Not Logged In Log In   Sign Up   Points Leaders
Follow Us    6:43 PM

Message Forum - Read Message

Category: Fuel Economy > Topics Add to favorite topics   Post new topicPost New Topic
Author Topic: The right gas station really does matter Back to Topics
thumper1969

Rookie Author
Fort Worth

Posts:11
Points:400
Joined:Aug 2012
Message Posted: Aug 16, 2013 11:21:50 AM

I went to my Nissan dealer to have my car services recently. I had noticed about a 2 mile per gallon drop in my average. (I am dogmatic about watching that average on my car).
The first thing he asked was, "Where do you buy your fuel?" I figured right away he was going to try to talk his way around a problem by blaming someone else. I told him, "Racetrac, and QT mostly. But I have always bought my fuel there, and only since my last service with my alignment have I noticed my car went from 36 MPG to 34 MPG, so the fuel can't be the issue."

He mentioned that he would look the car over, but, then he explained that those types of gas stations purchase 3rd grade fuel. (That is the lowest grade.) and that regular gas stations like Exxon, Cheveron, Shell, ect.. tend to purchase 2nd grade fuel. Which should give me better gas mileage AND keep my engine cleaner.

Ok, I thought, I am going to test this out. He checked my car over and stated everything looked ok. He gave me my normal oil change and I departed. Well, I started buying only fuel from Shell and Exxon or Cheveron for the last month. Most times, I can get it for the same price as QT and Racetrac. Sometimes it may be 2 to 4 cents more per gallon.

What happened? Well... I am averaging 37 MPG. A 3 mile per gallon increase from my last oil change, and a 1 MPG increase from when I first bought my car. (It is new). So is it worth the extra cost? Absolutely! When my fuel dropped to 34 MPG I lost 2 miles per gallon, or, approximately ONE GALLON per tank. That's about $3.40 per tank lost. By paying even 4 cents per gallon more for the quality fuel, I was only paying .44 cents MORE and getting 37 MPG.

So, it seems to be true. The age old gas stations do it better! Test it out for yourself. Racetrac and QT buy cheap fuel, charge as much as the quality stuff, and are laughing all the way to the bank. Of course the good stuff cost more, 2nd grade gas is refined more, so the cost is higher to produce. The real looser is buying 3rd grade gas and paying 2nd grade prices. Boy have we been played for a fool by thinking QT and Racetrac were quality. The coffee is ok, but I would stay away from the gas.

JMHO.
REPLIES (newest first) Post a Reply
Profile Pic
foreyearrunner
Champion Author Illinois

Posts:1,059
Points:364,330
Joined:Oct 2011
Message Posted: Sep 30, 2013 9:44:23 PM

Every gas has some additive in it to help clean the car.

What makes the key difference is using the same company (BP, Shell, Road Ranger etc.) over and over again so the same additive stays in there and really do its best work.

I had this happen when I switched to BP gas. Big difference in MPG. About 33 mpg to at times over 36 mpg.
Profile Pic
Camry05
All-Star Author Indiana

Posts:733
Points:286,525
Joined:Apr 2012
Message Posted: Sep 30, 2013 6:59:57 PM

the right gas station does matter, find 1 and stick to it
Profile Pic
carinthuist
Champion Author San Francisco

Posts:5,316
Points:907,575
Joined:Mar 2012
Message Posted: Sep 30, 2013 6:57:41 PM

Yes price wise
Profile Pic
alphanyr
Champion Author Connecticut

Posts:10,865
Points:1,323,075
Joined:Apr 2011
Message Posted: Sep 30, 2013 3:23:46 PM

OK
Profile Pic
alex22567
Rookie Author Houston

Posts:66
Points:8,425
Joined:Sep 2013
Message Posted: Sep 30, 2013 1:43:26 PM

yeah it does big time
Profile Pic
GrumpyCat
Champion Author Alabama

Posts:5,530
Points:1,299,710
Joined:Jun 2009
Message Posted: Sep 30, 2013 10:42:41 AM

You can tell nothing about the quality of fuel by the name brand on the station.

