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Ask the Passionate Experts
Anything wrong with consistently driving my vehicle below a quarter tank? Is it more important to use premium gasoline while my vehicle is new? What’s really the difference between regular, mid and premium grade?
Our Passionate Experts provide a primer on premium fuels.
Q: I never let my engine go completely dry, but is there anything wrong with consistently driving my vehicle below the quarter tank mark?
Technically, there’s nothing wrong with running your vehicle below the quarter tank mark but what you should be worried about is not being able to arrive at your destination!
Regularly driving near ‘E’ should not have an adverse impact on your engine or on other critical functions, such as your vehicle’s computers, but always be sure to have enough fuel to arrive safely at your final destination or to the next service station. Topping off your tank, especially when driving through an unknown area, will help ensure you don’t have an unexpected stop.
Q: I know that I’m supposed to use a certain octane rating when filling up at the pump, but if I had to choose, is it more important to use premium gasoline while my vehicle is new, or further down the road when my vehicle has racked up some miles?
Many drivers consider switching between premium and mid-grade, but the truth is, when a premium gasoline is required or recommended for your vehicle, regardless of its age, fueling with gasoline below the minimum recommended octane grade can impact your engine’s performance. Many modern vehicles are capable of adjusting to allow operation with lower octane fuels, but in doing so this may cause a significant decrease in vehicle performance.
Also, the quality of the fuel you use is particularly important in vehicles with advanced engine technologies because of the high pressure and temperature environments in the engine. This extreme environment can cause a breakdown of cleaning agents, causing a build-up of performance-robbing carbon deposits that can make your engine less efficient over time, and ultimately impact the performance of your engine. Neglecting to use the appropriate octane at any point can curtail peak performance.
Shell V-Power® Premium Gasoline was tested in today’s advanced turbo-charged and direct injection engines and designed to resist thermal breakdown at high temperatures. The active cleaning agents in Shell V-Power resist breakdown from these higher temperatures, delivering maximum protection against performance-robbing gunk on critical engine parts and allowing your engine to achieve optimal performance.
Q: I know that my owner’s manual recommends using premium gasoline, but what’s really the difference between regular, mid and premium grade so long as it’s TOP TIER?
The difference between grades of gasoline – regular, mid and premium – is the octane ratings. Due to inherently better combustion characteristics, higher octane fuels allow auto manufacturers to design engines for higher performance and better efficiency.
On the other hand, TOP TIER is a designation that refers to the quality of gasoline – specifically, the amount of cleaning agents included in the gasoline formulation. While all Shell gasolines are TOP Tier certified, Shell V-Power Premium Gasoline is a TOP TIER gasoline that has five times the cleaning agents required by federal standards, helping to deliver maximum protection against performance-robbing gunk and allowing your engine to achieve optimal performance.
While you should always fuel your engine with TOP TIER gasoline, ultimately it’s most important to use the correct grade of gasoline as recommended in your owner’s manual to ensure it performs as intended over the course of its lifetime.
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Drop us a line at www.shell.us/askshell and you may see your question answered in a future article!