Buying gas from a station on this list is better for your car

Buying gas from a station on this list is better for your car
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Engine-cleaning additives in gasoline are worth the extra price to keep your car healthy, according to independent laboratory testing from AAA. The group found significant differences in the quality of gasoline sold nationwide.

Read more: 7 of the best gas station loyalty programs

AAA: Pay more for high quality gas

Since 1996, the Environmental Protection Agency has required a minimum level of detergent for all gas sold, but Top Tier gasoline brands have an enhanced level of engine-cleaning additives.

AAA says non-Top Tier gasoline caused 19 times more engine deposits than Top Tier brands after 4,000 miles of simulated driving.

Over time, those carbon deposits can reduce fuel economy, increase emissions and negatively impact performance, especially on newer vehicles.

“AAA was surprised to learn the extent to which detergent additives impact gasoline quality,” said John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director of Automotive Engineering and Repair.

As a result, AAA suggests that drivers go to Top Tier retailers, which add the extra detergent to all grades of fuel.

Since the overwhelming majority of drivers choose where they buy gas based on location and price, this could mean changing your habits.

“Americans are six times more likely to choose a gas station based on the price of gasoline rather than the quality of the fuel,” said Nielsen. “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.”

Read more: Why you shouldn’t let your gas tank run this low

Where do you find Top Tier fuel options? They’re all over! According to Top Tier, about a third of gas stations meet their fuel quality standards.

Here are Top Tier licensed retail brands, as of May 2017:

  • 76
  • Aloha
  • ARCO
  • Beacon
  • BP/Amoco Ultimate
  • BP Regular
  • BP Silver
  • Break Time
  • Cenex
  • Chevron
  • Conoco
  • Co-op
  • Costco Gasoline
  • CountryMark
  • CountryMark Plus
  • Diamond Shamrock
  • Esso
  • Express
  • Exxon
  • Hele
  • Holiday
  • Kwik Star
  • Kwik Trip
  • Kwik Trip Express
  • Mahalo
  • Marathon
  • Metro Petro
  • MFA
  • Mobil
  • OAAI
  • Ohana Fuels
  • Petro-Canad
  • Phillips 66
  • PUMA Energy Caribe
  • QT
  • QuikTrip
  • Road Ranger
  • Shamrock
  • Shell
  • Sinclair
  • Standard
  • Sunoco Ultratech
  • SuperAmerica
  • SuperFuel
  • Tempo
  • Texaco
  • Tri-Par Qwik Stop
  • Valero

If you haven’t been using high quality gasoline, it’s not too late. AAA says you can reverse some of the damage by making the switch to Top Tier gasoline.

Clark’s Takeaway:

The most important thing about the report is that many of the nation’s giants of gas discounting sell Top Tier gasoline, including Costco and QuikTrip. There are many who decide to buy gas only at major oil company stations believing their gas to be superior. However, you can have what the study finds is the best gas at the lowest prices.

Read more: The best day of the week to buy cheap gas

Michael Timmermann paid off his mortgage in two years. Now, he shares his money-saving tips on his blog, Save on Almost Everything.
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