Using premium fuel won't get you any significant benefits.
A new research from the American Automobile Association (AAA) has discovered American motorists are spending $2.1 billion on premium fuel every year, without any significant advantages in terms of fuel efficiency, harmful emissions, and power.
Let’s start with some theory. Measurement methods of octane ratings are different in different parts of the world – in Canada in the United States the fuel is shown under the Anti-Knock Index (AKI) or (R+M)/2 index, while Europe, Australia, and New Zealand are using the Research Octane Number (RON) index. For a comparison, the standard 95 octane in Germany equals to 90 octane in the United States, while the 98 octane in most of the European Union countries equals to 93-94 octane in the U.S.
Back to the recent study of AAA, it shows that using premium fuel (91-93 U.S. octane) in a car that burns regular fuel (87 octane) does…. absolutely nothing. The researchers used 2016 models of a Toyota Tundra V8, Dodge Charger V6, and a four-cylinder 2.0-liter Mazda 3, and put them on dyno for several measurements.
After testing many components, including fuel economy as per EPA cycles, the testers discovered every aspect remained virtually unchanged when using standard and premium fuel. These are the three key findings of the study:
- Does an engine designed to operate on Regular gasoline produce more horsepower when operated on Premium?
- No consistent differences in maximum horsepower were recorded.
- Does an engine designed to operate on Regular gasoline get better fuel economy when operated on Premium?
- No significant differences in fuel economy were recorded.
- Does an engine designed to operate on Regular gasoline produce fewer tailpipe emissions when operated on Premium?
- No consistent differences were recorded
Putting these results into context, spending more on premium fuel doesn’t lead to any significant positive changes for your car. What really matters is the quality, not the octane.
Click the first source link below for full details from the study.