Premium Gas

May 4, 2011

People still have the misconception that premium gas is better than regular. Gas companies are good at misleading the public with their fancy advertisements on TV and on the web. The truth is that most cars will do just fine on regular gasoline. It’s the high performance and turbocharged cars that need the premium stuff. So which grade is right for your car?

Well, you probably heard this a million times before but you really have to look at the owner’s manual to see what the recommendations are. With gas prices hovering over the 4 dollar mark you simply can’t afford to throw money down the drain like that.

If the owner’s manual says it recommends premium fuel then it should be fine to use regular in your car. But I personally would stay on the safe side and use premium. If the owner’s manual says the car requires premium fuel then you should only use premium fuel. Did you catch the difference? The keywords to look for are “recommend” and “require”. If the manual says your car requires premium fuel then your car really requires the expensive suds.

Using regular gas in a premium engine will not destroy your engine because the knock sensor will compensate for the loss of octane. But do this on a consistent basis and your engine could suffer damage over time. If you bought a car that requires premium gas then you probably paid a pretty penny for it. Give the car what it deserves.

A lot of people think that premium fuel is more refined and cleaner than regular fuel. I used to think that premium fuel was regular fuel that was triple filtered and given the 5-star treatment. Again, the magic of marketing. Premium fuel is actually less combustible than regular fuel and the expensive engines thrive off of this type of fuel. It’s just the way engines are designed.

Another thing to note is that using premium gas in a regular engine can be bad for the engine, not to mention the money thrown down the drain. So has all of this confused you yet? Bottom line, be on the safe side and use premium gas only if the owner’s manual requires or recommends it.

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