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1557 Auto Park Way • Escondido, CA 92029

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Premium vs. Regular Gas

Illuminated Fuel Gauge

When it comes to premium vs. regular gas, premium isn’t always better — but it’s important to fill up your tank with the right fuel. Octane ratings denote the pressure under which gasoline will combust. In other words: the higher the octane level, the more stable the fuel. Premium gasoline has a higher octane level than regular, so it’s less likely to spontaneously combust. Join MINI of Escondido for an in-depth look at the difference between premium and regular gas, and how they affect your MINI vehicle’s engine and efficiency on the road in San Marcos.

Octane Ratings for Premium vs. Regular Gas

Depending on octane level, any gasoline you buy in San Diego receives a rating of regular, premium, or ultra-premium:

  • Regular — Regular gasoline typically has an octane rating of 87. While regular gas is the most affordable fuel, spending more on premium isn’t always better for your car.
  • Premium — Gasoline that is designated as premium generally meets an octane level of 91 or higher. Look for gas pumps labeled “91” or “93.” 
  • Ultra-Premium — Sometimes you’ll see gasoline labeled as “ultra-premium” to indicate an octane level of 93.

When Do You Need Premium Gas?

Higher octane fuel causes engine combustion to occur later. Engine combustion that occurs too early is called “engine knock” thanks to the knocking sound that comes with it. Some engine knock is normal, but engine damage may occur if the knocking becomes chronic. However, most new vehicles have technology to predict and avoid engine lock — so regular gasoline won’t usually harm a vehicle with a premium fuel recommendation. That said, it may be best for your vehicle to use premium fuel if:

  • You’re the owner of a high-performance MINI model. Certain performance engines can only reach their full potential using premium fuel.
  • Your MINI warranty requires that you use premium fuel.
  • Your car gets better mileage with premium. If your car delivers better mileage with premium fuel, then there’s no reason not to use it. Some auto manufacturers claim that fuel efficiency is higher with premium (vs. regular gas).

Cover Your Vehicle Maintenance Needs in Escondido 

If your MINI vehicle is experiencing frequent engine knock, schedule service with the certified technicians at MINI of Escondido. We’re also happy to help you to perform DIY auto maintenance tasks at home in Carlsbad, like cleaning your MINI floor mats or removing stickers from your bumper or windshield.

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