When you drive a car, costs add up. The most significant cost is the money that you pay for gasoline. It is high enough even if you buy regular. It is even higher if you use premium gasoline.
It’s a choice you make at the pump. Whether to go for regular gasoline and make a saving or choose premium gasoline. Many choose premium gasoline thinking that they’re getting better quality. But it turns out that it’s completely unnecessary.
Research from AAA
The latest research from automobile club AAA tells us that if the car you drive is designed to operate on regular gasoline that’s what you should use. They say that in a situation like that there is no point in using premium gasoline. And paying the premium price.
Some drivers believe that higher octane fuel gets you better performance out of your car. But premium blends at the pump are usually around 50 cents per gallon more expensive than regular gasoline.
With that kind of a difference when it comes to your wallet, it would be nice to know if there is any real difference when it comes to performance. Does premium gasoline give you better performance?
AAA says that it doesn’t. That occasionally using premium gasoline on a regular engine makes no difference. The extra money that you spend just goes out the tailpipe. AAA just did a national survey. According to them 16.5 million drivers in the used together spent $2.1 billion extra in the past year. With no real reason to spend more on premium gasoline.
But if it’s premium, it’s better quality. – think many. AAA researchers found that, actually, the only difference is it has more octane. The premium gasoline didn’t increase horsepower or lead to greater fuel economy. It didn’t decrease emissions and the engines weren’t any cleaner. In cars that the car manufacturer designed to run on 87-octane gasoline, the regular type, premium gasoline made no difference.
John Nielsen is AAA’s managing director of automotive engineering. He says that “drivers see the ‘premium’ name at the pump and may assume the fuel is better for their vehicle”.
But that is just an assumption that drivers make.
The Case for Premium Gasoline
However, if you drive a different type of car, there might be a point to using premium gasoline. If the car manufacturer specifically built the car for it to run on 93 octane gasoline or on 89 octane gasoline you should use premium for optimal performance.
Some luxury or performance brands use turbocharging or supercharging as others call it to get an enhanced performance out of a small engine. That might need premium gasoline.
Out of all US drivers, 70 percent own cars that require regular gas. Just 16 percent of US drivers own cars that require premium gasoline. The rest of 14 percent are the cars that should use at the very least mid-grade gas. And the cars that run on alternative fuel, like electricity. So number of cars that should use premium gasoline is actually quite small.
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