If you’re interested in optimizing your engine performance through fuel additives, you’ve probably heard of octane boosters and fuel stabilizers. Both are designed to make your engine run better, longer — although, they achieve this through different means. In order to gain the maximum benefit from each, it’s important to know the difference, let’s take a look.
What is a fuel stabilizer? When a fuel is left stagnant for an extended amount of time — say, longer than 30 days — it runs the risk of beginning to break down. The fuel’s various chemical components separate from one another and it becomes stale. When this breakdown occurs, contaminants and other impurities stand a better chance of making their way into your fuel — and your engine. Physical changes like thickening or solidifying (varnish) can also occur to untreated, stagnant fuel. Fuel stabilizers feature chemicals, such as antioxidants, to combat this breakdown and keep your gasoline in top shape.
What is an octane booster? Fuel octane contributes to stability under compression, with a higher octane rating indicating greater resistance to abnormalities like detonation and engine knock. An octane booster protects against low octane level issues by increasing the octane rating, and it improves performance by helping to ensure that fuel in a cylinder ignites exactly when it should, even in high-compression engines. Learn more about octane rating and its effects on ending performance.
What are the benefits of fuel stabilizers? The best fuel stabilizers serve two purposes: protecting your engine from stagnant (stale) fuel without needing to drain it, and making it easier to start the engine when it’s ready to be used again. Fuel stabilizers also protect against corrosion and structural damage that can be caused by running gummy or solidified fuel components through the engine. Fuel treated with a stabilizer maintains its consistency and thus is more resistant to knocks and pings.
What are the benefits of octane boosters? Octane boosters help ensure that you’re “feeding” your engine the best fuel grade you can. If you’re asking yourself, “does octane booster work?”, you’ll see the results with your engine running at peak performance for a longer amount of time. Octane boosters give you more power while you’re using them, and a longer life for the engine as it avoids the damaging effects of pre-ignition, detonation, and other undesired situations.
What are the proper ways to use fuel stabilizers and octane boosters? While they each offer better performance and longer life for your engine, fuel stabilizers and octane boosters should be used at different times, in different ways. Fuel stabilizers should be added to fuel before an anticipated period of disuse, and you should be sure to run the engine for several minutes to ensure that the stabilizer reaches all areas of the engine and any fuel that may be inside.
Octane boosters are best used at every fill-up, although different products will have different ratings for how much fuel they are able to effectively treat. If you’re preparing for a situation or event where peak performance and maximum power are required, be sure to start using octane booster several weeks before the event, so that it can permeate the entire engine and ensure that it properly reacts with the fuel every step of the way.
Following these steps is a great way to get the most out of fuel stabilizers and octane boosters — but the results are only as good as the products you use. Gold Eagle 104+® Octane Boost was America’s first octane booster, and it’s still the best. The STA-BIL® Brand line of fuel stabilizers is carefully formulated to meet a wide range of storage needs.