Will premium gas increase power?

Premium, also known as 93 octane gasoline, is the most expensive gasoline at the pump. Premium gasoline does and does not give more horsepower, depending on the type of automotive engine it is used in.

  • Premium gasoline does and does not give more horsepower, depending on the type of automotive engine it is used in. High Performance Engines High performance engines gain horsepower from the use of premium gasoline. Examples include vehicles of brands like Volvo and Mercedes or sport models of motorcycles.

Does premium gas boost performance?

Premium gas was designed to help vehicles with a high compression ratio perform better. These vehicles feature pistons that go further into the cylinders, so using higher octane fuel can be beneficial for the overall performance and efficiency. Octane tells us how much the fuel can be compressed before it ignites.

Will higher octane gas increase horsepower?

Higher octane fuel will not offer any better fuel mileage, increase engine horsepower, or make the engine start quicker. Higher octane only increases the likelihood that the combustion will be controlled, and your engine will perform as it was designed.

How much HP does 93 octane add?

There is no difference in HP between 91 and 93 octane UNLESS you have had your car tuned for 91 octane but can NOW get 93 octane. Well just putting in the 93 octane won’t give you any more HP. You need to get the car retuned for the higher octane gas.

What happens if you put 93 instead of 87?

If you usually fill your tank up with 87-octane gasoline and you accidentally put in a higher octane blend (say, 91, 92, or 93), don’t worry. You’re actually filling your car or truck with a different blend of gas, which means it will burn differently in your engine.

Does premium gas help your engine?

If your engine runs fine on regular, filling it with premium is unlikely to boost acceleration or fuel economy by more than insignificant amounts. The higher octane of premium gas won’t make your car faster; in fact, the opposite is possible because higher-octane fuel technically has less energy than lower-octane fuel.

Why does Premium gas increase horsepower?

Octane allows an engine to run at higher compression ratios and use more of the energy in gasoline. More energy equals the ability to do more work, and that means a properly engineered vehicle will go farther or faster on the same amount of gasoline.

Is premium gas better for turbo engines?

Originally Answered: Does turbo car need premium gas? Yes! Turbos generate more heat and boost which contributes to pre-ignition condition of the fuel in the engine. Premium gas is higher octane, so it resists pre-ignition better than regular gas.

What happens if you put premium gas in a regular car?

Putting Regular Fuel in a Car That Requires Premium Using lower octane fuel in a vehicle that requires premium gas could cause some serious internal damage. You’ll most likely notice the spark knock (a sort of high-pitched pinging or rattling noise).

Is premium gas really worth it?

In a consumer notice, the Federal Trade Commission, notes: “In most cases, 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.”

Does premium gas burn slower?

Fuel with an 87 octane rating burns more quickly while higher-octane fuels burn more slowly. In engines designed for standard unleaded fuel, efficiency and performance is optimized for 87 octane and could actually perform worse with higher-octane fuel since the burn rate is slower.

How much does octane affect horsepower?

The 91-octane fuel showed a decrease in power after a 1-horsepower increase from the baseline pull. However, as it got hotter on the dyno, it showed an even greater a loss of power.

Is higher octane gasoline better?

Raising the octane rating (also known as the anti-knock index) doesn’t change the energy content of a gallon of gasoline. A higher octane rating indicates greater resistance to knock, the early combustion of the fuel-air mixture that causes cylinder pressure to spike.

Which vehicles require premium gas?

15 ‘Regular’ Cars That Take Premium Fuel

  • Buick Envision (with 2.0L turbo)
  • Buick Regal (all models)
  • Buick Regal TourX (all models)
  • Chevrolet Equinox (with 2.0-L turbo)
  • Chevrolet Malibu (with 2.0-L turbo)
  • Fiat 500L (all models)
  • GMC Terrain (with 2.0-L turbo)
  • Honda Civic (with 1.5-L turbo)

Is Premium Gas Worth It? We Test High Octane on 4 Popular Vehicles

This article appears in the July 2019 edition of Car and Driver. As any good click-generating headline will tell you, the trend that is altering the way Americans walk is far more subtle than most people realize. Electric vehicles will not be seen in large numbers at country music festivals, county fairs, or Tractor Supply parking lots for decades to come, according to industry experts. True mobility will prove to be as elusive as getting tasty vegan bacon in any given location. The tale of smaller engines working harder is one that we are currently living, and it can be found in anything from family crossovers to six-figure autobahn barges.

Because today’s engines are so clever, even non-performance automobiles in the mainstream may reap the benefits of operating on higher-octane premium gasoline.

When it comes to premiums, manufacturers are rarely forthcoming with specifics on the advantages of paying for them.

As of this writing, premium petrol was tracking at $0.59 more per gallon than ordinary unleaded gasoline.

