What’s your RON rat­ing?

Seaway News - - AUTO TALK -

Are you wast­ing money and in­creas­ing your run­ning costs by buy­ing more gas than you need? Check your owner’s man­ual for the oc­tane num­ber your car re­quires to run ef­fi­ciently. The num­ber you are looking for is call a RON rat­ing. Usu­ally, reg­u­lar is rated at 87, while pre­mium car­ries a rat­ing of 91. The RON num­ber is a mea­sure of the gaso­line’s re­sis­tance to self-ig­nite. When it does self-ig­nite we re­fer to that as “ pre-ig­ni­tion” ( the fuel has ex­ploded be­fore the spark plug has fired). That’s bad. The driver would de­tect pre-ig­ni­tion by a rat­tling noise in the en­gine, usu­ally un­der ac­cel­er­a­tion. Ex­tended driv­ing with this con­di­tion will dam­age the en­gine. So, check the man­ual and don’t buy more oc­tane than you need.

Q: Ac­cord­ing to my man­ual my car re­quires pre­mium gas. In er­ror, the at­ten­dant filled the tank with reg­u­lar. I have had all kind of com­ments as to the dam­age this will cause. Some of my col­leagues even sug­gested that I would dam­age my con­verter. I don’t know what a con­verter does; how­ever, I do know they are ex­pen­sive. My ques­tion is, “ What dam­age will putting the wrong fuel in cause?”

A: It al­ways amazes me as the ru­mours and ur­ban leg­ends that are out there. No dam­age will re­sult. In fact, the only thing that you may no­tice is a re­duc­tion in per­for­mance. To­day’s cars are very re­ac­tive to their en­vi­ron­ment, that is, they will ad­just to the pre­vail­ing con­di­tions. In your case the knock sen­sor would pick up any det­o­na­tion in the en­gine caused by a lower grade of fuel. The com­puter will take the knock sen­sor read­ings along with the in­for­ma­tion sup­plied by the other sen­sors and re­set the en­gine. No dam­age will re­sult; how­ever, you may also ex­pe­ri­ence lower fuel mileage as the en­gine is not run­ning at peak ef­fi­ciency.

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