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

Gas pumps in a row

When you stop by the gas station in Providence, do you fill up with regular or premium? What’s the difference between regular and premium gas anyway? While any car can fill up with either formulation, you might find that one suits your model much better than the other. We’re here to walk you through the key differences between premium gas and regular, and you can learn more with our service center in Mercedes-Benz of Warwick!



Premium vs. Regular Gas: What is Premium Gasoline?

Comparing regular vs. premium gas, both formulas are derived from crude oil. But, the big difference between regular and premium gas is the octane level. A gasoline’s octane level tells you how well the formulation resists engine knocks, which occur when the gas ignites faster than intended. Premium gasoline has an octane level of 90 or above, which means it is not prone to engine knocks.

Premium vs. Regular Gas: What is Regular Unleaded Gasoline?

While premium gasoline has an octane rating of around 90, regular gasoline has an octane rating of around 87. That means it’s not quite as resistant to engine knocks as premium, but it still provides the vital fuel most vehicles need. Regular gas is the standard for most economy cars around East Greenwich and Cranston. And given the lower price point, it’s no surprise that regular gasoline continues to be the most popular seller at the pump.

The Difference Between Premium and Regular Gas

  • Octane Rating: The higher the octane level, the less chance there is of pre-ignition inside the engine. This is especially important for luxury and performance cars that are more prone to engine knocks.
  • Engine Suitability: Because regular unleaded gas burns faster than premium gas, it is more suited for engines with low compression ratios – like turbo and supercharged models. Engines with high compression ratios do just fine with premium gasoline.
  • Price: Premium gas costs more than regular, and the difference can be as much as 20 to 40 cents more per gallon. However, the performance benefits can be worthwhile if you do need premium.

Which Type of Gas Do I Need?

  • Car Type: Check your owner’s manual to see what the manufacturer recommends. Generally speaking, luxury cars do perform better with premium.
  • History: Have you ever noticed knocking sounds from the engine when you use regular gasoline? Then it might be time for a switch. While regular won’t hurt your car, you might not get the smoothness that you can expect from premium gas.
  • Engine: If your engine utilizes turbochargers, there’s a good chance that premium is the right choice for you.

Learn More at the Mercedes-Benz of Warwick Service Center Today

We’ve gone through the basics of premium gas vs. regular, but if you have any more questions, Mercedes-Benz of Warwick is here for all of your service needs. Contact us online at your convenience or just stop by our dealership in Warwick. We’ve be happy to help you learn more about gas types and other maintenance tasks to keep your car in great shape!


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