  • Raising the octane rating (also known as the anti-knock index) of gasoline has no effect on the amount of energy contained in a gallon of petrol.
  • A lower octane rating indicates greater susceptibility to knock.
  • Marc Urbano is a chauffeur and a car.
  • With its turbocharged 1.5-liter inline-four, the Honda CR-V serves as a stand-in for a wide range of cheap crossovers and sedans.
  • Ford’s F-150 is the best-selling truck in America, and it is equipped with the company’s most powerful engine, a 450-horsepower EcoBoost twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6.
  • In addition to acceleration tests and 200-mile fuel-economy loops at 75 mph, we ran dynamometer pulls on each car, driving each vehicle on two different types of fuel and entirely emptying the tanks in the interim.

The disparities would have most certainly been magnified by the severe summer heat, which exacerbates engine knock, yet we were able to detect variances even with the engines inhaling chilly midwestern spring air during our tests.

Honda CR-V

Marc Urbano is a chauffeur and a car. It doesn’t care about 93 octane even when it’s sucking down as much as 18.5 psi of boost from the CR-1.5-liter V’s inline-four. Honda requests 87 octane fuel and makes no claims that increasing the octane of the fuel would improve performance. Premium gasoline may as well not exist in the world of the Honda CR-V, according to our testing. Marc Urbano is a chauffeur and a car. This was something we could foresee. The sameCar and Drivertested an Accord powered by a 3.0-liter V-6 18 years earlier, and found that standard fuel produced more power and accelerated more quickly than premium fuel.

On the dynamometer, increasing the octane from 87 to 93 resulted in a 7-horsepower improvement; however, that advantage was lost in the track’s background noise.

While fuel economy at 75 mph increased from 27.3 mpg to 27.6 mpg on premium, it is a 1% improvement at the expense of a 21% increase in price.

Nearly 60 years later, the company’s identity is still based on the same practical and modest attitude, which extends all the way down to the fuel that you put in your car’s gas tank.

BMW M5 Competition

Marc Urbano is a writer and artist who lives in New York City. Chauffeur and automobile Simply thinking about pouring normal unleaded into this $129,595 intercontinental ballistic missile made me feel uncomfortable. BMW officially recommends against doing so, and while it seemed odd in such moderate temps, using the cheap material would have been totally out of character for what an owner would do in that situation (at least until this M5 reaches its fourth owner sometime in 2036). In order to meet BMW’s minimum 91-octane gasoline requirement, with 93-octane fuel suggested, we used a variety of premium gas types, moving between them depending on where you were in the country.

  1. We were interested in finding out.
  2. This is not due to the 13-horsepower differential between 91 and 93 octane.
  3. Because of the amount of power and torque that we measured, our jaws were left dangling.
  4. While BMW claims 617 horsepower at the crank, the dyno reports that the car produces that amount at the wheels (after driveline losses) while running on premium 93-octane gasoline (after driveline losses).
  5. The higher-octane fuel resulted in a single tenth of a second reduction in acceleration times across the board for the M5.
  6. However, the BMW claimed the highest fuel-economy margin in the test, although the difference in mpg was just 0.7 miles per gallon, favoring the lower octane.

This year’s M5 Competition is proof that octane rating does make a difference, however in the case of these two premium fuels, if you’re compelled to use regular unleaded, you’re not really missing out on anything.

Ford F-150

Marc Urbano is a chauffeur and a car. With 128.7 horsepower per liter, the high-output V-6 engine in the F-150 is more power dense than the twin-turbo flat-six engine in the Porsche 911 Carrera. As a result, the Ford is equally adept at hauling asses as it is at hauling a half-ton of dung. Using 93-octane fuel, this self-propelled wheelbarrow can reach 60 mph in 5.3 seconds while towing 5594 pounds of cargo. Marc Urbano is a chauffeur and a car. With the switch from 93 to 87 octane, the power delivered to the wheels reduced from 380 to 360 horsepower.

  • Regular gasoline, when compared to premium fuel, drained the F-150’s ability to move quickly both upon leaving the line and through the meat of the tach sweep.
  • The quarter-mile took 14.0 seconds, but trap speed dropped to 14.5 seconds, with trap speed lowering by 4 mph.
  • Using high-octane petrol also improved fuel efficiency at 75 mph, increasing it from 17.0 to 17.6 mpg while using a gentle pedal on the accelerator.
  • This EcoBoost engine’s more aggressive high-octane tuning may be thought of as a type of performance mode that can be activated or deactivated with each fill of its 36.0-gallon fuel tank.

Dodge Charger R/T

Marc Urbano is a chauffeur and a car. As a general rule, we believed that mid-grade fuel was just there to fleece the sort of individuals who ask their vehicle dealer to undercoat it for a few more cents on the dollar. It turns out that this is also true for owners of Fiat Chrysler’s Hemi 5.7-liter V-8, since the firm recommends using 89-octane fuel in this engine as well. However, because there is no mention of this on the fuel-filler door, a motorist would have to consult the handbook to find out.

