Do You Ever Treat Your Car to Premium Gas?

fuelgradesA while ago, my parents recommended that I fill up the tank of my 2003 Camry with premium gas every now and then to extend the longevity of the car.

With gas prices as low as they’ve been, and considering that I work from home and only have to go to the gas station once every 30-40 days, spending $7 extra a few times a year isn’t a big deal.

However, at least according to this article, the vast majority of cars don’t need intermittent “flushes” via premium gas. In fact, for most cars, the improvement in performance is extremely minimal–you’d only notice it if you were an automobile enthusiast.

So I’m curious: Do you ever treat your car to a tank of fancy gas? Does it make your car happy? Would you recommend it?

6 thoughts on “Do You Ever Treat Your Car to Premium Gas?”

  1. Nope, but I do treat it to non-ethanol gas every now and then. You’ll see a noticeable difference in happy car while you aren’t feeding it corn.

    • Funny you should say that–the last time I gave my car premium, I noticed that the 10% ethanol sticker was only above the premium gas. That seemed odd to me. The middle option didn’t have ethanol, so maybe I’ll try that next time.

      • Unless the station makes a big deal out of it being non-ethanol then it probably all has ethanol in it. You can expect non-ethanol 87 octane to run you $0.50+/gallon more than ethanol 93 octane. At least that’s roughly what it is around here.

  2. It’s a common misconception that higher octane gas is somehow better for your engine or cleaner running. Octane has nothing to do with how clean the fuel is, it’s only about flammability/compression. Some engines require higher octane fuel because they are high-compression engines, which requires more octane because, as the article you linked to points out, “higher-octane fuels can be compressed to a greater degree without self-igniting.” All octane levels of fuel, if purchased from a name-brand gas station, have detergent additives in them. See here for a list of places that sell “Top Tier” gasoline:

    Here’s a no-nonsense Q&A from the Car Talk guys that puts it all very simply:

  3. I use safeway rewards, and they give anywhere from ten to thirty cents off the gallon. I’ve used nothing but the fancy stuff for about three years now and I’ve seen my gas mileage improve a bit.


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