Written By Car Bibles Staff
Published Mar. 2, 2018

Car maintenance would look very different if it weren’t for several innovative products available on the shelves. In fact, the problem is that there are too many options, so buyers often feel overwhelmed and confused.

This guide provides the bottom line on one particular product – octane boosters. Below we deconstruct a critical facet of the fuel running the engine – its octane – and then discuss various products that you can use to boost it.

The Best Octane Booster

The Torco Accelerator is probably one of the most complete octane boosters on this list. It has been around since 1948, and its antifragility is remarkable, probably due to its ability to customise the blend as per your requirements. While it has seen a lot of use in racing circuits, it can be used by practically anyone.

It is truly exceptional at hitting octane ratings up to 100, if not 105. Not only that, even its efficiency can be customized if you are looking at octane ratings sub-100.

A perceptible improvement in horsepower generation is also evident. That being said, it may not be as effective in older engines and is recommended for use on newer engines for maximum results. It really is a designer octane booster.

Key Features
  • Torco’s ability to make every vehicle achieve maximum performance
  • Flexibility to customise the blend
  • Unparalleled anti-knock and engine jerking preventive capabilities
  • Capable enough for competitive specifications
Specification
  • Brand Torco Accelerator
  • Model 16410
  • Weight 3 lbs
PROS

Torco allows you to combine it with other additives and create customized blends

A broad range of engines can be serviced by Torco

Off the charts octane and efficiency ratings

CONS

Difficult to store as it is very sensitive to light

Difficult to handle as the fumes can cause skin irritation

If you have never bought an octane booster before, this model is a solid option. It is a safe choice to start with because it works well with a variety of engines.

Unlike many other octane boosters, this is suited to both engines with carburettors and those with fuel injectors and turbos. For those that are conscious towards the environment, this is a great choice as it facilitates cleaner burning of fuel which leads to reduced emissions.

Moreover, it does not have a detrimental impact on the oxygen sensors or catalytic convertors housed in your exhaust supply. When it comes to reduction of ping and knock, Lucas 10026 is far ahead of many of its competitors in the same price range. The bang for buck you receive from this octane booster is truly unmatched.

Key Features
  • Lesser carbon footprint
  • No adverse impact on internal components of your engine
  • Suitable for application in a range of engine types
  • It comes in portable containers which come in handy during journeys where fuel stations may be few and far between
Specification
  • Brand Lucas
  • Model 10026
  • Weight 12 lbs
PROS

Affordability

Safe to use

Suitable for most personal vehicles

Eco-friendly with minimal side-effects on other hardware in the engine

CONS

Usage of MMT leads to a reddish clog arising out of the solid manganese oxide produced during combustion

Doesn’t have the best efficacy

104+ is probably the oldest surviving octane booster on the market. Around since 1975, when muscle cars came into the picture, it is a testament to the power it packs. Its high impact synthetic formulation not only lends to greater acceleration but also simultaneously cleans the fuel housing in the car.

Serving these dual roles enables 104+ to reduce engine issues like hesitation, which octane boosters usually do. What it also provides by being a great fuel injector cleaner is that it has a perceptible impact on the mileage of your engine. Gains in engine power and engine economy are not an easy combination to find.

104+ has been known to have accentuated gas octane ratings by about 9 points which translates to roughly 1 whole octane number. If this is lesser than what you are seeking, 104+ has a Maximum Boost offering which provides twice as much of a hike in octane rating.

Key Features
  • Acts as a cleaner for the fuel injectors, pumps and supply line
  • No expiration date
  • Provides greater fuel economy and reduces throttle jerking
Specification
  • Brand 104+
  • Model 10406
  • Weight 15.2 lbs
PROS

Affordable

No impact on internal systems like spark plugs, catalytic convertor and oxygen sensor

Improves mileage

Improves horsepower extracted by the engine

CONS

Best for off-road use

Klotz has been on the block for over 50 years now. The company claims that it is still innovating and mastering the science behind the synthetics in octane boosters. Klotz has seen its utility across a range of motorsports and is a favourite of many engine enthusiasts.

