Can I Put Premium Gas in My Car?

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Not every car needs premium gas, but many people want to use it in their vehicles anyway. 

But should it be used? Or is regular gas just as good?

Can I Put Premium Gas in My Car?

Premium gas can be used in any standard car, but most vehicles do not require it. While premium gas does slightly increase engine optimization, the benefits are insignificant compared to the extra cost. Premium gas is unlikely to damage engines that don’t need it.

If your car doesn’t need premium gas, you shouldn’t use it.

You can, but you shouldn’t. Let’s talk about why that is.

What Is Premium Gas?

Premium gas is any gas with an octane number higher than 90. 

Different gas stations set the bar at different places between premium and midrange, but it’s uncommon to see premium gas be a number lower than 90.

The octane number measures the likelihood of the gas igniting before the engine is ready for it to do so. 

The higher the number is, the less often the gas ignites prematurely.

Most engines are designed to run on regular gas, which is about 87 octane.

Some high-performance engines need high octane fuel to prevent them from getting seriously damaged by the effects of engine knocking, which can occur when fuel ignites prematurely. 

However, normal engines are built to take a little bit of engine knocking, which makes premium gas a lot less important for them.

Some premium gas has various cleaning agents mixed in with the gasoline. 

This can help keep high-performing engines clean and running at optimal efficiency.

That being said, normal engines don’t actually need a lot of cleaning. 

This makes the cleaning effects of premium gas a lot less useful than you might expect.

Can You Put Premium Gas In Your Car?

While there is very little reason to do so, you can definitely put premium gas in your car.

For most normal vehicles, premium gas does not provide a noticeable increase in performance or do any useful service to the engine. 

However, having a higher octane fuel in your engine probably won’t do any damage, as using regular fuel would do to a high-performance engine.

Contrary to popular belief, premium gas doesn’t significantly increase fuel economy in normal engines either. 

While there is some minor improvement, for most vehicles, the extra cost far outweighs the benefit of the increased miles per gallon.

If, for some reason, you have a lot of premium gas, a car with no fuel in it, and a great will to drive, then filling your regular engine with premium gas would be a fine choice. 

Your car would run fine and your desire for propulsion would be satisfied. 

Outside of this specific highly unlikely circumstance, regular gas would certainly be better.

It will work almost just as well, and it will be less expensive.

When Should You Put Premium Gas In Your Car?

You should only put premium gas in your car if it is necessary to prevent damage to your engine, or you have no other choice. 

The most common reason you might need to put premium gas in your car is if your vehicle’s manual suggests that you only use premium gas.

Saying “only use premium gas” is the manual’s way of telling you that lower octane fuels are likely to cause engine knocking. 

Using regular gas in such a vehicle is likely to cause undue wear and tear to build up over time, and the kind of high-end engines that need premium gas are extremely expensive to repair or replace. 

They’re also built with more efficient fuel in mind, and unlike regular engines, they often function better with higher octane gas.

Because of this, if your car’s user manual says it requires premium gas, only fill it up with premium gas.

Some user manuals only recommend premium gas rather than outright requiring it. 

If this is the case, you should try using premium, mid-grade, and regular gas to see if there’s a serious difference in performance. 

Most of these engines function fine on regular, so the only reason you’d want to use premium gas for them instead would be if the fuel economy is significantly improved.

If you don’t want to spend time reading your car’s owner’s manual, you can also often find this information behind your car’s fuel door.

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Can I Put Premium Gas In My Motorcycle?

Motorcycle engines are pretty much the same as car engines in the sense that you can always put higher octane fuel in the engine if you need to, but it’s a bad idea to give them fuel that is below their recommended octane levels. 

However, for motorcycles, there is a reason aside from engine requirements that you might fill them up with premium rather than regular fuel.

High octane fuel doesn’t deteriorate nearly as fast as regular fuel does, which means that if you plan on leaving your motorcycle for a long time without riding, it’s better if you fill it up with premium fuel because it means that less of that fuel is turning into gunk and grime while you let it sit. 

So, if you plan on putting your bike in the garage and letting it sit all winter, you should consider using premium gas as your last fill-up before you do so.

However, if you use your motorcycle every day, you won’t have to worry about fuel deterioration, since you’ll likely be using up all the fuel in the tank over the course of a few days. 

Because of this, you only need to put premium fuel in your motorcycle if you have a high-performance engine that requires it, or you only use your bike every once in a while.

Can I Put Premium Gas in My Lawnmower?

Because you can use premium gas on your car and your motorcycle whenever you want, you may be wondering if you can also use premium gas on other engines, such as a lawnmower.

Unlike cars and motorcycles, most push lawnmowers are built to run on the lowest possible octane.

 Because of this, some lawnmowers might not be able to take premium gas without sustaining damage to the engine or fuel system.

There also aren’t any benefits to using premium gas rather than regular gas in lawnmowers.

You should always check your lawnmower’s user manual before deciding to use a different octane of gas in it than usual. 

While it is fairly likely to be fine, it’s always better to check just in case.