When you love your car, you want to take care of it as best you can. That includes giving it the absolute best in everything from maintenance to car washes. But in the case of gasoline, what you see at the pump could be deceiving you. What’s the difference between premium and regular? How will the different types of fuel affect your vehicle? We at Milex Complete Auto Care are here to tell you once and for all which type of gas your car should really be getting.
The first thing you should know about premium fuel is that if your car requires it, you should absolutely use it. In an automobile that can only use premium fuel, the engine can be damaged if this fuel isn’t used. This is because the engines of cars like this compress fuel using more pressure than a normal engine. But if premium fuel is just an option, regular unleaded should be fine for your car. If your car does not have a turbocharged or high-performance engine, premium fuel will not help you at all. For many cars, premium fuel will simply allow you to optimize your engine’s power, which can be important if rapid acceleration and excellent fuel economy are two things you really want out of your car. In some cases, however, the money saved from using regular unleaded gasoline can outweigh the savings in fuel economy.
If you’re wondering whether your vehicle requires premium fuel, or if it’s just a recommendation to help optimize your high-performance engine, here are some ways to tell. The first is if you hear knocking in the engine while using unleaded fuel, it can be a warning sign that the fuel is not reacting well with your car. Another hint is if you notice dramatic performance losses. For most cars in which premium gasoline is recommended, there will be a slight dip in acceleration ability or fuel economy using unleaded rather than premium fuel. However, there shouldn’t be any strong impact on the day-to-day performance of your vehicle.
If your vehicle absolutely requires premium fuel, you might sometimes be tempted to cheat. After all, unleaded can be as much as 15–30 cents cheaper, which can add up when you’re frequently filling up your tank. Don’t let the temptation win, because cars that need premium fuel will often be damaged by fuel with a lower octane rating. These include cars with turbochargers or older automobiles. Using unleaded rather than premium can cause knocking, performance deficits and cumulative engine damage.
Filling up the gas tank is the most frequent form of maintenance many of us perform on our cars. For this reason, we should make sure we’re giving it the best fuel for its performance. However, this is not necessarily the most expensive fuel. If you’re wondering whether your car’s performance is being damaged by the type of fuel you’re using, visit your local Milex Complete Auto Care to find out what your car really needs!