Have you ever wondered about the different types of gas you see at the pump? We’re here to explain the different types of gas and where it all comes from. Read on to learn more.

types of gas

Where Does Gas Come From?

Crude oil is extracted from the earth and then processed down to make various forms and types of gas and other usable products like asphalt, waxes and lubricants. The crude oil is formed from the decomposition of plants and sea creatures from the Permian period. The Permian period occurred 250 million years ago and the crude oil we see today is the result of heat and pressure on those organic materials.

How is Crude Oil Processed into Gasoline?

Crude Oil is pumped up from deep in the earth. There are countless places on earth where crude oil is procured. It is then sent through a distillation process where it is divided into different weights of oil, resulting in products like kerosine, types of gas, fuel oils and more. From there, companies customize their oils with the own additives, but more so they sell it in different types like unleaded/regular, mid-grade, premium and diesel.

types of gas

The 3 Types of Gas Explained

The different types of gas you see at the pump are different


Fun Fact: Gas has been lead-free since the 1970’s. Consequently, this gas is also referred to as “regular gas”. Regular/Unleaded gas is a lower octane compared to the other options. This is the type of gas most people will want to choose for their vehicle.


Mid-grade will be slightly higher octane than regular/unleaded gas. Unless a mid-grade has highly sought-after additives that regular doesn’t contain or it is recommended by the engine manufacturer, you typically won’t need to get this type of gas.


Premium is higher in octane than regular and mid-grade gas. Premium typically has some additional additives from the gas companies. This higher-octane fuel is typically for sports cars and other high-performance engines. If your vehicle requires this type of gasoline, it will be noted in your owner’s manual.

All About Gas Additives

Additives can help keep your engine internals and fuel system cleaner for longer engine service life and can even help your fuel economy in the long run. Every brand has a fuel additive to keep your engine clean – these formulas are proprietary and help to clean carbon deposits. Over time, gunk can clog up your fuel injectors and other components of your fuel system. Gunk and sludge lower the efficiency of gas burning in your engine which will potentially cause you to lose fuel economy and power.

Gasoline Myths and Facts

Using premium every once in a while isn’t going to change your fuel economy. The idea is that if you are consistently putting a cleaner fuel in your vehicle, then you are going to consistently see better fuel economy. A cleaner engine is made with consistency. People say they can disprove the effects of premium by doing side by side tests from one fuel to another, but you can’t prove it by simply switching and recording the immediate results.

You may be able to see immediate results if you’re having engine knocking issues or something like that. If could help your vehicle run better even if it doesn’t seem like you’re getting better fuel economy right off the bat.

types of gas

How Do I Know What Type of Gas to Use?

It is very important to put the right type of gasoline in your vehicle when you fill up at the pump. If you put different types of gas in your vehicle, it will likely not run properly for long. There are a few ways to make sure you are putting the right type of gas in your vehicle.

If you want to see what the manufacturer of your vehicle recommends for gasoline, there are a few places you can check for the best information. First, check behind fuel door, it will likely be listed clearly there for you. You may also find this information on the fuel filler cap, within the owner’s manual, and sometimes it will even say it under your gas gauge.

If you aren’t sure what type of gas to use in your vehicle, give us a call at (425) 251-8787 or stop in to Beetlesmith’s to talk with an expert.

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