Wasting your money on gas

Old habits die hard, including texting while driving. 

Two of the most important aspects of advanced driver training we focus on are teaching people how to brake in an emergency, which surprisingly very few people understand, and learning to drive economically, which is surprisingly easy but under-utilized. 

The simplest things that we take for granted are often the most overlooked. 

In a similar manner, when we purchase a car we should read the owner’s manual. Among other things is an indication as to what kind of gasoline to fill the car up with. It will be written for Canadian grades of gasoline, which vary from 87-91 octane, typically. 

So as I scan the classifieds looking for a replacement vehicle for my wife, why would I be surprised to see many adverts with the statement “always used premium unleaded gas, vehicle is in perfect condition.” It would not be a surprise, except I know the vehicle was manufactured to use 87 octane fuel, so why advertise that the vehicles has been burning much more expensive fuel?

The truth is that a vehicle is manufactured for a particular grade of gasoline and is tuned accordingly. Some performance vehicles are designed for a higher grade fuel, and in some instances, using a lower grade fuel can increase something called “knock” – which is really uneven fuel combustion and can lead to engine damage. 

Fuel grade choices are designed by the vehicle manufacturer based on a variety of conditions, such as whether the engine works with a turbo or super-charger, if it is a high combustion engine, or whether cylinder temperatures and other parameters need to be carefully monitored.

The important thing to remember is that increasing the octane of fuel above the required octane suggested does absolutely nothing for your engine. It is not more economical and it will not last longer or extend service or oil change intervals. In short, putting higher octane gasoline than required is a little like flushing hard earned dollars down the toilet.

Your car is designed to run optimally on the fuel that is recommended for it in the user manual. 

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.


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About the Author

Mark has been an entrepreneur for more than 40 years. His experience spans many commercial sectors and aspects of business.

He was one of the youngest people to be appointed as a Fellow of the prestigious Institute of Sales and Marketing Management before he left the U.K. in 1988.

His column focuses on ways we can improve on success in our lives. Whether it is business, relationships, or health, Mark has a well-rounded perspective on how to stay focused for growth and development.

His influences come from the various travels he undertakes as an adventurer, philanthropist and keynote speaker. More information can be found on Mark at his website www.markjenningsbates.com

He is a Venture Partner with www.DutchOracle.com a global Alternative Investment company.

Mark Jennings-Bates:
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Photo credit: www.SteveAustin.ca 

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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