Is higher octane gas worth the $208.00 increase in gas costs per year? Does the higher octane premium gas result in better mileage? Is better fuel economy attained by using premium gas? Does higher octane gas enable your car run better?
It will cost you $208.00 annually if you fill your car with premium gas instead of regular. The difference between regular fuel and premium fuel is about twenty cents per gallon. Therefore it will cost you $4.00 more per tank if you use premium gasoline instead of regular gasoline. This assumes you have a 20 gallon tank and you fill up about once per week.
Let’s look at the increase in fuel economy question first. The plain and simple answer is absolutely not, higher octane gas does not effect fuel economy at all. The octane number is a rating that has nothing to do with how efficient it is in moving your car.
The octane rating of gasoline is a relative number showing the amount of isooctane in the gasoline as opposed to the amount of heptane in the gasoline. To make it simple, the octane rating is a representation of how much energy it takes to ignite that gasoline. This octane measurement does not indicate the amount of energy the gasoline produces, which would be an indicator of fuel economy. The final answer is:octane rating and increased fuel economy have no relationship whatsoever!
The second question concerning premium gas making your car run better. Does it? The plain and simple answer once again is no, there is absolutely no significant difference in the performance of your car if you use premium gas.
I have to add this one caveat, in regards to performance gain, there is the possibility that your vehicle could show a little horsepower gain with premium gas as opposed to regular gas but it would be so small that it would be almost impossible to notice. This small increase in horsepower really only is there because it can give car makers a little extra marketing fodder by using a claim on horsepower as part of their advertising.
Car manufacturers utilize this slight horsepower gain to market their cars claiming more horsepower by optimizing and designing their cars to take advantage of higher octane premium gasoline’s anti-knock properties. Engineers and car experts agree that if you opt to use regular gasoline in your car designed for premium gasoline, the loss of horsepower is so small, you will not be able to detect any difference.
What if your car manufacturer recommends that you use premium? In this case burning regular instead of premium won’t void the warranty, nor damage the engine, most automakers say.
Next time you go to fill up try regular instead of premium. You will immediately save $4.00. See how your car performs with the regular. If it runs fine and you don’t hear any knocking continue to use regular. You could save $200.00 per year!