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The Great Debate: Which Type of Gas is Better for Your Car?

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The Great Debate: Which Type of Gas is Better for Your Car?

Gasoline has been used for centuries to power the automobiles that get us around from place to place each day. And while there are a number of new alternative emerging – like electric and hybrid vehicles, many of us still find ourselves at the pump a few times a week to fill up. Once there, you might be tempted to just fill up on the lowest cost option (87) to get the “best bang for your buck.”

But is it really?

Some would argue that a higher grade fuel is going to burn slower and prevent mechanical breakdowns. Those on the other side of the argument, say there really is no difference for some cars.

We’re here to offer some answers for the great debate on which type of gas is better for your car.

First, let’s review the options: 87, 89 & 93 refer to the octane levels in the gasoline. 87 being the “regular” amount, 89 a mid-grade and 91-93 a premium level of octane sometimes called “super” or “plus.”

Further, this octane relates to how the fuel can resist engine knocking or pinging. Higher the octane, less “pinging” during combustion.

Another fuel also used in some trucks and vehicles is diesel. This fuel uses a different combustion method that compresses air before fuel. If your vehicle calls for it - stick to that.

There’s also another way to reassure yourself that you’re putting the right fuel in your car and it’s in the most obvious place: On the fuel door.

Most cars will contain a local somewhere inside the fuel door, on the cap or by the fill neck that states the kind of gas to be used i.e. “Unleaded Gas Only” or “Diesel Fuel Only” but that still doesn’t answer the question of which grade of fuel is best.

Now the good stuff...

According to the FTC, there is no benefit in putting higher grade gasoline in your car if the manufacturer does not recommend it. For those that do require premium, there will be performance downgrades and other possible issues if regular gasoline is used, so be sure to consider your options carefully.

However, if you drive a pretty standard car to and from work each day with no sporty ambitions and perks added, save yourself some money and shop smart for a lower price fuel. 

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