| General Information

Questions About Premium Gas

If you’re a driver who uses premium gasoline in your car, you may actually be wasting your money. Unless your car manufacturer recommends premium gas for your vehicle (such as many performance engines), you really don’t need to use it.

The main difference between regular gasoline and premium gasoline is the octane rating. Premium gas has a higher octane rating, which means it has a lower chance of premature ignition when it’s compressed. Therefore, premium gas is best for engines with lower compression ratios. If your car should take premium gas and you use regular instead, you could risk engine knocking or pinging.

Many people believe that premium gas gives your car better gas mileage and has additives that can clean out your fuel system, but in reality, there’s really not much difference between premium and regular. Some companies do use additives in their gas, but on average, most gas companies are the same and aside from the octane rating, their regular and premium gas are nearly the same.

Older Cars

One way premium gas can help your car is if your car is older. As a car ages, carbon deposits can build up  in the cylinders and in turn, can cause an increase in the combustion ratio. If your older car has been experiencing engine knocks or pings, it could mean your regular gasoline is prematurely igniting and you may want to consider switching to premium; constant knocking or pinging can damage your engine.

The bottom line is: If your owner’s manual doesn’t say anything about using premium gasoline, your car doesn’t need it. In fact, your car likely won’t even notice the difference between the two types of gas; your wallet will, however.

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