The right choice of gasoline for your car

What kind of gas should I fill my car with? The type of fuel you should use in your car is determined by the car’s engine. In the owner’s manual, you’ll find the manufacturer’s recommended fuel octane rating. Most common cars require regular gasoline, which typically has an octane rating of 87. High-performance vehicles, on the other hand, may require mid-grade (usually 89 octane) or premium fuel (91-93 octane).

Is 87 or 89 gas better for your car? It depends on your car’s engine design. If your car requires 87, then 87 is better. If your car requires 89, then 89 is better. Using a higher octane than required usually doesn’t provide any benefit. The octane rating refers to the fuel’s resistance to pre-detonation (or “knocking”), which can damage an engine over time. Higher performance engines often require higher octane fuel due to their design.

Does my car need premium or regular gas? Again, this depends on your vehicle’s engine. Check your owner’s manual. If it says premium fuel is “required,” you should use premium fuel. If it says premium fuel is “recommended,” the engine can benefit from it, but it’s not necessary. Using regular gas in an engine designed for premium can lead to lower performance and potential engine damage over time.

What happens if I accidentally put 89 gas in my car instead of 87? Typically, nothing. It’s perfectly safe to use a higher octane gas than required. The main downside is that it’s more expensive, and you likely won’t see any performance benefit.

What happens if I put 93 instead of 87? The same as above applies. It’s safe, but it’s more expensive and probably won’t benefit your car’s performance unless it’s designed for that octane rating.

Is it bad to put 89 gas instead of 93? This depends on whether your vehicle’s manufacturer “requires” or “recommends” 93. If 93 is required and you use 89, you might experience reduced performance and potential engine damage over time. If 93 is just recommended, then using 89 should be okay, but you might see a slight decrease in performance and efficiency.

Does 89 gas last longer than 87? The octane rating doesn’t impact how long the gas will last in terms of mileage. What affects the fuel efficiency is the vehicle’s design, how you drive, and other factors like tire pressure and air conditioning use.


A study was conducted by the American Automobile Association (AAA) in 2016, which compared different brands of gasoline, specifically focusing on the difference between regular gasoline and a higher standard of gasoline known as “Top Tier”​1​. The study was facilitated by an independent engine testing lab that specializes in fuel analysis. They operated an engine continuously for 100 hours on a cycle to represent 4,000 real miles of use, then disassembled and photographed the engine, and weighed and measured its key components to determine the thickness of carbon deposits. For this test, six fuels were used, randomly selected and split among three basic gasoline sources and three Top Tier ones​.

The results of the study showed that, on average, non-Top Tier gasoline had 19 times more carbon deposits on injectors, on intake valves, and in the combustion chamber than Top Tier gasoline. It was also found that Top Tier gasoline can have a cleansing effect, reducing intake valve deposits by 45 to 72 percent when used over a 5,000-mile interval. The variation in the results is attributed to the detergents used by different brands​​.

What’s the difference between 87 and 89 gas? The primary difference is the octane rating, which measures the fuel’s resistance to knocking or pre-detonation in the engine. Higher octane fuel (like 89) has more resistance to knocking than lower octane fuel (like 87). Higher performance engines often require this higher resistance due to their design.

Does 89 gas make your car faster? Generally, no. Unless your car’s engine is specifically designed to take advantage of the higher octane fuel, you’re unlikely to see a difference in speed or performance.

Does 89 gas burn faster than 87? The octane rating does not influence the rate at which the gasoline burns. Factors that affect the burn rate include the engine’s design and efficiency, as well as your driving habits. Higher octane fuels are more resistant to knocking, but that doesn’t make them burn faster or slower.

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