How to Protect Your Toyota’s Engine
While it may be tempting to fill your Toyota with a higher or lower octane fuel than the owner’s manual recommends, it’s best to heed the advice of experts. In the specifications section of every Toyota owner’s manual, you’ll find a minimum octane recommendation.
Use the Recommended Octane Fuel
Octane is simply a measure of the fuel’s ability to prevent knocking in the engine. When fuel burns early in the combustion cycle, the engine may make unwanted noise. This pre-detonation or pinging, caused by instability in the gasoline, leads to knocking noise in the engine. Without professional intervention, knocking leads to serious engine damage.
Using a lower octane gasoline than recommended may save a little bit of money at the gas pump, but you could end up with serious problems. In an engine designed to run on high octane gas, low octane gas causes the engine to attempt to adjust its performance. Over time, the heat from pre-detonation can melt pistons and sparkplugs causing severe engine damage.
Filling the tank of a vehicle designed to burn low octane gas with high octane gas is a great way to waste money. High octane gas requires more heat to burn efficiently, so as the engine tries to adjust, it actually burns more gasoline, lowering overall gas mileage and reducing power.
Higher octane gasoline is more stable then lower octane gasoline, but they offer the same energy potential, so filling up with more expensive gas than necessary does not lead to better engine performance or increased gas mileage.
Fill Up With “Top Tier” Gas
There is one important choice regarding fuel that makes a difference to the performance and overall health of your Toyota engine. Filling up at at stations offering Top Tier gas that includes a higher level of detergents helps keep carbon build up in the intake valves of a direct inject engine to a minimum. This gasoline undergoes three compliance tests by third-party labs to obtain certification. Major fuel suppliers also test the gasoline, resulting in a certified minimum level of additives that works to prevent fuel injector fouling and combustion chamber deposits.
For more information about how choosing the right fuel for your specific vehicle supports performance and protects the engine, contact the South Dade Toyota Service Department.