Types of Gas
Understanding the different types of gasoline:
Unleaded – (Octane Rating 87 – Fastest burn, lowest detergent rating) These are the general octane ratings according the government, they may differ slightly, depending on where you live. The difference between these 3 types of gas is their octane rating. The higher the octane, the slower the gasoline burns. The higher the octane, the higher the detergent levels, which supposedly keep your engine cleaner.
Unleaded – (Sometimes refered to as Plus. Octane rating: 89 – Mid-burn and mid detergent rating) If you own a car that takes premium gas, sometime you can get away with using mid-grade as opposed to premium and save yourself some money. Read more under “Do I Really Need Premium Gasoline?”
Unleaded – (Octane rating: 93 – Slowest burn, highest detergent rating) Read about if you really need premium gasoline in your car.
Diesel is less refined than unleaded gasoline, it’s about 18% heavier and it doesn’t contain as many detergents or cleaning agents. Diesel cars or trucks need a lot more lubrication than vehicles that require unleaded and as a result diesel is a much “greaser” substance. Diesel fuel gets better miles to the gallon, (about 36 – 40), but for the last 3 or 4 years has been more expensive. If you accidentally put diesel in your car, and you have only put a couple of gallons in, don’t panic. Fill it up with gas and go. It will burn out and be okay. If you put more than a couple of gallons in, don’t try and drive your car. Call a tow truck, don’t drive it. The diesel running through different components of your engine could cause them to have to be replaced, costing lots of money that could be spent on other things, like a new handbag.
Bio-Fuel – (85% Ethanol, 15% Gasoline) – Ethanol is a plant-based (mostly corn) fuel that was originally developed to be more environmentally friendly and cheaper than unleaded gasoline. Fuel Flex cars can use ethanol. These cars will have a sticker on them that says, E-85. Big name gas stations will usually have an ethanol or E-85 pump. Ethanol is a cleaner burning, less explosive, renewable resource that supports local agriculture. Unfortunately the technology of creating ethanol hasn’t been perfected enough to make it cheaper than unleaded gasoline. It price fluctuates with the price of corn, and it also takes about 1.5 gallons of ethanol to do the same thing that gasoline does, essentially you are getting poorer gas mileage.
Bio-diesel is created by chemically combing vegetable oil or animal fat with alcohol and is designed to run in diesel engines. It is a renewable resource and less toxic. There are about 600 places you can get bio-diesel across the country. You can also buy a kit to create diesel. It isn’t quite common enough yet that it’s readily available, but we will keep you posted!