A smoothly running car depends on a conglomerate of factors working together. Of these many congruent factors, the engine is the powerhouse, the component that transforms a car from a hunk of well-built metal to a beautiful, moving machine.
The engine has to be carefully assembled and maintained continuously. For the engine to work maximally, it needs gasoline (or fuel) which plays a very important part in its function.
The performance of fuel is measured in octane points, which determine the quality and ability of the fuel to run the engine effectively.
A high octane number fuel ensures that the fuel injection systems do not ignite prematurely, and thus it drives the engine longer.
This pre-ignition does not only limit the use of fuel, it wears the car engine down and reduces its shelf life. Thus, the octane level of gasoline is important and having the best octane boosters helps.
Why Octane Boosters?
Octane boosters help to maximize the efficiency of fuel and make it last longer.
An octane booster is formulated from one or several so-called “anti-knock” compounds (like 111-octane toluene, 118-octane isopropanol and 101-octane benzene), which are hydrocarbon fuel compounds that have a higher combustion temperature than normal gasoline.
The “anti-knock” effect prevents the engine components from rubbing together.
When the engine components knock together, it makes the fuel ignite and combust too quickly. Octane boosters make sure that when the fuel ignites, it burns for longer before it combusts, translating into better performance for your engine.
This is why race cars use high-octane fuels and boosters for that optimal speed and powerful torque that makes racing such an exciting event. Therefore, by raising the octane level of your fuel, your car performs more efficiently.
In this article , we take a look at the top rated octane boosters to buy.
Here Are The 5 Best Octane Boosters Of 2018
There is a lot of confusion in the market when shopping for octane boosters that truly works. A lot of them are advertised to work miracles but are just glorified fuel pumps of a few octane points.
This is not an exhaustive list, as there are many excellent octane booster products in the market. We have compiled these few to make choosing easier for you. When it comes to getting great compression value for your money, these are the highest performing, best octane boosters you should look out for.
1. Lucas Oil 10026 Octane Booster – The Best Choice For The Money :
Lucas Oil produces premium quality automobile accessories trusted by their millions of customers, and this high performing best octane booster is not an exception.
It makes your fuel denser, ensuring that it burns for longer before combustion and thus gives an extra torque to the vehicle as it moves. This product is perfect for racing and for optimizing sports cars, and even for use in domestic cars and trucks-if used prudently.
It works on turbo engines, oxygen sensor engines, high-compression engines, carburetor engines and gasoline engines of any make or model, giving the same excellent performance with each of them.
One bottle can be used to treat up 25 gallons of gasoline, giving you more value for your money. The pack of 12 containers makes sure that you will have this in stock for a long time and so you do not need to worry about running out.
The Lucas Oil 10026 is one of the top 5 best octane boosters on the market right now.
2. 104+ 10406 Octane Booster – High Performance At An Affordable Price :
A veteran in the vehicle accessories industry, 104+ products are trusted and reliable. It is preferred for its fuel injector cleaning property, which optimises the fuel’s functions and for the way it extends the fuel usage time, helping the car owner to save money.
Even though it is not as expensive as other top rated octane boosters are, it is still a steady and effective product for commuter cars.
104+ can be used in all types of engines, both the older carburetor types and the modern oxygen sensor and catalytic convertor engines.
3. Klotz Octane Booster – The Most Affordable Choice :
With the ability to raise fuel by ten octane points, Klotz is a favourite with owners of sports cars and their products have been on the market for more than five decades. This best octane booster is made out of tetraethyl derivatives, and tetraethyl is a great anti-knock compound.
Another desirable property of this fuel is that it absorbs moisture that would otherwise damage the engine parts and cause them to rust. All this value is gotten in full with its big gallon size, which makes up for the expensiveness of the product.
4. Royal Purple 11757 Max Boost Octane – The Best For Sport / Racing Cars :
Royal Purple is a high performance octane booster that is specially formulated for heavy-duty race cars, and in fact is notable as one of the highest sponsors of NASCAR and FORMULA 1.
This is not the octane booster to use for your family car: not unless you are gearing up for a high-speed race around your neighbourhood, for which you would no doubt be arrested because it is illegal for use in domestic cars.
It raises the octane level of your gasoline by 30 points, a high-powered potential indeed. This makes the expensive prices very worth it.
