What are octane boosters and how do they work?

Is it witchcraft, or are they actually useful?

2w ago

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It's easy to forget the fundamentals of driving a combustion-engined car. There you are, on your favourite road with your music on, your warm tyres hugging the Tarmac like an old friend and your cornering speeds set to "probably a bit too fast, if we're honest". You're in the mood for an aimless drive – one of the best feelings in all of motoring.

But you're probably not thinking about the thousands of tiny explosions happening in your engine. Sure, you might be enjoying the tearing-sheet-metal induction noise of your E46 M3's straight-six, or the manic growl of your MX-5's four pot – however it's unlikely that you're giving much though to the tiny bangs. They're quite important though.

How to make bigger bang

Combustion engines are, obviously, reliant on lots of controlled explosions to force your pistons into action and to power your wheels. It's oddly archaic when you think about it. But if you're in the business of getting a little more power out of your engine then one way to do it is to make each explosion in your engine a bit more potent.

Which is where octane boosters come in. Octane boosters – such as Liqui Moly's sensibly named 'Octane Booster', are products that you pour into your fuel tank. They contain chemicals that raise the octane rating of the fuel in your tank for better performance.

Liqui Moly's product is designed to improve throttle response at low and medium throttle loads, which is how most people tend to drive modern turbocharged engines. As well as increasing the fuel's octane number (which is usually about 95 RON - research octane number - in the UK), Liqui Moly's Octane Booster also helps spring clean your engine as it passes through it and burns.

It's designed to help clean your fuel lines, intake ports and injector nozzles, which should go some way to helping your car perform better for subsequent tanks of fuel – even if you don't use the Octane Booster with every tank. But when you do add a can of it to 30-70 litres of fuel, you should expect stronger acceleration as a result of the more efficient combustion in your engine. Learning engine control units (ECUs) can take a few tanks to adjust for higher octane fuel, so it's worth getting a few cans of octane booster if you're really after peak performance and efficiency.

Modded cars could really use a boost

If you've chip tuned your car then the company that did it may have advised using Premium Unleaded to avoid any nasty surprises from your engine and to keep it healthy. By using an octane booster you can achieve similar results – a cleaner engine and stronger performance.

Find out more about Liqui Moly's Octane Booster here.

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Comments (40)

  • To be able to use octane boost you'd have to have petrol available


    Also a different, much more convenient solution is, buy higher octane petrol

      18 days ago
  • Just buy better fuel and forget the additives.

      16 days ago
  • Or buy 30 bottles in lieu of a tank of impossible to find petrol

      14 days ago
  • Do cetane boosters work for mapped diesels? 🤔

      18 days ago
    • I would recommend using a cetane booster, I do in my blue Seat Leon that I’ve had a little work done to you can find out more at the garage part of my page, she runs a little more happily with the cetane.

        18 days ago
    • Might try it and see if it makes a difference to mine.

        18 days ago
  • I used to do my own work on all my cars. Now even though I have essentially a car service station that even has an inspection pit in my garage. I am not qualified to do anything really except wash my 2020 AMG GT R or G 63. So I can at least pretend to be a mechanic with a bottle of octane boost with my garbage California gas. Btw gents I am selling my home here in Nor Cal. I am moving to London but for the right buyer- I am including my shop tools for free. I have built and fabricated custom Harleys, a drag bike, 1972 custom Bronco. Redwood trees in the 3 acre yard up in Santa cruz mtns of California. Pacific ocean views and sunsets even though I am about 4 miles from coast. The mtn property overlooks the plains down to the coast and Sunset. Anyhow I am hoping to find someone who will enjoy a shop. I can’t take it all to London with me so I want to treat someone. Having hard time finding a buyer who will really use it all. Some fairly soft dudes here. Sad

      8 days ago