  1. With only 600 miles on the odometer and the appearance of having been hand scrubbed with 80-grit sandpaper a half-dozen times, it’s doubtful that this Charger will ever see 93 octane gasoline again in its lifetime.
  2. Well, that’s life.
  3. Like the BMW, the Dodge’s increases on the dyno (14 horsepower and 23 lb-ft of torque) translated into minor benefits in our real-world acceleration tests.
  4. When traveling at triple-digit speeds, the Charger’s superior power on 93 octane gave it a tenth-of-a-second lead over the competition.
  5. In addition, the rumble of the iron-block Hemi and the Charger’s capacity to drop its rear tires to the level of jungle gym ground cover are unaffected by the amount of petrol in the tank.

If you purchase fuel with an octane rating that is higher than the manufacturer’s specification, you will most likely notice the difference in your pocketbook rather than the seat of your trousers. Marc Urbano is a writer and artist who lives in New York City. Chauffeur and automobile

Knock Knock. Who’s There?

It is possible to assess the octane rating of a fuel by observing how your engine continually invites and silences engine knock. Your vehicle is completely unaware of the octane rating of the fuel in its tank. It is instead calculated by the engine controller using closed-loop logic that constantly advances the ignition timing until it detects knock, which happens when a portion of the fuel-air mixture ignites before the flame front generated by a spark plug reaches the section that has been ignited.

  1. If a knock occurs, the flame front moves across the combustion chamber up to ten times faster than it would normally travel if a spark were to ignite the flame front.
  2. The occasional transient knock, on the other hand, is a vital tool for ensuring that the engine is working efficiently.
  3. Normally, according to Ford’s Stephen Russ, senior technical leader for gas engines, this routine knock is noticed and corrected within one or two combustion cycles and does not represent a threat to the engine’s performance.
  4. You may be able to discover further information on this and other related items at the website piano.io.
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Does Premium Gas Give More Horsepower?

Image of a gas station from ofFotolia.com photographer Mat Hayward. Premium gasoline, commonly known as 93 octane fuel, is the most costly type of gasoline available at the gas station. Premium gasoline either produces more horsepower or does not produce more horsepower, depending on the type of automobile engine that it is utilized with.

High Performance Engines

The use of premium gasoline in high-performance engines results in an increase in horsepower. Automobiles from well-known companies such as Volvo and Mercedes, as well as sporty motorbikes, are examples. Such engines may also operate on lower-grade gasoline, albeit at the expense of horsepower and performance.

Non High Performance Engines

Premium gasoline has little effect on the performance of engines that are not designed for high performance. Examples include automobiles from companies such as Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler, as well as vehicles in the “economy” class. Premium gasoline has the effect of cleaning the fuel system to some extent, but it does not increase horsepower.

Discover Your Engine Type

Knowing the sort of engine you have is critical in determining whether or not premium fuel will provide you with greater horsepower. In order to find out what sort of gasoline your car is built to operate on, consult the owner’s handbook. The car manufacturer should be contacted if you no longer have access to your owner’s handbook or if the information is not mentioned. References Autobiography of the AuthorAlex Moyher has been writing for a living since 2008. He has written about a variety of themes, including motorcycle safety and operation, gaming, consumer electronics, administrative office experience, collegiate life, and social networking, and his work has appeared on eHow and other websites.

He graduated with honors from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Arts in international affairs.

More Articles

CARS.COM is a website dedicated to automobiles. Use of premium gasoline in an engine built to run on regular-grade fuel will almost always result in increased gas expenses, as the sole certain outcome. As far as actual advantages from filling up with more expensive gasoline are concerned, the chances of this occurring are limited to none. More Maintenance Coverage is a related topic. If your engine is capable of running on ordinary gasoline, fueling it with premium is unlikely to result in a considerable increase in acceleration or fuel efficiency above what would be achieved with regular fuel.

  1. The fundamental difference between normal and premium octane is the octane rating, which is 91 or higher compared to 87 for ordinary octane.
  2. Higher octane fuel allows engines to have higher compression ratios (for a more explosive explosion), more sophisticated ignition timing, and forced-air induction, such as turbochargers or superchargers, all of which result in greater performance.
  3. However, if your car’s manufacturer specifies that your engine requires just 87-octane regular, that is what you should put in your vehicle.
  4. When employed in the proper engine, the ability of the fuel to be compressed more without pre-ignition results in increased power.
  5. If you burn premium because you believe it makes your engine run more smoothly, it’s most likely a psychological phenomenon: “I’m paying more for gasoline, therefore I must be receiving more,” you reason.
  6. If you buy premium gasoline because your engine knocks when you use ordinary, you are addressing the symptom rather than the underlying source of the problem.
  7. Premium petrol can range in price from 20 cents per gallon to 60 cents per gallon, depending on where you reside.
  8. The Editorial section at Cars.com is your go-to source for automotive news and reviews.

The Editorial department is completely separate from the advertising, sales, and sponsored content divisions of Cars.com.com.

Putting Premium Gas in an Engine That Requires Regular? Stop It Now (Published 2019)

According to personal finance experts, giving up your daily latte macchiato might be a simple way to help you balance your budget and improve your financial situation. Even the smallest gestures may make a difference. For example, avoiding splurging on the beverages your automobile consumes. Premium-grade gasoline is often the most costly gasoline available, costing around 50 cents per gallon more than normal fuel. Because only around 18 percent of new automobiles sold in the United States require it, using high-octane gasoline has no benefit in terms of performance, fuel efficiency, or emissions control for the remaining 82 percent of vehicles.

