Regular or Premium? Drivers try to decide which gas is best - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Regular or Premium? Drivers try to decide which gas is best

If you’re like many drivers, the high price of gas has prompted you to put regular grade fuel in your car, instead of the recommended premium, because it’s cheaper.

While its not a big deal every once in a while, at least one mechanic says you shouldn’t do it all the time.

"There are sensors in the cars, most of the newer cars that will prevent any kind of engine damage," said mechanic Jim McCrae.

How much are you really saving if you choose regular instead of premium? 

In most cases, if you fill up with regular instead of premium once a week you’ll save about $12.00 a month.

But make sure the savings is really worth it. 

Some people who use premium fuel insist they get better gas mileage than with regular gas.

McCrae said, "You're better off spending a few extra pennies for the premium fuel than the engine expenses that will all come in later."

If you only fill up with regular and never use premium, you'll start to do damage which will cause engine pinging and knocking noises.

"Doing engine damage when you hear that knocking.  That's 2 explosions happening at the same time and running into each other.  That's what the knock is.  It's like standing out over your hood and banging your hammer on top of your engine," said McCrae.

Damaging your engine could cost you hundreds, maybe even thousands.
Even worse, you could lose your warranty.

McCrae said, "They're very sophisticated systems so if you're not doing what's recommended, it throws the whole system off, so they won't warranty it."
Again, we're talking about cars that are supposed to run on premium.

And if you're skimping by running nearly on empty, you may end up with moisture in your tank, which hurts the engine.

Half a tank is recommended.

You can also cut fuel cost by changing your oil as recommended by the manufacturer, keeping your tires properly inflated and eliminate the amount of extra weight your carrying in your trunk.

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