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

Hand Pumping Gas

When you’re getting ready to fill up your car, do you stare at the pump and wonder if it’s worth dropping the extra change on a higher grade of fuel? Drivers in Bloomington have to choose between premium and regular gasoline whenever they fill up, but which is the right choice? It depends on your car, actually. In this guide, Sam Leman Toyota Bloomington will discuss the differences between premium and regular gasoline so you know which is best for your Toyota vehicle!

Regular vs. Premium Gas: The Similarities

  • All levels of gasoline are simple fuels that are derived from crude oil, and they’re both combusted by your engine in basically the same way.
  • Despite what you may have heard, premium gasoline doesn’t make your engine any cleaner than regular. The same detergent additives in premium gasoline are in regular unleaded gas.
  • If your car can run on premium, it will likely run on regular (and vice versa), but it could be less efficient and potentially damaging to your engine to use the wrong type.
 Green Gas Pump Filling Car


Premium vs. Regular Gas: The Difference

While the very basics of these two fuels are similar, the specifics are what really matter here.

  • Octane Rating: This is a measure of the spontaneous combustability of the fuel, and the lower the rating, the more likely it is for the fuel to combust spontaneously and cause your engine to misfire (this is called knocking).
  • Knocking: Your Toyota Corolla isn’t likely to knock with low-octane gas; the engine is designed to account for misfires. Performance vehicles call for higher octane ratings because they have precision engines with little give or take on misfires.
  • Price: Premium gas can be 10 – 20 cents or more per gallon than regular gasoline.

Before deciding whether premium vs. regular gas is right for you, you should read your manual and simply follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. If you’re uncertain, keep these tips in mind:

  • If your vehicle doesn’t require premium gas, it will not boost the performance or lifespan of your vehicle.
  • If your vehicle does require premium gas, using regular may not cause immediate damage but risks long-term maintenance issues.
  • Vehicles with turbochargers often need premium gas. Check your owner’s manual to see if your vehicle requires premium gas.

Service Your Toyota at Sam Leman Toyota Bloomington!

Now that you’ve read about the differences between regular and premium gasoline, visit our service department for your vehicle’s regular oil change and maintenance. While you’re here, take advantage of our rotating selection of service specials for added savings, or contact us with your specific questions about which gas to use for your car.

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