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

car at a gas pump

Many drivers in the Chicago area have questions about the difference between premium and regular gasoline. If you are one of those wondering what sets the two apart, the team at Jennings Volkswagen has created this handy guide. We have compared premium vs. regular gasoline to help you determine what is best for your particular make and model.

What is Premium Gasoline?

Did you know that premium gas and regular gas actually have numerous similarities, like the fact that both are produced from crude oil and both are combustible? Where the two options differ is the octane level. In most cases, premium gasoline will have an octane level that is at least 90. An added bonus is that premium gasoline helps keep your engine cleaner, and this means less pollution.

What is Regular Unleaded Gasoline?

The most common option you will see at your local Northbrook gas station is regular unleaded gasoline. This option is all that is needed for most vehicles on the roadways of Park Ridge. Because it does not contain lead, it is better for the environment and your health than gasoline that has been formulated with lead. The octane rating for unleaded gasoline is 87. This number lets you know how effective the gasoline is at combating inappropriate fuel combustion.

The Difference Between Premium and Regular Gas

While there are several similarities between premium and regular gasoline, there are a few important differences to note:

  • Octane Rating: The higher the octane level, the less chance there is of engine knocking. Engine knocking, which is also known as pre-ignition, can lead to vehicle damage. It is a less common occurrence with premium gasoline.
  • Engine Suitability: Regular unleaded gas burns faster than premium gas, which is why it works better with engines that have low compression ratios. If your vehicle’s engine has a high compression ratio, it is best to use premium gasoline.
  • Price: Premium gas can be as much as 20 to 40 cents more per gallon than regular unleaded gas. If you do a lot of driving around Glenview, and your vehicle does not require premium gasoline, you may want to opt for the more affordable regular unleaded gas.

Consider the following if you are still deciding whether premium vs. regular gas is the best option for your vehicle:

  • If your car does not require premium gas, it will not have much of an effect at all on the performance of your vehicle or how long it lasts.
  • If your vehicle requires premium gas, it will usually not be harmed in any way if you decide to use regular gasoline. However, if you notice engine knocking while you are using regular unleaded gas, you will want to opt for premium gasoline in the future.
  • If your vehicle utilizes turbochargers, the use of premium gasoline may be necessary.

Trust the Automotive Service Experts at Jennings Volkswagen

If you have any additional questions about premium vs. regular gas, reach out to the team at Jennings Volkswagen at your convenience. We want to make sure you are using the right gasoline for your particular make and model.

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201 Waukegan Rd • Glenview, IL 60025

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Jennings Volkswagen

201 Waukegan Rd Glenview, IL

Phone: 847-453-3091


Phone: 844-742-1086

201 Waukegan Rd Glenview, IL


Phone: 844-742-1085

201 Waukegan Rd Glenview, IL


Phone: 844-742-1086

201 Waukegan Rd Glenview, IL
42.077810 -87.798544
Jennings Volkswagen 42.077810, -87.798544.