Does Running Higher Octane Fuel Help

I’ve always been curious about the impact of running higher octane fuel in my car. There’s a lot of conflicting information out there, so I decided to do some research to see if higher octane fuel really makes a difference.

What is Octane Rating?

Before we delve into whether higher octane fuel helps, let’s talk about what octane rating actually means. The octane rating of fuel measures its ability to resist “knocking” or “pinging” during combustion. Knocking can cause damage to the engine, so a higher octane rating is generally better for performance.

What the Experts Say

According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), most cars don’t require premium fuel and using it in a car that doesn’t require it won’t improve performance or fuel economy. The Federal Trade Commission also states that using a higher octane fuel than your owner’s manual recommends generally provides no benefit.

My Personal Experience

After doing some research, I decided to test this out on my own car. I usually use regular unleaded fuel, but I filled up with premium fuel for a month to see if I noticed any difference. Surprisingly, I didn’t notice any significant improvements in performance or fuel economy.

Cost Considerations

One thing to keep in mind is the cost. Higher octane fuel is usually more expensive than regular unleaded fuel. So, unless your car specifically requires premium fuel, you may be wasting money by using it.


Based on my research and personal experience, it seems that running higher octane fuel doesn’t provide significant benefits for cars that don’t require it. It’s important to follow your owner’s manual recommendations and use the appropriate fuel for your vehicle. In the end, it’s best to stick with what’s recommended unless your car’s manual suggests otherwise.