Luxury cars are designed to run on premium gasoline to maximize speed, performance, and fuel efficiency. While regular gasoline can be used in a pinch, it can cause additional wear and tear on the engine and may even void the warranty. High-performance vehicles are equipped with high-compression engines, which can become unstable when under pressure and high temperatures. This can result in an audible noise known as “pinging”.
Using regular gas in an engine that needs high-octane fuel can cause damage, but it depends on the compression ratio of the engine. The compression ratio is the ratio between the volume inside the cylinder when the piston is at its lowest point and the volume inside the cylinder when the piston is at its highest point. The higher the compression ratio, the more compressed the air-fuel mixture becomes and the more likely it will ignite before it is supposed to do so due to pressure alone. Cars with a low compression ratio don't need premium gasoline because there is little danger of pre-ignition.
However, high-performance engines with a high compression ratio can benefit from premium fuel. This includes most luxury cars. Although premium gas prices may be a factor, it's worth researching which luxury cars use regular gasoline. Some experts claim that using regular gasoline in a luxury or high-performance car will negate any savings from buying cheaper low-octane gasoline due to decreased fuel efficiency.
Most luxury car manufacturers require (or recommend) premium gasoline because of the requirements of high-performance engines. BMW owners, Audi drivers, and other luxury car owners usually opt for premium gasoline at the pump. Used luxury Buicks that run smoothly on regular fuelGeneral Motors Buicks have many used luxury vehicles that use regular gasoline. This includes a popular retro crossover with a 3.2-liter six-cylinder engine.
Ultimately, your vehicle's owner's manual should be consulted to determine which type of gasoline is best for your car. If your car is one of these examples, not only will you not gain any advantage from using premium fuel, but it can be detrimental to the car's engine in the long run.