Each station specifies what grade of fuel and formulation it wants. Some buy junk, others buy good stuff. My Sam's Club apparently buys the good stuff while Krogers and Kangaroo buy junk.
Profile Pic
Dale Jr.
Champion Author Illinois

Posts:18,974
Points:3,883,200
Joined:May 2004
Message Posted: Sep 30, 2013 9:16:05 AM

I have not notice a difference at the stations I fill up.
Profile Pic
cv
Champion Author Raleigh

Posts:17,960
Points:3,912,930
Joined:Oct 2003
Message Posted: Sep 30, 2013 6:22:16 AM

I have tried many times, but never saw any improvement for my vehicles.
Profile Pic
Hemond
Champion Author Providence

Posts:12,063
Points:177,010
Joined:Oct 2006
Message Posted: Sep 23, 2013 10:19:55 AM

All gas is the same. It all comes out of the same pipeline or barge. No difference from one brand to another.
Profile Pic
Floridaman2013
Champion Author Florida

Posts:2,529
Points:538,525
Joined:May 2013
Message Posted: Sep 23, 2013 9:04:44 AM

With the normal octane rating today for most engines at 87, the biggest difference I see besides all the other variables for fuel mileage is having a Flexible Fuel Vehicle(FFV), which does make a big difference on vehicles and gasoline brands because of the ethanol and other additives the engine needs to burn.
Profile Pic
Boyrr
Champion Author Allentown

Posts:17,508
Points:3,795,080
Joined:May 2004
Message Posted: Sep 23, 2013 9:04:29 AM

I heard once that; "...you get what you pay for."
Profile Pic
rick_evans
Champion Author Boston

Posts:6,594
Points:1,670,950
Joined:Aug 2005
Message Posted: Sep 23, 2013 7:04:03 AM

From Edmunds article -- Is Cheap Gas bad for your car

The only people claiming real benefits to "Top Tier" fuels in the story were from the industry, mainly Shell. And, no one seems to be claiming better MPG.

"The Skeptics and Their Tests
The Auto Club's Mazor was more forthcoming, and has some interesting results from a blind test he did on three samples of gasoline from both major and independent gas stations."

"We tested emissions, fuel economy and performance and we could not tell the difference,"

"Mazor believes that the driving public has outdated notions about gas. Twenty years ago, only premium fuel had detergents in it. Back then, it was beneficial to occasionally buy a tank of high-test gas to clean the engine. "

AND

"Likewise, Randy Stephens, chief engineer for Toyota's Avalon, isn't wholly convinced by the claims of engine protection afforded by higher-priced gas. He says fuel experts at his company study the effects of different brands of gas on the Toyota engines. Automotive engineers disassemble engines after 10,000 miles of running them on different brands of gas to see if there is a difference."

"Honestly, in the 10 years I've been in charge of Avalon, I've never seen one come back with any sort of deposit issue,"
Profile Pic
GLM4205
Champion Author Toledo

Posts:6,481
Points:1,370,435
Joined:Dec 2010
Message Posted: Sep 23, 2013 5:59:14 AM

I am not sure if it makes any difference.
Profile Pic
Camry05
All-Star Author Indiana

Posts:733
Points:286,525
Joined:Apr 2012
Message Posted: Sep 19, 2013 6:02:50 PM

Faced the same problem, have a topic on it
Profile Pic
Houckster
Champion Author Atlanta

Posts:11,107
Points:768,785
Joined:Sep 2003
Message Posted: Sep 2, 2013 2:11:09 PM

GRUMPYCAT first quotes me: "In my town, RaceTrac is making a bid for a share of the business and some of their new places are right across from Quik Trip. They charge the same amount for gas but their gas is generic gas while Quik Trip is a Top Tier fuel."

He then writes:
To be a Top Tier Fuel all you have to do is pay the Top Tier organization for the privilege and promise to use a bit more detergent in your fuel than the EPA requires.

