What kind of gas are you pumping?

Happy Friday Eve my friends!

So what kind of gas you pump?

For the longest time, I would spend the extra cash and pump premium with the extra additives claiming to clean your engine. I thought I was doing the right thing!

That’s especially since I’ve had my little Toyota for years, she’s never has given me any issues, so I wanted to her right you know? Fill ‘er up with good stuff.

Well ladies and gentlemen, I’ve learned -- if your car doesn’t require premium fuel, it doesn’t need it! Only high-performance or luxury vehicles need the higher octane levels in fuel to run properly. If your car manufacturer doesn’t require you to pump premium, you’re just wasting your money at the pump because the higher octane levels do not benefit your engine.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Top-tier gasoline: Pumping regular gas doesn’t mean you’re compromising on quality. “There is a mandated minimum amount of detergents that must be in fuel, so gasoline that meets top-tier standards exceeds that standard,” according to Josh Zuber with AAA Texas. The TripTik web site is where you can see if a station is participating in AAA’s TOP TIER fuel program. AAA researched and tested top-tier gasoline vs. non-top tier gasoline and the TripTik website lists the gas stations that are participating in the program to help drivers make informed decisions.
  • Premium gas is not always worth the price: Contrary to popular belief, premium-grade fuel does not contain more power than regular. “You’re not going to save your fuel, you’re not gonna have better performance, you’re not gonna have better mileage,” according to Moufid Rabieh, President/Owner of Elite Auto Expert.
    • Cars that are meant to run on regular do not need premium gas. There is no benefit to your vehicle’s engine if you pay for premium gas, but if your car requires premium fuel, you must select that grade.
    • Here’s why: the number at the pump is the amount of octane in the gas and 87 is regular, 89 is midgrade, and 93 is premium or high. All that number means is the amount of resistance to detonation, reducing the loud noise from engine knock, which sounds like a bunch of marbles if you pump the wrong kind of fuel, especially in high-performance vehicles. We’re talking about BMWs, Mercedes, and cars with turbo-charged engines or high-compression engines, like in a Corvette. There is more heat and more pressure in these engines, so if you pump fuel with a lower octane level, you’ll ruin your engine.

Go ahead, put your wallets back in your pocket and save that money honey!

Anavid Reyes

KPRC 2 traffic expert

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About the Authors:

Traffic expert and What’s Driving Houston reporter, proud Latina, lover of animals, food and our beautiful planet.

Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, consumer and business news and local crime coverage.