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GasBuddy News Article

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Premium gas often not needed; driver is top mpg factor

USA Today -- Regular gas probably is OK in some cars meant for premium gas, unless the automaker specifies that high-octane is "required" rather than "recommended."

And that can take a load off your wallet, especially now when there's a 30-cent difference between the average price of regular unleaded, $3.78 a gallon, vs. premium at $4.08 a gallon, according to AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge.

Hot weather, heavy loads, high altitudes - those might demand premium fuel even if it's only recommended.

Listen for pings and knocks. A few, now and then, is not a problem, engineers say. But if you hear a lot of under-hood rattling, ease off the gas pedal immediately and go find a premium pump. You risk wrecking the engine otherwise.

Driver behavior still matters more than technology as a fuel-saving solution.


Read the Full Article

Submitted Feb 23, 2013 By: brbaritone
Category: Daily News Article Discussions > Topics Add to favorite topics  
Author Topic: Premium gas often not needed; driver is top mpg factor Back to Topics
REPLIES (newest first) Post a Reply
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ddor
Champion Author Michigan

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 9:21:46 AM

Ok
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DrCashFlow
Champion Author Massachusetts

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 4:23:06 AM

"required" rather than "recommended."
word spin
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Happytalk
Champion Author Pennsylvania

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 2:50:14 AM

not needed
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alterman156
Champion Author New York

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 2:21:29 AM

If premium gasoline isn't suggested for your car, don't bother using it since there will be no gain in performance. You'll just be wasting your money.
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Zing20
Champion Author Fresno

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 1:56:55 AM

Regular works fine for my car.
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Alaydown
Champion Author Los Angeles

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 12:26:37 AM

There is no news in this article.
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rahcat
Champion Author Grand Rapids

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 12:20:13 AM

Use what is needed.
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Robert44
Champion Author Columbus

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 12:10:25 AM

O.K.
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southrob
Champion Author Tucson

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 12:05:51 AM

dhan
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RAE344
Champion Author Virginia Beach

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 12:04:16 AM

If you can afford a car that needs premium fuel, you might want to use it. Unless you bought above your means.
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LostInNY
Champion Author New York

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 12:04:02 AM

nonsense...
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btex49
Champion Author Austin

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 11:58:57 PM

Who makes big vehicles that need premium gas?
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lowspeed
Champion Author Akron

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 11:58:07 PM

does it make that big of a difference?
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BREW9
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 11:56:48 PM

absolutly
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DarthDadJr
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 11:56:19 PM

Something many drivers ignore and over pay to buy for their cars...
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DesertRat2011
Champion Author Riverside

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 11:54:18 PM

Very few vehicles now a day need premium fuel any more
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weenerdog
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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 11:52:40 PM

true
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sjhman
Veteran Author Atlanta

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 11:52:04 PM

More people need to know this
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redhornet
Champion Author Minnesota

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 11:51:16 PM

waste of money on higher grades it is all the same fuel.
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nimpy
Champion Author Indianapolis

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 11:50:49 PM

This is good
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Buddy2264
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 11:43:17 PM

I am guessing most use regular most of the time, and save on costs. Who uses mid-grade?
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Aviator_Rob
Champion Author New York

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 11:43:10 PM

Any particular reason why the gasoline engine on the Chevy Volt requires premium, @Focus2?
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Alfied
Champion Author Riverside

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 11:43:05 PM

I drive a car "recommended", never use it.
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Aviator_Rob
Champion Author New York

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 11:42:19 PM

You know what's in fuel additive, @obimerrill?

Methanol... ethanol's dirty cousin.
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Harry813
Champion Author Iowa

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 11:40:14 PM

My scooter likes the premium gas :)
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Aviator_Rob
Champion Author New York

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 11:39:32 PM

Gotta disagree with you @OuttaOfGAS. Unless a car specifically requires premium, you won't get much benefit from premium gas. Most engines are not so finely tuned that they'll wring every last ounce of energy out of premium.

Engines that get the most out of premium usually have a higher compression ratio. The higher octane is necessary to prevent detonation caused by the higher compression.
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bisonjim
Champion Author Florida

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 11:39:13 PM

ok
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R209
Champion Author California

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 11:36:52 PM

Use the grade that is recommended.
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scubadaniel
Champion Author Dayton

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 11:35:20 PM

But if your car needs it, you'd better use it
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Mowerman08
Champion Author Milwaukee

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 11:32:32 PM

more like 40 cents a gallon here
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mckellyb
Champion Author Fort Worth

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 11:31:02 PM

With some vehicles, it DOES make a difference.

Even with knock sensors, I noticed with our 1995 Dodge Intrepid with the 3.5L engine, using 87 octane, 89 was recommended, while the timing was retarded to prevent pre-ignition, it created a hesitation on acceleration from a dead stop, so over time, it broke the rear motor mount.

I did the cost/benefit analysis on it, rough difference in price over 85K miles, and the cost of a motor mount.

Looking at it purely that way, I broke even.

However, I did use 89 octane in it, afterward, 'cause the hesitation drove me nuts over time.

Now, there *are* vehicles which specify premium which DO NOT need it. The two I have personal experience with are both Mercedes, a 1989 vintage 420SEL and a 1995 vintage E320. Both were known to have special US-only resistors which retarded timing to be 100% fine with regular.

Elsewhere, you really did need to use high octane fuel to prevent engine damage over the long term. However, those engines also produced slightly more power.

Everything is a trade-off.
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gobux10
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 11:29:50 PM

Never buy premium gas
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Lairre
Champion Author Sacramento

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 11:29:06 PM

No difference.
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cssco
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 11:25:53 PM

Gasoline, one oh one.
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OnABudget1
Champion Author Salinas

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 11:22:42 PM

I did note a difference in my car when i didn't use premium.
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REKEY
Champion Author South Carolina

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 11:21:15 PM

Was it ever needed?
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snagged
Veteran Author Akron

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 11:21:05 PM

I've never seen anybody buy anything other then regular.
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TxPDawg
Champion Author Austin

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 11:20:42 PM

I wouldn't want to own a car that can't run off regular gas. Thats' just me
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IMLURCH
Champion Author Minnesota

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 11:20:08 PM

And what is E15 going to do to it.
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ILoveGoldens
All-Star Author Kentucky

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 11:20:07 PM

Drivers need to save money!!
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The_DR
Champion Author New Jersey

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 11:15:00 PM

Most cars can use regular
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Spankster85
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 11:02:36 PM

I had a car that required premium. What a pain that was.
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davenles
Champion Author Texas

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 10:39:06 PM

Not as big of a need as it was even a decade ago.
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bvrbill
Champion Author Eugene

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 9:52:03 PM

Easy on the accelerator...
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Blue48
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 9:50:01 PM

OK!
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Rhino8of8
Champion Author Wisconsin

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 9:48:29 PM

Driver habits absolutely make the most difference
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sydb7
Champion Author Atlanta

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 9:46:12 PM

Another Big oil scam!
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unloquacious
Champion Author Indiana

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 9:42:32 PM

I agree.
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jklh88
Champion Author California

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 9:42:21 PM

That's true
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darkknight1
Champion Author Winston-Salem

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 9:41:02 PM

I'm just a "regular" guy.
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Minutefan
Champion Author Springfield

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 9:40:54 PM

why buy a car that needs high test?
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