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

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A common question we hear at the Greenway Kia of the Shoals service center is, “What is the difference between premium and regular gas?” Many drivers in the Florence area wonder if opting for premium gasoline will enhance the performance of their vehicles. Greenway Kia of the Shoals compares premium vs. regular gas so you can make the best decision for your vehicle.

Premium Gasoline

Did you know that premium gas and regular gas actually share a number of similarities? For example, each is produced from crude oil and both are combustible. So, what sets the two options apart? The main difference between premium and regular gas is the octane level. Most premium gasoline will have an octane level that is 90 or above. Choosing premium gasoline can lead to less pollution and a cleaner engine.

Regular Unleaded Gasoline

Regular unleaded gasoline is the most common type of gas, and for most vehicles on the streets of Muscle Shoals, regular gasoline should suffice. It is healthier and more eco-friendly than gasoline containing lead. Its octane rating, which lets you know how well it prevents inappropriate fuel combustion, is 87.

Difference Between Premium and Regular Gas

  • Octane Rating: The higher the octane level, the lower the risk of engine knocking. When combustion occurs at the wrong time, it can damage your vehicle. Pre-ignition happens less often when using premium gasoline because of its higher octane rating.
  • Engine Suitability: Regular unleaded gas burns faster than premium gas, so it is a better fit for engines with low compression ratios. Premium gasoline may be necessary or highly recommended for engines with high compression ratios.
  • Price: Premium gas is a bit more pricey. You could end up spending anywhere from 20 to 40 cents more per gallon. If you do a lot of driving in Tuscumbia and beyond, this could really start to add up over time.

Before deciding whether premium vs. regular gas is the best option for your vehicle, it is important to consider the information provided below:

  • If your car does not require premium gas, choosing premium gas will not really enhance the performance or the longevity of your car.
  • If your vehicle requires premium gas, using regular gas is not recommended, but it generally will not damage the vehicle. However, If you hear knocking when you use regular unleaded gas, switching to premium gasoline may be necessary.
  • Premium gas may be required in vehicles that utilize turbochargers.

Turn to Greenway Kia of the Shoals for All of Your Automotive Needs

If you have any additional questions about premium vs. regular gas, the team at Greenway Kia of the Shoals would be more than happy to assist you. We can also answer any other questions you may have about vehicle maintenance. Feel free to contact us at your convenience today.


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Greenway Kia of the Shoals 34.772916, -87.669940.