Desperate times call for desperate measures! Since the gas prices started a steady hike to set new records, we’re all scratching our heads for a way out. Would you switch to regular gas for respite? But remember, sticking to premium gas is not always an expensive choice – sometimes, it is a necessity. Find out what happens if you mix premium and regular gas for your car.
Did you know? 56% of Americans are driving less since the average gas price crossed $4 a gallon in March. If you are counting pennies like the rest of us, you might wonder about this when you pull up at a gas station – would it be all right if I used regular gas just this once? Well, it could be and couldn’t be. Here’s why.
When can you mix premium and regular gas?
You can, if your car runs fine on regular gas and premium gas – is the short answer. But it’s a bit more complicated than that.
- If premium gas is only RECOMMENDED for your car, you can mix it up.
- But pay up for premium gas if your car REQUIRES it.
But how do you know whether premium gas is recommended or required for your car to run smoothly?
Check inside the fuel door for the octane level your car requires. You’ll also find it in the vehicle’s user manual. You can read up about octane ratings here.
Most cars on the roads now recommend an 87 –89 octane rating. Anything above that (premium gas octane is > 91) is fine. Any fuel with an octane rating below the recommended range will eventually stack up a hefty service bill for your vehicle.
How to check the octane rating at a gas station?
At gas stations, the octane level is denoted on the fuel nozzles and /or on the buttons above it. The number is usually written in black on a yellow background.
What happens if I use regular gas in a car that requires premium gas?
Do not use unleaded gas in a car that requires higher octane gas. If you accidentally use regular gas or mix it with premium gas, expect a reduction in mileage and power. Worst case scenario is engine knocking – you’ll hear the noise of premature combustion in the cylinders. The fuel won’t burn right, which is not good for the valves either. In the long term, you’ll be shelling out more during servicing due to engine damage.
Can I use premium gas in a standard car?
If your car requires only regular gas, but the manufacturer recommends premium gas – try both and check out the difference in performance. Of course, you can stick with regular gas or dilute it with premium gas to save money. It is safe to use fuel with higher octane in standard cars that require only regular gas.
In conclusion, if you have a vehicle that requires premium gas, you’ll have to continue paying the soaring prices to keep the engine safe from damage. These 15 Tips for Fuel-Efficient Driving could help cut down the costs.
Are you thinking what I am thinking? Time to switch to electric? But it’s not that easy – blame it on the global chip shortage, supply chain issues, low inventory, and those big price tags. But if you are still interested, here’s a good read on upcoming electric cars that’ll make a difference.
And if you are already in the market for one, here are the best electric cars of 2022.
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