Home > Ask Gary > ASK GARY: Does it Matter What Type of Gas I Use?

ASK GARY: Does it Matter What Type of Gas I Use?


There are more things to consider at the pump than just the price.  The first thing to check is that you’re using gas with the proper octane rating.  If you go lower or higher than the manufacturer’s recommendation your combustion system may not operate properly, putting added wear and tear on internal parts. You might even hear a knocking sound as the fuel moves through the engine.

Also, it matters where you buy gas because the additive package varies.  In a similar way that junk food isn’t as good for your body as healthy alternatives, lower-quality gas isn’t as good for your vehicle as brand-name options. Lower-quality gas can stress your internal engine components, causing parts such as valves, cylinder heads and spark plugs to wear out quicker.

Think of it this way, you might save three cents per gallon with discount gas.  Since the average person drives 15,000 miles at 30 per miles per gallon, that might amount to a $15 a year savings with discounted gas. A new spark plug could cost even more – around $20 – so you’re not really saving any money, and shortening the life of your vehicle’s internal components.  Given the consequences, next time you need gas, you might want to skip the discount stations and instead opt for higher-quality offerings.  

By using the right gas for your vehicle, you can get better mileage, improve performance and potentially save money in the long run.  Sounds like a winning formula.

Happy driving!

–          Gary

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