Engine-cleaning additives in gasoline are worth the extra price to keep your car healthy, according to new testing from AAA. The group found significant differences in the quality of gasoline sold nationwide.
Read more: Why you should never “top off” your gas tank
AAA: Pay more for high quality gas
Since 1996, the Environmental Protection Agency has required a minimum level of detergent for all gas sold, but Top Tier gasoline brands have an enhanced level of engine-cleaning additives.
AAA says non-Top Tier gasoline caused 19 times more engine deposits than Top Tier brands after 4,000 miles of simulated driving.
Over time, those carbon deposits can reduce fuel economy, increase emissions and negatively impact performance, especially on newer vehicles.
As a result, AAA suggests that drivers go to Top Tier retailers, which add the extra detergent to all grades of fuel.
Since the overwhelming majority of drivers choose where they buy gas based on location and price, this might mean changing your habits.
“Americans are six times more likely to choose a gas station based on the price of gasoline rather than the quality of the fuel,” said John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director of Automotive Engineering and Repair. “Since TOP TIER gasoline is widely available and only an average of three cents more per gallon, AAA urges drivers to reconsider their priorities when selecting a gas station.”
Where do you find Top Tier fuel options? They’re all over! According to Top Tier, about a third of gas stations meet their fuel quality standards.
Here are Top Tier licensed retail brands, as of July 2016:
|Kwik Star Stores|
|Shell (Puerto Rico)|
|Shell V-Power NiTRO+|
In addition, some popular convenience stores sell Top Tier gasoline provided by a number of licensees. So if your favorite station isn’t on this list, you can always ask an employee or check using the GasBuddy mobile app.
And if you haven’t been using high quality gasoline, AAA says you can reverse some of the damage by making the switch.