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One of the most heated debates in all of the automotive realm is the difference between “regular” gas and “premium” fuel. Well wonder no more! Driving Change Automotive Group is here to end this debate. We’ll be breaking down the difference between premium and regular gas, and which one will work best for your vehicle. So read on and expand your automotive knowledge!

Premium? Regular? What’s the Difference?

First things first, what’s the difference between regular and premium fuel? All fuel is divided into “octane”, which is the percentage of isooctane in the fuel. Isooctane is what your vehicle burns, and is what helps prevent the dreaded ‘knocking’. Knocking is when fuel in your engine pre-ignites, and can cause major damage. Regular fuel is typically 87 octane, meaning it is 87% isooctane. Premium fuel is typically 91 octane, meaning it is 91% isooctane and resists knocking better than regular.

DCAG breaks down the difference at the pump.

Which One is Better?

Which type of fuel is better? Well, that depends on your vehicle. Nowadays vehicle engines are smarter and can handle a wider range of fuels, meaning your car can probably run on either regular or premium fuel. However, certain vehicles (typically high-performance vehicles) are designed to take advantage of the higher octane rating in premium fuel.

Keep in mind premium costs more than regular.

Any vehicle will see advantages to running premium fuel, such as more horsepower, better fuel economy, and increased throttle response. However, the percentage that your vehicle sees an advantage with premium fuel can differ greatly. For instance, a Mustang GT350 will see a serious advantage running premium fuel, while a Ford Fiesta will see little benefit. So keep in mind the cost/benefit ratio may not make sense for your vehicle.


So what have we learned today? Every vehicle will see a benefit to running premium fuel thanks to its higher isooctane percentage. However, not all vehicles see the same benefit – some vehicles perform much better with premium fuels while others see little advantage. Check your vehicle’s owner’s manual, and under the “Fluids” section, it will note the minimum fuel octane your vehicle is able to safely run on. However, feel free to experiment with higher-octane fuels – just keep in mind the increased cost associated with premium fuel!


What did you thing of our explanation? Do have any questions or concerns? What octane fuel do you use in your vehicle? Let us know in the comments below!


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