There are many reasons to take a trip to the mechanic; preparing properly for a summer road trip is a great one. We’ve also talked about what octane ratings mean, and how choosing the correct one can improve performance and save money. Read on to learn more about these topics.
Find out why engine knock occurs, as well as why high octane gasoline may be the solution.
When it comes to automotive maintenance, every fluid you put into your car is designed to help the car perform its best. Gasoline is one such fluid, with various octane ratings that mean more than most drivers realize. Read through these common questions to find out what octane ratings mean, and what is recommended for your vehicle.
What are Octane Ratings?
The higher an octane rating, the more that gasoline will resist spontaneously igniting when it is compressed. This is important because different engines have different compression ratios. The air and fuel inside each of the engine’s cylinders is compressed before the spark plug ignites it. High compression engines will yield better performance and higher fuel economy, but require higher-octane fuel to prevent the gasoline igniting prematurely.
Is Higher Octane Better?
It is a common misconception that higher-octane fuel is better for all engines. The octane rating only effects it’s resistance to igniting under pressure. The only case where higher-octane fuel is better is when a vehicle’s engine has a high compression ratio that makes it necessary or an improvement.
Which Is Best for My Vehicle?
The correct octane rating for a vehicle is found in the owner’s manual or by contacting a certified mechanic. Most modern vehicles have knock sensors which will detect premature ignition and adjust the timing to lower the compression ratio if too low a grade of gasoline is used. While these vehicles are able to use lower grades of gasoline, the proper octane fuel will improve performance and fuel economy.
Can the Wrong Rating Cause Damage?
If a lower grade of gasoline is causing knocking or pinging, it may result in serious damage to the engine if it is not attended to. Simply switching to higher octane fuel will fix the problem in most cases. However, using fuel with an octane rating that is too high will sometimes let fuel go unburned. This may damage the catalytic converter or oxygen sensor over time.
Talk to the experts at Murray’s Auto Clinic about which fuel rating is right for your vehicle. Reach us by phone at (240) 450-2712.
Symptoms that drivers should be especially wary of are odd noises and vibrations coming from their vehicles. Often, these symptoms may not appear until the vehicle reaches a certain speed. There are a number of potential causes, and some can be dangerous.
Don’t take the risk of continuing to drive a vehicle that experiences vibrations or shaking, especially at high speeds. These types of symptoms are commonly caused by suspension or tire problems. In either case, the vehicle should immediately be taken into a qualified repair shop. Another case is when these symptoms occur during braking. Warped brake rotors or another failing brake component may be at fault. Watch the video above to learn how to spot these issues.
Contact a mechanic at Murray’s Auto Clinics if your vehicle experiences any of these symptoms. Reach us at (240) 450-2712 today.
I have a CRV and took my car to Murray's. The service was exceptional and way above my expectations....they had shuttle service, everyone was knowledgeable, explained everything they were doing to my car in detail, answered all my questions...they weren't rushing me. I was referred to this place who is a body shop tech and I knew this would be...
The first stop to make before heading out on any summer road trip is to an auto repair clinic. Having an enjoyable, problem-free road trip is a benefit of having a vehicle inspected beforehand. The following categories contain the most important items to have inspected before leaving on a summertime road trip.
To have the engine run smoothly and efficiently may require a tune-up. This will increase fuel economy, especially when traveling long distances on the freeway. Spark plugs, motor oil, and the air, fuel, and oil filters are the most common items to have changed during a tune-up.
Next, have the vehicle’s radiator, water pump, fan clutch, timing belt, and coolant inspected. If the water pump, timing belt, or thermostat needs to be replaced, consider having all three changed at the same time, as it will save on labor costs. Having a coolant flush performed is a good safety measure to take, even if it isn’t the scheduled time.
The first accessory that comes to mind in the summertime is the air conditioner. If it doesn’t appear to be blowing its coldest, have leak tests performed, and repairs made if needed. Aside from a lack of comfort, overheating can be a serious health hazard in the summer. Another important accessory to have inspected is the alternator. When an alternator goes out it will leave the vehicle dead on the road, and nearly every other system in the vehicle will stop working.
Never leave on a trip if tires have worn tread, visible damage, or improper air pressure. It is also important to have belts, hoses, and suspension pieces inspected. Belts control most vehicle accessories, timing, and the engine fan. Hoses that are old or cracking may cause leaks or poor performance. Along with having the suspension bushings checked, a wheel alignment might be a good idea.
Head to Murray’s Auto Clinics for a full summer inspection to ensure your road trip goes smoothly. Contact us at (240) 450-2712 to schedule an appointment.