No, your engine was designed and tuned with the recommended fuel from the factory and it will operate best with the recommended octane rating, usually a sticker on the fuel flap will indicate the minimum recommended fuel octane rating for your vehicle. If you ignore this and use the lower rated fuel, your engine will run rough, affect fuel consumption and performance.
If you continue this long term, your engine’s internals will deteriorate and potentially end with acatastrophic failure causing severe internal wear like burned or cracked pistons and rings as well as valves and much more. This will require a full engine tear down and replacement of many new components adding up a decent bill. So saving a few cents per liter at the pump is not worth the long-term damage it can cause to your engine.
Yes, essentially it cleans and lubricates your fuel and emissions system. Because of this, there will be less deposits building up inside your engine resulting in a smoother and more fuel-efficient engine, which also prevents corrosion.
Premium fuels are engineered to help protect against internal wear and tear on critical parts of your engine: pistons, rings valves and combustion chamber. You are potentially saving yourself engine repairs too as there will be less components suffering from bad fuel.
According to many scientific research and studies have shown that higher octane fuel will lower the emissions of your vehicle meaning your engine will use less fuel giving you more traveling distance per liter.
The Australian Government’s Department of the Environment and Energy notes that the vehicles using higher-octane fuels are more efficient, therefore using less fuel and creating fewer greenhouse-gas emissions.
Minimum fuel rating at the pump is 91 RON. This is the minimum recommendation. It is totally fine to upgrade to a higher octane, actually you are giving your engine a deluxe treat if you do.
It is common amongst European cars for minimum octane to be 95 and up. You should stick with this because if you put 91 then your car will make lots of weird pop and knocking noises coming from the engine. This is called detonation, pinging or knock.
Not to worry, because you can eliminate this by pouring an octane booster in your tank available at any servo.
Another important note is that diesel doesn’t go in a petrol car and vice versa.