mean for your car? What fuel should you use for your car? The answer is very simple: no matter what car you drive use the manufacturer's recommendation on what fuel to use they designed the car. They designed the engine they designed the tune. So if they're saying to use premium use premium, if they're saying to use regular use, regular and there's three different methods, you could use to find out what fuel your car should use. Let me show you them.

The first and easiest method is when you go to fill up just check behind your fuel door and look for this sticker. You can see right there. It says use 91, octane or greater. If you don't have the sticker here check the fuel filler cap, sometimes it's written on there, but not every car.

Has it written on the filler cap or on the back of the fuel door, for example, in the drift stang. There is nothing written on the back of this fuel door, there's also nothing on the fuel cap. So how do you know what fuel you should use in this car? Simple? Grab your owner's manual flip to the back. You can see right here.

It says fuel choosing the right fuel filling your vehicle with fuel. Let's go to those pages and there you go. I could see right away. Use 87 octane use regular.

It also gives you other good information like filling up in a higher elevation. If you hear light, knocking or heavy knocking and fuel quality different things like that, so it's worth a read, but i know not: everybody has an owner's manual, so there's one more place that you could check and that is on the dashboard of your vehicle so get Inside your car and take a look on your dashboard, you want to check over by your fuel gauge, you can see on the gauge. It says premium required. So this is another place.

You could look now notice that said premium required, there's a big difference in language between the word required and recommended. When talking about fuel, this car needs premium, it is required. So if you put regular in it, it could damage the engine, but some cars say premium recommended. For example, if we take a look at my corvette underneath the fuel door, it says right here, premium recommended.

So what that does is that allows us to run regular fuel without any issues, so the car's knock sensor will adjust the timing, so you don't get that detonation and you could run regular with no problem at all. You'll lose a little bit of fuel economy and probably a little bit of power. It might not be noticeable, but it is completely fine and completely safe to run regular. But again it says premium recommended not required and also it's recommended, which means it is better to run premium, but you don't have to now.

There are a couple situations where your car is supposed to run regular, but you need to run premium. For example, my truck has 150 000 miles on her. I was driving on the highway one day, giving it some gas and all of a sudden i was hearing detonation, so i immediately pulled off filled up with premium and that detonation went away. What i think what happened was: there's carbon buildup inside the engine either increasing the compression ratio, or maybe it created a hot spot in the cylinder either way i was getting detonation with the premium.

It went away. So in that type of scenario you definitely don't want. Detonation run premium and shell claims, if you run their premium fuel for 2500, continuous miles, it'll clean 70 of the carbon deposits in the injectors, and if you have a port injected engine 70 from the valves which is pretty impressive. So not only are you stopping that detonation, but you're cleaning it out now i can run regular fuel without any issues, so the problem went away, which is a good thing.

Another situation where my car normally takes regular. This is the drift staying. She could take regular. All day long, but you might need to change the premium if you start modifying the car or get it tuned in this case, i haven't got it tuned yet, but when i add the supercharger and go to the tuner, you have to listen to what your tuner Says if your tuner says run 93, make sure you run 93, otherwise you're gon na get detonation and you could damage your engine so stock.

She runs regular, just fine, but once you get a cartoon, listen to your tuner and the last scenario i could think of is your car requires premium, but for whatever reason you fill it up with regular. Maybe you hit the wrong button by mistake. You hit the 87 and you fill your car up with regular. You don't catch it or maybe you're at a gas station, and they don't have premium and you're in the middle of nowhere and you need to get gas.

Otherwise, you won't be able to get to where you need to go. Don't worry, there is a solution after you fill up with the regular gas. What you would do is you would go out and you would buy one of these bottles of octane booster and you could get this at your local parts store. Sometimes the supermarket.

Maybe even the gas station you're at and all you do. Is you empty it into the gas tank, and this will boost the octane of that regular fuel that you put in there? So you won't damage your engine and if you have to drive to pick this stuff up, just take it easy, don't give the car a lot of gas and go slow and the knock sensors on the engine should adjust the timing. So you don't damage your engine and there's one more thing i want to mention, and that is e85. If you see e85 like this, this doesn't mean 85 octane.

This means 85 ethanol, and you only want to use this if you have a flex fuel vehicle again, you could check your owner's manual to see if your vehicle is flex fuel or not, but make sure you do that, because if your vehicle isn't flex fuel, you Could damage the engine by running e85 and i just wanted to mention that really quick, so you don't fill up with the wrong fuel by mistake. E85 is 85 ethanol, not 85 octane. But if you have any questions at all about anything, i showed in this video or anything, i didn't show that you might think of feel free to comment below and i'll answer them. But in summary, use the fuel your car manufacturer recommends, if they say, run regular, run regular if they say run mid-grade run mid-grade.

