Have you ever wondered what the difference is between gas grades? And does it really make a difference which grade you choose?
Facts About Premium & Regular Gas
1. There are no added benefits to your car when you use premium gas if your car doesn’t require it. Your car will not last longer or run better if you use premium gas when you don’t need to. You will be wasting your money too. Premium gas costs anywhere from 15-30 cents more a gallon. Why spend more when you’ll see no difference in speed, mileage, performance or a cleaner running car? It makes financial sense to just use regular gas unless it’s recommend to use premium.
2. Cars that have high-performance engines or are older may require premium gas to prevent knocking. Turbocharged cars and cars that are older are heavier and have compression ratios that are higher and will knock unless premium fuel is used.
3. Your car may require premium gas, but it usually won’t hurt your car to use regular. When a car requires premium gas it’s because it has a compression engine. You’ll be fine using regular gas unless you start to hear knocking in the engine. Newer cars have knock sensors and computers that will automatically adjust to maximize performance for any grade of gas. You may have a reduced fuel economy if you decide to go with regular when premium is recommended. You may want to be more careful if you are leasing your car. You don’t want regular gas affecting the engine. You may want to use premium gas if you’re in situations that require extra power like performance driving with hard acceleration, towing a lot of weight (especially over steep hills) and driving in extreme heat.
4. A car that requires premium gas will optimize its power when premium gas is used. You will only get the advertised horsepower on a vehicle that requires premium if you use premium. However, many consumers state that they don’t see a change in power when they switch from premium to regular.
5. Octane ratings vary from state to state. There are states that require a minimum rating of 90 to be considered premium, while others require 92. Most gas stations offer three grades of octane gas: regular (typically 87octane), mid-grade (typically 89 octane) and premium (usually 91 or 93). The yellow stickers will tell you what the octane ratings are.
How to Increase the Fuel Efficiency of Your Car
The way you drive and how you take care of your vehicle will have an impact on how much fuel you’ll use. You can save money and reduce pollution by keeping your vehicle well-tuned. Check your tires to make sure they are well inflated and aligned. Don’t carry around weight you don’t need and keep track of your fuel economy. While you’re driving, drive moderately. Driving too fast and quick stops and starts increase fuel use and emissions. Try to avoid idling your vehicle for more than a minute and try to park in the shade to minimize fuel evaporation and keep your car cooler.