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Do I Really Need More Expensive Gas?

This is a good one, and your wallet will thank you in the end! Did you know that most cars take regular and only a few others require premium? The difference between these two grades of gasoline isn’t completely obvious, which has led to some misguided spending at the pump. If you’re not sure what you should be filling up with, let us help clarify for you  

What’s the difference between premium and regular gas?

Regular gas is rated at 87 octane in most states, while premium gas is often rated higher at 91 or 93. Fuel with a higher octane rating can stand up to higher compression before it detonates. In Essence, the higher the octane rating, the lower the likelihood that detonation happens at the wrong time. On occasion, this occurrence will likely not harm your vehicle. However, if it happens frequently it may quicken the decline of your engine’s performance. 

Engines with high compression ratios or turbochargers often require high octane fuel found in premium gas for optimal performance and fuel efficiency. However, most cars on the road today are adjusted to run on regular gas.

If your car doesn’t require premium, fill up with regular.

Why pay good money for something you don’t need? Premium gasoline costs on average about fifty cents more a gallon than regular and has no positive or negative effect on vehicles that can’t take advantage of it. In a consumer notice, the Federal Trade Commission, notes: “In most cases, using a higher-octane gasoline than your owner’s manual recommends offers absolutely no benefit. It won’t make your car perform better, go faster, get better mileage or run cleaner.”

The detergent additives in your gasoline are far more important than the octane level, as they help clean your engine and optimize performance. Each retailer offers a different blend of additives, used across all grades. For example, you can find Chevron’s Techron in both their regular and premium gas.

If your car requires premium, fill up with premium.

Engines with a high compression ratio typically require higher octane fuel to achieve its intended level of performance, fuel efficiency and emissions. If your car requires premium gas, don’t skimp out. While you might save money on gas, your car will be less powerful and fuel-efficient. This can make a huge difference in vehicles with available turbocharged engines.