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

Gas pumps in a row

When you stop at the gas pump in Sandy Springs, do you usually choose regular or premium? What’s the difference between premium and regular gas anyway? While some drivers can get by with the cheapest option, others will benefit from splurging on the high-end stuff. Learn how premium vs. regular gas differ, and learn which is the best formulation for your vehicle with help from Atlanta Autos!

Premium vs. Regular: What is Regular Gasoline?

Let’s start with the basics. Regular gasoline is the most common type of gas, and it’s the most affordable as well. While regular gasoline formulas of the past contained lead, this is no longer the case – which is why you’ll see “unleaded gasoline” at the gas pump. Regular gasoline works well for most vehicles with standard engines, like the popular 4-cylinder options.

Premium vs. Regular: What is Premium Gasoline?

Both regular and premium gasoline formulations share some similarities. They are made from crude oil and are designed to combust within your engine. However, premium gasoline has been further refined to burn slower and resist something called “pre-ignition” or engine knocks. Pre-ignition might not be a problem for most vehicles, but if you drive a premium or luxury car, your high-compression engine might require premium to get the job done properly.

The Difference Between Premium and Regular Gas

So, what’s the difference between premium and regular gas?

  • Octane Rating: The higher the octane level, the lower the chance of engine knocks. Regular gas typically has an octane level of 87, while premium has an octane level of 90 or above.
  • Engine Suitability: Because regular gas burns faster than premium gas, it is better suited for engines that have low compression ratios. Engines with high compression ratios, like turbocharged and supercharged options, will see the most benefit from premium gasoline.
  • Price: Premium gas is more expensive than regular gasoline. The difference can be as much as 20 to 40 cents more per gallon, which can really add up on those Kennesaw road trips.

Do I Need Premium or Regular Gas?

We recommend checking your owner’s manual to see what your manufacturer recommends. Any vehicle can use premium without harm, but not every vehicle will necessarily benefit from it. Here are some pointers:

  • If your car doesn’t need premium, you won’t see a boost in performance or efficiency from using it.
  • If your vehicle does require premium gas, regular gas usually won’t harm the engine. However, if you notice engine knocks, it’s a good idea to switch over to premium to prevent potential damage.
  • Your engine type usually dictates whether or not you’ll need premium. If you have a turbocharger, you’ll likely benefit from premium on the Smyrna roads.

Visit the Atlanta Autos Service Center Today

Still have questions about premium vs. regular gas? Feel free to contact us at Atlanta Autos. We’re always happy to answer your questions, and we’d love to chat with you in Marietta!


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