This octane booster is a highly concentrated and dense tetraethyl lead replacement to combat pre-ignition pings linked to spark plugs. It is useful in combating spark knock as spark plugs function more efficiently with the aid of octane boosters.

Depending on how much you are inclined towards using, Klotz can jack up the octane rating by as much as 10 full numbers. In addition, it caters to lubrication in the upper cylinders.    

Key Features
  • Multi-purpose octane booster
  • Absorbs moisture from internal components
  • Huge octane rating gains
  • Great lubricating agent
Specification
  • Brand Klotz
  • Model TRTC7057
  • Weight 8.05 lbs
PROS

Compact packaging and an affordable price

Can be used for a variety of engines ranging from lawn mowers to cars

1 gallon bottle is amongst the largest in the market

CONS

The fuel – octane booster ratio can be a bit tricky to optimise

Works better on smaller engines

Royal Purple delivers premium optimisation for the price quoted. Yet another multifaceted octane booster, it has been designed with extreme conditions in mind. Backed by good manufacturer reputation, 11757 is also a terrific fuel stabiliser. It does a fantastic job of protecting engine heads and non-hardened valves.

In terms of octane ratings, it has the ability to raise about 3 ratings or 30 points.  It also took the lead in octane boosters and doubled up as a great cleansing agent for fuel injectors.

Additionally, it is one of the few octane boosters that can be used in both unleaded gasoline as well as leaded fuel, not to mention other alternative fuels like gasohol and ethanol blends. Catalytic converters, after prolonged usage, run the risk of suffering from something called phosphorous poisoning. The 11757 is great for delaying the onset.     

Key Features
  • It is a very broad-spectrum octane booster
  • It maintained relatively ignored parts of the engine such as engine heads and catalytic converters
  • It falls in the range of boosters that can reduce emissions while improving engine performance
Specification
  • Brand Royal Purple
  • Model ROY11757
  • Weight 1 lb
PROS

Value for money

Makes the engine quieter by minimizing rattling

Multiple engine protector features

CONS

Not of much use in 2-stroke engine systems

MMT usage is undesirable

Octane boosters, in general, have a limitation – they only work on fuel. To be able to raise the octane of the pump gas, you need something more. This is mostly a race car requirement as they have higher octane fuels which prevent the combustion from going out of hand at high performance levels. It generates octane ratings of 100 to 105 RON and engines that require such high-octane fuel probably can’t do without this.

Key Features
  • Increases pretty much all engine metrics – power, torque and even throttle responsiveness
  • Raises the chemical energy stored in the pump gas
  • It is useful for higher power requirements such as those in powered boats and even small airplanes
Specification
  • Brand RaceGas
  • Model 100032
  • Weight 1.85 lbs
PROS

Useful for satisfying engines designed for high octane fuel

Doesn’t use alcohol to superficially inflate octane numbers

It doesn’t have an impact on oxygen sensors or catalytic converters

CONS

It is priced at the higher end of fuel additives

STP 78574 hits the mark. It is better than most octane boosters available in the market owing to efficiently performing most functions of a good octane booster. For instance, it helps generate some horsepower and acceleration while keeping the fuel injection system clean. It is meant to be used regularly and preferably while refuelling.

Key Features
  • It is designed to be compatible with gas systems that do not incorporate a cap
  • It has a positive impact in reducing and eliminating knocking and pings in the engine
Specification
  • Brand STP
  • Model 78574
  • Weight 6.4 lbs
PROS

Affordability and convenient packaging

Fuel system cleansing ability

Occupies the lower end of the price spectrum

CONS

Does bare minimum as compared to other boosters in this list

Best Octane Booster Buying Guide

There are a few handy tips that you need to bear in mind before narrowing down on the octane booster you require.

First and foremost, it is important to fully appraise the benefits octane boosters can have. To expect them to be some sort of a magical cure is unrealistic and it does not make up for poor engine maintenance. Rather, using an octane booster is a part of engine maintenance routines. It is easy to get fooled by ads that promise you the skies, but it is suggested to temper expectations.

To give an objective rule of thumb, octane boosters do not enhance octane ratings by much more than 5%. The median increase in RON is around 3%. These numbers are still sufficient enough to fulfill at least some of the purported promises of octane boosters. Prevention of engine knocking, better throttle reactions, healthier spark plugs and ignition times are commonly observed.  

