Saving on gas

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Unless you drive a car that says “Premium Fuel Only,” you don’t need premium gas!

Even the new Lexus ES300 is designed for standard-grade gas (87 octane).

“But Ramit,” you might say, “I don’t believe you. I get better gas mileasge/less knocking/it’s just better…”

The truth is, unless you’re driving a high-end luxury or sports car, you just don’t need premium gas. Cars are designed to work perfectly well with standard gasoline. In fact, you can end up wasting over $100/year when you buy it unnecessarily.

Note: You do get better gas mileage with higher-octane gas–but almost never enough to justify the extra costs. Stick with 87 and save the rest.

Reference: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/autos/octane.htm

Now what?

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  1. a number of places out west market 86 octane gas as “regular”….be aware, though most cars probably would do ok.

  2. the octane rating you need also depends on your elevation (because of air density variations), so it’s worth testing out what you need in your area.

    some folks will say they want to use regular fuel even if their car requires premium because “that’s what the knock sensor is for”. Be careful doing this, because once knocking occurs and the ecu changes timing, some damage may already have happened. you’ll also lose out on performance.