While Octane Boost gasoline additives are functional and can be a must in certain situations, we find that many customers misunderstand exactly how they work and when they should be utilized. Many believe that if they pour a bottle of octane boost in their gas tank, the result will be tire-shredding horsepower increases and flames coming out of the tail pipe (that could be a bit of an exaggeration). Let’s explore the myths and truths regarding octane boosts so it is perfectly clear when they should be used and when they can actually be waste of money.
Octane boosts will increase horsepower in all cases.
This is the most common fallacy. Octane boost does not increase the energy value of gasoline. Higher octane simply keeps the fuel/air mixture from igniting too early in the face of high compression. When met with high compression and extreme heat, lower octane gasoline can actually ignite before the engine spark occurs. This can cause pre-ignition, engine knock and pinging. In extreme cases, these maladies can cause serious engine damage. Rather than burn hotter, fuel with increased octane actually ignites in a more orderly fashion when met with high compression chamber pressures.
So When Can Octane Boost Be Used?
Increased octane is typically suitable for the following cases:
- Vehicles that are factory-tuned for high octane fuel.
- Engines that are modified for higher compression (such as aftermarket cylinder heads).
- When ignition timing is advanced.
When is Octane Boost a Waste of Money?
If you have a stock engine that requires only regular-grade fuel, octane boost is not likely to offer any improvement in performance. Also if your engine calls for premium gasoline and it performs properly using it (with no pinging or knocking), further increasing the octane of the fuel is not likely to improve performance.
Will Increasing Octane Improve Gas Mileage?
No! Again, higher octane fuel is designed to withstand high combustion pressures, but it will not burn more efficiently in vehicles designed for regular grade fuel. If an engine is designed or modified for premium fuel, then by all means use it or add an octane boost to regular or mid-grade if premium is not available.
At the pumps, you may be tempted to use mid-grade or premium because marketing claims that it offers better efficiency and fuel system cleaning benefits. If your car calls for regular gas, do not get sucked in by this money-wasting ruse. Instead, clean out your fuel system with a bottle of P.i. Gasoline Additive every few months. Your mileage and performance will be maintained and you can keep the extra money in your jeans.
Can Adding Too Much Octane Boost Blow My Engine?
No. Again, increased octane actually moderates the ignition process, so you are not going to melt your engine. There is a law of diminishing returns when it comes to octane so over-doing it is not at all helpful. A bit too much octane boost also isn’t going to cause disaster.
Octane Boost Products Offered by Oildepot
A safe, effective and potent octane boost that is ideal for any 2-stroke or 4-stroke engine. Dominator Octane is ideal for racing engines, street rods, classic cars, snowmobiles and more. Also acts as lead replacement in gasoline for vintage cars.
AMSOIL Motorcycle Octane Boost (4-stroke engines only)
Guards against pinging and engine knock in motorcycles, 4-stroke snowmobiles, ATV’s and more. Also contains cleaning agents to keep the fuel system and combustion chamber clean for optimum performance.