Fuel Tips: Narrowing Down The Choices


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Race gas comes in more than a single flavor. Your local track might just have one or two pumps, but there are many more varieties available–like, easily close to two dozen from just a single supplier.

While many of those fuels are race-only products, others are boutique formulas intended for street cars. A few questions can help narrow down which formula is best for your car.

Road or Track?

Products sold as race fuels are not always restricted to track use. Example: Sunoco’s 100-octane 260 GT is an extremely stable, street-legal product designed for high-performance street engines. (For those who have to meet California’s fuel regulations, Sunoco also offers the similar SS 100.)

Oxygenated or Not?

Some fuels are oxygenated, while some are not. Oxygenated fuels can help produce extra power. Without getting even close to technical, let’s just say that extra oxygen plus extra fuel usually equals extra bang. Highly boosted engines also tend to prefer oxygenated fuels.

However, oxygenated fuels don’t always favor long storage intervals. If your car tends to sit for long intervals–picture a classic that’s only used occasionally–then a non-oxygenated product might be a better fit.

Leaded or Unleaded?

Adding lead is an inexpensive way to increase a fuel’s octane rating. But, as many of us already know, lead isn’t super kind to the environment or to modern emissions equipment. Here’s a basic rule: If your car has oxygen sensors in the exhaust or catalytic converters, don’t use a leaded fuel.


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