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Can higher octane gas reduce engine knock or reduce NOx emissions?

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2009-08-04 19:00:23
2009-08-04 19:00:23

It will decrease engine knocking or pinging associated with detonation problems, and will posssibly burn more efficiently.

It can, but if a higher octane fuel reduces or gets rid of engine knock and/or ping, I would recommend taking your vehicle to a mechanic for diagnosis. Moreso, if you have a Check Engine Light on even. It's possible that you have some carbon build up in your fuel system that is causing the knock and ping. As far as the Nitrous Oxide Emissions being reduced from higher octane fuel, I have no idea. But most owner's manuals outline which octane to use, and wouldn't recommend swaying from their recommendation.

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87 Octane Regular. Can higher octane fuels give me more power? On modern engines with sophisticated engine management systems, the engine can operate efficiently on fuels of a wider range of octane rating, but there remains an optimum octane for the engine under specific driving conditions. Older cars without such systems are more restricted in their choice of fuel, as the engine can not automatically adjust to accommodate lower octane fuel. Because knock is so destructive, owners of older cars must use fuel that will not knock under the most demanding conditions they encounter, and must continue to use that fuel, even if they only occasionally require the octane. If you are already using the proper octane fuel, you will not obtain more power from higher octane fuels. The engine will be already operating at optimum settings, and a higher octane should have no effect on the management system. Your driveability and fuel economy will remain the same. The higher octane fuel costs more, so you are just throwing money away. If you are already using a fuel with an octane rating slightly below the optimum, then using a higher octane fuel will cause the engine management system to move to the optimum settings, possibly resulting in both increased power and improved fuel economy. You may be able to change octanes between seasons ( reduce octane in winter ) to obtain the most cost-effective fuel without loss of driveability. Once you have identified the fuel that keeps the engine at optimum settings, there is no advantage in moving to an even higher octane fuel. The manufacturer's recommendation is conservative, so you may be able to carefully reduce the fuel octane. The penalty for getting it badly wrong, and not realising that you have, could be expensive engine damage. Does low octane fuel increase engine wear? Not if you are meeting the octane requirement of the engine. If you are not meeting the octane requirement, the engine will rapidly suffer major damage due to knock. You must not use fuels that produce sustained audible knock, as engine damage will occur. If the octane is just sufficient, the engine management system will move settings to a less optimal position, and the only major penalty will be increased costs due to poor fuel economy. Whenever possible, engines should be operated at the optimum position for long-term reliability. Engine wear is mainly related to design, manufacturing, maintenance and lubrication factors. Once the octane and run-on requirements of the engine are satisfied, increased octane will have no beneficial effect on the engine. Run-on is the tendency of an engine to continue running after the ignition has been switched off, and is discussed in more detail in Section 8.2. The quality of gasoline, and the additive package used, would be more likely to affect the rate of engine wear, rather than the octane rating. 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The octane requirement of some engines is determined by the need to avoid run-on, not to avoid knock. What happens if I use the wrong octane fuel? If you use a fuel with an octane rating below the requirement of the engine, the management system may move the engine settings into an area of less efficient combustion, resulting in reduced power and reduced fuel economy. You will be losing both money and driveability. If you use a fuel with an octane rating higher than what the engine can use, you are just wasting money by paying for octane that you can not utilise. The additive packages are matched to the engines using the fuel, for example intake valve deposit control additive concentrations may be increased in the premium octane grade. If your vehicle does not have a knock sensor, then using a fuel with an octane rating significantly below the octane requirement of the engine means that the little men with hammers will gleefully pummel your engine to pieces. You should initially be guided by the vehicle manufacturer's recommendations, however you can experiment, as the variations in vehicle tolerances can mean that Octane Number Requirement for a given vehicle model can range over 6 Octane Numbers. Caution should be used, and remember to compensate if the conditions change, such as carrying more people or driving in different ambient conditions. You can often reduce the octane of the fuel you use in winter because the temperature decrease and possible humidity changes may significantly reduce the octane requirement of the engine. Use the octane that provides cost-effective driveability and performance, using anything more is waste of money, and anything less could result in an unscheduled, expensive visit to your mechanic. Can I tune the engine to use another octane fuel? In general, modern engine management systems will compensate for fuel octane, and once you have satisfied the optimum octane requirement, you are at the optimum overall performance area of the engine map. Tuning changes to obtain more power will probably adversely affect both fuel economy and emissions. Unless you have access to good diagnostic equipment that can ensure regulatory limits are complied with, it is likely that adjustments may be regarded as illegal tampering by your local regulation enforcers. If you are skilled, you will be able to legally wring slightly more performance from your engine by using a dynamometer in conjunction with engine and exhaust gas analyzers and a well-designed, retrofitted, performance engine management chip.

