For most drivers, filling up at the pump is an automatic routine. But considering that cars are typically one of our largest investments, it’s important to remember that building good habits for the way we take care of them can mean the difference between trouble-free driving and costly repairs. According to a recent Angus Reid survey, one in four Canadians asked don’t keep up with the recommended maintenance schedule for their vehicles and one in three aren’t seeking the correct grade of fuel as recommended by their vehicle’s manufacturer.
While most engines will work regardless of the fuel grade or quality, a big part of engine maintenance is making sure you select the right type of gasoline for your vehicle. And ensuring your fuel has enough cleaning agents is a great head start to protecting your engine.
You probably associate octane with the number you see at the pumps, but the technical explanation for octane is the measure of the fuel’s ability to resist “engine knock”. If you use a lower octane rating in an engine designed to use higher octane fuel, engine knocking might occur, causing the car to shudder and lose performance.
If your vehicle’s engine is designed to run on regular grade unleaded gasoline, that’s all it should require. However, using octane above the recommended level won’t harm the engine. If you’re experiencing engine knocking in an older car that recommends low octane, using a higher octane grade may help correct the problem. If you have a performance or luxury vehicle that requires a higher octane level, using that specified rating will help achieve optimal engine performance.
The enemy of engine efficiency is engine “gunk”, or harmful carbon deposits left behind on intake valves and fuel injectors. This gunk acts like a sponge, absorbing and trapping gasoline.
Choosing a gasoline for your vehicle is like choosing a meal for your body — healthy habits can make a difference. Yet over half of Canadians surveyed don’t take any action to protect or clean their engines from the build-up of harmful carbon deposits.
Fortunately, preventing engine gunk is easy. For example, all Shell nitrogen enriched gasolines are designed to protect your engine from gunk and even help clean engine gunk left by lower-quality gasolines.
Top Tier-certified Gasoline
No matter what octane level is required for your vehicle, be certain you’re using a high-quality gasoline that meets Top Tier gasoline standards. Industry research confirms that a clean engine can result in better fuel efficiency, reduced emissions and overall optimal engine performance.