Your vehicle is an investment that needs to be taken care of properly. Whether you own a brand-new or a used car, extensive care and regular maintenance are essential to keep your vehicle running smoothly, effectively, and safely.

One of the best ways you can look after your car is by choosing to use premium fuel to use for your car. After all, fuel does more than keep your car going. The kind of fuel you choose can help maximise your engine’s performance, as well as extend its overall lifespan. 

In New Zealand, petrol options need to meet relatively stringent quality levels to ensure engine efficiency and overall performance. As leading Auckland car dealers, we spend a lot of time thinking about how best to care for cars. Today, we run through the advantages of using the most best fuels for second-hand vehicles, and why it pays to use higher octane petrol like 98 and 95.

Types of Petrol & their Differences

First, let’s talk about the octane rating of petrol. In New Zealand, there are three types; 91, 95, and 98. An octane rating is a measure of how much heat and pressure a fuel can withstand before igniting. Simply put, octane ratings signify their ability to resist detonation. 

While they are the same in terms of energy, it’s important to note some differences. Manufacturers design engines to run on petrol of a certain octane. Unleaded petrol means 91 octane fuel is okay to use, premium unleaded means you need to use at least 95, and if the fuel flap indicates 98, you need to use 98 octane fuel. Using a lower-octane fuel your car engine needs may lead to your engine detonating too early. When this happens, it will force the piston down before it has reached the top of its stroke, and this can cause damage to your car’s engine.

Why higher-octane petrol is the safest choice

Most car engines are designed for regular 91 octane petrol. Japanese vehicles such as Toyota, Subaru, or Mistubishi used cars like those here at MotorCo all usually use regular 91 petrol, because this is the type of fuel most widely available in Japan. Older models and European-designed cars on the other hand often use 95 octane fuel, while more modern cars in New Zealand will require premium petrol such as 98 fuel.

Opting to use a higher-octane fuel for your car with an engine designed for 91 won’t hurt your vehicle. Because 95 and 98 kinds of petrol have higher octane ratings, they contain more energy, and help improve overall performance and engine efficiency, which boosts fuel economy. 

While brands that offer higher-octane petrol may vary in their additives, 95 and 98 petrol generally benefit vehicles by:

  • Improving engine efficiency
  • Lowering fuel use
  • Cleaning petrol engines
  • Boosting overall performance

However, it’s important to note that using 91 octane fuel designed for 95 or 98 can negatively impact your car’s engine. Long-term use of lower octane fuel than necessary could damage your engine, and therefore using higher-octane fuel in your car is usually the better and safer choice, even if it means paying a premium to use it.

Use the fuel your car needs!

If you’re unsure of what fuel you should use for the second-hand vehicle you’re purchasing, ask our dealers at MotorCo! We can help you get the information on what type of fuel is best. No matter what you decide to purchase, we can help you understand each brand’s fuel specifications so you can drive without any worries or concerns! And if you’re planning to avoid petrol, we can also help you find hybrid used cars or diesel used cars too. To learn more, contact us today!