Not everyone understands the differences between regular and premium gasoline, and the result is that many car owners pay more at the pump than they need to. Therefore, it’s a good idea to learn whether your car actually needs premium gas.
The higher the octane of a type of gasoline, the more it can stand up to high compression rates without detonating, and premium gas has a higher octane rating than regular gas. If your vehicle has an engine that is engineered for performance by having a high-compression rate, it needs premium gasoline because regular gasoline will not stand up to the compression without detonating at the wrong time, and this will ultimately be bad for the engine. However, the engines of most vehicles sold today are designed to run on regular gasoline; using premium won’t gain you anything.
Check your owner’s manual
It will almost always say in the owner’s manual for a vehicle whether premium gasoline is needed. If premium isn’t recommended, don’t use it because it will do absolutely nothing for your vehicle. You’re just pumping away your money.
The importance of detergents
It’s important to take note of the detergents in the gasoline you’re using, and these are actually more important for the health of your engine that octane ratings. Gasoline companies generally make the same formula of detergents available in both regular and premium octane levels. Detergents clean the engine and help boost performance.
Use premium if you need to
Premium gasoline is recommended for many high-performance engines, and it is generally recommended for turbocharged engines in particular. If premium gasoline is recommended for your vehicle, use it because trying to save money by putting in regular gas will decrease performance and cost you more over time. If premium gasoline isn’t available, it is usually okay to use regular gas for a while, but don’t get into a habit of this.
There are some engines that will run well on both premium and regular gasoline, but this is not often the case. If it is, then usually premium is a better bet because it’s going to increase performance and can be seen as an investment over time. Furthermore, using regular gas in such engines can lead to increased carbon dioxide emissions, and this is bad for everyone. Ultimately, it’s all about knowing your own vehicle.