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A new AAA study reveals why you shouldn't buy premium gas

13 December 2017

The term "Premium" gas is a little misleading.

After a comprehensive study over the past couple years, AAA says that by using premium, engine performance may be improved "in certain conditions", but overall, motorists were basically giving their money away buying the high-priced petrol instead of regular.

Really, it's just a slightly different formulation made for engines that operate at higher pressures and, therefore, require a more stable fuel.

While some vehicles are created to run on premium octane gas, others just recommend it. It costs about 50 cents more per gallon, according to AAA.

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If premium is recommended but not required for your vehicle, it may not be worth the extra cost, which can run as high as 25 percent or more than regular gasoline, suggests research out Tuesday. Still, there are circumstances where it makes sense to pay for it in these vehicles.

Test vehicles included everything from a Mazda Miata two-seats sports auto with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine to a Cadillac Escalade with a big 5, o-liter V8 motor.

The national average price for a gallon of gasoline dropped two cents on the week to $2.46. But that's just an average. Individual vehicle test results averages ranged from a decrease of 0.3 percent (2016 Jeep Renegade) to an improvement of 3.2 percent (2017 Ford Mustang).

Automakers sometimes advertise higher horsepower figures they attained using premium to attract enthusiasts, and buyers who don't know how little the difference will mean to them.

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The average price in MI on December 11 was 26.2% - $2.513 a gallon for regular and $3.171 for premium, according to. But before you reach for the gold button at the pump, new evidence released by AAA lends fresh insight about whether higher-grade fuel actually pays off. Premium gasoline, that exclusive liquid reserved for only the choicest drivers and vehicles, may be a big waste of money for most drivers, the national autoclub says.

AAA also looked at horsepower output.

Horsepower for test vehicles averaged an increase of 1.4 percent.

"It's still important to remember that if your vehicle requires the use of premium gasoline, that you should still use it", said Jenkins.

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Follow the vehicle owner's manual to determine which type of gasoline to use.

A new AAA study reveals why you shouldn't buy premium gas