ME: I'm not so sure that the Top Tier standard is that loose but then I don't have access to the specific requirements. They do discuss in general terms what is necessary to achieve a Top Tier standard fuel: Top Tier Deposit Control Discussion.

GRUMPYCAT then continues: Is anyone suffering from deposits on valves? Clogged fuel injectors? No? Perhaps this is one of those rare instances the EPA knows what they are talking about. The EPA is very concerned when fuels cause failure of emission systems.

ME: I would certainly hope that GRUMPYCAT is correct but the evidence I've seen leads me to have doubts. If the EPA standard was truly sufficient, I then have to wonder why the OEMs developed this standard. They state that their goal is to reduce warranty expense by specifying a fuel standard that prevents the problems they have been paying to fix. What is their motivation if this isn't true?

And the oil companies don't seem to make much money on it either. As I pointed out, adhering to the Top Tier standard doesn't appear to allow Quik Trip to charge more for their fuel than RaceTrac does.

It is true that when fuel injection was becoming the standard in the early 90s, there were problems with clogged injectors and it's true that those problems have been overcome. It also appears that in most cases people don't have trouble with their valves either . . . yet.

So why use a Top Tier fuel or one that meets the Top Tier standard even though it doesn't belong to the Top Tier group? There are a several reasons.

First, it usually doesn't cost any extra to buy a Top Tier fuel. When two stations are in the immediate vicinity of either other, the fuel price will be almost the same. As I mentioned, Quik Trip and RaceTrac are in lock step on price.

Second: There is the peace of mind factor. You are assured that you have a higher level of detergency with the Top Tier fuel. Now maybe one's car will do just fine with a generic fuel but then again it may not. And if it doesn't, it may cost a lot more to correct the situation than it would have cost to pay whatever differential price the Top Tier fuel required. And there's this as well: the problem may not be immediately apparent but in the meantime, gas consumption is rising.

Third: The EPA standard has been in place for years and hopefully, they will upgrade the standard but I've heard nothing about this. Meanwhile, as a function of CAFE, OEMs are having to produce more and more sophisticated engines that are not nearly as forgiving of poor quality fuel as older cars. I think this will be a continuing trend. Top Tier members, Shell for example, have already had to upgrade their fuels to accommodate the needs of engines with direct injection. Bottom line: using a Top Tier fuel gives one greater assurance that one's engine will stay clean.

My conclusion is that when it usually costs no more to buy Top Tier fuel coupled with the greater need for quality fuels on the part of newer cars along with the fact that there's no downside to using a high quality fuel in an older car, there is no reason NOT to use a Top Tier fuel and ever reason to use one.

[Edited by: Houckster at 9/2/2013 2:16:23 PM EST]
Profile Pic
stonejd
Champion Author Illinois

Posts:2,225
Points:795,875
Joined:Feb 2012
Message Posted: Sep 2, 2013 11:59:45 AM

I've never noticed... just saying
Profile Pic
DasAuto92
Champion Author Montreal

Posts:3,056
Points:200,785
Joined:Apr 2010
Message Posted: Sep 2, 2013 11:36:57 AM

I have to agree with the Author on this one.For months my wife was using a cheaper(super) no name fuel to save herself $0.06 a ltr or $0.25 a gallon. I kept preaching to her to use Shell V-Power but to no avail.Finally she made the switch and has notice a difference in engine performance, and as well in her mpg.You pay for what you get.
The vehicle is an Audi A6 Avante Quattro 2.8l v6 30 valves.Most Audi owners will only use Shell V-Power and have made the same claims.
Sometimes in the cars manual the manufacturer will recommend what brand of gas to use.Volkswagen & Audi do recommend Shell & BP.
Profile Pic
Dale Jr.
Champion Author Illinois

Posts:18,974
Points:3,883,200
Joined:May 2004
Message Posted: Sep 2, 2013 10:57:05 AM

I have not notice a difference.
Profile Pic
Glasman
Champion Author South Carolina

Posts:11,543
Points:1,303,400
Joined:Nov 2006
Message Posted: Sep 2, 2013 9:53:51 AM

gas jus iz'nt gas, there is a difference.

