What is the BEST Fuel to Use in Your Car or Truck and WHY

What is the BEST Fuel to Use in Your Car or Truck and WHY


Hey guys ChrisFix here and today i’m gonna show you what fuel you should use in your car and not only am I gonna show you but I’m also gonna 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 mid grade 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 gonna help them so in this video I’m gonna 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 gonna 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 gonna 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 gonna get better fuel economy because it has more energy Or you’re gonna get more power because as more energy and that’s completely false so all the different Octane’s 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 Octane’s 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 There’s other myths out there 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 and engine. I 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 knocked 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 gasses 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 naki 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 in forced 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 altogether So your decision at the pump is pretty important the higher the octane fuel the we’re 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 unregular gasoline And I’m gonna 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 can find at American gas pumps It must mean the fuel here has higher octane And actually this is misleading because in Europe they use run research octane number as their rating for octane in America We use pond pump octane number for our 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 Alright, 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 four 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 of 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 bed 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 gonna lower the efficiency of your vehicle So fuel isn’t gonna atomized with the air as well the air traveling over this valve isn’t gonna travel as smoothly into the combustion chamber The valve might not seat properly Against the head and not seal 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 could see injector one and four have a good even spray pattern but injector three is a Little dirty and the spray pattern isn’t as strong an injector two is by far the dirtiest and has a very poor spray pattern Here’s the queen 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 will cause poor fuel economy and a decrease in power Because the fuel isn’t gonna 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 of 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 give an engine So instead we’re gonna 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 gonna slide the borescope camera into the spark plug hole so we could 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 shells v-power Nitro+ 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 of 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 manufacturers recommendation on what fuel to use they design the car. They design the engine they design 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 this 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 staying there is nothing written on the back of this fuel door. There’s also nothing 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 can 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 the 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 could 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 cars 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 a hundred and fifty thousand 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 when 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 a 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 show claims if you run their premium fuel for 2,500 continuous miles It’ll clean 70 percent of the carbon deposits in the injectors And if you have a port injected engine 70 percent from the valves, which is pretty impressive So not are you stopping that detonation, but you’re cleaning it out now I could 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 drifts thing 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 gonna get detonation and you could damage your engine so stock she runs regular just fine But once you get a car tuned 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 then 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 in that is e85 if you see EA t5 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 owners 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 want to mention that really quick so you don’t fill up with the wrong fuel by mistake EA t5 is 85 percent 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 recommend you could choose but for 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

About the Author: Michael Flood

100 Comments

  1. I hope you guys like the animations and all the extras that went into this video! It took a while to do (you guys who follow me on Instagram know lol) but I think it is worth showing you examples instead of just taking my word for it! For those asking, here is where I got the fuel injector cleaner/tester: https://amzn.to/31kHwhk

  2. Carbon build-up in cylinder heads and on the top of pistons can cause pre-ignition, which to most engine people is different to knock. You use the word detonation was that on purpose?

  3. The best fuel was the frying oil i found at the local recycling place. I dumped it straight into my TDI Jetta…if it's free…it's me.

  4. This is a great video it takes complex mechanics and makes it easy with visual animations and great demonstrations hats off to you @ChrisFix

  5. I started using high octane gas in my when I was told by my mechanic. I got more mileage than regular gas. And had some more pick when passing. If the gas doesn't matter why did I get more out of it? I went from adding gas twice a week to once. I'm just wondering why it changed so much?

  6. WOW ! Brilliant video . Learnt so much in so little time . just thank you …I feel I like I owe you money for what I've just learnt 😀 . Thanks

  7. "I want to thank Shell for supporting this video." Sorry Chris but you lost credibility after you mentioned this. Especially credebility on benefits when using Shell gas. Thanks for disclosing and I love your other videos.

  8. Funny. None of these octane levels are available where I live. Here we only get 95 and 98.. And you guys call 93 Premium Super…

  9. Could you elaborate a little bit on what you meant about 'Octane Boosters'? I've heard that, no matter what you do or put on any gasoline, additives like those will never raise the octane count since it's already established during manufacturer's process. Great video!

  10. Hi this is a really good video. I am from Malaysia and we use RON 95 and RON 97……..Can u make a video about what would happen if 50% (VOLUME) RON 95 is mixed WITH 50% (VOLUME) RON 97. What happens when u mix them?

  11. What’s up Chris. I have a 2003 Jaguar X-Type & it’s been misfiring for a while now. I changed the spark plugs & put a now valve cover on it & new ignition coils. & it’s STILLLL misfiring. The gas I use is 89. What do you think I should do ?

