Does Using a Higher Octane Gas Improve Fuel Economy?
by Scott Siegel
Is it really worth $208.00 extra expense per year to use premium? Can you get better mileage with premium? Can you get better fuel economy with premium gas? Does your car run better with premium gas?
If you fill your car on the average of once per week buying premium gas instead of regular, it will cost you $208.00 more per year. Generally the price difference between regular gasoline and premium gasoline is about twenty cents per gallon. That means it will cost $4.00 more per fill up if you use premium gas instead of regular gas. This assumes you have a 20 gallon tank.
Let's look at the increase in fuel economy question first. The plain and simple answer is absolutely not, higher octane gas does not effect fuel economy at all. The octane number is a rating that has nothing to do with how efficient it is in moving your car.
The octane rating is a measurement of the proportion of isooctane to heptane in fuel. In non technical terms it is a rating that grades how much energy it takes to ignite that fuel. The rating has nothing to do with how much energy the gas puts out.It has absolutely nothing to do with fuel economy.
The second question concerning premium gas making your car run better. Does it? The plain and simple answer once again is no, there is absolutely no significant difference in the performance of your car if you use premium gas.
I have to add this one caveat, in regards to performance gain, there is the possibility that your vehicle could show a little horsepower gain with premium gas as opposed to regular gas but it would be so small that it would be almost impossible to notice. This small increase in horsepower really only is there because it can give car makers a little extra marketing fodder by using a claim on horsepower as part of their advertising.
Automakers can market their cars with a higher horsepower statistics by designing and optimizing their engines to take advantage of higher octane fuel anti-knock properties. Engineers generally agree that if you use regular gas in an engine designed for premium, the horsepower loss is so small, that it is almost impossible to detect.
Will you harm your car or void your warranty if your car manufacturer recommends that you use high octane gas? Most automakers say using regular gas even when your owner's guide says to use premium gas won't void the warranty. Most automakers also say that using regular will not damage the engine.
The next time you go to the gas station, use regular gas instead of premium gas. The immediate benefit:you will save $4.00 on the spot. Notice how your car runs with the regular. If it performs OK and if you do not hear any knocking then continue to use lower octane gas. You could find yourself saving over $200.00 per year!
Scott Siegel has written a 143 page manual of industry insider secrets on saving gas and money at the pump. Visit us to discover how you can get better gas mileage
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