Tag Archives: difference

winter driving

What’s The Difference Between Winter and All Season Tires

The winter season is upon us, which means cold temperatures, snow, and ice will cause adverse driving conditions.  Which tire you equip your vehicle with can have a positive or negative effect on your winter driving ability.  This article will talk about the differences between winter and summer tires, more typically called summer tires.

Let’s look at the most obvious difference, tread pattern.  The tread pattern on winter tires are designed to assist in slush, ice, and snow.  The ability to channel snow and slush will assist in keeping rubber contact with the road.  This contact will ultimately lead to a more stable control of your automobile, whether it’s a front wheel drive car, minivan or 4×4 SUV.

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Difference In Higher Octane Gas

High Octane Gas

High Octane Gas

Every time you fill up your vehicle you are greeted with several different fuel options, assuming that you have a gasoline engine.  Other than price, you may be interested in knowing what the difference is in higher and lower octane gas.  Rest assured that most modern gasoline engines are capable on running anything from 87-93 octane rated gasoline.  But lets look at the benefits, if any, of buying the higher octane gas.

Low Octane Gas Is Fine In Most Cases

That’s right, to the general driving public low octane gasoline will be just fine.  87 octane gasoline will perform just as well as higher octane gasoline, in a common daily driver.  There are a few exceptions that exist, so let’s take a look at what make the higher octane gasoline worth the money.

Cure Pinging With Higher Octane

A common noise amongst engines is a ‘Pinging’ noise coming from the engine.  This is caused by the gasoline entering the engine and not igniting at the correct interval.  Over time this pinging can cause long term damage to your vehicles engine.  In most cases running a higher octane gasoline in the vehicle, even for a short period, can help alleviate some if not all pinging.

High Performance Needs

Another need for burning a higher octane gas is dependent upon the type of vehicle you drive.  Higher compression engines require a higher octane gas to perform properly and in some cases even gain horsepower.  This only applies to a tuned engine, specifically designed for a higher octane.

My 99 Mustang GT engine required 93 octane to operate properly and not ping.  My engine was beyond stock and had enough modifications to justify the bigger expense and translate into marginal power gains.  Basically, you should know if your car requires a higher octane to operate properly, if not, then don’t worry about the additional expense.


The difference in higher octane gas and lower octanes is marginal enough that the common driver need not spend the extra dough.  I would recommend always filling up with the cheap stuff, unless you know specifically that your car needs the extra sweet juice from the pump, assume it doesn’t.


This has been a post into a series of articles on explaining entry level questions to automotive enthusiasts.

Other Difference Articles:

Difference Between Automatic and Manual Performance

Difference Between Halogen and HID Lights