For The Record: Higher Octane

Acura RL RearUgh. I hear about this all the time. My last 3 cars all needed higher octane… And I could tell the difference in performance… So please use this as a reference (you’re welcome, Buddy… Even though I did just give you another $52 at the pump…)

Myth: High Octane is better.

NASCAR driver Joe Nemechek knows this. “Believe me, I’ve pumped gas in about every gas station there’s been in my personal cars. Whether it’s around town or on vacation or wherever, you put the regular in there it keeps on running,” he said. The NASCAR drivers, mechanics, and car makers will tell you that for 90 percent of the cars sold today, high octane is no better than regular gas. It won’t give you better mileage, more power or a cleaner engine. NASCAR crew member Lisa Smokstad told us what every expert told us.

“It is a myth that cars run better on premium gas,” she said.

Some cars do need higher octane — older cars that knock, and cars with high-compression, high-revving engines like Ferraris, Bentleys, Jaguars, Acuras, Mercedes and Corvettes.

But 90 percent of new cars don’t need it — check your owner’s manual.

Source: ABC News 20/20

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