Premium vs. Regular Gas: What’s the Difference?

Filling Up Gas
We’ve all seen the labels on the gas pump, but what’s the real difference between premium and regular gas? Premium gasoline has a higher octane component than regular or “unleaded” gasoline, but unless your vehicle requires premium, the practical differences are minor. So, can you put premium gas in a Honda Civic? Does a Honda Accord need premium gas? Keep reading to learn more to find out what’s required for your vehicle. Here’s an overview of premium vs. regular gas to get you started:

  • Premium gasoline and regular gasoline are both produced from crude oil, but premium tends to have an octane level of 90 or above. Regular gasoline usually has an octane rating of 87 or lower.
  • A high-performance engine tends to be more sensitive. Using premium fuel reduces the risk of “engine knocking,” which is why it’s recommended.
  • Premium gasoline is more expensive than regular, but it also keeps your engine cleaner. This might not generate any practical performance advantages, but it will reduce your emissions.

Premium vs. Regular Gas: A Deeper Look

You’ve seen the basic difference between premium and regular gas, but if you’re the type who really wants to understand the technical aspects of your vehicle’s performance, you’re going to want to go deeper!  Here’s what you should know if you’re considering premium gasoline for your vehicle:

  • An octane rating is a measure of how much pressure a fuel can withstand before it detonates and ignites. So, a premium gasoline with a higher octane rating is less likely to ignite by accident.
  • Accidental fuel ignition is also referred to as pre-ignition, or more colloquially, as engine knocking. An engine knock is essentially a small, unintended error in your vehicle’s normal engine cycle, and over time, they can damage an engine and lead to a decline in performance.
  • Can you put premium gas in a Honda Civic? Technically, yes. But many vehicles have engines which are designed to withstand a certain amount of wear and tear. So, for most vehicles, choosing a premium gasoline won’t make much of a difference. That means that the answer is likely no to the following question: “Does the Honda Accord need premium gas?” However, if you drive a “high-performance” vehicle, the results of engine knocking are a whole lot more noticeable!
  • It’s no secret: Unleaded gasoline is generally 20 to 40 cents less expensive than premium gasoline.


Which Honda Vehicles Require Premium Gasoline?

Does the Honda Accord need premium gas? Technically speaking, no Honda vehicles require premium gasoline. That’s right: Unless you’re especially concerned about your carbon footprint, you’re able to use regular gasoline whenever you drive around Vista and Poway. Have you heard that vehicles with turbochargers often require premium gasoline? Honda Civic, Honda Accord, and Honda CR-V models have been made available with turbocharged engines, but even here, gasoline with an octane rating of 87 is the recommendation you’ll find in your owner’s manual. So, can you put premium gas in a Honda Civic? Yes, but do you need to? No.

Does Premium Gas Improve Performance?

Can you put premium gas in a Honda Civic or other Honda model to improve its performance? Not necessarily. If regular gas is recommended for your vehicle, a switch to premium gas would elicit no positive or negative impact on performance. Making the switch would just cost you more money without providing any significant benefit. You can always connect with the Honda of Escondido service center if you would like guidance on how to improve your Honda’s performance.

Any Questions? Turn to Honda of Escondido.

If you still have questions about premium vs. regular gas, feel free to contact our service team at your leisure! If you think you’ve noticed some engine knocking in your vehicle, and you want an expert to take a look, it’s easy to schedule service in Escondido using our online form.

Interested in the Honda 100-month battery warranty? Curious about where your Honda was made? Trying to discover how long an oil change takes at our service center or learn how to unlock a steering wheel? Find out more with our team!


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