According to AAA, drivers waste more than $2 billion each year by purchasing more octane than their vehicles require, despite the fact that they may believe they are doing it as a present to their cherished automobiles.

Gasoline and wine have a lot in common: A higher price does not imply a better level of enjoyment.

Octane explained

Even yet, if your automobile demands premium fuel, you should purchase it in order to maintain the engine running at optimal performance. In the case of gasoline, the octane rating on the pump is a measure of the fuel’s resistance to detonation, which is combustion that has gone awry inside the cylinders. Pinging or knocking might be heard in automobiles built before 1980, evoking the sound of stones rattling in a tin can, and it was caused by the problem. Recently, the drive by manufacturers for better economy and power has led in engines with higher internal working pressures, which have been achieved by increasing the compression ratio, adding a turbocharger, supercharger, or a combination of the three technologies.

It is believed that the higher the octane rating, the better the fuel’s potential to prevent the disorderly kind of combustion known as detonation.

An engine that is not subjected to as much stress and is built to burn 87-octane gas does not face a significant danger of detonation, and hence does not reap any benefits from utilizing premium.

The car-shopping website Edmunds.com’s senior vehicle test engineer, Jason Kavanagh, says that if a certain grade isn’t specified as “necessary,” it’s OK to choose a lower grade instead.

However, even when premium gas is necessary, using a tankful of lower-octane gas in a pinch is unlikely to cause mechanical harm due of a piece of electronic wizardry known as the knock sensor, which was first introduced in the 1980s as a component of computerized emissions control systems Performance will be compromised when the system attempts to adjust for the lower octane, though.

The 18 percent of 2018 models that demand a premium has been reasonably stable over the course of the last few years.

The number of automobiles for which premium is advised was 16 percent in 2010, a figure that has continuously increased over the previous decade as a result of greater compression ratios and the introduction of more turbochargers and superchargers.

Say goodbye to winter gas

If your automobile demands premium fuel, you should purchase it to ensure that the engine is running at its optimal performance. In the case of gasoline, the octane rating on the pump is a measure of the fuel’s resistance to detonation, which is combustion that has gone awry inside the cylinders of the engine. On vehicles manufactured prior to 1980, the issue was audible as pinging or knocking, which sounded similar to the sound of stones clanging on the inside of a metal can. Most recently, the drive by manufacturers for better economy and power has led in engines with higher internal working pressures, which have been achieved by increasing the compression ratio, adding a turbocharger or supercharger, or a combination of the two.

  • It is believed that the higher the octane rating, the better the fuel’s capacity to prevent the disorderly kind of combustion known as detonation.
  • The use of premium gasoline in an engine that is not subjected to as much stress and is intended to burn 87-octane gas does not provide any further benefit.
  • The car-shopping website Edmunds.com’s senior vehicle test engineer, Jason Kavanagh, says that if a certain grade isn’t specified as “essential,” it’s OK to go with a lower grade.
  • However, even when premium gas is necessary, using a tankful of lower-octane gas in a hurry is unlikely to cause mechanical harm due of a piece of electronic wizardry known as the knock sensor, which was first introduced in the 1980s as a component of computerized emissions control systems.
  • On the Edmunds website, you can find a list of vehicles from 2012 to 2018 that are required to have premium gas.
  • Increased compression ratios, as well as the usage of turbochargers and superchargers, have resulted in an increase in the number of automobiles for which premium is advised by 16 percent during the previous decade.

Higher ethanol levels

One other twist to be aware of this year is that there is another option available. Because of ethanol’s considerably higher volatility, the maximum amount of ethanol allowed in summer gasoline blends has long been restricted at 10 percent — the normal level found in most gasoline supplied in the United States, known as E10 — in order to protect consumers. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposes to eliminate the prohibition on greater quantities of ethanol in summer gasoline, enabling the ethanol content to climb to 15 percent, or E15.

  • The reason behind this is as follows: The Environmental Protection Agency has approved the use of E15 exclusively in light-duty cars from the 2001 model year and later.
  • However, even though, according to the Renewable Fuels Association, 93 percent of 2019 model cars (measured by sales-weighted volume) have been certified for E15 usage, some automakers expressly prohibit their customers from filling up with the fuel.
  • Vehicles manufactured by Fiat Chrysler, Hyundai, Kia, and Volkswagen from model years before to 2019 may likewise be ineligible for E15, necessitating the retrieval of the owner’s handbook once again.
  • Keeping track of what you’re putting into your tank is always a good idea, no matter what.

Smarter Driving is a new television series that will teach you how to better buy, own, drive, and repair your automobile. Do you have a topic that you’d want us to cover? You may reach out to James Schembari, the editor of Smarter Driving, at [email protected]

Higher gas octane could boost performance – and price

  • DETROIT (AP) – Automobile manufacturers and oil firms are discreetly creating a new generation of fuels and engines that will operate more effectively on them, generating more power from less gasoline in order to cut emissions and increase fuel efficiency while also reducing emissions. Executives within the industry, on the other hand, are reluctant to speak publicly about their findings. What’s the deal with being so quiet? Why? Because no corporation wants to be associated with increasing gasoline prices, even if the additional expense is mitigated by lower fuel usage and improved performance. Gasoline with a higher octane rating costs more since the fuel components that increase octane rating are typically more expensive to manufacture. Work is being done behind the scenes on super-premium gasoline grades and the engines that will use them, while automakers and oil firms around the world consider how to market the concept to the general public. “An increase of ten cents a gallon is probably tolerable. “A quarter of the market is at risk of losing client acceptability,” said a senior industry executive who asked to remain anonymous because his company’s preparations are top-secret. During a speech at the Society of Automotive Engineers’ annual luncheon in Detroit, Raj Nair, Ford’s global technology and engineering leader, offered a rare insight into the automaker’s plans for higher octane gasoline. As part of the company’s efforts to lessen its environmental effect, Nair stated that “new fuel compositions” are a top goal. Even the veiled allusion to higher-grade fuel elicited praise from the audience. When automakers and oil corporations talk about “higher gasoline grades” and “new fuel formulas,” they are often referring to higher octane ratings in the gasoline they sell. The majority of gasoline sold in the United States today has an octane rating between 87 and 94. According to the AAA’s gas price monitor, the national average price for ordinary gasoline is $2.42, $2.77 for midgrade gasoline, and $2.92 for premium gasoline at the moment. An engine may run at greater compression ratios and consume more of the energy in gasoline if the fuel has higher octane. Energy equals the capability of performing additional work, which implies that a well constructed car will travel farther or faster while using the same quantity of gasoline. For example, the new Dodge Challenger SRT Demon produces 840 horsepower while running on super-premium 100 octane fuel, but only 808 horsepower when running on 91 octane fuel. According to Lindsay Brooke of the Society of Automotive Engineers’ publication Automotive Engineering, the U.S. Department of Energy is collaborating with automakers and oil companies on a project called Optima to collaborate on engine and fuel development and reduce petroleum consumption by 30 percent. The project is called Optima. Mercedes-Marie Benz’s Valentine, a senior principle engineer for energy and environmental research at Toyota, stated that “the prevailing opinion is that (premium) is what manufacturers are looking about for the future octane level.” According to David Brooks, director of global propulsion laboratories at General Motors, “we don’t need a new fuel – we just need enhanced gasoline,” he said at an engineering conference recently. His conclusion was that, from an engineer’s perspective, 114 octane was ideal, but that it was likely too expensive for customers to accept. In addition to the introduction of higher-octane fuels, it is likely that the lowest current octane levels will be phased out over time. “Increasing octane might be the most cost-effective strategy to improve fuel economy,” according to one executive who asked to remain anonymous. “It is far less expensive than, for example, creating a new gearbox.” In Europe, where higher-octane gasoline is typical, using super-premium fuel with an octane rating of around 98 resulted in a 10% boost in fuel economy. This compares to gasoline having an octane rating of 92 to 94 in the United States. “The majority of automakers are aiming to boost compression in order to increase efficiency. As Mark Christie, vice president for engine engineering at the U.S. arm of engineering firm Ricardo, explained, “raising the octane allows this to be accomplished with little further adjustments to the engine.” In comparison to introducing new technologies, it is less complicated and less expensive, and it serves as a building block for making current technologies even more effective. Because the oil firms aren’t saying anything, it’s unknown how much this will raise the price of gasoline. Automobile manufacturers and oil firms have been trapped in a seesaw relationship since the beginning of both sectors. Each believes the other is unfairly treated in terms of investment and regulation, while neither believes the other is unfairly treated in terms of product sales. According to General Motors global propulsion systems head Dan Nicholson, who spoke at an industry conference last year, increasing the octane of gasoline is the most cost-effective strategy to cut environmental emissions. “Higher-octane fuels are the most cost-effective way to reduce CO2 emissions,” Nicholson is quoted as stating at the Center for Automotive Research Management Briefing Sessions, according to Automotive Engineering. “It is essential that fuels and engines be developed as a system.” It makes no sense at all to leave gasoline out of the equation.” Nicholson went on to say that higher-octane gasoline may be given “at a very reasonable price.” Cars that operate on standard gas today will run fine on premium and super-premium gas, which have higher octane ratings. They will not, however, benefit from the increased economy and performance of engines designed specifically for the fuel. Although there is no set timeline for the introduction of higher grades of gasoline, demand has grown as manufacturers prepare for increased fuel efficiency and emissions rules beyond 2021.
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Does Premium Gas Make Your Car Run Better?

