With the typical new passenger vehicle costing more than $33,000, American drivers understandably want to do everything they can to preserve their investments.
And what better way to do that than by spending a few extra cents per gallon and occasionally treating your car to a tank of premium fuel?
Don’t do it. Unless one likes to unnecessarily enrich the oil companies, there is no reason to buy premium gasoline for a vehicle that needs only regular.
According to a report this week from AAA, 16.5 million drivers used premium fuel on average at least once a month over the last year, although their cars required only regular grade gasoline, accomplishing nothing positive and wasting $2.1 billion.
There are advantages to using brand-name fuels, whose detergents and additives can help engines run cleaner and last longer. (More on that below.)
But using a higher octane fuel than a vehicle’s owner’s manual specifies “provides no increase in fuel economy, horsepower or a reduction in emissions,” said Greg Brannon, the AAA’s director of automotive engineering.