Thursday,15 November, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1315, (13 -19 October 2016)
Thursday,15 November, 2018
Issue 1315, (13 -19 October 2016)

Ahram Weekly

Octane!

Cars are factory tuned on specific grade of fuel, octane (RON), to meet the stock engine power which is translated into horsepower and torque.

Feeding any car with a lower grade of fuel other than that recommended by the factory means that the car won’t deliver its full power, and in the long run parts of the engine will wear down one after the other. Sometimes it doesn’t take much time for the whole engine to blow.

On the other side of the road, feeding your car with higher octane than the recommended level won’t get you anywhere faster because simply the engine and its combustion ratio aren’t tuned to operate with the octane level included in the fuel. Sometimes it may down power your car.

So what are the fuel grades in general? Fuel grades go under Regular grade, Middle grade and Premium grade. Regular grade ranges from 85 octane to 87 octane. Middle grade is from 88 octane to 90 octane while premium starts from 91 octane and up.

The easiest, much safer and more economical way — so that you don’t have to pay a fortune to repair your car — is to check your car’s manual handbook for the recommended octane and stick to it. You can find it written on the fuel cap cover, which tells you the recommended and the minimum grade to use.

What if my car is in Egypt? Good question. The two most popular octane grades in Egypt are the 92 (RON) and 95 (RON) for your everyday car. But many people ask whether it really is octane 92 or just the number. Is the reality actually less? Same question goes with octane 95. The answer to both is that we can’t say the actual grades are less than the real numbers. What we can say is that the quality varies according to petrol stations, and whether it’s your lucky day. Some petrol stations don’t regularly clean their tanks and filters which collect harmful residues that end up mixed with the fuel you get. And, yes, it may happen that you get lower octane than what is written in the receipt.

So how can you solve the problem? Some say octane boosters do not work on improving engine performance. They are partially right. If the quality of the fuel is already good for your engine, improving it with an octane booster won’t do any better. But with the gas situation the way it is in Egypt, when the quality may sometimes not be good enough, then the (high quality) octane booster is your way to improve things. Or you can start using the higher octane levels available in the gas station straight away, but which will cost you more money compared to a bottle or two of octane boosters, according to your tank capacity. In some cars you might have to put 95 (RON) and add an octane booster to make it really 95 (RON).

Never mix octane 92 (RON) with 95 (RON) because you will ruin the CO2 sensor. It will receive different numbers each time you refuel because you can’t mix the fuel with the same ratio every time you refuel.

Needless to say, bad quality fuel or the wrong grade of fuel will ruin your fuel injectors, pump and your engine performance till it’s time for it to blow, especially if it’s turbo charged.

Just treat your ride like a true gentleman should treat a lady.

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