Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Regular or Premium: A Morality Tale

When I bought the first new car I owned in 1977, it was a Volkswagen Beetle, Champagne Edition with a sand colored convertible top. In 1977 and 1978, only one white Champagne convertible was distributed to each USA dealership in those two years. I got one and I filled that car religiously with regular gasoline (which at the time was leaded) until it was stolen 15 years later. (I paid 7000 and received 5500 insurance money. Not a bad investment.)

Since that purchase, I have always filled the high-performance trucks I have owned with premium (which at this time is leaded). Fast forward to the second new car I've owned, a 2008 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited X with four doors and a T-top. When I told my friends that I was going to fill up my new car with premium they asked me to reconsider.

You should read the book and do what ever it says. Cars now aren't like all those old cars you've used before.

So, notwithstanding the fact that I write manuals for a living, I pulled out the book I got with the car and preceded to be chastised on many levels.

The use of premium gasoline is not recommended. Under normal conditions, the use of premium gasoline will not provide a benefit over high quality regular gasoline, and in some circumstances may result in poorer performance.

If I were red pepper flakes I'd be on a pizza.

By listening to Steven (who was also the person that told me never to take the first apartment you look at) and Michelle, I have now saved myself, over the years, thousands of dollars. The moral of the story comes in an acronym that is widely used in the field of technical writing: RTFM.

Read the fucking manual.

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