Premium vs. Regular Gas: What’s the Difference?

Gas pumps in a row

Depending on your particular make and model, your vehicle may require either premium or regular gas to perform smoothly and efficiently. So, what is the difference between premium and regular gas, exactly? The service experts at Bill Luke Santan have the details on premium vs. regular gas in the comparison below. 



What is Regular Unleaded Gasoline? 

The most common type of gas is regular unleaded gasoline. As the name suggests, this type of gasoline does not contain lead, and thus is better for the environment and your health. 

It is suitable for most vehicles on Santan and Chandler roads and has an octane rating of 87.

Wait, what does “octane rating” mean? The octane rating indicates the level of pressure in the internal combustion engine that the gasoline can withstand without detonating. This phenomenon is also known as pre-ignition and can damage your vehicle. The higher the octane level, the lower the odds become for pre-ignition. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at premium gasoline.

What is Premium Gasoline?

Premium gasoline and regular gasoline are similar in that they both derive from crude oil and are both combustible. The difference is that premium gasoline has an octane level of 90 or above, so pre-ignition is less likely. Premium gas burns cleaner and has less pollution, which in turn helps keep your engine cleaner. That said, premium gasoline usually costs 20 to 40 cents more per gallon than regular gasoline. 

The Difference Between Premium and Regular Gas

Regular unleaded gas burns faster than premium gas, making it ideal for engines with low compression ratios. Conversely, premium gasoline is best suited for engines with high compression ratios. 

To determine whether your vehicle needs premium or regular gas, always consult your owner’s manual. Here are some things to also consider:

  • Many vehicles with turbochargers require premium gasoline.
  • Using premium gasoline for a vehicle that doesn’t need it will not boost performance or longevity.
  • Typically, using regular gasoline for a vehicle that requires premium gasoline won’t cause any damage.However, if you hear knocking while using regular gas, you should switch to premium.

Questions About Premium vs. Regular Gas?

The service experts at Bill Luke Santan are happy to help! Contact us today with any questions, or schedule an appointment if it’s time for maintenance. We’re just a short ride from Mesa.


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