SMYRNA, Ga. (defeo.biz) — Motorists wasted more than $2.1 billion dollars in the past year because they used premium-grade gasoline in vehicles designed to run on regular fuel, AAA said.
“Many drivers think they are giving their car a treat by occasionally filling up with premium-grade gasoline, even though their vehicle calls for regular unleaded,” Mark Jenkins, AAA spokesman, said in a news release. “The consensus has been that higher octane does not mean higher quality, but AAA wanted to do a formal study to test that theory.”
Seven in ten (70 percent) of U.S. drivers currently own a vehicle that requires regular unleaded gasoline. A national survey of motorists revealed that 16.5 million U.S. drivers used premium gasoline in a vehicle designed to run on regular fuel at least once in the past year.
In partnership with the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Automotive Research Center, AAA tested 87-octane (regular) and 93-octane (premium) gasoline in vehicles equipped with a V-8, V-6 or I4 engine designed to operate on regular-grade fuel. To evaluate the effects of using a higher-octane fuel when it’s not required by the manufacturer, each vehicle was tested on a dynamometer, which is essentially a treadmill for cars.