Chances are you’ve seen Cenex® TOP TIER Detergent Gasoline® as an option when filling up the tank at your local Cenex convenience store. But the differences between TOP TIER, premium and regular fuels aren’t always clear. Here’s a brief overview of those differences and how TOP TIER gas can benefit your vehicle.
The main difference between regular and premium gasolines is octane — the ability of the fuel to prevent engine “knock,” which can cause engine damage over time. Premium gasoline typically has an octane number four to six points higher than regular gasoline. Octane numbers have nothing to do with “power,” and premium fuel doesn’t offer more power than regular fuel.
Both regular and TOP TIER gasolines use the same base fuel; the difference is in the additives that are blended with either type of fuel. A major purpose of additives is the prevention of carbon deposits inside the engine, which can reduce performance and fuel economy.
Enter TOP TIER gasoline
TOP TIER gasoline was introduced in 2004 by several major automakers to surpass the minimum standards required for additives that were established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the mid-’90s. These automakers believed that the TOP TIER standard provided superior deposit control by requiring more and better additives.
AAA TOP TIER study and recommendation
A 2016 study from the American Automobile Association (AAA) found that among the brands tested, “non-TOP TIER gasolines caused 19 times more engine deposits than TOP TIER brands after just 4,000 miles of simulated driving.” These types of deposits are known to reduce fuel economy, increase emissions and negatively impact vehicle performance, particularly on newer vehicles. As a result, regardless of whether a car calls for regular or premium fuel, AAA recommends a TOP TIER gasoline as the best choice for ongoing performance and economy.
Cenex TOP TIER Detergent Gasoline includes a special detergent package that exceeds EPA standards. It has 2.5 times the cleaning power of conventional gasoline and it’s proven to remove engine deposits. This provides better fuel economy and engine performance. To find a Cenex location near you, visit the Cenex store locator.