Fuel Frustrations: Cheap Gas Might Cost You Down the Road

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DALLAS–If you’re like most of us, you choose your gasoline based on price. But is the cheap gas really cheaper in the long run?

Turns out those additives in some brands of gas really do pay off.

“This top tier fuel is made to be better for your vehicle. It’s also less likely to cause evaporations and emissions and it’s also overall better for the environment,” Doug Shupe of AAA Texas said.

Turns out the cheap stuff leaves 19-times more deposits on your engine intake valve.

“The carbon deposits we’re talking about not only lead to further pollution of the environment, they also make your car a rougher ride,” Shupe said.

So how do you know what to use? Certain websites and apps like Gas Buddy specify which stations and brands have earned the “Top Tier” rating from the Center for Quality Assurance.

Okay, so how about saving a few cents per gallon with that E15 option that’s turning up at some stations? Well, that’s a no-no for cars made before 2001. And even for newer cars, it might not be the best choice.

“You can save some money upfront, but in the long run, you’ll end up getting worse gas mileage because the vehicle doesn’t run as efficiently off the alcohol as it does off gas,” mechanic Lindsey Carson said.

Sounds like paying a little more as you go just might save you money in the end.