Finance

AAA Study Shows Premium Gasoline Has Benefits But Probably Isn't Worth It

AAA Study Shows Premium Gasoline Has Benefits But Probably Isn't Worth It

Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, said that average gas prices in the country were lower this week because of a large build in gasoline inventories and gasoline demand numbers have seen a reprieve.

The research gives lie to the widespread belief that auto owners benefit from using more expensive high-octane premium fuel in vehicles that run fine on regular.

If your engine makes a pinging or knocking sound on regular fuel, AAA said higher octane gas might resolve your problem, but it's a good idea to get it checked out by a professional first.

Against a backdrop of oil prices faltering, the nation's average gas price has moved lower, falling 2.5 cents in the last week to $2.45 per gallon, less than a penny away from the lowest level since Hurricane Harvey caused prices to surge.

Horsepower for test vehicles averaged an increase of 1.4 percent. "Drivers see the "premium" name at the pump and may assume the fuel is better for their vehicle", John Nielsen, AAA's managing director of Automotive Engineering and fix, said in a news release. The vehicles AAA tested averaged just a 1.4% increase in horsepower.




In a study released previous year, AAA found consumers wasted almost $2.1 billion fueling vehicles that neither recommended or required premium gasoline. That may matter at the Daytona 500, but you'll never notice it on the way to work or the grocery store. That means filling up a 20 gallon tank would cost an additional $10 when using premium fuel.

"Individual vehicle test result averages ranged from a decrease of 1% (2016 Audi A3) to an improvement of 7.1% (2016 Cadillac Escalade)", the agency said.

Since drivers of these vehicles are unlikely to see any benefit from using premium gasoline during typical city or highway driving, a combination of laboratory and on-road tests were performed to simulate extreme driving scenarios such as towing, hauling cargo, and aggressive acceleration. Using regular in them will lead to a significant decrease in fuel economy and power, and could eventually damage the engine or emissions control system.

AAA does recommend drivers use fuel labeled "top tier". That improves efficiency and can extend an engine's life.


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