East Coast and Midwest states are seeing the largest drops in gas prices - as much as six cents - in the last week.
AAA says gas prices are expected to drop as supply strengthens and the demand for gasoline weakens throughout the winter.
Of the 10 Kansas cities regularly highlighted by AAA Kansas (see chart above), all saw gas price declines this week, with the largest drops being Hays (-12 cents), Garden City (-9), and Emporia, Kansas City, Kan. and Wichita (all at -5). The national average is down 2.7 cents per gallon in the last week from $2.47.
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"There's no question that higher-octane premium fuel has the potential to boost a vehicle's fuel economy and performance, however, engines have to be calibrated to require that fuel to see the full benefit", John Nielsen, AAA's Managing Director of Automotive Engineering and fix, said in a statement.
While some vehicles are created to run on premium octane gasoline, others simply recommend it. AAA set out to determine the effects of using premium gasoline in vehicles that recommend it and whether the benefits in fuel economy and horsepower are worth the higher price at the pump.
"AAA's testing reveals that drivers could see modest gains in fuel economy and performance when opting for premium gasoline in vehicles that recommend, but do not require, the higher-octane fuel", Megan McKernan, manager of the Automobile Club of Southern California's Automotive Research Center, said in a statement.
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Gas prices in our state have fallen more than three cents per gallon in the past week.
AAA tested Premium and Regular gasoline in six vehicles: a Ford F-150, a Cadillac Escalade, a Mazda Miata, an Audi A3, a Ford Mustang GT and a Jeep Renegade. The vehicles AAA tested averaged just a 1.4% increase in horsepower. On average, vehicles produced 1.4% more horsepower using Premium. Higher levels of octane allow engines to run at higher compression ratios without knocking.
Automakers sometimes advertise higher horsepower figures they attained using premium to attract enthusiasts, and buyers who don't know how little the difference will mean to them.
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In some cars, usually luxury models, Premium fuel is actually required, not just recommended.