Saturday, August 11, 2007

Premium vs. Regular gas

I had always wondered what the difference in octane between premium, super and regular gas was supposed to do. A little research came up with some surprising results. The difference is very little, except price of course. Apparantly lower octane can cause pinging, but only if your car engine is designed for high octane fuel (check your manual for recommeded octane) and it doesn't have some kind of engine stabilizer to prevent pinging, which almost all cars have. So in other words paying extra for premium or super gas is usually a waste of money.

While I could like to all sorts of technical websites, the guys who run Car Talk, a popular North American radio show about cars, do a better job of descibing the situation. Read about it here. My favourite quote:
We don't believe that any modern engine that claims to require premium will be damaged by using regular unleaded judiciously. Neither do any of the sources we've checked with — including the American Petroleum Institute, the American Engine Rebuilders Association — even a chemist (who would rather go unnamed) at a major gasoline company.

So save some money and use regular gas!

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