May 2, 2014

How do I know if I'm pumping premium fuel into my car?

It wasn't that long ago that the difference between regular and premium gas was 20 cents. Now at many places it is over 40 cents. Are there any county, state or federal agencies that regularly check gas stations to insure the public is actually receiving premium fuel instead of regular to see if there is indeed a difference in the octane as advertised? Kerry in Huron

In short, there appears to be no checks-and-balance system verifying that people are obtaining premium fuel if they're pumping it into their vehicle and paying more for it.

Kimberly Schwind, AAA Ohio Auto Club spokeswoman, provided the following answer:

I asked our fuel price expert at AAA National about this and he sent me the following response. Please let me know if you'd like me to contact the Ohio Department of Agriculture for you.

This appears to be a tough one to answer. Most states have regulations requiring random fuel quality testing of gas stations, but it does not look like this is the case in Ohio. According to a few county websites, Ohio does not seem to have such regulations:

I might recommend that the newspaper contact the weights and measures department at (the) Ohio Department of Agriculture to get more information. The county auditor where the newspaper is located or one of the auditors in the above websites could be a another good source.

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Educate yourself with the google
I have talked to two different fuel delivery drivers who say that there is no difference between premium and regular as delivered from their truck.

Fibber Mcgee

WOW!! I always thought that there was some difference in the octane.
Hard to believe that premium can cost more if it's from the same load.

From the Grave

You said load.

Good 2 B Me

You also said load!


I say it's a load


You might also want to check your owner's manual for your car. Unless you drive a luxury car or a high performance engine, cars today are built to run on regular octane. You may be paying for the high octane for no reason.


In short, you can't tell!


For the record, Tanker Trucks can carry various loads of fuel at once. We have a Tanker come with both Jet-A and 100LL fuel all the time. There is a difference in Octane ratings...anyone with a high performance car will tell you the difference between 89 and 93 octane.


True, there are 3 or 4 compartments on a tanker.


Those with cars that require 93 octane will have knock that the computer can't control, and your "check engine light" will flash. It is not a good thing for the pistons, rings, or piston lands.

Those engines that require 93 octane fueling up in California will or might get the flashing cause 93 is rarely found in California, their "premium" is 91 and some performance cars especially those modified will knock with 91.

If you use 93 in a car made for 87 you are throwing money away.(3 and 87 ignite at different temperatures and burns at different temperatures. The cars computer ignition can't compensate for the differences, and spark plugs will foul and carbon will accumulate in combustion chamber.

From the Grave

How do you know for sure that the Chinese restaurant really leaves out the MSG...


How do you really know that is not cat you are eating?


How do you know what is in vitamins or prescribed drugs?


(R+M)/ 2. Isomerization process. Big Oil cheat US? nawwwwwwwwww. Watch the documentary "Gashole."

BULLISDEEP's picture

Strictly speaking, the numbers on the pump are not octane levels. The octane molecule is just one of many methods of raising the threshhold energy for combustion and thus preventing pre-ignition.

For many years, tetraethyl lead was used. Now, it's other additives.