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The Impact of Fuel Quality on Engine Performance

When it comes to engine performance, your regular person will always think about fuel. In contrast, the more motor-inclined people will talk about forced induction, better intakes, better cams, exhausts, headers, and better transmission. Both will be right; better equipment does make for more engine performance, whereas the impact of fuel quality on engine performance is a lot, too. Today, we’ll be looking at how fuel affects an engine’s performance, and, while race fuel isn’t recommended for your normal commuter cars like sedans and SUVs, how better fuel will be able to streamline your driving experience and even give you better gas mileage, all the while cleaning the engine from the inside. 

Let’s first understand how fuel drives your piston-powered internal combustion engine, and then we’ll move on to the impact of fuel quality on engine performance. 

The dynamics of an internal combustion engine (ICE)

Teslas, Rivians, and other electric cars don’t use fuel, so it is important to understand how an ICE unit works. You see, for the piston-powered ICE (there are rotary-powered too), the combustion occurs within the cylinders, where a mixture of air and fuel is ignited, which combusts and moves the piston in a cyclical process that rotates the driveshaft, driving the car. Within the cylinder, both air and fuel are mixed together, with there being more air than fuel. However, that does not mean that fuel quality does not matter. Let us look at the disadvantages of putting low-quality fuel in your car and how it can affect your engine’s performance. 

The disadvantages of using low-quality fuel

There are many disadvantages of using low-quality fuel for your vehicle, which can negatively impact the engine performance and affect it in other ways. Let’s take a look at these disadvantages. 

Corrodes the moving parts

The fuel goes from the tank, through the lines, and onto the fuel injection or carburetors (whatever your car has) to get fed into the engine. These are all parts that fuel quality directly relates to: the better the fuel, the better these parts will perform, and the longer their life will be extended. On the other hand, if you use low-quality fuel, this will corrode the fuel lines and will contribute to the pollution within the fuel injections or carburetors, not to mention that they will also impart the same effect on other moving parts of the engine, such as the piston itself. Always ensure you have the best quality fuel in your car if you want to get the most out of it. 

Contributes to harmful deposits

The engine is a moving and combusting part of the car which has many chemical reactions going on inside it. Despite the presence of exhaust and other measures to ensure all waste is taken care of within the unit, the engine will still have carbon deposits on its moving parts, like pistons, etc., resulting from the combustion process. These deposits could get bigger or more difficult to remove with low-quality fuel. If not removed, carbon deposits can seriously affect an engine’s performance and cause issues like metal fatigue and reduced performance. Low-quality fuel not only contributes to that but, in some cases, may actively build up this carbon deposit to the point where it could seriously affect the engine. 

Reduces fuel economy

Your car depends on fuel to run but is also efficient at the same time. Additions and features like fuel injections, start-stop assists, and many other add-ons can help the engine use less fuel than it usually does. However, low-quality fuel can ruin all that. This is because an engine needs a certain fuel quality to run efficiently. If the fuel isn’t good, it will start burning more to maintain the same level of performance as it did on better quality fuel, and you will notice a considerable drop in your fuel consumption for the car. Not to mention that once the fuel runs out, there will be a lot of issues with your fuel lines and pumps since low-quality fuels tend to corrode those as well. 

Downgrades performance

Exotic, high-performance cars all come with an octane rating on their fuel doors, which is supposed to warn you not to use fuels below a certain level of octane rating. While using such gas will not explode the engine, you will not be able to get the most out of the engine, and the performance potential will be seriously downgraded. This happens with regular cars like SUVs, trucks, and sedans. Their engines are also rated for a certain quality of fuel, and should that fuel not be of better quality, the performance, for example, towing potential for trucks and SUVs, will be seriously downgraded, and the performance drop will be noticeable. 

Engine Services

The bottom line

The quality of fuel you use for your car will directly impact a lot of things, including the engine. The layman might think that since the car has to burn, they could use anything lower than 98 octane, which usually ends up corroding the fuel lines, the pump, or the fuel injections in the car. Even if there are no short-term effects, in the long-term, issues like carbon deposits and corrosion can affect the internal parts, and there have been several instances of vehicles needing their fuel tanks changed because of rust or corrosion within the structure. With good quality fuel, your car will not have to go through all that, and you will be able to make the most use of it and get the best performance out of the engine. 

Magnum Autoclub: for your car to outperform every time!

Your car is a machine that gets you from point A to point B. Some people might think they’re more than that, but the fact is that, as a machine, your car needs the best possible maintenance to keep it performing at its peak. Magnum Autoclub is one of the few garages that caters to your car with the best possible maintenance and keeps honesty and transparency above all. In an industry where mechanics are known to be shady, Magnum professionals are thorough experts and gentlemen. You can expect nothing short of excellence regarding tire or oil changes in Vaughan, and the prices won’t feel like you’re getting ripped off. Try Magnum Autoclub and feel the difference for yourself. 

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