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This year has seen gas prices at all-time highs, with countless Americans facing sticker shock at the pump. It has quite a few people wondering how to save a few dollars while filling their tanks. Some have turned to shopping around, joining clubs, or driving less. But if you’re using premium gas in your tank, there might be a simpler solution you haven’t even considered.
We all want the best for our prized possessions, and cars are one of the most expensive things most people own, reminds us Auto Accident Attorney Ramiro Rodriguez. They generally assume premium gas must be better for their cars — it’s practically right there in the name. But premium gas costs an average of 50 cents more per gallon than regular, and if you have a big tank or spend a lot of time driving, the total adds up quickly. Motor vehicle experts argue that, in many cases, drivers should save their money.
First, it helps to understand what makes premium gas premium. The premium designation refers to its octane rating. A higher octane rating means the gas has a lower chance of self-igniting in your engine. Self-ignition can cause engine knock and result in permanent damage. The octane rating of regular fuel is 86, whereas premium gas can go as high as 94. It used to offer significantly more protection. But newer engines are more sophisticated and better at self-regulating, making engine knock a lot less likely.
The key is to check your car’s owner’s manual to see what type of fuel it requires
Many manuals recommend premium fuel, but a recommendation isn’t a mandate. Cars lose some of their performance with regular gas, but you probably won’t notice the difference. You may experience slower acceleration from a braking position, but accelerating at a moderate pace should work fine,” says Accident Attorney Ramiro Rodriguez.
Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule. Some cars require premium fuel, and you can even void your warranty by not using it. These are typically high-end cars like a Porsche or Ferrari. If that doesn’t describe your car, you’re probably in the clear to save yourself some dough. Just make sure to consult the owner’s manual before making any decisions. If you’re one of the few who need premium gas, using regular could cost you big bucks.