If you drive a German car, you need high-octane fuel. This is not just a guideline or suggestion, but the way your high-end engine is designed to run.
At Shaus Motorsport in Aurora, our performance vehicle experts caution customers about this frequently. While we understand that it will cost more up front, the long-term consequences of using a low-octane fuel can wipe out any money saved.
In fact, if you ignore this rule, you run the risk of causing extensive and expensive damage to your vehicle’s engine. Let’s break down what you need to know
Understanding High-Octane Fuel
It is important to understand exactly what high-octane fuel does. Higher octane does not have more energy capacity than regular fuel. But it has a much higher resistance to knock.
Knowing this, German car manufacturers design engines with maximized performance, using a high-octane fuel as protection from the premature fuel combustion (also known as pinging or knocking) that comes with maximized performance.
These types of engines can pull out more power from the gasoline while remaining protected. The maximized engines require premium octane because they were built knowing the higher octane would ensure premium performance while preventing damage.
Premium Octane is a Necessity
Why does your German car need a 91 or high-octane fuel? Simply put, German vehicles are built for high performance and use a higher horsepower than your average engine.
German engines are considered to be high compression engines. These engines, when running on lower octane fuels, produce uncontrolled combustion called a ping or a knock.
Over time, knocking can cause serious damage to your engine. The higher the octane of your fuel, the better the fuel’s ability to resist knocking.
Saving Money in the Short Term Can Cost You
High-octane fuel can be pricey, particularly in summer when fuel prices typically rise. It can be quite tempting to reach for lower octane fuel to save money.
Initially, you will not notice much difference. It may even seem like your engine is adjusting to the lower octane fuel.
In reality, your vehicle engine and its components are suffering a slow and steady beating.
Don’t Simply Rely on Your Knock Sensors
If you have a newer German vehicle, you may be thinking that you can simply rely on your knock sensor while using a lower octane and all will be well.
The knock sensor does help. If the sensor detects knocking, it detunes your German car engine until the knocking ceases. This protects your engine to some extent.
However, your engine will still endure the consequences of low-octane knocking until the sensor has completed the level of detuning needed. And once detuning has been implemented, your car’s fuel mileage will take a nosedive and your engine performance will suffer as well.
In essence, this will negate any savings you may have obtained at the pump.
Ultimately, if you drive a German car, you need high-octane fuel. Saving a few cents per gallon at the pump can cost thousands in engine repair. Avoid the long-term cost by using the correct octane for your German vehicle.
If your Audi, Porsche, Volkswagen, or BMW needs some TLC or has developed a knocking issue, contact us at Shaus Motorsport and we will take good care of your vehicle.