  12. Read manufacturer's recommendation/requirement on inside of gas door or manual and use that. There, saved you 16 minutes!

  13. I have seen insane amounts of carbon deposits in direct injection. I’ve seen valves bend from it. Also seen valves not seat good and cause misfire at idle. Have over 20 years as a tech, 10 of those at a dealership. If you have direct injection it’s important to do direct injection fuel service.

  14. If your gas cap does NOT have printed on it “premium required” not just recommended there is no real reason to use anything above 87 octane. Period.

  15. Easy fix, just pour diesel into the tank no mater what car you have (even if it’s electric) because diesel is actually just Red Bull with oil in it

  16. This issue may have been addressed already in previous comments however I am wondering about fuel in higher altitudes. When we lived in Colorado Springs it seemed all of the regular grade gas was 85 octane

    Everyone else was doing it so I used 85 in our Chevy van for two years

    We made it through and my engine seems fine but do I have any reason to be concerned in the future

  17. You lost me when you didn’t have Ethanol Free gas in the lineup or E85. Ethanol free contains more energy than all of the and is often required for classic cars and pretty most vehicles produced before 1995. Although the extra cost of Ethanol free fuel is often too much to overcome the better mileage (2-3%) compared to regular modern fuel of the same octane and probably not a great idea to run in a vehicle produced this decade. E85 on the other hand is good for flex fuel vehicles but contains much less energy. Having used E85 in a 2000’s Ford Ranger which was flex fuel compatible it could barely climb long hills or tow the boat, but the typical pinging on flat road was eliminated. However MPG went from low 20s MPG to just 14 MPG. For that flex fuel vehicle, running mid-grade fuel often produced the best cost to mileage ratio.

  18. Here in Venezuela I pay like 0.0000000000000000001$ to fill a Dodge caravan tank with 95 octane! Not worth having the highest inflation lol.

  19. If you use a higher than required octane fuel without any tuning adjustment to the engine, the car will make less torque and HP, and worst fuel mileage. So if your car requires 87 and you add 93 without any adjustment to the cars tuning, all you're doing is wasting money and reducing the performance of the vehicle.

  20. So im in Colorado and the regual gas is 85 octane is that because of the higher elevation allowing the lower octane?

  21. I have always used premium gas for lawn mowers and snow throwers. It seemed like the higher octane gas faired better over the winter (less varnishing of the gas) Is this true or another myth?

  22. Problem with Gasoline is the ethanol is what hurts the engine if I'd put 93 in my frontier it would do nothing because the computer is smart enough to cut timing

  23. You left out ethanol free gas. The original gas. It's still available at some stations and is priced like premium. I wonder how the fuel milage compares the ethanol. I'm guessing no difference

  24. I know it is not related to this video, is it true that when you drain your automatic transmission oil, you are draining also torque converter oil?

  25. This should be emphasised more.

    Dont put unleaded fuel in a diesel car, and if you do dont fucken turn it on. It will break the fucking car.

    And dint put diesel in an unleaded car but it isnt as bad as unleaded in diesel

  26. I dont know if anyone already commented about it but I just kept thinking during the video that you didnt mention anything about the mid grade plus. Is there a time when one would use that or is it just essentially useless.

  27. You can't fit a diesel pump on a regular car or truck. The diesel pump it fatter than the gas pump that goes in the tank

  28. Simply put lower grade than your car requires can cause delayed explosions in your block causing it to get knocked back before the gears are ready to handle it which could also cause a misfire? Correct me if I'm wrong so i know and I'm not misinforming others

  29. Maybe you forgot to mention when the at the pump it says that contains 10% ethanol and what that means. Great video!

  30. You say "detonation", but isn't it "pre-detonation" – that is, detonation before the spark plug fires? Detonation from the heat caused by compression? And your diagram shows detonation in a corner of the cylinder AFTER the spark plug fires. Isn't that incorrect?
    Also, you referred to the third valve as an intake valve. (Looks more like an exhaust valve.) Will an intake valve really get carbon deposits on top like that?

  31. 91/93 is the best for power if that’s what your looking for , there is differences , when I put 87 in my dirt bike it rides normal , when I put 91/93 that shit rips hella n there is way more back fire to it , there is a difference

  32. Thanks again for another great video reviews and your always 100% on top of your game with all of your videos either from your how-to, or reviews/facts videos they are all best and I know you saved more thousands of dollars on preventive damage I could have cause .keep them coming buddy we all appreciate your time and attention to all of the work you put into your videos

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