What are the different types of gasoline?

Alright, we’re back to gasoline for dummies. This is the question every gasoline consumer must have an answer to. Of course, it is the vehicle that consumes gas, but you’re the one buying it. An uninformed consumer isn’t someone you want to be, right?

Okay, let’s see your motives. Are you curious about what kinds of gasoline are out there? Also, you might be wondering about where their differences lie? What about the best kind of gasoline for your car? You’ll find a thorough answer to all those questions in the text below.

There are three main types of gasoline: regular, mid-grade, and premium. Their main difference lies in the octane rating. Regular has 87, mid-grade goes from 89-90, and premium’s 91-93. You should use only the type of gasoline your owner’s manual requires you to use. Otherwise, you might cause some damage to your engine.

This was just a brief intro. Continue scrolling to see a piece of quality info! (The rhyme was totally unintentional, so don’t you mind.)

Table of Contents

101, Gasoline str. (FAQ)

So, here’s the address: 101, Gasoline str. Once you reach the place, here are some questions you can pose. We’ll provide the answers, too!

What is gasoline?

Let’s avoid the traditional definition, and see if we can make it more interesting. We’ll use the version someone would put in an encyclopedia for kids or somethin’ similar. Gasoline is:

  • a toxic, clean liquid.
  • made by boiling a fossil fuel called petroleum.
  • typically used as a fuel in internal combustion engines.
  • largely composed out of isooctane and heptane (hydrocarbons).
  • sold at gas (petrol) stations.
  • one of the most widely used petroleum derivatives (products).

Now, we still won’t get into different types of gasoline. That’s what we’ve left for the main section of this article. First, we’ll elaborate on the things we’ve mentioned in the “definition”.

How it’s made?

Gasoline is produced in the process of so-called fractional distillation. Through it, crude oil (petroleum) is broken into different petroleum products. We accomplish that by heating petroleum until it separates into various components. One of them, of course, is gasoline.

Is gasoline dangerous?

It’s good you asked because gasoline can be quite dangerous. That’s why we need to enforce all the safety measures we can think of. Improperly storing gasoline brings you one step closer to total disaster. The substance in question is highly flammable. That’s why you’ll never see a petrol station clerk smoking a cigarette near his workplace.

Wait, what?

Yup, even the smallest little spark from a cigarette could ignite gasoline fumes. Not to mention that breathing in gasoline-polluted air can lead to serious diseases. Also, it contains benzene, a sweet-smelling chemical. It gives folks a mild high every time they sip gas. That’s one of the reasons why some people enjoy the smell of gasoline.

Can gasoline spoil?

Unfortunately, it can spoil after a certain period of time it’s been kept in storage. Or in your car’s tank, of course. The latter option will cause the gasoline to turn bad quicker. Also, the healthy period of your gasoline depends on the type of gasoline you’re using. But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves, since we’ll talk about it pretty soon.

A person sipping gasoline at a gas station.

So, what are the different types of gasoline?

Now that we’ve listed some basic information about gasoline, let’s check out our main theme. Today we’ll talk about different types of gasoline.

Why is this topic so important?

There are a few reasons for that. First things first, you need to know what type of gasoline’s good for your vehicle. Consult the owner’s manual to see what type of gas does your car demand. By choosing the right one, you’ll:

  • lower the risk of damaging the engine of your vehicle.
  • probably save money, since you won’t be paying for a more costly gas type you don’t need.
  • ensure your car works in its most optimal state.
  • avoid paying potential repairs that can result from using the wrong gasoline type.

Hopefully, that’s enough to convince even the toughest of our readers.

What are the differences in the different types of gasoline?

We’ll try to be quick here since we don’t want to keep you any longer than it’s necessary. The main difference between the various types of gasoline lies in the octane levels. Also, we shouldn’t forget to mention the differences in price. But, it might be best to cover that part while we talk about our main subject.

Regular gasoline

We’ll start this one off with the most widely used type of gas out there. Of course, we’re talking about regular gasoline. It has an octane level of 87. That’s what makes it stand out, as we’ve already said.

Most car manufacturers recommend you use this type with the vehicles they produce. The octane level of 87 will make your car run without any trouble. It won’t offer the top-notch experience of using gasoline with a higher octane rating. Still, that has everything to do with the model of your car. If your vehicle’s manual doesn’t require you to use anything other than regular gas – then you shouldn’t.

Have in mind this type of gasoline is the least expensive out of all we’ll mention today. Regular gas gets the job done, there’s no doubt about it.

Mid-grade gasoline

Also known as plus or special, mid-grade gasoline usually has an octane level of 89. It’s also the least common type of gasoline you’ll stumble upon. Only about seven percent of all vehicles demand you run them on this type of gas. Of course, you’ll want to check your owner’s manual to see if your car will benefit from mid-grade gas. Although, if your car’s running on mid-grade gas, chances are you already know it. Here’s one of the neat models that run on mid-grade gas.

The term mid-grade can differ from state to state. It’s not set in stone, so to speak. That being said, it’s best you focus your attention on the octane level when sipping gas.

For more info on the curiosity (or mystery) that is mid-grade gasoline, visit this page.

His majesty, premium gasoline

As you could’ve guessed, this type is the most expensive. Before buying the car of your dreams, you might want to check the manual first. The booklet might say you’re required to use premium gas with the vehicle. That would mean using any other type of gas will only damage your engine. Also, the car won’t show off its full potential.

Premium gas usually has an octane rating of 91-93. It can vary from state to state.

Should I use premium gasoline even if my owner’s manual says nothing about it?

The answer is NO. You shouldn’t use premium gas if you’re not required to use it. Putting premium in a vehicle not suited for it you might cause damage to the engine. Unburned fuel can potentially find its way into your emissions system. That is nowhere near good for your car.

How to know if you’re using gas that has too much octane?

You’ll notice a foul smell that will remind you of rotten eggs. It will be coming from your tailpipe.

This might sound like a long shot. Are you, by any chance, wondering can you use premium gas in your boat? If so, don’t hesitate to click here.

Lower octane gas (octane level 85)

You might have noticed this type of gasoline appearing in certain locations. Places with high-elevation, that is. At high altitudes, the engine seems to act a bit differently. Using gasoline with an octane level of 85 might help your car run better. Although, some disagree. There are studies that conclude you should only use this type with older vehicles.

Before you arrive in a place that is at a higher elevation, read up on the best kind of gasoline for the occasion.

What about older car models?

If you own a classic car or just an older model, you might want to think about using higher octane gas. With oldtimers, you’re likely to experience the so-called knocking issue. A mid-grade, or even premium, gas can probably help prevent this problem. Also, knocking might cause a lot of other problems. So, yeah, consider using gasoline with a higher level of octane with your vintage car.

What are the different types of gasoline? – a summary

Alright, let’s see what did we mention today. In other words: what types of gasoline might one find out there?

  • Regular gasoline (87 octane level). The cheapest of the bunch. Eighty percent of car owners use this type.
  • Mid-grade gasoline (89-90). The middle grounds. Only seven percent of car owners use it.
  • Premium gasoline (91-93). The most expensive type. Ten percent of car owners use it.
  • Lower octane gas (85). Some use to drive vehicles in places that have a high elevation. Studies suggest one should avoid using it.

If you’re an owner of a classic (or vintage) car model, it might be best you use mid-grade or premium gasoline. In any other case, consult your owner’s manual to see what your car requires. Use only the type of gas your manual suggests.

For more gasoline-related facts, feel free to see what we have to offer.