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Do I Need to use Premium Gas?

Updated: Apr 28, 2021

You’ve just purchased a new car and you want to make sure you do everything in your power to keep it in premium condition as long as possible. From top of the line oil to regular maintenance appointments to regular washing and waxing, you are maintaining it to the best of your ability. But what about the gas you are putting into it? What about the car’s fuel? In the past, premium gas really did have a noticeable impact on a car’s performance and longevity, but is that still the case?

Benefits of Premium Gas

You may have heard that premium gas is better for your car’s engine and that it would prevent unnecessary wear and tear in the car. Premium gas used to have additives in it that helped “clean out” the engine, because fuel had more carbon deposits than it does now. When this was the case, running premium gas through your car did in fact help maintain the engine, but modern regular gas contains these additives now because of environmental efforts. If you like to accelerate quickly and feel that extra power in your engine then you may benefit from premium gas, as your car may accelerate faster. This difference is minimal though, and the average driver probably won’t notice much of a difference.

Premium Gas and your Car

The vast majority of cars do not need premium gas, but check your owner’s manual to see if it says “premium gas recommended” or “premium gas required”. If your manual says required, it is wise to stick with premium gas. If the manual says recommended, however, you can safely make the switch to regular gas to save some money. In older cars lower octane gas could protectively hurt the engine because it could not compensate for the change, but engines today have no problem adjusting. If your car’s manual specifies premium gas it is possible the engine is not designed to handle the lower octane gas, so it is best to follow your car’s manual.

Is it Necessary?

Simply put, if your car does not require premium gas, no, it is not necessary. If you have a lead foot and like to accelerate very quickly, you may notice a slight performance difference, but it is not something the average driver would even notice. If performance is very important to you, you may find you prefer premium gas, but you can rest easy knowing regular gas will not “hurt” your engine. Because of improvements to both gas quality and engine capability over recent years, premium gas is, for the most part, unnecessary. If, however, your car’s manual says it is required, it is most important to follow your owner’s manual.

At Hillmuth we are here to answer any questions you have related to your car, whether it’s new, new to you, or you’ve had it for years. We get a lot of questions regarding fuel, so if you have any more specific questions, please don’t hesitate to call us today!

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