|The Fuel Expert|
Do Octane Boosters Work?
Bottled octane boosters can most definitely raise the octane of petrol. To what extent they raise the octane varies from product to product. High quality octane boosters can deliver the octane numbers they claim, however there are also a lot of these products on the market which don't deliver anywhere near their claims. A lot of products also advertise their octane gain in points, which are often 0.1RON, so where you think you're getting a 3.0RON increase you're only getting 0.3RON
Whether simply raising the octane of the fuel in your tank is going to give you more power comes down to a lot of variables. To take 2 extremes; if you have an old carburetted 1300cc engine, chances are you will feel little to no difference. However running higher octane fuel in a modern turbo charged car with an adaptive ECU will yield substantial improvements in performance and fuel consumption, especially for cars designed to run on 98+ octane fuel.
This isn't all bad news if you don't have a modern car. Tuning a car on a dyno with higher octane fuel will yield better performance by allowing you to run more aggressive timing and higher boost on turbocharged vehicles.
How Do Octane Boosters Work?
The most common question about bottled octane boosters is how such a small dose can raise the octane of fuel by such a significant amount. The answer to this lies in the active ingredients. These octane boosters use anti-knock additives which, when added to the fuel, prevent the onset of knock (detonation or pre-ignition). By preventing the knock, the effective octane of the fuel is raised. Although there are many anti-knock additives, we are going to look at the most popular ones.