Behind the Wheel

Should You Buy Premium Gas?

August 31, 2014
I was amazed when I read this article on myths about premium gas. I’ve always thought that premium gas is better for any car, and even a necessity for some higher end cars. But according to the guys of Car Talk, it’s just not true! Here’s what they taught me about the difference between premium and regular gas…
  • Premium gas doesn’t give you more miles per gallon than regular gas. Different brands of gas have different additives, and that is where the mileage will have the most variance. So if you want to get better gas mileage, try regular gas at a different gas station!
  • Cars designed to run on regular gas have absolutely no benefit from running on premium instead. It’s just a waste of money!
  • Even cars that call for premium gas don’t really need it. These types of cars usually have a high-compression engine, and the premium gas will give some extra performance, but only in rare circumstances (like when hauling a large load up a mountain).
  • Cars designed for premium gas that experience “pinging and knocking” can resolve their problems with high-octane gas rather than premium gas.
  • All gas has enough additives to keep your car clean and running well. The “special additives” in premium gas aren’t so special, because they’re excessive and unnecessary.
  • One word of warning: Gas from places like Costco and Walmart may be lower grade than name brand gas. If you have over 100,000 miles on your car, consider using name brand gas every other time you fill your tank, to keep your engine clean.
So, did you learn anything new? I certainly did! I’m glad to know I don’t have to feel guilty about buying regular gas for my car. And I’ll certainly try to buy name brand regular gas every once and awhile to help my car out!

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