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What is the Difference Between Regular and Premium Gas?

So you've been filling up with premium gas and want to know is there really a difference between regular and premium gas?

If you've noticed at the gas pumps, the main difference between regular and premium gas is the octane rating. But what exactly does an octane rating mean?

The octane rating is a measure of the resistance of gasoline to detonation. The idea is that higher octane fuel have higher compression ratios and are therefore more prone to detonation.

For example, regular gas has an octane rating of 87, midgrade gas is 89, and premium is 91 or 92. Octane ratings are lower in certain areas due to the effects of thin air.

What's important to remember is that the octane rating doesn't indicate how much power the fuel delivers; which is the same for all grades of gasoline. A higher octane rating simply means the fuel is less likely to cause your engine to knock or ping.

So now that you know the difference between regular and premium gas, check out our follow-up article which takes a look at the question: is premium gas really better than regular?

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