AAA Study Finds No Benefit In Using Premium Gas

CHICAGO (CBS) – A new AAA study revealed Tuesday that millions of Americans are wasting billions of dollars when they fill up their cars with premium gas.

According to new AAA research, American drivers wasted more than $2.1 billion in the last year by using premium-grade gasoline in vehicles designed to run on regular fuel, CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole reports.

After conducting a study to determine if there were any benefits in consumers using premium gas, AAA found no benefit in using premium gasoline in a vehicle that only require regular-grade fuel.

“Drivers see the ‘premium’ name at the pump and may assume the fuel is better for their vehicle,” said John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director of Automotive Engineering and Repair, in a statement. “AAA cautions drivers that premium gasoline is higher octane, not higher quality, and urges drivers to follow the owner’s manual recommendations for their vehicle’s fuel.”

Only about 16 percent of cars on the road require premium fuel, with most of those being pricy, high-performance vehicles. Both owner’s manuals and gas caps read which fuel is meant for the vehicle.

In the past year, 16.5 million U.S. drivers unnecessarily used premium-grade gasoline in their vehicle at least once, a total estimated to be 272 million times.

Joe Seus, an AAA supervisor said today’s computer drive engines are constructed to run on specific fuels. The manufacturer already builds the car to run premium, on regular fuel with fuel injections being computerized with catalytic converters and oxygen sensors.

“When it comes to gasoline, ‘premium’ does not mean ‘better’ if your vehicle doesn’t require it,” Nielsen continued in the statement. “Drivers looking to upgrade to a higher quality fuel for their vehicle should save their money and select a TOP TIER gasoline, not a higher-octane one.”

TOP TIER gasoline resulted in 19 times fewer engine deposits than non-TOP TIER fuel, according to AAA.

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