Q:

What is octane used for?

A:

Quick Answer

Octane is the measure of a gasoline's ability to resist knocking, which occurs from uncontrolled combustion in the engine's cylinders. Octane is vital in preventing engine damage. Engines experience prolonged knocking if the gasoline's octane rating is lower than what is required by the engine.

Know More
What is octane used for?
Credit: Michael Krinke E+ Getty Images

Full Answer

A gasoline's octane rating derives from two testing methods: the motor method and the research method. The motor method runs gasoline through an engine under load, while the research method runs gasoline through a free running engine.

Regular octane is substantial for most cars. However, cars with high compression engines, such as sports cars, luxury cars and older cars, may require gasoline with higher octane ratings.

Your car's engine lets you know if you are using the wrong gasoline. If your engine runs smoothly, switching to a higher-octane gasoline does not prove beneficial.

In addition to the engine's power, the temperature, humidity, engine spark timing and your driving method influence your octane requirements. Accelerating quickly or driving with heavy loads increases your octane requirement. Moreover, hotter and drier air also increases your octane requirement considerably. In turn, higher altitudes decrease your octane requirement. Check your owner's manual to see what your vehicle's octane requirement is.

Learn More

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the purpose of the intake manifold?

    A:

    The purpose of the intake manifold, or inlet manifold, is to evenly distribute the air-fuel mixture to the cylinders as well as to the carburetor on a non-fuel-injected engine. An intake manifold is the opposite of an exhaust manifold, which collects gases from the cylinders.

    Full Answer >
  • Q:

    What is an engine misfire?

    A:

    An engine misfire occurs when one or more of the cylinders inside the engine doesn't fire correctly. It is caused by an interruption of the air-to-fuel ratio inside the combustion chamber in the cylinder.

    Full Answer >
  • Q:

    What are the effects of an octane booster?

    A:

    Octane boosters raise the level of octane in petrol fuel. By raising the level of octane in a car's fuel, octane boosters may improve an engine's power. However, noticeable improvements in power are typically only seen in modern cars with turbo-charged engines. Cars built to run on 98+ octane fuel should see dramatic improvements in both performance and fuel consumption with the use of an octane booster.

    Full Answer >
  • Q:

    How do you measure V-belts?

    A:

    There are different methods of measuring V-belts that depend on the type of tool being used. To measure a V-belt, the belt first needs to be marked with a start/finish measurement point. A flexible cloth-like tape measure can be held at the start/finish point and wound all the way around.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore