Premium Gas vs. Regular Gas

Hand Pumping Gas

Wondering whether to use premium gas or regular gas in your AWD or 4WD vehicle? It depends on what your owner’s manual recommends, but many vehicles will perform just as well on Bloomington area roads with either. Learn more about the differences between premium gas vs. regular gas from the auto care experts at Sam Leman Automotive Group.

Why Use Premium Gas?

Premium gas is also known as “high-octane” gas. The higher amount of octane is beneficial especially if you:

  • Drive a car with a turbocharged engine
  • Engage in performance driving
  • Do a lot of heavy towing or hauling

Premium gas also contains a higher percentage of detergent additive than what is required by the EPA. Automakers such as Audi, BMW, General Motors, Honda, Toyota, and Volkswagen claim that the detergent additive improves the vehicle’s responsiveness and performance, while decreasing emissions.

Fuel gauge

Why Use Regular Gas?

Probably the number one reason to use regular gas is that it’s 15 to 30 cents cheaper per gallon than premium gas. Even if premium is recommended for your vehicle, you can, in most cases, use regular gas and not experience any loss in performance. If you notice that the engine is knocking when you use regular gas, go back to the premium. Vehicles that have a higher compression ratio will perform better with premium gas.

What Does the Octane Rating Mean?

The octane rating indicates how much the fuel-air mixture can be compressed before igniting spontaneously. When the fuel-air mixture ignites from compression rather than the electric charge from the spark plug, it causes the engine to knock and lose power.

Regular gas usually has an octane rating of 87, meaning that it will ignite with the least amount of compression. Premium gas has an octane rating of 91 to 93. A high-performance engine with a higher compression ratio will require premium gas in order to deliver maximum power.

Schedule Your Next Tire Rotation at Sam Leman Automotive Group

Still wondering what type of gasoline you should be using in your car, truck, or SUV? The certified technicians at your local Sam Leman Automotive Group service center can help you determine what’s the best fuel for your vehicle. We offer the full menu of auto care services, from oil changes and tire rotations, to brake service and transmission repair. We can even help you perform necessary car care tasks, like regular car washes, at home!

If you’re searching for genuine OEM parts, want to learn more about paddle shifters and other performance features, or need advice on problems such as water leaking from your car and electric vehicle charging, we can help. Please contact us if you have any questions, or visit one of our Peoria area dealerships today.

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