LOS ANGELES - Is cheaper gas the same quality as high-end brands? It depends on who you ask, but there are some basic things that can save you money.
Mechanics we spoke to tend to agree with Consumer Watchdog, explaining that most of the gasoline that you pump into your vehicle comes from a small group of refineries. While big name brands may add cleaners to their mix, they also sell their gas to independent gas stations, for less than they charge customers at their own gas stations. For the regular unleaded, that is generally the same product.
Some mechanics tend to prefer certain brands but if you are trying to save money and are not driving a high end high performance vehicle, not only can you go to the cheaper independent, you might also want to stick with regular.
When manufacturers recommends premium it is typically for optimal performance of their vehicle, as in the best gas mileage and so forth. But, for the short term, there is no danger in using regular unleaded instead of premium on the average vehicle.
Here is what several people told us they were doing: filling their tanks as cheaply as possible for a month or two, and then filling up one tank with premium from a high-end brand with a cleaner. Taking care of your car is particularly critical right now with pandemic supply issues affecting vehicle parts.
Either way, you might want to check with your own trusted mechanic and keep in mind that a high performance vehicle will have unique needs. Otherwise, save yourself some money. What everyone we talked to seemed to agree on is that prices are at an all-time high and show no sign of coming down.
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