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Since the early 80's, most production vehicles have been "detuned" to reduce emissions. In the process, compression ratios have been reduced. As a result, those engines do not NEED higher octane fuel. If you do not have a high compression performance engine you do not NEED midgrade fuel even though the auto industry has entered into agreements with oil companies to try to persuade people to use the more expensive fuels. If you have the SHO or SC engine in your Topaz (did they even put those engines in a topaz?) then perhaps the higher octane will be better for you. Otherwise, to make sure your injectors function better, use FRESH fuel, in other words, buy fuel from a place that sells it fast and is constantly buying fuel from the refinery. That's a far better defense against injector problem than any additive or special fuel blend. If you don't hear pinging in your engine you don't NEED higher octane fuel. If you DO hear pinging and the engine is stock, you probably just need to have it timed.

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We can reduce emissions by recycling waht we can and walking, cycling or taking public transport! HELP SAVE OUR WORLD!

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Almost all cars use four-stroke gasoline engines. One of the strokes is the compression stroke, where the engine compresses a cylinder-full of air and gas into a much smaller volume before igniting it with a spark plug. The amount of compression is called the compression ratio of the engine. A typical engine might have a compression ratio of 8-to-1. Theoctane rating of gasoline tells you how much the fuel can be compressed before it spontaneously ignites. When gas ignites by compression rather than because of the spark from the spark plug, it causes knocking in the engine. Knocking can damage an engine, so it is not something you want to have happening. Lower-octane gas (like "regular" 87-octane gasoline) can handle the least amount of compression before igniting. The compression ratio of your engine determines the octane rating of the gas you must use in the car. Can higher octane fuels give me more power? On modern engines with sophisticated engine management systems, the enginecan operate efficiently on fuels of a wider range of octane rating, but thereremains an optimum octane for the engine under specific driving conditions.Older cars without such systems are more restricted in their choice of fuel,as the engine can not automatically adjust to accommodate lower octane fuel.Because knock is so destructive, owners of older cars must use fuel that willnot knock under the most demanding conditions they encounter, and mustcontinue to use that fuel, even if they only occasionally require the octane. If you are already using the proper octane fuel, you will not obtain morepower from higher octane fuels. The engine will be already operating atoptimum settings, and a higher octane should have no effect on the managementsystem. Your driveability and fuel economy will remain the same. The higheroctane fuel costs more, so you are just throwing money away. If you arealready using a fuel with an octane rating slightly below the optimum, thenusing a higher octane fuel will cause the engine management system to move tothe optimum settings, possibly resulting in both increased power and improvedfuel economy. You may be able to change octanes between seasons ( reduceoctane in winter ) to obtain the most cost-effective fuel without loss ofdriveability. Once you have identified the fuel that keeps the engine at optimum settings,there is no advantage in moving to an even higher octane fuel. Themanufacturer's recommendation is conservative, so you may be able tocarefully reduce the fuel octane. The penalty for getting it badly wrong,and not realising that you have, could be expensive engine damage. Does low octane fuel increase engine wear? Not if you are meeting the octane requirement of the engine. If you are notmeeting the octane requirement, the engine will rapidly suffer major damagedue to knock. You must not use fuels that produce sustained audible knock,as engine damage will occur. If the octane is just sufficient, the enginemanagement system will move settings to a less optimal position, and theonly major penalty will be increased costs due to poor fuel economy.Whenever possible, engines should be operated at the optimum position forlong-term reliability. Engine wear is mainly related to design,manufacturing, maintenance and lubrication factors. Once the octane andrun-on requirements of the engine are satisfied, increased octane will haveno beneficial effect on the engine. Run-on is the tendency of an engine tocontinue running after the ignition has been switched off, and is discussedin more detail in Section 8.2. The quality of gasoline, and the additivepackage used, would be more likely to affect the rate of engine wear, ratherthan the octane rating. Can I mix different octane fuel grades? Yes, however attempts to blend in your fuel tank should be carefullyplanned. 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What happens if I use the wrong octane fuel?If you use a fuel with an octane rating below the requirement of the engine,the management system may move the engine settings into an area of lessefficient combustion, resulting in reduced power and reduced fuel economy.You will be losing both money and driveability. If you use a fuel with anoctane rating higher than what the engine can use, you are just wastingmoney by paying for octane that you can not utilise. The additive packagesare matched to the engines using the fuel, for example intake valve depositcontrol additive concentrations may be increased in the premium octane grade.If your vehicle does not have a knock sensor, then using a fuel with anoctane rating significantly below the octane requirement of the engine meansthat the little men with hammers will gleefully pummel your engine to pieces. You should initially be guided by the vehicle manufacturer's recommendations,however you can experiment, as the variations in vehicle tolerances canmean that Octane Number Requirement for a given vehicle model can rangeover 6 Octane Numbers. Caution should be used, and remember to compensateif the conditions change, such as carrying more people or driving indifferent ambient conditions. You can often reduce the octane of the fuelyou use in winter because the temperature decrease and possible humiditychanges may significantly reduce the octane requirement of the engine. Use the octane that provides cost-effective driveability and performance,using anything more is waste of money, and anything less could result inan unscheduled, expensive visit to your mechanic. Can I tune the engine to use another octane fuel? In general, modern engine management systems will compensate for fuel octane,and once you have satisfied the optimum octane requirement, you are at theoptimum overall performance area of the engine map. Tuning changes to obtainmore power will probably adversely affect both fuel economy and emissions.Unless you have access to good diagnostic equipment that can ensureregulatory limits are complied with, it is likely that adjustments may beregarded as illegal tampering by your local regulation enforcers. If you areskilled, you will be able to legally wring slightly more performance fromyour engine by using a dynamometer in conjunction with engine and exhaust gasanalyzers and a well-designed, retrofitted, performance engine managementchip.