/Friday, February 8th, 2019 Do you occasionally purchase premium petrol for your automobile, despite the fact that the owner’s handbook specifies that ordinary gas should be used? According to AAA, if you do, you’ll be squandering your money on that high-end acquisition. According to the auto club’s analysis, Americans waste $2.1 billion every year by purchasing premium fuel when their vehicle simply requires normal gasoline. A consumer survey led researchers to conclude that 16.5 million motorists filled their gas tanks with unnecessary premium fuel an estimated 270 million times in the previous year, according to extrapolation.

  1. This belief may have originated in the 1950s, when premium gas had a tetraethyl lead additive that avoided engine knock and made engines run cleaner, according to some sources.
  2. All types of gas, with the exception of the dangerous lead compound, are now obliged to contain engine-cleaning additives.
  3. Researchers used a dynamometer, which is similar to a car’s equivalent of a treadmill, to discover that using premium in automobiles that just required regular did not boost power or gas mileage, nor did it reduce noxious emissions.
  4. “Premium gasoline has a higher octane rating than regular gasoline, not a better quality rating.” The AAA investigation also discovered the following other findings:
  • Seventy percent of Americans use automobiles that run on ordinary fuel alone (Figure 1). A premium fuel is required by 16 percent of the population, while the remaining 14 percent require mid-grade gas or an alternate power source such as rechargeable batteries
  • In today’s engines, engine management systems can automatically adapt to deal with any difficulties caused by lower-octane gas—a capacity that was not accessible in previous decades. Maintaining your vehicle on a regular basis according to the recommended maintenance plan in your owner’s handbook can help you get greater gas economy and make your engine work more efficiently.

AAA did not address the inverse of this question: Will it harm my automobile if I save money by using normal fuel instead of premium gasoline when it is necessary? However, the automobile website Edmunds.com has conducted extensive study on the subject. Their opinion: If your owner’s handbook specifies that premium gas is “recommended,” it should be alright operating on standard gas, according to the experts. If, on the other hand, premium gasoline is “needed,” follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Should you use premium gas in your car? Know these 7 facts about Octane ratings.

Brady Wise will speak on Friday, May 1, 2020. As an auto repair adviser, one of the most commonly asked concerns I hear is whether or not customers should use high-octane or premium petrol in their vehicles. “Do I really need to fill my tank with premium gas?” I wonder. Customers frequently tell me that they are hesitant to purchase a car that requires premium petrol.

Although their attention is usually drawn to the increased price of premium gasoline, it is important to evaluate the benefits of using premium petrol for the long-term health of their car. Listed below are seven things you should know about Octane Ratings and what they signify for your car:

  1. May 1, 2020, Brady Wise’s birthday. During my time as an auto service adviser, one of the most commonly asked topics is whether or not customers should use high-octane or premium gasoline in their vehicles. The question is, “Do I really need to fill my tank up with premium gas?” Clients frequently tell me that they are hesitant to purchase a vehicle that requires premium petrol. Although their attention is always drawn to the increased price of premium gasoline, it is important to evaluate the benefits of using premium gas for their vehicle’s sustained health. In order to fully understand what an Octane Rating is and what it implies for your automobile, here are seven things to know:

The next time you’re unsure about which gasoline to use, this article can assist you in determining the proper gas to use and why it’s so vital to pick intelligently if you care about the continuing health of your vehicle.

Understanding Premium vs. Regular Gas

The majority of individuals are aware of the sort of gas that their vehicle requires. However, not as many people are aware of the distinctions between ordinary and premium gas.

Why use regular instead of premium gas?

The pricing is one of the most noticeable differences. According to the United States Energy and Information Administration, premium gasoline costs on average roughly 60 cents more per gallon than ordinary gasoline and 25 cents more than midgrade gasoline in the United States on the national level.

What is the difference in octane levels?

Octane is a measurement of how much compression a gasoline can endure before igniting, or more specifically, it is a measurement of a fuel’s capacity to prevent knocking out under pressure. Gas stations commonly stock three different octane ratings. State rules govern which octane levels can be labeled as premium, midgrade, or normal in a gasoline label. Typically, “normal” petrol has an octane rating of 87, “midgrade” has an octane rating of 89, and “premium” gasoline has an octane rating of above 91.

Can I switch from premium to regular gas?

Cars are engineered to perform optimally with a certain type of gasoline. An increase in octane gas will result in a slower ignition rate, which explains why high-performance automobiles with high compression engines frequently require an increase in octane gas. Increased octane gasoline allows engines to operate more effectively while emitting less pollutants and exhaust. It is critical to utilize the correct octane for your particular vehicle. Using the proper octane level in your car’s engine can assist to avoid damage to the engine and allow it to operate at peak efficiency.

It is possible for the engine to generate a knocking noise as a result.

When it comes to doing the inverse, such as utilizing a fuel with a higher octane rating than suggested, the hazard is reduced.

If your engine has a greater compression ratio, you will normally need to use a higher octane-rated gas to keep it running smoothly.

Premium unleaded gasoline only” and the octane level necessary will be written on the sticker if your vehicle requires premium fuel; some models may simply state “Premium Fuel Recommended” if your vehicle requires premium fuel.

Can you mix premium and regular gas?

The performance of your car’s engine is not improved by blending various octanes. If you want your computer to run at optimal performance, you should follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Does premium gas last longer?

