You probably have seen those little bottles of octane boosters at different shops and wondering do they really work and help to raise octane levels.
Before we start our discussion, the first thing to note is never go for cheap Octane Boosters. They’ll affect your car’s performance and takes time to recover.
As far as our topic is concerned, whether or not Octane Boosters Work…they definitely do…and, why wouldn’t it? Basically, if the octane number is high, the fuel will be able to withstand more compression before it detonates. You might have heard about it in some premium vehicles like Mercedes, BMW’s, Nissan and a few other vehicles.
As a matter of fact, Octane booster is very important to enhance internal combustion process to function smoothly. To be precise, octane booster can be used both for racing purpose and to boost the vehicle ratings to eliminate internal carbon build-up.
But don’t take it for granted. For example, if you are adding octane booster in an old 1300cc carburetted engine, there will be hardly any difference and at the same time, adding it to a turbo charged car that comes with an adaptive ECU is likely to yield substantial improvements in performance, also in terms of fuel consumptions.
How It Actually Works?
It’s quite fascinating to experience that with just a small quantity of octane inside that tiny bottle, brings about a significant change in overall performance. To understand this, you must know how octane boosters work.
The answer are those key ingredients being used in octane boosters. These ingredients are sometimes known as ‘anti-knock’ additives. Once mixed with fuel, they prevent any onset of knock or detonation and in this way, the effective octane of the fuel is raised or boosted.
Some of the most popular ingredients used in octane boosters include the following.
It’s an iron compound that is used as an alternative to TEL, in 3rd world countries. However, 1st world countries its use is strictly prohibited by fuel refineries. The reason is the formation of iron oxide during combustion which is considered to be extremely abrasive and results in massive increase in engine wear. Though it temporarily boosts performance but shortens engine life. Moreover, it can also result in a short circuit leading to misfire because it builds up on the spark plugs.
Commonly used in racing cars and is considered a good ingredient when it comes to increasing octane levels. However, there are a few drawbacks as well. Having a different stoichiometric ratio to petrol, you might notice a leaner performance of the engine. Moreover, if there is more than 10% of ethanol, your car has to be tuned for fuel. As a result of this, there will be higher fuel consumption. Furthermore, some people can go for ethanol concentration of as much as 50% in their racing cars. This requires extra large injector to keep the extra fuel required by the car’s engine in flow.
Potential drawbacks include the corrosion and algae in fuel system because ethanol tends to absorb water from the air around it. It’s recommended to drain the fuel tank to prevent this.
Methylcyclopentaadienyl manganese tricarbonyl is the most commonly used ingredients around the world that helps to increase octane levels of fuel and is considered to be more environment friendly as compared to lead. Moreover, it isn’t considered harmful to emission control devices. Fuel Refineries recommend using MMT as octane boosters.
4: Aromatic Alcohols
These include Benzine, Xylene, Toluene, etc and help to increase octane of fuels. Unfortunately, they don’t deliver a noticeable change in the performance of the vehicle and normally a dose of more than 10% is required. Potential drawback is the chemicals being used are highly carcinogenic that are easily absorbed by human skins and even breathed in. This results in cancer. If you are adding Aromatic Alcohols, make sure you are wearing a mask and protective gloves.
How was your experience with using octane boosters? Let us know in the comments section.