AAA Study Shows Top Tier Gasoline Benefits Drivers
January 17, 2016
Written By Adam Buckallew
Enhanced additive package improves fuel economy, drivability
Filling your gas tank based on the cheapest fuel prices may benefit your wallet in the short term but it could be hurting your vehicle in the long term. A new study from American Automobile Association reveals gasoline quality in the United States can affect vehicular performance, mileage and emissions.
AAA commissioned an independent laboratory to analyze the effectiveness of both Top Tier and non-Top Tier gasoline. The fuel quality tests revealed non-Top Tier gasolines caused 19 times more engine deposits than Top Tier brands after just 4,000 miles of simulated driving.
“AAA was surprised to learn the extent to which detergent additives impact gasoline quality,” said John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director of Automotive Engineering and Repair. “As advertised, tested Top Tier gasolines kept engines remarkably cleaner than other fuels we tested.”
Additionally, the study found long-term use of a gasoline without an enhanced additive package can lead to reductions in fuel economy of 2 to 4 percent, drivability issues and roughly double the carbon monoxide emissions.
What is Top Tier Gasoline?
Top Tier gasoline is not a grade or an octane level of gas, rather it identifies a gas with special detergent additives providing improved engine performance compared to other gas blends.
The Top Tier gasoline specification was created by automakers in 2004 to help drivers avoid lower quality gasoline and prevent the problems poor fuel quality can cause, such as rough idling, hesitation, knocking, reduced fuel economy and increased emissions.
“When it comes to selecting a gasoline, automakers got it right – Top Tier gasoline performs best,” continued Nielsen. “By selecting a quality gasoline, drivers can minimize engine deposits, increase vehicle performance and improve fuel economy.”
Worth it to Switch
Despite the fact two-thirds of U.S. drivers believe there is a difference in quality of gasoline sold by different gas stations, a AAA survey reveals that Americans value convenience and price over quality when it comes to selecting a gas station.
“Americans are six times more likely to choose a gas station based on the price of gasoline rather than the quality of the fuel,” Nielsen noted. “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.”
While the practice of driving to a specific Top Tier gasoline retailer may be less convenient in some situations, AAA says motorists who do will often save more money in the long run through better fuel economy and reduced need for repairs.
The good news for drivers who do not regularly buy gasoline containing an enhanced detergent additive is that switching to Top Tier fuel can remove or reduce most existing deposits that have accumulated over time.
“Fortunately, consumers can reverse some engine deposits simply by switching gasoline brands,” said Greg Brannon, AAA’s director of Automotive Engineering. “After a few thousand miles with Top Tier gasoline, performance issues like rough idling or hesitation during acceleration can often be resolved.”
MFA Oil takes pride in providing customers with competitively priced, high-quality products that meet or exceed their needs. All grades of gasoline sold by the company at its bulk plants, Petro-Card 24 locations and Break Time convenience stores meet the stringent Top Tier performance standards.