If your car’s owner’s handbook just instructs you to use “premium” or “premium suggested,” you may wish to experiment with different premium levels to observe how the performance of your vehicle varies. You may accomplish this by filling your gas tank to about a quarter of its capacity, or lower, with one of the premium grades. Keep a journal of your gas mileage while driving with the various premium gas octane blends to keep track of your progress. While driving, experiment with different octane levels and pay attention to how your automobile feels and sounds; additionally take note of any variations in acceleration rate between them.

  1. For example, don’t hit the gas pedal hard when leaving a red light or a stop sign.
  2. We at Erie Insurance understand the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
  3. ERIE Agents can assist you in customizing your insurance coverage at the most competitive price possible using a variety of flexible alternatives.
  4. In 2017, this article was initially published.
  5. This narrative was written with the assistance of Amanda Prischak and Sara Erhartic.
  6. There’s no need to look any further.
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Premium and ‘Top Tier’ Gas: When to Upgrade at the Pump

Premium and Top Tier petrol may seem appealing, but which is truly the best choice for your automobile – and your wallet? In certain instances, various types of gasoline are genuinely better for your automobile – but for reasons that are distinct from one another. Premium gas, as opposed to standard gas, is a higher quality of fuel than regular gas. It is intended for high-performance automobiles and can cost up to 50 cents more per gallon than regular gasoline. Engine-cleaning chemicals are found in higher concentrations in gas that satisfies Top Tier criteria than in gas that does not fulfill these specifications.

So, when is it worthwhile to pay a little extra at the pump?

Premium gas: required vs. recommended

According to Michael Calkins, AAA’s manager of technical services, the decision is straightforward when it comes to premium gas. When to utilize premium boils down to two words: when it’s necessary and when it’s suggested. Required: If the owner’s handbook for your automobile (or the inside of the gas door) specifies that premium gas is necessary, you must use premium gas in order to avoid harming your engine. Recommended: Even though your owner’s handbook (or the inside of the gas door) indicates that premium gasoline is recommended, you may still operate your vehicle on a lower grade of fuel.

However, unless you use a stopwatch to run the quarter mile, you are unlikely to detect a change in performance until you do.

Conclusion: If your vehicle does not require premium coverage, don’t waste your time. The savings you receive by using lower-grade fuel, according to Calkins, are “much more than the cost of the reduction in fuel economy.”

Top Tier gas: worth the extra cents

When it comes to Top Tier gas, which is currently offered by the majority of major oil companies, Calkins believes the benefits outweigh the minor increase in price. According to the AAA, Top Tier gas, which is applicable to all grades of gasoline, is suggested because it minimizes carbon accumulation in your engine. This accumulation can limit fuel economy and produce difficulties such as rough idling, acceleration hesitation, and engine knock, which is a rattling sound that happens when gas ignites early in the combustion chamber.

Oil firms effectively construct their own gasoline mixes by adding detergents and chemicals to the bulk fuel they purchase from refineries in order to improve the quality of the fuel they get.

According to Consumer Reports, Top Tier gasoline was created in 2004 with the goal of going above and beyond these basic criteria in order to “better protect more complex engines from carbon buildup and deposits on the intake valves.” If you’ve been using non-Top Tier gasoline and have accumulated carbon deposits in your engine, switching to Top Tier gas will remove those deposits from your engine, according to Calkins.

On the Top Tier program’s website, you can discover a list of stores who sell Top Tier gasoline, or you may look for a sign at the pump.

What about a higher octane of gas?

There is an octane rating assigned to each grade of gasoline, which indicates how much it can be squeezed before igniting. When it comes to engine knocking, it is a measure of how well the gas can withstand the rattling sound that happens when the gas is ignited early. According to the Federal Trade Commission, premium gas often has an octane rating of 92 or 93, mid-grade gas has an octane rating of 89, and standard gas has an octane rating of 87, depending on the region. The octane rating of the gas that your automobile performs best on is determined by the way the engine is constructed.

However, using petrol with a higher octane rating than your vehicle requires is not necessarily better for your vehicle.

Octane vs. Horsepower – Separating fact from myth in the debate over which fuel makes more power

Testing four different octane fuels on a dyno eliminates the guesswork involved in determining which one is best for your Spec E30. I’ve heard a variety of differing comments from many experts on which octane fuel produces the most power over the years. Spec E30 regulations state that “permitted fuel is unleaded pump gasoline with a maximum octane of 93.” Fuel must be obtained from a mass-marketed provider, such as BP, Sunoco, or Exxon, or from another independent mass marketer, such as a track supplier or a local independent gas station.