Another important point to keep in mind is that all engines do not require an octane booster. It is imperative to meet high-octane fuel engine requirements to keep fuel quality at desired levels. On the other hand, smaller engines with higher revving powers can do without them.

What are Octane Boosters?

Octane boosters are best described as additives that are meant to enhance the fuel’s octane rating. While these may not be as effective in normal vehicles as they are in race cars, vehicle owners still consider them worthy of investment owing to their ability to multiply power and improve efficiency.

What the octane rating of gasoline indicates is the compression that the air/fuel mixture can handle before the mixture spontaneously combusts. Technically speaking, octane is a hydrocarbon compound in the fuel itself. Highly volatile, the eight hydrocarbon chains smoothen out the process involved in the combustion happening in the engine. This has a far-reaching impact on the acceleration generated and also provides a measure of knock resistance of the gasoline used.

Octane rating is dependent on several factors such as the spark timing, the engine temperature controls as well as the engine’s compression ratio. Simply speaking, quicker vehicles require a higher octane rating than vehicles with less powerful engines, and this is where an octane booster comes in. That being said, smaller engines may not even require octane boosters.

Benefits of Using Octane Booster

Octanes are measured in RON, which stands for Research Octane Number. Any modern gasoline engine is designed to be run on fuel with 91 RON, 95 RON or 98 RON. Higher octane ranges such as 100 RON are definitely present, but they usually find place only in high-demand engines such as those of race cars and boats, and are not meant for passenger cars. Since it is easier to have a common fuel standard, vehicle manufacturers adhere to these specifications.             

As a result, problems can arise when the fuel itself has an octane rating of less than 91 RON. This may be due to a variety of reasons ranging from poor production quality in the refinery itself to the presence of contaminants in the barrel used to store gasoline. If this misbalance is left unchecked, the engine can suffer from something referred to as engine knocking. In fact, engines today are designed to monitor fuel quality and adjust engine management routines to try and combat the onset of knocking.

In such a situation, the engine will be performing in a low-power phase and will still be under stress. Plus, fuel economy will take a hit. This is where the octane booster can be a fantastic tool. By lifting the RON index of the fuel, it will prevent the engine from feeling distressed for want of a higher-grade fuel. In fact, octanes come with several other functionalities such as fuel stabilising as well as cleaning up of clogged fuel system components.

Related Post: BG 4kk Fuel System Cleaner 

Essential Factors to Consider with Octane Boosters

The primary consideration should be identifying the specific requirement that the octane booster is intended to solve. Lots of octane boosters come with a variety of functions in addition to increasing the octane rating. For example, some serve as great cleaning agents while others allow for a more stable fuel mixture which helps the fuel retain its energy stores for extended periods of disuse. An important factor to take into consideration here would be type of engine that is used. After all, it is the engine that determines the fuel requirements of your vehicle.

Of course the next most important consideration is the budget. While the lower end boosters will not serve their purpose, it is not necessary that the most expensive will either. This flows from the earlier consideration about narrowing down the specific requirements. Depending upon the needs, an accurate assessment of the price spectrum can be made. One crucial factor to consider here would also be the frequency with which octane boosters will need to be used. Typically, octane boosters need to be used repeatedly, so factors such as packaging size and quality also become relevant considerations.

Lastly, another facet to take into account is reviews. Independent reviews go a long way in helping you to consider octane booster choices. Often the best way to determine is whether the advertised benefits are actually achievable or if they are merely claims made arising out of controlled tests only. In fact, exploring other reviews as well is strongly recommended because there are a variety of blends in which octane boosters can also be used.

Moreover, there are unique approaches in which these boosters are used and you will be able make a more reasoned choice before spending your money on any product. Experimentation also holds the key with regards to determining what works best for your engine specifications and the manner in which your vehicle is used. There is a school of thought that argues that driving styles have a significant impact on the octane requirements from the fuel.

Sources:

  1. Using Octane Boost Instead of Premium Fuel – HowStuffWorks
  2. 4 Things You Didn’t Know About Buying Premium Gas – HuffPost

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