A recent study by the American Automobile Association reveals that not all gasoline is the same and that choosing a brand just for the price could cost you.
Owning a Car with Bad Credit
Here at Auto Credit Express, we've always felt that one of the most important things credit-challenged car owners can do is maintain the vehicle they're financing. By following their vehicle's regular maintenance schedule, they can avoid more costly repairs down the road.
But one thing we've never considered is how the type of gasoline used can affect the engine life of a vehicle. Since the engine represents roughly a third of the cost of producing a car, truck or sport utility vehicle, it stands to reason that keeping it in top shape is very important.
This brings us to the latest report from the American Automobile Association (AAA).
Gasoline Engines and Carbon Deposits
In the process of burning gasoline, carbon deposits form on the valves of modern engines. The build-up of these deposits can reduce fuel economy, increase emissions and result in poor vehicle performance.
Responding to the increasing level of these deposits, in 1996 the Environmental Protection Agency mandated a minimum level of detergent (chemicals that keep an engine clean) for all gasoline sold in the U.S.
But with more stringent fuel economy and emissions requirements, some automakers felt that this minimum didn't go far enough and developed the TOP TIER program and performance standard that established stricter targets for engine cleanliness. Since not all gasoline refineries and retailers meet these higher standards, AAA decided to hire an independent laboratory to compare engines using TOP TIER gas to engines using non-TOP TIER gasoline.
"AAA was surprised to learn the extent to which detergent additives impact gasoline quality," revealed John Nielsen, AAA's managing director of Automotive Engineering and Repair. "As advertised, tested TOP TIER gasolines kept engines remarkably cleaner than other fuels we tested."
How much cleaner were the engines using TOP TIER gasoline? According to the report, after just 4,000 miles of simulated driving, "non-TOP TIER gasolines caused 19 times more engine deposits than TOP TIER brands." According to Nielsen, "By selecting a quality gasoline, drivers can minimize engine deposits, increase vehicle performance and improve fuel economy."
But while two-thirds of U.S. drivers believe there is a difference in the quality of various gasoline brands, it appears Americans prefer a bargain over quality, at least according to a survey conducted by AAA that found:
- Three-quarters of U.S. drivers choose a gas station based on location (75 percent) or price (73 percent).
- Nearly one-third (29 percent) of U.S drivers choose a gas station based on a rewards program.
- Only 12 percent of U.S. drivers select a gas station based on whether the gasoline contains an enhanced detergent package.
- Nearly half (47 percent) of U.S. drivers do not regularly buy gas that contains an enhanced detergent additive.
- Men (44 percent) are more likely than women (26 percent) to regularly buy a gasoline that contains an enhanced detergent package, as are baby boomers (41 percent) compared to millennials (32 percent).
But there is good news. Even if you've never considered how fuel quality can affect your vehicle, switching to a better gasoline now can help your engine. "Fortunately, consumers can reverse some engine deposits simply by switching gasoline brands," said Greg Brannon, AAA's director of Automotive Engineering. "After a few thousand miles with TOP TIER gasoline, performance issues like rough idling or hesitation during acceleration can often be resolved."
To find out more about TOP TIER refineries and retailers, you can visit this website: http://www.toptiergas.com/
The Bottom Line
Consumers who have never considered how the brand of gas can affect their car's performance and engine life, especially those with bad credit on a tight budget, should consider switching to a TOP TIER gasoline brand.
Here's another helpful tip: if you're considering a newer vehicle that would benefit from TOP TIER gas but you're worried that your bad credit will prevent you from getting financed, we want you to know that Auto Credit Express matches credit-challenged applicants to those dealers where they can get their best chance for an auto loan approval.
So if you're ready to reestablish your credit, you can begin now by filling out our online auto loan application.