At the design state of any vehicle, the manufacturer will establish the recommended fuel type based on the fuel system design, engine, and performance requirement of the vehicle.
High-performance vehicles will always require premium gas because of the architecture of the engine and the fuel system.
Also, the demand for the engine necessitates the need for premium gas. On the other hand, a vehicle designed to operate on regular gas (87 octane) should stick to this fuel type.
This is because injectors and the fuel system are designed to use low-grade fuel.
But what happens if you have no choice but to use premium gas on your regular car?
Can I Use Premium Gas If I Usually Use Regular?
You can use premium gas on a vehicle taht usually takes regular gas without a problem. However, this will not have any significant change effect on the performance or MPG of your vehicle to justify the extra cost, so unless your vehicle needs a higher grade fuel, regular is just fine.
Premium gas is slightly more expensive than regular gas.
Therefore, using premium gas on a vehicle rated to use regular gas is a total waste of money.
There are some subtle benefits of cleaning the fuel system, thanks to the detergent additive in the premium fuel, but that is just it.
There is no other benefit to your vehicle.
Buying something that your vehicle doesn’t need is a waste of money.
A gallon of premium gas costs a few cents more than regular gas, yet it has little effect on your car to justify the additional cost.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, there is no benefit in using fuel with a higher octane rating than that stipulated for your vehicle by the manufacturer.
It is recommended to stick to the fuel type that the manufacturer has recommended on the owner’s manual.
While a low octane-rated vehicle can run-on high-octane gas, it is a worthless endeavor to the vehicle’s overall output.
Premium Vs Regular Gas: All You Need To Know
Before we delve deeper into the use of either fuel type, it is important to understand the difference between these two types of fuels.
Depending on the state that you reside in, premium fuel is rated between 91 to 93 octane (high-grade gas).
At the same time, regular gas is rated 87 octane (low-grade gas).
The greater the octane rating, the more resistant the fuel is to detonation at higher pressures.
Also, as the octane level increases, the chances of detonation mistiming increase.
When this happens often, it may reduce your engine’s performance.
Premium gas contains high octane, which is necessary for engines with high compressions or turbocharges for optimal performance.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Is premium gas really worth it?
Yes, premium gas is worth it.
The 91 to 93 octane will lead to enhanced performance for vehicles designed to use the premium fuel in the first place.
Premium gas may be required for a variety of reasons.
This will entirely depend on the make and model of your vehicle.
When your vehicle is powered by a turbocharged engine, it is likely to require more power and thus will use high-octane fuel.
Also, high-performance vehicles that come equipped with high-torqued engines require premium gas as opposed to regular gas.
It is important to check the owner’s manual for the correct type of fuel recommended for your car and stick to it.
Using low-grade fuel on a premium car will gradually cause damages and even engine knocks.
Does premium gas give my car more mpg compared to regular gas?
No, you will not notice a significant improvement in the performance of your vehicle by using high octane fuel, especially if the vehicle is not designed to use premium gas.
The vehicle’s performance will be improved only if you use the correct manufacturer-recommended octane rating fuel.
Using the recommended gas will ensure you get better fuel economy.
Does Premium gas contain special detergent to clean my engine?
Yes, premium gas contains an additive that can be used to clean your engine.
But so does the regular gas.
Nowadays, all fuel types come with additives that help clean up the fuel system.
This should not be a justification for the extra cost you have to incur on premium gas.
Unless you notice an excessive buildup of carbon and other gunk in the engine, it is the only reason that may benefit from the extra detergent in premium gas.
Alternatively, you can use appropriate engine additives with your regular gas.
Will my vehicle warranty be void if I use premium gas on my regular car?
There is a possibility of your warranty being void, but this will also depend on many other factors.
Using premium gas on your regular car doesn’t have a very significant effect in terms of damaging the engine.
But, it is not recommended to do that in the long haul.
Unless the prolonged use of the wrong fuel leads to complications or knocking of the engine, that is when the dealer may consider looking into the issue of voiding the warranty.
What makes the premium gas special?
What makes the premium gas special is the high octane number.
While regular gas has 87 octane, premium gas consists of over 91 octane level.
The octane is the component in premium gas that is responsible for increasing the resistance of the fuel to detonate prematurely.
Therefore, your fuel’s octane content directly affects how resistant it is to pre-detonation, which can induce spark knock.
How do I know whether my vehicle should use premium or regular gas?
You can tell if you need premium gas by simply looking at the door of your gas tank or on the owner’s manual.
Only vehicles with a “Premium Fuel Required” sticker on the fuel door require that you strictly use premium gas.
This is determined after several tests by the manufacturer to establish the correct octane rating for optimum performance of your vehicle.
When you use regular gasoline on a high-performance vehicle, there will be a decrease in power and fuel economy with an increased risk of the “Check Engine” light illuminating due to engine failure.
If your vehicle reads “Premium Fuel Recommended” on the fuel door, it means you will get better performance when you use premium gas, but still, you can use regular gas for this case with smooth running and efficiency.
Today, engines are designed to adjust to the fuel type available; even though the premium is recommended, you may choose to use regular because of the cost implications.
For such vehicles, it is fine, and there is no risk of damaging the engine because it was factored in the design of the vehicle.
Regular gas is the fuel type that the vast majority of cars use.
Premium gas comes at an additional cost, but will not benefit a regular car that much.
While using the premium gas on a vehicle that has used regular gas will not affect the performance of the vehicle, it is not recommended.
The distinction between regular and premium gas is not always clear that consumers sometimes overpay to get the best fuel that will offer them the best performance.
Unfortunately, it is not usually the case.
If your vehicle was designed to use regular gas, it would perform at its optimum when using regular gas.