Should I put premium or regular gas in my car?

By Product Expert | Posted in Technology, Tips and Tricks on Thursday, November 30th, 2017 at 8:19 pm

When it comes to maintaining your vehicle, the engine is a key component. While the wheels and tires may have the most contact with the road, the engine literally keeps everything moving. Whether it’s a four-cylinder or a V-6, it’s important to keep everything in top condition, which can sometimes depend on the fuel that you use. We are going to explore the difference between premium and regular fuel below to answer the question: “Should I put premium or regular gas in my car?”

Read More: What’s the difference between gasoline and diesel engines?
 

What’s the difference between premium and regular fuel?

yellow 2013 Chevy Camaro having fun on a race track
fuel gauge with the indicator in the red at empty
green gas pump fueling a car with a hand

Engine Performance

If your vehicle is designed for regular fuel, premium fuel will make no difference in your performance. However, if your car is designed for premium, then sticking with the higher octane fuel is a good idea. Using regular fuel once or twice might not cause engine problems, but it won’t let the engine function to its top potential. Best case scenario: you will loose some engine output and efficiency. Worse case scenario: engine knocking.

Gas Mileage

Engines will give you the best fuel-efficiency with the fuel they are designed for. Adding premium to a regular gas engine will have no benefits to the mileage, while using regular gas in an engine designed for high octane fuel may cost you when it comes to miles-per-gallon. This probably won’t be a huge differences (many modern engines are designed to re-calibrate depending on the available fuel), but it will still be a difference.

Cost at the Pump

Premium (or high octane) fuel is usually more expensive. It should be used in high-performance vehicles and in older cars that were designed for a premium engine. In other cases, using regular fuel is just fine, and will save you many cents per gallon. Most of the vehicles in the pre-owned inventory here at Third Coast Auto Group take regular gasoline, which makes them more affordable in the long run than other models.


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