September 12th, 2020 by Fix Auto USA
Meet Bob. He’s a luxury car owner who wants to reduce his expenses by using regular gas. Can he do that?
The answer is, it depends on the make and model of his car. While it is true that some luxury car makers require higher octane fuel – BMW X7 and Lexus LS are two examples – there are plenty of luxury cars that don’t need premium gas; the auto maker, however, may recommend it.
What is premium gas?
In most states premium gasoline is defined as gas having an octane rating of 91 or 92. Read more about different gas grades here. Octane ratings measure the fuel’s ability to resist “knocking” or “pinging” in the engine. Regular gas usually has an octane rating of 87. Cars that require premium gas are usually luxury or high-performance vehicles.
Why do luxury cars use premium gas?
Most luxury car makers require (or recommend) premium gas not because they’re trying to be difficult but due to the requirements of high performance engines. The car makers maintain that engines that contain a high compression ration benefit from high-octane fuel. Another concern is trying to avoid “engine knock,” a rattling sound under your hood that diminishes your car’s performance. Low-octane, regular fuel is said to produce engine knock. Most modern vehicles, it should be noted, have built-in sensors designed to reduce, if not prevent, engine knock.
Do all luxury cars require premium gas?
No, it depends on the make and model. If you’re not sure about the guidelines for your car, check your owner’s manual. For some luxury vehicles (think BMW and Lexus), premium gas is required on most makes and models; it is not optional. Other auto makers don’t require it but recommend it. Finally, there are the exceptions – luxury cars that were designed and built for regular gas. According to Autoblog, some highly regarded luxury vehicles don’t require premium gas:
2014 Volvo XC90
2013 Infiniti M37
2014 Buick LaCrosse
2013 Cadillac ATS
2011 Hyundai Equus
2014 Lincoln MKZ
2015 Lexus ES350
2012 Cadillac CTS
2011 Lexus CT
2010 Lincoln MKS
Volvo S60/S60 Cross Country
2014 Buick LaCrosse
2014 Buick Regal
2014 Buick Verano
2014 Buick Enclave
2014 Buick Encore
Cars that require premium gas vs. luxury cars that use regular gas
What about drivers who insist on filling up the tank with premium gasoline even though their vehicle owner’s manual says it is not required? Often these are conscientious, well-intentioned drivers who don’t realize they’re throwing money away. You see, they are under the impression that premium gas will somehow make their engine cleaner. Just so we are clear: lower octane, regular gas also contains detergents and does a fine job of keeping your engine clean. High-octane gas isn’t more pure; it’s just gas that is less combustible than regular fuel.
So, what kind of gas should you put in your luxury car? Let your vehicle owner’s manual make the final call. If it says your luxury or high performance vehicle requires premium gas, simply follow the instructions. While you might save a little money by skimping on premium gas, over time your car will lose power and end up consuming more gas. On the other hand, if premium fuel is optional for your make and model, then there’s no harm in trying regular gas and seeing how your engine responds.
If you find yourself in a car accident and need reliable collision repair, Fix Auto USA is open for business and ready to serve you. We offer our high-quality repair services to all make and model of cars, so bring your car in with complete confidence! Use our store locator to find the closest Fix Auto near you.
This blog post was contributed by Fix Auto Brea, a leading industry expert and collision repair shop servicing Orange County and surrounding communities throughout Southern California.