Lead additives are bad for the environment and for your engine, and this is one of the best octane boosters for clearing the lead residue left behind by leaded fuels, saving your engine from damage. This serves to drastically reduce your car’s emissions, which is good for the environment.
5. Torco Accelerator Fuel Addictive – Last But Not The Least :
Torco is a bit different from other octane boosters in that it has a very high composition of octane, with MMT additive used to boost its effects.
Octane optimises engine performance while reducing knocking and pinging that reduce the fuel efficiency and engine performance. MMT is also great for reducing knocking and pinging, giving your engine a longer life and helping it work to maximum efficiency.
The Torco brand of Best Octane boosters are appreciated for being versatile in use and hence, highly sought-after. It is expensive compared to other octane boosters, but the price is well worth it as this is a premium product that will continuously deliver quality.
How do Octane Boosters Differ from Fuel Stabilizers?
As an automobile enthusiast or professional, this question might cross your mind a few times considering how similar their functions are in keeping your fuel in top shape.
As the name implies, they stabilize the chemical composition of your fuel. This is mostly needed when fuel is left stagnant for longer than a month. After such long periods, the chemical composition of the fuel starts to diminish, and the components break away making it stale.
This breakdown makes the individual components harmful to the engine because they act as contaminants and some even solidify.
Fuel stabilizers contain antioxidants that prevent your fuel from breaking down hence keeping it in top shape without the need to drain it from the tank.
As an extension, it also prevents corrosion that could occur as a result of the humid breakdowns of the fuel, thus, increasing your engine’s resistance to knocks.
However, apart from these pros, it is similar to octane boosters in the sense that, this same ingredient is responsible for making it easier for your engine to start whenever you’re ready to use it again.
In contrast, octane boosters contribute to keeping your fuel stable under compression. The implication of your fuel having a high octane rating includes an impressive resistance to abnormal conditions like engine knock and fuel detonation.
While octane boosters might be similar to fuel stabilizers in that sense, it is important to understand that they work for different purposes and there are certain components that differentiate their chemical makeup, which also make crucial contributions to the purposes of their manufacture.
However, if at some point, you feel the need to improvise and use them interchangeably; know that whatever comes out of that risk is on you.
When To Use An Octane Booster
To be clear, regular fuel from gas stations are just fine, and for the most part, octane boosters are for drivers who need a little extra. However, there are certain conditions that warrant the use of fuel octane boosters. Some are precautionary, while others are for skilfully calculated car decisions.
- If you use a car that is built to accommodate high-octane fuels and boosters:
This might be the most important of the conditions. In the process of getting your car started, gas and air mixture are being compressed in the cylinder by the pistons, and then with the spark from the spark plug, the combustion explodes the pistons in vertical motion for your car to move.
However, during the compression, the mixture becomes volatile and if said mixture is compromised, it would explode without a spark. This is known as detonation and it’s really bad for especially gasoline engines.
Diesel engines, on the other hand, have less to worry about because diesel fuels are much less volatile than gasoline. For example, if you put use gasoline for a diesel engine, it would be like running your car on Nitrous oxide alone.
It would literally burn a hole into your pistons within seconds, and even the connecting rods might fly out through your hood’s roof. This is because the compression ratio is too much for the engine. The same applies for using an octane booster with a rating that stretches the compression ratio of your fuel, for your engine.
Hence, higher octane ratings used with slower burning fuels helps avoid detonation while trying to achieve more power.
- When you want your car’s speed ramped up for recreation or for professional racing.
Like I mentioned earlier, octane boosters help keep your fuel stable under compression. This comes in very handy for car racers. With my explanation in the first point, I don’t see any reason why a regular work car would need that kind of boost.
However, if you want some fun, or you want to be pumped for a race, then you could. But it’s best to check your car’s instruction manual to see the octane rating your car’s fuel can accommodate.
- If you have tuned up your car engine to be able to process octane boosters
This condition simply justifies my first two points. If your car is tuned up for such heat, then you could go ahead with it. On a general note, your car might require more servicing to keep up with the tune up.
This won’t be a problem for racers or car enthusiasts. But if you feel you can’t afford that much attention for your car, then it’s best to let sleeping dogs lie.
Types Of Octane Boosters
There are several types of octane boosters desired for their varied results and properties, and you should be sure of the specifics of the octane booster you choose. The hydrocarbon fuels used to manufacture octane boosters could be one or more of these compounds that produce a unique effect in different combinations:
The use of ethanol for octane boosting is most common in race cars. With its difference in a stoichiometric ratio to petrol, the car would have to be tuned for the fuel, and only race car mechanics can afford that luxury.
