Study says American motorists choose fuel based on price, not quality

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A recent survey made by AAA auto club shows US drivers picking a gas station based on the price of gasoline rather than the quality of the fuel.

Despite the fact that two-thirds of US drivers believe there is a difference in quality of fuel, a AAA survey points out that American motorists choose gas stations based on proximity and prices, with 75 percent of them refilling their tanks based on location, while 73 percent are looking to keep their costs as low as possible. But this approach could have a major impact on engines’ performances. Tests made by AAA have uncovered significant differences in the quality of gasoline sold at fuel retailers in the United States. Among the tested brands, non-top tier gasolines caused 19 times more engine deposits than top tier ones after just 4,000 miles of simulated driving.

The auto club said such carbon deposits were known to reduce fuel economy, increase emissions and humper vehicle performance, particularly on newer engines. “AAA was surprised to learn the extent to which detergent additives impact gasoline quality,” John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director of Automotive Engineering and Repair, said. Back in 1996, the US Environmental Protection Agency imposed a minimum level of additives for all gasoline sold, but some automakers believe the levels of detergents should be higher. “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.”