Can Low Octane Fuel Cause Check Engine Light: Possible Causes of Light Illumination

Suppose you’ve ever filled up your car with gasoline. In that case, you may have noticed several options available at the pump, including regular, mid-grade, and premium. But has it ever been in your mind that the difference is between these options, and does it matter which one you choose? In this blog post, we’ll explore the potential consequences of using low-octane fuel, particularly when it comes to the check engine light.

What is octane rating?

  • Octane rating, also known as octane number, measures a fuel’s ability to resist “knocking” or “pinging” during combustion. 
  • Knocking occurs when the air/fuel mixture in the engine’s cylinder detonates prematurely, resulting in a knocking sound and potentially damaging the engine. 
  • Higher octane fuels are more resistant to knocking, while lower octane fuels are more prone to it.

Can low octane fuel cause a check engine light?

  • Using fuel with a bit of a lower octane rating than recommended by the manufacturer can cause the check engine light to illuminate. 
  • Lighting is because the lower octane fuel may not provide sufficient resistance to knocking, causing the engine to run less efficiently and potentially leading to engine damage.
  • However, it’s important to note that various other issues can trigger the check engine light. Such as problems with the oxygen sensor, catalytic converter, or ignition system. 
  • So if you notice that your check engine light has come on. It’s always good to check your car with a professional mechanic to determine the root cause.

Facts about Using Low Octane Fuel

  • Suppose you’ve accidentally used low-octane fuel in your car and are concerned about potential damage. You should check your owner’s manual to see what octane rating suits your vehicle. 
  • If the low-octane fuel you used is within the acceptable range, you may not need to do anything further. 
  • However, the octane rating of the fuel you use is significantly lower than recommended. In that case, it’s a good idea to inspect your car by a mechanic to ensure that no damage has been to it.
  • It’s also worth noting that using fuel with a higher octane rating than recommended by the manufacturer is generally not beneficial and may not provide any performance improvements. 
  • When a lower octane rating is in the manuals, a higher octane fuel may decrease performance and fuel consumption.

FAQs of Can Low Octane Fuel Cause Check Engine Light

What are the steps should I take if I have used low-octane fuel and am concerned about potential consequences?

  • Suppose you’ve used low-octane fuel and are concerned about potential consequences. In that case, you should first check your owner’s manual.
  • If the low-octane fuel you used is within the acceptable range, you may not need to do anything further. 
  • However, suppose the octane rating of the fuel you use is significantly lower than recommended. In that case, the best idea is to have your car a deep check-up.

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