You should only use high-octane fuel if your owner's manual specifically recommends it...and the FTC backs us up!
We at the Federal Trade Commission would like you guys to help spread the
word about buying -- and not overbuying -- the proper octane gasoline. For
years, gasoline companies have been pitching higher-octane gasoline as a
way to lower maintenance costs. We recently reached a settlement with Exxon
which mandates them to run ads explaining the proper selection of octane,
which is -- as you guys say -- based on the recommendation in your owner's
manual. To further emphasize this message, we have produced a new, free FTC
brochure "The Low-Down on High Octane Gasoline." Please tell your readers
that it's available. -- Don Elder, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal
TOM: Geez, Don. Don't scare us like that, will ya? When we saw a letter
come in from the Bureau of Consumer Protection, we immediately assumed that
you were coming after us for our "5/50 warranty."
RAY: That's five minutes or 50 feet from the garage, whichever comes first.
TOM: Actually, we'll be glad to repeat the message. High-octane gasoline is
of absolutely no benefit to the vast majority of cars on the road. You
should only use high-octane fuel if your owner's manual specifically
RAY: Or if your car knocks or pings on your normal grade of gasoline, and
your mechanic has been unable to find any other easily fixable cause.
TOM: If you want more information, you can get the free FTC pamphlet on
octane by writing to:
Federal Trade Commission
Consumer Response Center
6th St. & Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington DC 20580.
RAY: Or call them at (202) 326-2222, or visit www.ftc.gov on the Internet.