What’s the Difference Between Regular and Premium Fuel?


Here at Heritage | MileOne Autogroup, one of the most common questions that we receive at our dealerships is whether the driver should fill up their car with regular or premium fuel. Of course, there is no hard and fast easy answer to this question, and whether you’re driving a new car or one of our used cars for sale near Owings Mills, MD, the answer depends on a variety of different factors.

Most gas stations offer three different octane levels: regular (about 87), mid-grade (about 89) and premium (91 to 93). An octane rating measures the fuel’s ability to resist knocking, or pinging. The higher the octane rating, the greater resistance the fuel has to pinging during combustion.

Regular Fuel: The main benefit of using regular, lower-octane fuel is the cost savings. This type of gas typically costs about 20 to 30 cents less per gallon than premium, which can lead to savings of around $100 per year. According to the Federal Trade Commission, there are no advantages to using premium gas in cars that don’t require it. Your car’s owner's manual will list the recommended or required type of gas.

Premium Fuel: Some luxury brands like BMW and Mercedes-Benz have high-compression engines that require the use of premium gas to prevent the engine from knocking. If you use regular gas in a car that requires premium, the engine knocking that can occur can eventually decrease the engine’s efficiency. These higher-compression engines need the higher octane so that the fuel doesn’t pre-ignite in the combustion process and damage the motor.

To learn more about the differences in fuel type, head on over to one of our new car dealerships.

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