In race cars, when more than 50% ethanol dosage is used, larger injectors are used to increase the fuel supply and make it sufficient for the engine. The same goes for dosages of more than 10% of ethanol mix. The fuel consumption is higher, but the car would run richer.
One flaw that the use of ethanol has, asides the increase in fuel consumption by the engine, ethanol absorbs water from the surrounding atmosphere, and when not in use, this could cause corrosion in the fuel tank, and with time, leakage.
Therefore, to be on a safe side, it’s advisable to empty your fuel tank after each use of ethanol-boosted fuel.
Aromatic alcohols have been popular as octane boosters for decades. Examples include Xylene, Benzene and Toluene. Like other mentions, they play an important role in increasing the octane of fuels. They are used in large doses (10% required for 200ml to half of a litre of fuel) in order to be effective.
As carcinogenic (could cause cancer) chemicals, it’s best to avoid direct contact with them as much as possible when handling them. That specifically goes for those thinking of making a DIY octane booster. So, face masks and gloves should be a part of your shopping list.
Another major disadvantage is that they evaporate quite quickly; hence, a lot is needed for maximal performance.
The Afton Chemical Corporation produces methylcyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl (MMT). It is expensive, but easily the best octane boosters in the market. It is used on a global scale alternatively to TEL (Tetraethyl lead) as an environmental additive to raise the octane of fuel. It is highly favoured because its by-products are environmentally friendly, not harmful to emission control devices and does not cause build-up.
Also known as diclopentadienyliron, this product is very popular in octane boosters. Basically, this iron compound is a cheaper alternative to MMT and by extension, an alternative to TEL in 3rd world country fuel refineries.
On the other hand, its use in refineries is considered illegal in most 1st world countries like South Africa because the highly abrasive iron oxide end product from the combustion is said to reduce engine life.
On a general note, most manufacturers recognize that it may occasionally have a quick build up on spark plugs and lead to misfire during ignition.
However, as stated in the introductory parts, it is a cheaper alternative, and third-grade vehicles do just fine with them.
Favoured by drag racers, nitro methane produces a high thrusting force because it needs much less air to ignite than regular gasoline. This, the race car can get the speed it needs in seconds.
Factors To Consider Before Purchasing An Octane Booster
Car enthusiasts always look for the next and best way to optimise the performance of their vehicles, tweaking the original makeup and optimising its slower components to get more speed, more durability and more performance out of the cars.
However, before you pour a gallon of octane booster into your car, you should be sure of a few things that will help you make an informed choice. These factors here might seem like a cliché, but know that it’s aimed at helping you make the best of your decision to use octane boosters.
- Octane rating
Different octane boosters have different octane points. Octane points are usually measured in tens, which means that one octane level is equal to ten points. A 40-octane point fuel sounds fancy and eye-catching, but it will only raise your car’s fuel octane level four points. It is recommended that you opt for an octane booster with a high point rating for the optimal results.
The amount of gasoline that can be treated with a particular quantity of octane booster will be specified on its labelling. Make sure to stick to this formula for optimal results. In addition, because octane boosters cost a lot, you should opt for bigger quantities to get more out of the product. Apart from that, using the wrong percentage in the mixture could compromise the compression ratio of your fuel and lead to detonation.
The different octane booster types explained previously is very crucial to whatever choice you end up making. With this much information on the available types, you can independently avoid whichever is considered illegal for use in your vicinity or inappropriate by the manufacturer. Also, with the cons carefully stated for each type, you could make an informed decision on the kind of compromise you can afford.
There are many options to choose from before deciding on an octane booster, and one of the decisions that should inform the purchase is the price. There is no need to break the bank just to purchase an octane booster, it is sensible to choose a brand that fits comfortably in your budget. Fortunately, there are some inexpensive brands that give you value for your money.
You have to understand that while octane boosters are a truly marvellous additive, they cannot perform miracles. What they do is enhance the innate ability of your engine and stretch its capabilities. This means that your vehicle has to be in top condition to reap the full benefits of the octane booster.
Invest in one of the best octane boosters we have outlined above and you will see the results in the speed and improved performance of your vehicle.
Hope you found the list of best octane boosters very helpful.