"AAA's testing reveals that drivers could see modest gains in fuel economy and performance when opting for premium gasoline in vehicles that recommend, but do not require, the higher-octane fuel", Megan McKernan, manager of the Automobile Club of Southern California's Automotive Research Center, said in a statement.
The local average was 23 cents per gallon lower than the national average of $2.47 per gallon.
AAA Northeast found in its weekly survey released Monday that the price of self-serve, regular is averaging $2.49 per gallon. The national averages are $2.462 and $3.007, respectively. "Those seeking the maximum capabilities of their performance-focused or utility vehicle may see some benefit from using premium gasoline, particularly over the long haul". The gap has widened steadily since the Great Recession. But premium fuel, which is typically about 25% more expensive than regular gas, may not offer enough benefits when you consider what you're paying for it. On average, horsepower and fuel economy declined, although a couple of vehicles, including the Cadillac and the Mustang, experienced a boost in performance. That may matter at the Daytona 500, but you'll never notice it on the way to work or the grocery store. That means filling up a 20 gallon tank would cost an additional $10 when using premium fuel.
"You're not hurting anything, but you're not helping anything", he said.
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The month of December continues to deliver discounts at the pump for USA motorists, according to the auto club AAA.
Vehicles that require premium gasoline should always use it, AAA said. Using regular in them will lead to a significant decrease in fuel economy and power, and could eventually damage the engine or emissions control system.
It's ultimately up to owners to decide if premium fuel is worth it, but choosing regular won't harm engines. The higher compression ratios, in turn, lead to more energy when the fuel ignites in the cylinder. In 2004 an industry coalition created a designation known as "Top Tier" gasoline based on their detergent additives and other qualities. That improves efficiency and can extend an engine's life. It's certified to contain the highest level of detergent to reduce the accumulation of contaminants in the engine.
Mark Phelan: mmphelan or.