User Avatar

You may be able to change octanes between seasons ( reduce octane in winter ) to obtain the most cost-effective fuel without loss of driveability. The manufacturer's recommendation is conservative, so you may be able to carefully reduce the fuel octane. The penalty for getting it badly wrong, and not realising that you have, could be expensive engine damage. If you use a fuel with an octane rating below the requirement of the engine, the management system may move the engine settings into an area of less efficient combustion, resulting in reduced power and reduced fuel economy. You will be losing both money and driveability. If your vehicle does not have a knock sensor, then using a fuel with an octane rating significantly below the octane requirement of the engine means that the little men with hammers will gleefully pummel your engine to pieces. The bottom line is that you might be able to move to a 89 octane level fuel but it will cause a loss of power & mileage, and may cause engine damage. My advice is to use the exact octane fuel listed in your owner's manual. That way you get to most the engine has to offer, in power & mileage. And you do not take a chance of ending up with engine damage.

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No. Trading programs move emissions around, but don't reduce anything.

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No, it won't hurt your engine. There are computers now that can predict when to fire a spark plug to reduce ping. It is not a good thing though, you will get worse gas mileage and cause greater emmisions. Better to put high octane in there.

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The unburnt exhaust gases are recirculated back through the engine by way of the intake manifold. This helps reduce emissions.

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A new catalytic converter will help to reduce your car's emissions, you can also take your car to a local garage and have them perform tests on it to see how else emissions can be reduced

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Even "How can We reduce emissions" cannot 'hope to cut it'. This may only be handled by the highest Authorities.

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Recycle things such as plastic so as to reduce the use of plastic.

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Use the fuel with the octane rating listed in the owner's manual for the car. Consistently using a lower octane fuel can cause knocking, which can damage the engine over time. Using a fuel with a higher octane just wastes your money. Some fuels have ethanol (or other additives) to reduce air pollution, however some of these additives can damage an engine not designed for them. Never use a fuel containing a higher percentage of these additives than is specified in the owner's manual to avoid damage to the engine. Most modern cars with computer controlled fuel injection (instead of carburetors) can operate on low octane fuel without knocking and the damage that could result, but they do this by the computer making adjustments to the injector and spark timing that sacrifice fuel mileage.

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YES! It depends upon the car. Most typical vehicles don't improve mileage when running a higher octane gas. They don't have enough compression to justify the higher octane. Even in the rare cases a car does get better mileage than it might on lower octane, the improvement doesn't justify the cost. Some performance cars benefit from higher octane fuels. The realized benefit isn't better mileage; it's better power. For lots of great information, read the original Gasoline FAQ: http://www.faqs.org/faqs/autos/gasoline-faq/ It will neither increase your mileage nor your power. High-octane fuel is simply a cleaner version of the hydrocrabons used in regular unleaded fuel. It cuts down on the knocking because it is more resistant to self-ingnition. And knocking as many unfortunate people have found out, damages your engine. However, not all cars are able to handle high-octane fuels. Typically, cars made before 1986 are not equipped to run on high-octane fuel. Owners should check with their local dealer or manufacturer before using high-octane, or premium fuel, in their cars made before 1986. For most cars the answer is NO. Higher octane fuels burn slower so unless you can increase your initial advance you will not see any difference. Also when a vehicle is tuned to use lower octane fuel a higher octane will create carbon deposits and over time will cause engine ware, overheating, and poorer fuel economy. Todays igitions are computer controled many are distributorless so we shade tree mechanics can't mess with them. Many of todays vehicles recommend 91 octane but can use 89 or 87 if you don't hot rod them or over load them, more than two people. No, just the opposite. Lower octane fuels, say 87 pctane, have more hydrocarbons than higher octane fuels, say 91 octane, because the higher octane fuels have had non-hydrocarbon additives put in that reduce the capability to have the highest "burn" otherwise possible. The higher octanes are for cars with high compression engines and they are there to prevent knocking, which can damage the engine. This information is taken from the American Petroleum Institure website

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2 spark plugs in the same cylinder improve combustion, reduce emissions and operating reliability of the engine.

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Catalytic converters are used to reduce emissions, however they only work at high temperatures, while they are warming up they do not reduce emissions, so the quicker they are functioning, the lower the emissions will be.

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