What’s the difference between premium gasoline and regular unleaded—and do you really have to use it? You might be overpaying at the pump. The confusion often stems from whether your car requires or simply recommends premium gasoline. (Most cars are optimized for regular gas.) Plus, given the fact that premium gas is undeniably more expensive, you might be tempted to just fill up with regular fuel.
To understand what will work best for your car, you need to know that fuel with a higher octane rating can withstand higher rates of compression before detonating, which makes it suitable or even necessary for engines with turbochargers or high compression rates. Here’s some information from a mechanic in Port Charlotte, FL.
If your car doesn’t recommend or require premium
Unless your car specifically requires premium gasoline, you can save your money and fill up on regular without fear of harming your engine. The FTC has found that high-octane gas will not confer any significant benefit—that is, it won’t run faster, cleaner or anything else that might make the extra money worth it. In fact, it’s the fuel additives that offer those bonuses, and many gas stations offer their own brand.
When your car recommends premium
If your car manufacturer only recommends premium, you can decide whether to use it or not. It won’t hurt your engine or void your warranty. You may see slightly better performance if you use premium gasoline, but usually it won’t be such a significant difference that you might feel it justifies the cost. However, if you find that your car’s performance significantly decreases or you hear engine knock, that is a sign you may want to upgrade to premium gasoline.
If your car requires premium
When your car requires premium gasoline, that means that it needs high-compression fuel for it to reach its intended performance and emissions. If you use regular gas, your car will be far less powerful and less fuel-efficient, which won’t save you any money in the long run. Using regular gas also makes your engine prone to developing engine knock. It’s a once-in-a-while solution if you’re desperate, not an everyday occurrence.
In fact, some manufacturers so strongly insist that you use premium gasoline that using regular fuel could actually void your car warranty. Ultimately, it’s up to you whether you think it’s worth it to risk the warranty, reduced performance and engine knock, but we always recommend you follow your vehicle manufacturer’s instructions to guarantee the best possible performance.
Trust Ice Cold Auto Repair to keep your car in top shape
If you need auto repair or advice from a mechanic in Port Charlotte, FL, Ice Cold Auto Repair’s team of ASE-certified technicians would be happy to help you find solutions. Ice Cold Auto Repair is a full-service auto center and AC specialist serving local drivers with integrity and automotive excellence. Stop by today to talk to one of our friendly mechanics to schedule your next tune-up and find out why our customers keep coming back!
Categorised in: Auto Mechanic
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