Profile Pic
Hemond
Champion Author Providence

Posts:12,063
Points:177,010
Joined:Oct 2006
Message Posted: Sep 2, 2013 12:44:27 AM

::::I think that the gas you use makes a difference. Citco, shell, and a few others improve gas mileage and burns cleaner.:::


Feel free to back up this statement with hard evidence....
Profile Pic
GrumpyCat
Champion Author Alabama

Posts:5,530
Points:1,299,710
Joined:Jun 2009
Message Posted: Sep 1, 2013 10:38:37 AM

"In my town, RaceTrac is making a bid for a share of the business and some of their new places are right across from Quik Trip. They charge the same amount for gas but their gas is generic gas while Quik Trip is a Top Tier fuel."

To be a Top Tier Fuel all you have to do is pay the Top Tier organization for the privilege and promise to use a bit more detergent in your fuel than the EPA requires.

Is anyone suffering from deposits on valves? Clogged fuel injectors? No? Perhaps this is one of those rare instances the EPA knows what they are talking about. The EPA is very concerned when fuels cause failure of emission systems.
Profile Pic
dontuknowOH
Champion Author Ohio

Posts:3,623
Points:62,485
Joined:Aug 2009
Message Posted: Sep 1, 2013 10:24:49 AM

The Right gas station for me is often the one that is on my right going in any direction doesn't matter. I pick the lower price and never cross traffic to the left because of safety and the time factor.

Quite often that fuel station is on a corner property which my entry to resume travel more easy by having more choices to enter the traffic pattern(turning right, no waits) or convenience of a T..light change. WFMe, saves!
Profile Pic
ricebike
Champion Author New Jersey

Posts:12,440
Points:2,413,940
Joined:Oct 2005
Message Posted: Sep 1, 2013 8:06:29 AM

cheapest works for me

top tier or federally mandated minimal additives are still yielding me similar mpg
Profile Pic
gvan
Champion Author Chicago

Posts:25,490
Points:3,482,265
Joined:Dec 2004
Message Posted: Aug 31, 2013 3:59:20 PM

"Shell, Exxon and other brands draw from the same pipeline."

Sure. When you buy Shell gas it may have come from an Exxon refinery. Exxon gas may have come from a Shell refinery. Mobil gas may have come from a Marathon refinery. Citgo gas may have come from a Mobil refinery. Therefore the only difference is the additive package as others have pointed out.
Profile Pic
Houckster
Champion Author Atlanta

Posts:11,107
Points:768,785
Joined:Sep 2003
Message Posted: Aug 28, 2013 1:20:13 PM

GRUMPYCAT writes: Don't trust brand names, they all buy fuel from the same local fuel depot and pipeline. But they have a choice as to *what* they buy out of that pipe and thats up to the station operator.
____
Brand names do have a function. I'll buy Shell before I buy RaceTrac because I know Shell is a Top Tier fuel and RaceTrac is generic gas.

Furthermore, I have never seen any evidence that more than one type or quality of fuel is available out of the pipeline. Fuels are differentiated at the terminal where additive packages are added to the fuel. I am not contradicting this contention because I don't have any specific evidence to the contrary. A link to support this claim would be nice.
Profile Pic
Houckster
Champion Author Atlanta

Posts:11,107
Points:768,785
Joined:Sep 2003
Message Posted: Aug 28, 2013 1:08:47 PM

BOYRR writes: you get what you pay for...
_____
This is one of the most ridiculous myths around and it really says nothing. Shop around and quite often you can find a range of prices for the same thing. What do you get when you pay $10 for an article from store A when down the road, store B is selling the same thing for less?

In my town, RaceTrac is making a bid for a share of the business and some of their new places are right across from Quik Trip. They charge the same amount for gas but their gas is generic gas while Quik Trip is a Top Tier fuel.
Profile Pic
Houckster
Champion Author Atlanta

Posts:11,107
Points:768,785
Joined:Sep 2003
Message Posted: Aug 28, 2013 1:01:14 PM

FATSO writes: I think that the gas you use makes a difference. Citco, shell, and a few others improve gas mileage and burns cleaner.
_____
Shell is a Top Tier fuel and just about every car will get good performance from this gas.

