Does low-grade gas save you money?

When gas prices are high people look for ways to cut back. One of those ways is buying a cheaper grade of gas. But is that a good idea?

There are lots of cars on the road and most of them take regular gas. Drivers who fill their car with premium gas are paying much more to fill their tank, often ten to twenty cents more per gallon.

Gas station owner Lori Hupp says, "If your owner's manual says to do it, then I would do it."

Lori Hupp's gas station sells more regular grades of gas than premium, and while some people may be tempted to switch to a lesser grade, it's not always a good idea, especially if your car's owner's manual says high octane premium is required.

Auto professor David Preciado says, “You don't have a choice. I It's not optional. It's a need, it's a must, you got to have it."

What if your owner's manual says premium is not required, but only recommended? Then Preciado says it might be worth a little test. "As long as your car does not ping, you know start knocking on acceleration, that's the biggest difference between the different grades."

Hupp says, “If you wanted to try a lesser octane gas, then just listen to your car and see what it does, see what it says."

By going from premium to regular, you will certainly save money but you have to watch your car's performance. Going to a lower grade of gas could impact your gas mileage.

"Of course, everybody wants the best fuel mileage possible,” says Preciado.

The savings you get buying regular gas could be wiped out by a loss in fuel economy. You really need to put your individual car to the test. Watch the mileage and listen for knocking or pinging.

Preciado says, “Iif you hear a pinging then you have to go to the higher grade."

He also says the biggest factor when it comes to gas mileage isn't so much what octane you use, but how you drive your car.

Look at your owner's manual and find out if that premium gas is required or just recommended. That can make a huge difference to your car and your bank account.


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