Gas companies often justify the higher cost of premium gas at the pump by touting benefits like better engine protection, speed control, and more. Those claims, however, are hotly disputed among mechanics and car techs. So, we set out to find the truth.
Here are 3 popular claims about premium gas use – let’s get to the bottom of them, once and for all!
Claim #1: Premium Protects Your Engine
Many drivers have heard that premium gas is better for your engine, helping it run more smoothly and produce less buildup as you drive. Historically, premium gas contained more detergents and additives than regular unleaded, which minimized carbon deposits. But according to Forbes, stricter government regulations on gas have made regular gas a perfectly safe (additive-heavy) alternative – meaning that buying premium gas to clean your engine is no longer a necessity.
Claim #2: Premium Gas Helps You Go Faster
Premium gas contains more octane, which is ideal for high-performing engines. Regular gas, by comparison, doesn’t allow for as much ignition advance when rapidly accelerating. So while premium gas does offer advantages for high-performing engines, like turbocharged gasoline engines, the overall performance loss is barely noticeable if you accelerate at a moderate speed.
Claim #3: Certain Cars Have to Use Premium Gas
Car manufacturers will often outline the type of coolant, oil, and yes, gas, that are best for their vehicles. If your car manufacturer lists your car as “premium recommended,” you’re fine to fill up with regular at the pump, according to Forbes. If you see “premium required,” you’re unfortunately stuck paying for premium says a report from Edmunds. Drivers that dismiss the “required” warning risk harming their engine with high exhaust-gas temperatures and knocking..
Now that the mystique of premium gas has been debunked, will this change how you fill up at the pump?