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Premium Fuel

Is premium the right term?

Generally when a car person calls a fuel “Premium” it means they are suggesting the fuel has a high octane rating and nothing more.

It appears that the general public believes Premium, means "better" and using it can fix all kinds of things, maybe even the headlights will last longer and burn brighter. 

In real life, "premium" fuel has little or no advantage over "regular" unless their car requires higher octane.  In my experience most people believe that premium fuel: Has more energy and will give any car more power and higher mileage. 

Should we not make an effort to get more drivers knowledgable of this?

Let’s go back to calling it “high test”.

Since our auto gas no longer contains lead some knuckleheads will take that to mean “high testosterone”!

Premium is a “Marketing” term. The gas companies marketing people found that if you just change the name to “Premium” people will tend to buy it more often then if the name was “High Test”. Obviously it’s been working since they haven’t changed the name since. Gas companies charge about 20 cents more per gallon, but it costs them about the same price as regular.

When I worked in a gas station, back in the late '60s, some customers would come in asking for Ethel. I told them that Ethel no longer worked at our Citgo station, only to find out that they were asking for Ethyl.

Apparently, in some western states, Ethyl was the term for high-test gas back in those days, as a result of the sign on the pump stating that the gas contained Tetraethyl Lead.

“Ethyl” was the topic of many bad jokes at my gas station…

Mike nailed it. It’s all marketing.

It’s all about shelf-space, price-points and pool margin…The five octane points is an insignificant difference and certainly not worth .20 cents a gallon…

I’m with Mike on this one.

And VDC. My gut tells me different parts of the country use different terms.

Different parts of the country do indeed call “premium” by different names. Here in the southeast… high test or ethyl was commonly called “super” by a lot of customers at my dad’s Sunoco station.

Make an effort to get more drivers knowledgable of this ?
Are you kidding ?
Educating the masses has already been proven futile if not impossible.

– the effort has been made –
yet less than 1 % will actually READ their owner’s manual.

So now he wants more warning labels and signs. "CAUTION your vehicle may not need high octane fuel. Read owner’s manual for specifications."
Tell ya what, Joseph. You can make up a bunch of these labels and stick one to every gas pump you visit. That’ll teach 'em.

You can lead a horse to water…

"Premium is a ‘Marketing’ term.
I’ve heard this term, ‘premium’ applied to everything from beer to tires. It used to be that there were 3rd line tires, 2nd line tires, first line tires and premium tires. The term didn’t have a lot of meaning. There are ‘premium’ beers. My parents threw away the owner’s manual that came when I was born, so I have had to experiment. I find that I don’t ‘ping’ on regular beer, so I don’t waste the money. Check your owner’s manual for the octane specification. If ‘premium’ is not required, you really don’t need it.
I happen to really like Grain Belt beer–a local inexpensive beer available in Minnesota. However, if someone has to have premium beer on hand and offers me one, I don’t turn it down.