Phillips Energy Inc.
Hayes, VA | (804) 642-2166 | 7-5 Mon.-Fri., 7-1 Sat.
Mathews, VA | (804) 725-9020 | 8-5 Mon.-Fri.
P.O. Box 726, Gloucester Pt., VA 23062-0726

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Understanding Fuel Types

posted by Phillips Energy @ 1:56pm, Tuesday, February 18th, 2014.

Ever pulled up to the pump and wondered which of the three options you should choose to fill your car's tank? What do those numbers mean anyway? Always just opt for regular?

There are some things you should know that may help with your decision the next time you visit the Phillips Energy retail fuel station pumps

The first, and the most basic, is that the three different price grades you see at the station are based on the amounts of octane in each level of fuel, with the cheapest, regular, at 87 octane; and the most expensive, premium, with 93 octane.

Then, there is an option in the middle, plus, with 90 octane.

Why is octane important? Well, it boils down to the performance of your engine.

Here's a quick chemistry lesson: When vaporized gas mixes with air and fills the combustion chamber of your engine, it is compressed by the rising pistons. This makes the gas-air mixture grow hot and it could ignite before the spark plug fires, pushing backward on the piston. Higher-octane fuels can be compressed to a greater degree without self-igniting. This is why premium gas is used in high-performance engines. 

According to AAA, most modern cars are designed and tested to run on regular gasoline.

However, there are some vehicles designed to run on premium gasoline. If you try to fill up with regular in these vehicles, they will likely suffer from a loss of power and efficiency.

So if you think you're going to save by putting the cheaper gas in your vehicle designed for the more expensive stuff, you're mistaken, as any cost savings at the pump will be quickly offset by decreased mileage and efficiency and could possibly even cause engine damage.

The key is to know whether premium gasoline is merely recommended or if it's required. This information can be found in your owner's manual.

If required, your car will still run on regular fuel in a pinch, but it shouldn't become a regular habit.

If you begin hearing a knocking sound in your engine, especially when accelerating or decelerating, you may need to bite the bullet and pay a little more at the pump.

Phillips Energy's Retail Fuel Station, located just north of the Coleman Bridge in Hayes on George Washington Memorial Highway is:

  • Open 24/7 for Visa, MasterCard, Discover and Phillips proprietary cards
  • Open for full service from 7:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday - Friday; 7:00 a.m. - 1 p.m. Saturday
  • Features Gasoline - 87, 89, 93 octane 87 octane with no ethanol available during full service hours at our retail facility


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PO Box 726
Gloucester Pt., VA 23062-0726
(804) 642-2166
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