Citgo, until recently, was basically a generic fuel which is to say a gas with the basic EPA mandated additive package. They have begun to add additional detergency but have, at this point anyway, decided not to join the Top Tier group. Meanwhile, BP has become a Top Tier fuel. It is important to realize that some fuels may meet the Top Tier standard without belonging to the Top Tier group.

No oil company advertises better gas mileage these days. This is because gas, from brand to brand, has the same energy content. They do advertise clean engines because of the additives they use. Anyone claiming to get better mileage with one brand or another will probably not be able to substantiate the claim.

[Edited by: Houckster at 8/28/2013 1:03:07 PM EST]
Profile Pic
Boyrr
Champion Author Allentown

Posts:17,508
Points:3,795,080
Joined:May 2004
Message Posted: Aug 28, 2013 12:35:09 PM

you get what you pay for...
Profile Pic
GrumpyCat
Champion Author Alabama

Posts:5,530
Points:1,299,710
Joined:Jun 2009
Message Posted: Aug 27, 2013 1:19:46 PM

The brand doesn't matter, the source does.

I find Kangaroo, Kroger, and Exxon to have inferior gasoline around home. Chevron and Sam's Club have the good stuff. Kroger diesel is OK, but Murphy/Walmart is not.

Don't trust brand names, they all buy fuel from the same local fuel depot and pipeline. But they have a choice as to *what* they buy out of that pipe and thats up to the station operator.

Keep a written log book. Management changes fairly often so what was once a good supply may not be any good next month.
Profile Pic
fatso
Veteran Author Indianapolis

Posts:309
Points:298,145
Joined:Oct 2004
Message Posted: Aug 27, 2013 1:08:46 PM

I think that the gas you use makes a difference. Citco, shell, and a few others improve gas mileage and burns cleaner.
Profile Pic
justinemt14
Champion Author Philadelphia

Posts:2,325
Points:731,525
Joined:Sep 2012
Message Posted: Aug 27, 2013 12:58:18 PM

Agreed.
Profile Pic
Houckster
Champion Author Atlanta

Posts:11,107
Points:768,785
Joined:Sep 2003
Message Posted: Aug 27, 2013 12:51:01 PM

From THUMPER1969's post: He mentioned that he would look the car over, but, then he explained that those types of gas stations purchase 3rd grade fuel. (That is the lowest grade.) and that regular gas stations like Exxon, Cheveron, Shell, ect.. tend to purchase 2nd grade fuel. Which should give me better gas mileage AND keep my engine cleaner.
_____
First, there is no reason to believe a service manage is any more qualified than anyone else to speculate on gas issues. They aren't trained for that.

His speculations on this issue are without foundation. This has been mentioned already but the fuel these firms get is the same fuel everyone else uses. The difference in gases is the additive package. Quik Trip is a Top Tier fuel while SpeedTrac is generic gas so Quik Trip is a better gas than SpeedTrac. It's not the base gas but the additive package that makes Quik Trip better.

Shell, Exxon and other brands draw from the same pipeline.

I think the suggestion by RICK_EVANS is probably closest to the true: THUMPER1969 improved his driving habits.

Comparing mileage is very difficult because the key issues are not usually tracked. Variables like the number of cold starts, the average miles per trip, hard stops and starts, the number of stops, and the idling time all impact the MPG for a tank of gas and unless these variables are tracked it is very difficult to draw any valid conclusions.

