Can you mix regular and premium gas?

So, we’ve already talked about mixing old and new gasoline. If you don’t remember how that debate ended, click here. Anyway, today we’ll tackle a similar subject. In other words: we’ll see whether you should mix premium and regular gas.

Now, one might wonder: is mixing premium and regular gas forbidden? Or only not recommended? Or: whether combining the two will damage the engine? You’ll find the answer to all those questions in the article below. We’ll show you everything that’s related to the issue of mixing regular and premium gas.

It’s possible to mix regular and premium gas. However, not every car owner will benefit from the combo. Got a regular car? If so, you won’t experience any significant changes in your car’s performance. Sporting a premium vehicle? It’s best you avoid running your car on the mix of regular and premium gas.  

If you think that’s the whole of it, you’re absolutely wrong! Check out the rest of the text to see exactly what’s up!

Table of Contents

Regular vs. premium gas

There’s a little something we must do before we answer this ever-present conundrum. Yup, we’re talking about explaining the differences between these two types of gas. If you want the simplest answer: the main differences lay in the octane levels both types of gas possess. Let’s elaborate further on that distinction:

  • Regular gasoline is another term for gasoline with an octane level of 87.
  • Premium gasoline is another term for gasoline with an octane level of 91 (or higher). There’s also ultra or super-premium gas as some petrol stations call it (octane level of 93).

Also, premium gas is a bit more costly than its regular (I’m-not-that-special) sibling. You might be wondering: where’s the gasoline with an octane level between 87 and 91? It’s good you asked. Midgrade gas is gasoline with an octane level of 89.

For a more in-depth look into the different types of gas, click here.

What do these octane levels mean?

This whole talk about octan levels might’ve confused you. We’re right on it! The thing is:

  • the higher the octane rating of the fuel, the more likely it is for it to hold out against detonations. In other words: if the octane level’s high, the lower are chances of a detonation happening when you don’t want it to. 

Detonations? It’s that good ol’ chinking sound you can sometimes notice while you’re accelerating. More precisely: it’s a combustion of the fusion of air and fuel. You might wonder: is it dangerous? If it happens at the wrong moment, it can leave some consequences on your engine.

So, premium gas is better, right?

Don’t expect a YES or NO answer here; it depends on the type of vehicle we’re talking about. Some of ’em demand you use premium gas, some require you to use regular gasoline. If your vehicle’s manual recommends you use premium – it’s alright to sip it! Otherwise – stick to the regular kind.

Needless to say, this leaves us with a lot of unanswered questions (and here’s an interesting one). Let’s see the most obvious ones!

What happens when you put regular gas in a premium car?

As we’ve said, some cars are made with the intention you sip premium gas inside ’em. It’s all written there in your owner’s manual. However, you might be curious about what will happen if you were to use regular gas with a premium car.

First thing you’ll want to know: it’s not recommended you use regular gas with a premium car. Such activity can compromise your warranty. How’s that? Well, by using regular fuel with a premium engine, the detonations are likely to happen. They will probably do some good damage to the pistons or other parts of your vehicle’s engine.

There’s another question that comes up right after this one!

What happens if you put premium gas in a regular gas car?

Some folks might sip premium inside their meant-to-be-run-on-regular-gas vehicles. Most probably, they think it’ll somehow boost their car’s performance. The truth’s a bit different.

Here are both the good and the bad news: nothing significant will happen. Neither your car will somehow run better, nor will your engine end up damaged. One thing’s for sure: you’ll be wasting money for no reason. That’s all there’s to it!

Oh, and is there any other kind of gasoline typology?

It’s good you asked since there is!  We can differentiate between:

  • regular, unleaded gasoline. 
  • ethanol-blended gasoline.
  • fuel-stabilized gasoline.

The first one’s your good ol’ unleaded fuel. Alcohol is sometimes added to gas to boost combustion efficiency. That’s who we get ethanol-blended gas. Lastly, some gasoline is blended with a stabilizer that will prolong its shelf life. In other words: it will enhance the number of days/months/years it can stay in storage without going bad.

Now that we’ve covered these so-called FAQs, it’s time we consider our main dish of the day! So, are you able to mix regular and premium gas? We’re about to find out!

A petrol station offering its users regular and premium gas.

Can you mix regular and premium gas?

Okay, so let’s start off by saying the good: well, it depends. Of course, you’re not a fan of that answer and neither are we. However, there’s no other way of answering the can-you-mix-regular-and-premium-gas question!

Yup, it depends on the type of car you’re working with. It’s possible to use the combo of regular and premium gas with cars that require regular gasoline. Of course, it doesn’t mean it’s recommended or somethin’. However, using the mix won’t have severe consequences (if any) on your car’s performance. 

Most experts would agree regular car owners that use premium gas will reap zero benefits. Although on some rare occasions, they add, this mix will result in a blend that will make your car run a little faster. Still, there’s no point in spending more money on something that happens rarely, if ever.

On the other side, using the mixed gasoline with premium cars will result in the following:

  • You’re bound to see a minor (yet noticeable) decrease in your vehicle’s performance. 
  • Also, there’s a chance you’ll experience the so-called detonations. 

Now, this doesn’t mean you should avoid sipping regular gas at all costs. Imagine the situation in which the nearest pump didn’t sell premium gas. If there are no other options, fill your car with enough fuel to reach the next petrol station.

If you’re a boat owner, visit this page to see some info concerning different types of gas.

What about octane boosters?

And we almost forgot to mention octane boosters. Dear premium users, this little addition will put a big smile on your face! So, what are the so-called octane boosters? You’ll wanna know that their function is to enhance the octane rating of the fuel. In other words: they’ll greatly improve your premium engine’s stability. If, of course, you don’t find a station that sells premium gas.

Here’s an additional tip: want to know how to save on gasoline costs? Follow that link!

Who uses midgrade gasoline?

Once you’re done reading the biggest portion of this text, you might ask: what’s the deal with midgrade? Who uses it, anyway?

As we’ve already said, midgrade fuel has an 89 octane level or above (but below 91). Needless to say, it’s the most mysterious type of gas out there. Not that its qualities are unknown or something. The thing is: only around seven percent of vehicle owners use it! Premium ain’t that far behind, though. It’s used by ten percent of car owners.

How to know if your car demands you use midgrade gas? As always, one should check their owner’s manual and find the answer. However, since we’re talking midgrade gas here, make sure you double-check that section!

What’s considered midgrade gas varies from state to state. It’s always best for you to rely on the octane rating when sipping gas. In other words: you shouldn’t care what it’s called. Here’s why shouldn’t you trust the label. Some states put a premium label on gas that has at least 92 octane levels. Others might label fuel with an octane level of 90 as premium. You can see where this is going.

Bonus FAQ: Will premium gas clean my engine?

Here’s a question many folks type into their Google search bar. They’re wondering if premium gas will their regular engines. Here’s the answer they’ve wanted to hear.

You’ll wanna know that contemporary premium fuels come with certain additives and detergents. What do these do? They help clean your car’s fuel injectors. Also, they discard carbon deposits that might’ve built up inside your engine. That’s why some regular car owners sometimes use premium fuel (to clean their engines).

All in all: using premium gas with your regular engine every now and then might be good. Just so your engine stays clean!

Parting thoughts

And we’ve come to an end of yet another article on gasoline-related topics! Anyway, that’s about it for the whole can-you-mix-regular-and-premium-gas story! Now, you’re equipped with the necessary info to know whether mixing these two is worth it!

Want more tips on gasoline and everything that fits inside the related-to-gasoline umbrella? Feel free to visit our blog page.