Things To Know About Gasoline - Service Information to Know from Hanson KIA

The gasoline that goes into your Kia is really extraordinary stuff. But it's easy to fill your car without really thinking about what's going into the tank. At Hanson Kia, we want to make sure you have important information on all aspects of Kia service and upkeep--and that includes filling up at the gas station. Below, we share four common questions we get about gasoline.

Four gas pump nozzles.

4. What Is Ethanol?

Essentially, ethanol is a biofuel. It can be made from a variety of sources, but corn and sugar cane are two of the more common ones. You typically won't find unadulterated ethanol at gas stations, but you may notice a sticker that says that the gasoline may contain up to 10% ethanol. For most gas engines, this is no problem at all (though, if you have a vintage car, you may want to find a gas station that doesn't mix ethanol with the gasoline). However, this isn't the only option.

E85, also known as Flex Fuel, is a blend of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. It's meant only for Flexible Fuel Vehicles, which have engines that can function on ethanol-heavy blends. Conversely, E15 is a blend of 15% ethanol and 85% gasoline. This is safe for some cars, but you should check your owner's manual to make sure that it's OK for yours.

Gas with 86, 88, and 91 octane rating.

3. Are Some Brands of Gas Better Than Others?

Yes. Choosing the right brand of gas can actually have positive effects on your engine. Federal law states that all gasoline companies must add certain detergent additives to their gas. These additives help keep carbon buildup from your engine, as well as improving its efficiency. However, many companies only put in the minimum additives required by law. That's not so with TOP TIER™ gasoline brands. They add more and higher-quality detergents, so your engine will run cleaner and perform better. We recommend using a gas station that carries TOP TIER™ gas.

2. What Do Gas Grades Mean?

The numbers, or grades, of gasoline refer to the octane rating. Unlike diesel engines, which use compression to ignite their fuel, gasoline engines use a spark to ignite the gas. The octane rating tells you how much the gasoline can safely be compressed without igniting on its own (something that shouldn't happen in a gas engine). Your Kia owner's manual will let you know the octane rating your car needs, and it's very important to follow this.

A person gives a thumbs-up sign while refueling their vehicle. 

1. What Happens if I Use the Wrong Kind of Gas

Filling your tank with gas that has a lower than recommended octane rating can lead to problems. If the gasoline ignites before the spark has a chance to ignite it, it will cause what's known as engine knock. In addition to not sounding good, this can damage the engine.

If you fill your tank with gas that has a higher than recommended octane rating, the only downside is a little lost money. Using premium gas when regular unleaded is all that's required won't have any negative effects on the engine, but it also won't have any positive ones.

If you accidentally fill up your ride that's not rated as a flex fuel vehicle with E85, you may immediately notice a strong hit in power and gas mileage. If you've only filled up part of the tank with E85, stop right away. Then, fill the rest of it up with your regular gas, and keep refilling frequently. If you've filled the whole tank with E85, the best solution is to continue driving, filling up your car frequently so that more gasoline can dilute the E85.

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  1. Hanson Kia

    2300 Carriage Loop SW
    Olympia, WA 98502

    • Sales: (877) 816-5820

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Hanson Kia

2300 Carriage Loop SW
Directions Olympia, WA 98502

  • Sales: (360) 339-5079
  • Service: (360) 339-5079
  • Parts: (360) 339-5079