5 Different Types Of Fuel For Your Car: Byers Airport Subaru Service Center Info

Adding more gasoline to your car used to be pretty much brainless — you’d just drive up to the filling station, an attendant would add the fuel, and you’d continue gettin’ wherever you were gettin’ to.

But today, with self-service filling stations the norm, and a growing number of available choices at the gas pump, how do you know what’s best for your car? How do you know which fuels improve performance, which fuels reduce carbon, and which fuels aren’t safe to use in your car? We’ll tell you right here! Check out the guide below from the Byers Airport Subaru service team, so you know exactly where to go for gas, and which fuel to choose when you get there.

5. Regular Unleaded Gasoline
The vast, vast majority of vehicles out there on the road today simply use ordinary unleaded — the least expensive gasoline type available at the pump. It’s typically rated at 87 octane, or 85 octane in some high-altitude states. While the slightly pricier options do have an advantage over the cheap stuff in some exotic performance cars (more on that in a moment), most everyday passenger cars don’t need anything other than regular unleaded in the tank. Putting high-octane fuel in an ordinary passenger car doesn’t boost performance, improve fuel economy, or help to keep the engine clean. You’re just pouring more money into the tank.

To ensure that your car gets quality gasoline, just look for the Top Tier Gasoline label. While it’s the same octane rating, gas stations that offer certified Top Tier Gasoline add additional additives and detergents to their gasoline to prevent carbon build-up and keep the engine running its best.

4. High-Octane Premium Unleaded Gasoline
High-performance cars often feature forced induction engines with higher compression ratios that you don’t find on everyday passenger vehicles. For optimal performance in such a car, you want premium fuel with an octane rating in the 90s. That’s because lower octane fuels can combust too early under intense pressure, contributing to something called engine knock. Engine knock robs you of performance and can damage the engine over time. If your car requires premium fuel, don’t skimp and put in regular unleaded. Even if you have no plans to take your car to the track, these engines only run correctly with the right fuel.

If your car requires premium fuel, it’ll tell you so right on the gas cap or inside the fuel door.

3. Ethanol-Blend Gasoline
Nowadays, to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, gasoline is often blended with ethanol, a kind of liquid fuel derived from plants we grow a lot of here in America, like corn and soybean. Cars can’t run on pure ethanol, but a blend of ethanol and gasoline can cost less at the pump. In fact, most of the regular unleaded at gas stations in America today is already made up of about 10% ethanol.

Often found in a yellow pump, E85 “FlexFuel” is a blend of fuel that is up to 85% ethanol and just 15% gasoline. It’s only safe to use in specially designed FlexFuel vehicles. However, more gasoline-heavy blends often marked by a blue pump such as E15 are safe to use in regular cars. They can also be cheaper, so you save some extra scratch. Check your owners manual or the gas cap inscription to see what kind of ethanol blends are safe to use in your car.

2. Diesel Fuel
Typically designated by a green pump, diesel fuel isn’t gasoline at all — it’s an entirely different animal. Diesel engines are quite a bit different from gasoline engines, and putting gas in a diesel engine (or vice-versa) can cause big-time problems.

Subaru does not make diesel varients available in the United States. If you accidentally put diesel in your Subaru, stop as soon as you can and have the car towed to our service department. We’ll need to pull off the fuel tank to remove the diesel from the tank, but stopping before the diesel fuel makes its way from the tank to the engine can save you from a costly service to deep-clean the engine from all traces of diesel.

1. Alternative Energy Sources
Of course, today’s manufacturers are developing new ways to power your car, and these include sources of fuel that aren’t liquid fuels at all! The Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid uses a battery-powered electric motor to increase fuel efficiency and reduce the load on its gasoline engine.

Recently, Subaru has partnered with automakers Toyota and Mazda to develop the next generation of automobiles that’ll run entirely on alternative fuels. Such fuels aren’t limited to electricity, but exciting technologies like natural gas, hydrogen fuel cells and plant derived bio-diesels. Who knows — the next great innovation in automobile technology might be something nobody has thought of yet!