Skip to main content

How premium fuel helps your car's performance


*SPONSORED by CAA North & East Ontario - Produced on behalf of an organization or individual that has paid the news provider for production and/or approved publication.

When it comes to filling up your tank, fuel is fuel, right?

That common misconception could mean drivers are missing out on the added benefits that premium fuel offers.

So how does premium fuel help a vehicle perform better or impact engine health? We spoke to an expert to explain.

The difference between regular and premium fuel

All fuels are not created equal. Premium fuel stands out with distinct characteristics that set it apart from regular gasoline.

The primary difference is the octane rating.

The Canadian General Standard for gasoline determines the octane requirements for different gasoline grades, including regular, mid-grade, and premium, indicated by the octane rating, which ranges from 87-94 in fuel grade.

These ratings measure a fuel's resistance to high temperatures and pressure conditions in the engine, a phenomenon called knock.

Knock is what happens when fuel doesn’t burn evenly in the engine cylinders, due to an incorrect mix of fuel and air, which can cause engine damage and decreased fuel efficiency.

How premium gasoline impacts engine health and performance

While the Canadian General Standard sets octane levels, gasoline formulas can vary significantly.

All types of gasoline generate some residue as the engine burns it, but some premium fuels are specifically formulated to prevent new carbon residue from forming and can even remove the residue left behind from lower-quality gasoline.

For example, Shell V-Power NiTRO+ is a patented formula that includes seven times the minimum cleaning agents required by the federal standard.

It’s also engineered with four levels of defence against deposits, wear, corrosion, and friction to form a protective barrier, contributing to improved engine cleanliness and performance.

The impact of premium gasoline on your vehicle is substantial; it gives the engine more power, faster acceleration, improved responsiveness, and better efficiency - including in hybrid engines, older vehicles, and non-performance engines.

Consistently using premium gasoline regularly can lead to long-term benefits for your engine's health and overall performance.

Is the premium price that comes with premium fuel worth it?

Sticker shock at the pump is very real, but for many drivers, there are several reasons why premium fuel is worth the higher price.

Their car manufacturer recommends premium fuel, they may want to improve engine performance, or they could hope to clear any carbon deposits in their engine.

At a minimum, you should follow the fuel recommendations in your vehicle’s owner manual, but using higher-grade fuels will give your engine the benefits that come with premium fuel.

Fortunately, while premium fuel does come with a premium price, there are always things you can do to save at the pumps.

For example, CAA Members have access to an exclusive discount of 3 cents/litre off all fuel grades at participating Shell locations.

You can also use the store locator in the Shell App to make sure you always get that discount and save on fuel from the nearest Shell station.

It’s also always a good idea to look for special deals like credit card cash-back promotions or loyalty programs that can help make it cheaper to fill your tank.

Understanding the nuances between regular and premium fuel can help you make an informed decision for your vehicle.

Whether it's enhanced engine cleanliness, improved performance, or long-term health benefits, choosing a fuel like Shell V-Power NiTRO+ premium gasoline could be the key to unlocking your vehicle's full potential. Top Stories

Stay Connected