Premium vs. Regular Gasoline

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When you stop at the pump to fuel up, you have a few options to choose. So, what's the real difference between premium and regular gas - and is premium really worth the splurge? The best fuel of choice can differ from vehicle to vehicle, so let's go into a basic primer on premium vs. regular gasoline to help you find your formula.

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Difference Between Premium and Regular Gas

The key difference between premium and regular gas boils down to the octane level. Premium gas has a higher octane level than regular, but what does that mean? The octane level indicates the likelihood of improper engine combustion, which is known as either "pre-ignition" or "engine knock."

Frequent engine knocks are hard on your engine, so you want to reduce this as much as possible. That's why high-performance cars utilize premium fuel with an octane level around 91 or higher. Meanwhile, typical unleaded formula is usually around 87 octane.

Should I choose Premium Gasoline vs. Regular?

If premium is better for your engine, why would anyone choose unleaded? Well, the truth is not that simple. Not every vehicle actually benefits significantly from a premium formula. We recommend taking a look at your owner's manual to see what your manufacturer recommends.

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Performance cars with higher end engines may require the more advanced formula of premium gasoline in order to maximize their horsepower and torque. However, if you drive an everyday sedan or SUV, premium gasoline might be overkill. There may be no difference in performance at all between premium vs. regular gasoline, since these cars were built to run effectively on unleaded. If your manufacturer recommended regular, you might as well save yourself some money at the pump!

Find Out More

While premium gasoline vs. regular gasoline may make a difference in your day-to-day performance, proper maintenance is required to keep your car running like a dream for the long haul! Check in with our service department at Chicago Northside Toyota, serving Oak Park and Evanston, and schedule your oil change today! Still have questions about the difference between premium and regular gas or have other questions like how to jump a Toyota Prius? Contact us!

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