  1. Should I spend more money on 91-octane fuel, or should I spend much less money on 87-octane fuel and save money over the course of a racing weekend?
  2. Is it possible that using less expensive fuel is harming my engine and the overall performance of the vehicle?
  3. A gasoline’s capacity to withstand knocking or pinging during combustion is measured in terms of its octane rating.
  4. The knocking or pinging you hear in your engine is caused by the air/fuel combination detonating too early in its combustion.
  5. Another way to think about octane is that a lower octane level means that the fuel will burn more quickly.
  6. A higher octane gasoline causes the wave front of the combustion flame to slow down, and the temperature at which combustion occurs to rise, as seen in the graph.
  7. The presence of carbon buildup on the piston or on the cylinder head might result in a hot spot that can pre-ignite the gasoline and generate a ping, despite the fact that the engine is low-compression.
  8. So, once again, which one is the best fit for my vehicle?
  9. My recently hand-built Spec E30 M20 engine, which is shown in this narrative, has an 8.8:1 compression ratio, according to the manufacturer.

The engine’s minimum octane rating is 87 when it is sent from the factory. That could be great for commuting, but what about when you’re racing around the track? One method of determining this is to do a side-by-side comparison of available pump gas, which is exactly what we did!

The Setup

In the end, it was a simple solution that was developed after considerable deliberation on how to get four different types of gasoline into the car for testing: a fuel pump system that would simply sit on top of racing fuel cans. For the external pump, I installed a straightforward on/off switch. It was only a matter of swapping out the different gasoline cans with their corresponding octane fuels that remained. Also necessary was the disabling of the factory gasoline pump, else we would have been in a muck by this point.

  • I wanted to test the engine on the dyno to establish a baseline for comparison purposes because it was a relatively new build with just around five hours of track time.
  • The initial draw produced a respectable 155 horsepower and 156 pound-feet of torque, but the air-fuel ratio revealed that the engine was running extremely lean.
  • For the most part, I was going to leave the air-fuel mixture alone, just as you would when filling up your car with different grades of fuel.
  • Now that the air-fuel mixture had been dialed in, I unplugged the main fuel supply line from the fuel rail and detached the fuel pump relay from the engine’s control module.
  • After that, I switched on the pump to pressurize the fuel rail with the bottle of 87-octane fuel and performed another dyno pull to ensure that the pump was functioning correctly.
  • Using 89-octane fuel produced results that were similar to those obtained with 87-octane fuel.
  • Power was sustained better with the 87-octane fuel than with the 89-octane fuel.

Nevertheless, it exhibited a far bigger decline when the engine was brought back up to its normal operating temperature, and as the engine went hotter on the dyno, it showed a significantly greater loss of power.

As previously stated, I did not make any alterations to the fuel settings in order to accommodate the varying gasoline types.

We were so concerned that we decided to forego a planned test with 100 percent E85.

This resulted in the lowest power of the day, which proved to be extremely lean.

It is likely that larger injectors and a fuel pump with a greater flow rate will be required in order to accommodate the increased demand from using E85 gasoline.

What did we take away from this experience?

We discovered that the more costly, higher-grade fuels did not provide any more power.

The fact that our observations are limited to a Spec E30 is critical to understanding our conclusions.

As a result, when I go to the track, I am aware that being frugal with gasoline also means getting the most bang for my dollars.


Power was sustained better with the 87-octane fuel than with the 89-octane fuel.

After a one-horsepower boost above the baseline draw, the 91-octane gasoline exhibited a drop in power performance.

Loading. Here’s a graph displaying all of the dyno pulls performed with the various fuels. According to the color key chart, there were considerable temperature variations between pulls, but 87 octane produced the highest power in all conditions tested. Loading.

Save Money and Stop Buying Premium Gasoline

If you’re still not convinced that moving to a lower-octane fuel is a good idea, here’s a more in-depth explanation of why the move is unlikely to be detrimental to your vehicle: First and foremost, premium gas has a higher octane level, which is a crucial component in preventing engine knock, often known as “pinging.” It is possible that this premium-grade fuel is 90 octane, 91 octane, or even 94 octane, depending on where you reside.

One of the reasons why premiums are more expensive is because of this.

What is engine knock and how does it happen?

The spark plug then ignites, igniting the flames and starting the combustion process.

When the flame kernel develops, it takes some time for it to spread and eventually consume the whole contents of the fuel-air combination in the cylinders.

Combined with the first, this can cause the mixture in the unburned zone to self-combust fast and uncontrollably in an uncontrolled manner.

Simply said, high-octane gasoline can be compressed and heated to a higher temperature without self-igniting, but regular gasoline cannot.

In the olden days, engines were incapable of dealing with a wide range of octane ratings.

However, today’s engine management systems can compensate for low octane by altering ignition timing to prevent knocking, which is a common occurrence.

Reduced ignition advance as compared to premium gas means that lower-octane fuels don’t enable the engine to run as much ignition advance in conditions requiring quick acceleration.

Because low-octane fuels don’t provide nearly as much power as higher-octane fuels, they cause the engine to accelerate more slowly in vehicles that are designed to run on premium gasoline.

It is only when you have a heavy foot and accelerate quickly from a dead stop or when you are changing lanes at highway speeds that you will feel a performance loss, and even then it will be little.

In contrast, if you accelerate gradually and steadily, the loss of power may not be noticed, regardless of whether you use premium or regular-grade gasoline.

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