When you pull up to the pump, you can most often expect to put regular gasoline in your car-right? What do the other gasoline options even offer? Is there a difference between regular and premium gasoline? And, which type of gasoline should I be putting in my Subaru? With all of these questions about types of gasoline circling around, we thought it might help if our team of automotive experts took a stab at helping to explain the difference between regular and premium gas for your car. Read on.
Premium vs. Regular Gas Explained: What's the Difference?
Some cars take regular gas; others take premium. And, the difference between these two grades isn't obvious to the casual car owner. Here, we'll explain the difference to help you avoid misguided spending at the pump.
So, what's the big difference? The octane rating. In most states, regular gas is rated at 87 octane. Premium gas is often rated higher, at or above 91. The higher the octane level, the better gasoline can stand up to higher compression before it detonates. Engines with high compression ratios may require higher octane fuel to function properly. In layman's terms, premium gas is for cars that require premium gas; for cars that can take regular gas, it does not make sense to pay more for the premium option.
What If My Car Requires Premium Gas?
If your car requires premium gas (read your manual to find out or ask your mechanic the next time you take it in for service!), fuel your car with premium. If you try to run on lower octane fuel, your car may have less power and lower fuel efficiency. If your car recommends premium, but does not require it, then it's up to you-however, studies show that choosing premium in a car that can run on premium has shown increases in car performance over regular.
What If My Car Only Needs Regular Gas?
If your car only requires regular gas, and does not recommend premium gas, you should probably stick with regular gas. Don't pay extra for something that won't have any impact on your fuel efficiency or power. Premium gasoline costs roughly fifty cents more a gallon than regular gas and you likely won't notice a difference in car performance.
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