With the drop in gas prices this winter, many people have taken advantage of filling up for less. While the lower gas prices have been nice, avoid filling up for the lowest possible cost. This lower grade gasoline may seem like a great deal, in the long run it will cost you more. Learn why cheap gas can be bad for your car, and why you should choose better options for your vehicle.
The Difference Between Off-Brand and Name-Brand Gas
There are many different gas stations, each with varying promises and prices. It can be tempting to get the cheapest gas in your neighborhood rather than looking out for your car. Make sure you find a gas pump that uses a cleaning agent for your engine. Over time this will increase its longevity and performance.
While the damage may not manifest itself in major engine problems, it’s the little things that may make a big difference. Do a test with your vehicle, buying the higher quality gas while tracking your mileage from before the switch and after. Often it will take about 3 tanks of gas for any difference to take effect. You may come to notice that the higher quality gas gives you better gas mileage and protects your car.
Choosing Between Premium and Regular Gas
Check your vehicle’s owner manual. Here it will tell you the minimum gas requirement that should be used. Even if your car can take regular gas, consider using premium. Once again using regular gas may not lead to major problems, although it could, but the benefits of using premium gas will show itself in different ways:
- Gas mileage – again this may not work for everyone. Test it out calculating your gas mileage before switching to premium, then again after three tanks of premium. See if this makes a difference for your car.
- Engine – keeping your engine clean and running is important. A bad engine is one of the most expensive vehicle repairs you can deal with. Ensure the gas you are using is clean and has as little ethanol as possible.
- Catalytic converter – this is an essential emission control device for vehicles in many states. Bad gas is one of the things that can damage this expensive car part. Make sure you invest in quality gas to prevent problems with your upcoming emissions test.
While there are contradicting opinions on gasoline, whether off brand or regular is bad for your car, but ultimately you should make the decision. Test the difference in how your vehicle performs using the three tank rule. You may find that the increase of price per gallon is well worth the benefits it brings.