Homemade Octane Boost


Often used by racers and weekend enthusiasts, octane boosters enhance the effective octane rating of fuel. Gas with a higher octane provides increased protection against detonation; a condition which occurs when extremely hot intake air is mixed with fuel, leading to unpredictable or premature combustion. Usually accompanied by an audible knock or "pinging" sound, detonation can potentially cause severe -- sometimes catastrophic -- engine damage. In addition to raising a fuel's knock resistance, octane boosters also provide more complete and controlled ignition within the combustion chamber. This allows tuners to run aggressive boost, timing and air-fuel ratios, all of which contribute to significantly increased engine output.

Things You'll Need

  • Toluene
  • Mineral spirits
  • Transmission fluid
  • Clean 1 quart oil containers
  • Safety attire (including goggles)
  • Vat, medium-sized (approximately 10 gallons)
  • Funnel
  • Put on safety attire in a well-ventilated work area.

  • Pour 100 ounces of Toluene and 25 ounces of mineral spirits into vat. Toluene is a form of paint thinner and has an octane rating of 110 or more. Most vehicles are desinged to run on 87 octane fuel, with some gas stations offering 94 octane at the pump for high performance engines.

  • Add in 3 ounces of transmission fluid, used to lubricate the finished product, and mix well.

  • Using a funnel, pour product into oil containers and label appropriately.

  • Fill gas tank with up to 20 gallons of gas and add 16 ounces (half a quart-sized bottle) of octane booster.

Tips & Warnings

  • Kerosene (also known as jet fuel) or diesel can be used in place of mineral spirits.
  • Two-stroke engine oil can be used as a substitute for transmission fluid.
  • Use caution when working with raw Toluene as it is corrosive in high concentrations.
  • Adding pure Toluene to gas tank can cause irreversible engine damage.
  • When increasing turbo boost or ignition timing, make sure you have a working knock sensor and air-fuel gauge in order to monitor engine conditions.
  • Octane boosters can be indefinitely stored in oil containers, although it's highly toxic and should always be kept tightly sealed and labelled.

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  • Photo Credit Refuelling by gasoline of the modern car image by terex from Fotolia.com
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