If it says premium required run premium. If it says premium recommended you could choose, but from my experience premium will let the car run better you'll get a little more power and a little better fuel economy plus you won't have to worry about any detonation at all, but it really is that simple, just Use what the manufacturer recommends. So there you go now. You know what fuel you should use in your car and why we busted a couple of myths, and i told you guys the truth and all the facts.

So you have all this knowledge on what fuel you should use. Hopefully the video was helpful if it was remember to give it a thumbs up if you're not a subscriber, consider hitting that subscribe button, and, as always, everything i used in this video is linked in the description.

18 thoughts on “What is the best fuel to use in your car or truck and why”
  1. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Hola! Bromie Morris says:

    He literally spent 20 minutes to ultimately say “follow the manufacturer’s recommendation on fuel grade selection”. That’s it. There. Saved you 20 minutes I can’t get back.

  2. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars josh harris says:

    I used the 93 for my car once and felt a difference in my car, more responsive , and the gas lasted longer compared to the lower grade but I use regular like always now

  3. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Jeremy Kimbrough says:

    I tuned my car on shell 91. Gained a little over 25 hp by running two tanks of chevron 91 through it. I was able to add more timing safely. This was done on a dyno.

  4. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Abdul Malik says:

    I salute you my Son. Such a nicely and precisely you taught is marvellous. I drove from 1974 till date 1.82 million kilometres but was not knowing many technicalities before I saw you lectures. Thanks once again. Keep it up.
    Love from Pakistan.

  5. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Animal Mother says:

    I clicked this video cuz I thought, what a silly question every vehicle is different you need to read your manual but then was thinking what if this guy knows something I don’t ..,,. Yeah nope 16 minutes later he said read your manual :/

  6. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars sɐʇɹǝqᴉl oʇuǝɯǝɯ says:

    My owner's manual specifically says to use the highest octane available at the pump, so that's what I use.
    Subbed, this is quality content 👍

  7. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Raymond hat says:

    In Amarillo and canyon Texas the octane is 86 88 91 and most car manufacturers recommend 87 so you have to pay for 88 but in Oklahoma the lowest is 87

  8. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars MDLDRL says:

    Well Done! I like how you explain it for everyone to understand. The added extras help too. I have yet to find a video I didn't like or learn something from. Keep up the good work Chris!

  9. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Danny says:

    What about a bmw which says 91 recommended but 89 min. Does that mean I can always use 89 ? What’s the point of the 91 then when I can’t event tell any performance difference.

  10. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Holden Ivy says:

    So I have a question I'm buying my first car a 2012 mustang V6 and it says use 87 octane but if it doesn't have a flex fuel sensor will it destroy the engine? in the video you also said it had some benefits by luberacating the valves would it do the same to my car

  11. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Eddie Jaeggi says:

    Cris as always Thank you. I just picked up a Mint conditioned 2003 Chevy Suburban Z71 and wanted to know the difference in gasolines ⛽ especially E-85. The truck doesn't have a Flex Fuel body badge and the Yellow gas cap was replaced with a locking Black cap but after reading up I've learned the Eight Digit on the vehicles VIN like mine is a Z and Z means its designed for Flex Fuel where as a T is regular fuel. I learn a lot watching your videos and it's super appreciated. Thanks Eddie J. Long Island NY

  12. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars BEETHOVEN says:

    My BMW 325Ci requires me to have 92 Octane. And I'm glad there is 2 places around me with 92 Octane.

  13. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Dawn Carrasco says:

    He said shell has 7 times more additives that help your car in premium but what about the regular and middle grade? What best kind of gas to use?

  14. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Va B says:

    All the same energy. But the better resistance to engine knock, the more fuel you can put in the combustion chamber before combustion, hence more power.

  15. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Matthew Jansen says:

    I have a Chevy that has the flex fuel feature. Is it okay to use unleaded or do I HAVE to use the E-85?

  16. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Najie naj says:


  17. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Scotty too hottie says:

    Thanks for the gas tip Car seems To be running smoother Ticking noise from feeling Injectors got quieter 208000 mile honda accord V6

  18. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Gemster18 says:

    Chris you did a great job explaining that. I always said that it didn't matter as far as power was concerned people always laughed at me they said that you have to always use premium to get more power out of your car and better gas mileage. Also I thought the funniest part of the video was when you showed the prices I can't remember when it was $2.60 oh wait wasn't that when Trump was in office? 😂. Lol

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