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When to Use Premium Gasoline

When you pull up to the gas pump, do you choose premium or regular gasoline? Premium gasoline sounds like it should be a better choice for your vehicle, but this isn’t the case. Learning the difference between premium and regular gasoline can help you decide which type of petrol you should use.

at the gas station pumping premium gas


Understanding Premium Gasoline

Premium gasoline has a higher-octane rating (91 to 93) than regular gasoline (87 to 89). These ratings measure how much the gas can be compressed in your car’s engine before it ignites. When gasoline ignites at the wrong compression, it causes engine knocking that typically creates a rattling sound and may damage your engine over time.

It’s also more expensive. Premium gasoline can cost as much as 13 per cent more than regular gas.


When to Use Premium Gasoline

There are two instances in which you might elect to use premium gasoline: when it’s required and when it’s recommended. Here’s a brief look at these two scenarios:

 

  • If it’s required. High-performance vehicles such as sports cars and vehicles with turbochargers require premium fuel because their engines have higher compression ratios. Using premium gasoline in these vehicles increases engine performance, horsepower and fuel efficiency. On the other hand, using regular gas could lead to engine knocking, lower fuel efficiency, less power and higher carbon dioxide emissions.

 

  • If it’s recommended. Some automakers recommend premium gasoline but it isn’t necessary to use it. The vehicle may see an increase in efficiency, but running it on regular gasoline won’t cause any engine damage.


Premium Gasoline Won’t Help Most Cars

For the vast majority of cars on the road, premium gasoline has no real benefit. Most vehicles will run just fine on cheaper, lower-octane fuels.

In fact, the Federal Trade Commission in the United States says using a higher-octane gasoline than your owner’s manual recommends offers absolutely no benefit. It won’t make your car perform better, go faster, get better mileage or run cleaner.


Look for Top Tier Gasoline Instead

More important than your octane rating is the amount of detergent mixed into the gasoline. Detergents clean your engine as your drive, preventing carbon build-up and deposits on the intake valve.  It also reduces emissions.

Look for Top Tier gasoline or diesel, available at many gas stations across Canada. Top-Tier gasoline exceeds government standards for detergent additives. It costs a bit more but benefits your car more than any premium gasoline.


Vehicle Maintenance and Repair in British Columbia and Alberta

No matter what gasoline you choose, professionally maintaining your vehicle’s engine optimizes performance and fuel efficiency. At Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centres we provide complete auto maintenance and tune-ups. Visit one of our 16 locations in British Columbia and Alberta or contact us today to book an appointment.

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