Turns out 'recommended' Premium gas doesn't do much

National Gas Price Average 12/11/17

In some cars, usually luxury models, Premium fuel is actually required, not just recommended.

"Based on AAA's testing, vehicles that only recommend premium gasoline can't take full advantage of higher-octane fuel and, as a result, the benefit that comes from upgrading to premium gasoline may not offset its high cost", said John Nielsen, managing director of automotive engineering and fix for AAA, in a statement.

States with the highest average gas prices: Hawaii ($3.29), Alaska ($3.22), California ($3.15), Washington ($2.91), OR ($2.78), Pennsylvania ($2.73), Nevada ($2.72), CT ($2.69), NY ($2.67) and Montana ($2.62).

In 2015, drivers wasted $2.1 billion by paying for premium fuel when their vehicles were created to operate on regular, according to the AAA. But premium fuel, which is typically about 25% more expensive than regular gas, may not offer enough benefits when you consider what you're paying for it.

Gas prices in Rockford are down more than 5¢ over the past week, bringing the average tank of gas locally below the national rate.

Fuel economy for test vehicles averaged a 2.7 percent improvement.

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. That may matter at the Daytona 500, but you'll never notice it on the way to work or the grocery store.

AAA tested Premium and Regular gasoline in six vehicles: a Ford F-150, a Cadillac Escalade, a Mazda Miata, an Audi A3, a Ford Mustang GT and a Jeep Renegade. A series of tests were conducted to determine whether the use of premium gasoline resulted in improved fuel economy and increased performance (horsepower).

"You're not hurting anything, but you're not helping anything", he said. The Auto Club of California conducted the tests.

"Based on AAA's testing, vehicles that only recommend premium gasoline can't take full advantage of higher octane fuel and, as a result, the benefit that comes from upgrading to premium gasoline may not offset its high cost". Using regular gas in one of those engines could cause significant fuel economy and power decreases, and eventually engine and emissions control system damage. TOP TIER gasoline is available in all octane levels. But most engines are created to run on Regular all the time. The higher compression ratios, in turn, lead to more energy when the fuel ignites in the cylinder.

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