The truth about fuels and lubricants

Separating myths from facts
Jul 18, 2017
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There's a lot of information regarding oil and gasoline floating around online—much of it contradictory. Not all of it, obviously, true. Let's take a look at some of these facts and see which ones pass the sniffer test and which ones stink.

Myth/Fact: Higher Octane Equals More Power:
Answer: A little bit of both
Octane is a measure of a gasoline's resistance to detonation. If your engine is rated for a specific octane level, using a lower octane than specified may cause detonation, wherein the fuel ignites a bit too early. This will cause the engine control unit to retard the ignition timing, potentially cutting power. Using the correct octane slows down the burn, preventing detonation, allowing your engine to reach full power. Using a higher octane than required won't give any additional power, unless your engine is programmed for it, but a high octane fuel like Blaze 100 can provide extra knock protection for high performance engines at high rpms.

Myth/Fact: Lower Octane Fuel is More Efficient
Answer: Myth!
Lower Octane fuel costs less, because it doesn't require as much processing as higher octane fuel. If your car is designed to run on the lowest octane available without knocking, then, by all means, use it, it's cheaper! But it is best to follow the owner's manual recommendation regarding fuel requirements for optimum performance.

Myth/Fact: Lower Weight Oil Improves Fuel Economy
Answer: Fact!
Lower viscosity oil means a thinner oil film on the moving parts inside your engine, which means reduced friction and higher efficiency and fuel economy. That said, it is best to check your manual to see if the oil meets the specific requirements for your engine. Be aware that some older engines are not designed to run on ultra-low viscosity oils.

Myth/Fact: The “W” in an oil's viscosity rating (ex. 10W30) stands for “Weight”
Answer: Myth!
“W” stands for Winter. All SAE 40 oils will flow at roughly the same rate at 100 degrees celsius. But they won't all flow at the same rate when the engine is cold. If you use a straight 40 oil, your engine will have difficulty starting, and will use much more gasoline before the oil heats up. When an oil is rated at 5w40 or 10w40, the number before the “W” represents the oil's viscosity in cold “winter” temperatures. A 5w40, like Petron Ultron Race, will flow more easily in cold conditions, even if they both have the same viscosity when hot. This means your engine gets the same level of protection in hot running, but doesn't have to struggle against thick syrupy oil when you start it in the morning.

Myth/Fact: Synthetic and Mineral Oils with the same viscosity grade work exactly the same.
Answer: Myth!
Both Synthetic and Mineral Oils are both made from... oil, mixed with anti-wear additives, cleaning additives and viscosity modifiers. But where mineral oil is simply refined from crude oil distillates, Synthetics have a base oil that is further purified and processed, and then “built up” with longer molecular chains. These long-chain molecules resist wear better, and perform better in terms of engine protection. Hence, synthetics need fewer additives to achieve the same kind of performance. And since additives tend to break down and lose effectiveness over time, fewer additives means longer oil life, as well.

Your engine stands to last longer if you treat it right, and the first step in doing so is knowing what is true and what isn't when it comes to the products you use. One thing you can count on, though, is optimum performance when you use great matching lubes and fuels, such as Petron's. Made with the highest quality, these products (especially when used together) stand to care for your engine and keep the misconceptions about engine care at bay. 

For a full list of Petron's consumer fuels and lubricants, click here

This article is created by Summit Storylabs in partnership with Petron.
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