Premium gas vs. regular: What's really better for your car? (CBC Marketplace)

Comments (15)

Most cars are designed to run on regular.
I never realized there were so many misinformed, ignorant people in the world. The only benefit of Premium gas over Regular gas is, you need it if you have a high compression engine which would ping or knock at full throttle on Regular. Premium used to be called "High Test" or "High Octane" which means it has a higher Octane rating or higher anti knock qualities than Regular. The name Premium was probably coined by oil Co's trying to fool people (like the ones in that video) into thinking it was somehow a better product and worth the extra cost. Premium gas is actually Regular gas with an anti knock additive. Regular gas is actually better than Premium as it burns cleaner without this additive which doesn't burn at all. It just exits the tail pipe and pollutes the atmosphere.

. If you mash down on the throttle and you hear what sounds like marbles rattling around in the engine, that is what pinging sounds like.
Without getting too technical it's caused by the sudden increase in pressure in the combustion chamber from the ignition of the fuel, which causes a second point of ignition usually adjacent to the spark plug and causing a second flame front going back toward the spark plug. When these 2 flame fronts meet somewhere in the middle, they generate a sound like a clap of thunder.
Bearwoman
Years ago I used to hear people say that they had to put "High Test" or "High Octane" in their vehicle.Then after awhile I'd hear people say that their vehicle used unleaded.
has not been regular since maybe 30 years ago just one kind now
String, I have always been driving a high performance car like the Corvette and my current is 2012 X5, always premium. I replaced my 06 X5 which was again premium and it is important to only use premium or the performance is compromised. Twin Turbo 3.5.

For any other cars, they are mostly regular except it is specifically designed to have the premium. A very weird experience is that from Mid West driving North from South Dakota, there was not a single premium outlet from Gillette until Sioux Falls. I have at least 400 miles range of my full tank but I panicked when I was there last week because I wasn't told that there is hardly any premium available in the area.
I am leaving for Texas tomorrow and for sure this time, I will check the availability of premium along the way. By the way, totally out of context from your blog, I used to fly a lot as I travel, this time that I am fully retired and driving all over the nation, heck my expense is higher from driving than flying. But I love it because I can take my time and stop anywhere I desire to.
I guess all you have to do is check your manual for type of gas. have a good trip go while you can.
Absolutely String. I am resting for the trip tomorrow and I will be on the road for about two days.

Thanks string.
Yep that is pretty much my life these days. On the road again. I like also the Nelson version.wave
here we have 95 and 98. i don't think premium in sold here anymore because the lead additive is prohibited.

They changed the 95 about 18months ago. now it will 'expire'. After about 6 months of not using the parafines would clog up filters. 'the water increases oxidation and makes it more like a gum'
E10 - means up to 10percent bio ethanol.

98 doesnt have this problem
You can use Reg unleaded in a car with a high compression engine so long as you never use so much throttle that it pings. That pinging is doing damage to your engine. The combustion chamber to be exact.
String talking about gas, did you know that premium or supreme in California is $4.65 a gallon? In Dakota and Mid West it is $2.89. I can't believe the price. When I was in New York, I rented a Hyundai 4 cylinder so I didn't check the price but why is the price difference from the West coast to Mid West?
viking67
Linds, what you have to pay for Gallon, we have to pay for a Liter...uh oh
Grouchyoldfart
Premium fuel or more accurately higher octane gasoline is a requirement in high compression engines. This also applies to supercharged and turbocharged engines. The reason it is needed is to tolerate the higher compression pressures and to not split the combustion cycle. If the spark plugs ignite one part and the rapidly building heat of combustion auto ignite another part of the fuel you have two ignitions going at the same time. This is it's self is not a problem it is when they both meet and a shock wave is set up between them. This can be very damaging to an engine but there is a way of stopping this without the expensive premium gas.

A fine spray of water ( or a water-alcohol mixture ) will absorb enough heat as to not detonate an incoming charge. This is water injection pure and simple. The alcohol is only added to stop it from freezing in cold weather. Water injection does not give any more miles per gallon, in fact, it might give a slightly less reading. What it will do is give you more miles per dollar.
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