[Edited by: Houckster at 8/27/2013 12:59:31 PM EST]
Profile Pic
WES03
Champion Author Maryland

Posts:7,147
Points:1,817,075
Joined:Feb 2009
Message Posted: Aug 27, 2013 9:17:05 AM

It sure does....the cheap one.
Profile Pic
OilerFan
Champion Author Tulsa

Posts:16,503
Points:2,963,630
Joined:Aug 2005
Message Posted: Aug 27, 2013 7:59:39 AM

I don't think that a particular station matters, but if you happen to find a station that sells top tier gasoline, that's a good start.
Profile Pic
rick_evans
Champion Author Boston

Posts:6,594
Points:1,670,950
Joined:Aug 2005
Message Posted: Aug 27, 2013 6:53:19 AM

Sounds like you woke up and changed your driving behavior.
Profile Pic
thumper1969
Rookie Author Fort Worth

Posts:11
Points:400
Joined:Aug 2012
Message Posted: Aug 21, 2013 11:41:53 AM

You can believe me or not. I am just reporting what I have experienced. As a former LEO in Dallas, I am not a hot rod driver, so I don't "jack rabbit" or whatever that is. I drive as normal now as I did before using the other gas. I was a skeptic myself, so, if anything I wanted to disprove the theory.

Again, believe it or not. That's your choice. I can only tell you what I am seeing personally.
Profile Pic
carinthuist
Champion Author San Francisco

Posts:5,316
Points:907,575
Joined:Mar 2012
Message Posted: Aug 19, 2013 7:57:39 PM

Yes and No
Profile Pic
carinthuist
Champion Author San Francisco

Posts:5,316
Points:907,575
Joined:Mar 2012
Message Posted: Aug 19, 2013 7:56:43 PM

Yes
Profile Pic
forresj
Champion Author Wilmington

Posts:6,162
Points:1,169,185
Joined:May 2005
Message Posted: Aug 19, 2013 2:33:03 PM

Gasoline of the same grade are the same. How can anyone maintain the same driving behavior each day when life is unpredictable?

Get real.
Profile Pic
Hemond
Champion Author Providence

Posts:12,063
Points:177,010
Joined:Oct 2006
Message Posted: Aug 19, 2013 1:36:43 AM

All gas is the same. There is no such thing as 3rd, 2nd, or 1st grade.

Pick your gas station by which has the best coffee shop inside.
Profile Pic
PaylessKY
Champion Author Kentucky

Posts:11,485
Points:2,227,620
Joined:Oct 2008
Message Posted: Aug 17, 2013 9:52:31 AM

If 3rd grade is the lowest, Shell, Exxon and Chevron is 2nd grade (better). Who sells 1st grade fuel?
Profile Pic
OceanArcher
Champion Author Mississippi

Posts:8,282
Points:1,938,000
Joined:May 2004
Message Posted: Aug 17, 2013 9:46:43 AM

Nice comment there Thumper1969 -- as long as your driving habits didn't change for that month, and since you were "testing something out", I betcha there were less "jackrabbit" starts during the month too ...
Profile Pic
OilerFan
Champion Author Tulsa

Posts:16,503
Points:2,963,630
Joined:Aug 2005
Message Posted: Aug 17, 2013 7:41:57 AM

QT is top tier fuel. I think the mechanic was speculating.
Profile Pic
MertieMan
Champion Author Lexington

Posts:17,539
Points:3,543,160
Joined:May 2005
Message Posted: Aug 17, 2013 7:40:40 AM

He is feeding you a total myth. The gas all comes from one terminal nearest to your location and there isn't a smidgeon of difference in any of it at any station. Compare them and see. I have used every so called brand name and see no difference whatsoever.
Profile Pic
justinemt14
Champion Author Philadelphia

Posts:2,325
Points:731,525
Joined:Sep 2012
Message Posted: Aug 17, 2013 12:20:09 AM

Shell, BP, and Exxon are the best.
Profile Pic
Travelguy1
Rookie Author Appleton

Posts:28
Points:71,700
Joined:Oct 2012
Message Posted: Aug 16, 2013 10:19:49 PM

I've noticed that too with my vehicle, a '99 Buick Century. I'm usually good with either Shell and BP, with Shell as the one where I get the best fuel economy from the regular grade gas, and BP being roughly average on it. I did try out Citgo a few weeks back after they had introduced the Tri - Clean detergent, if you will, into their brand of fuel. All's their brand of fuel did was severely decrease my fuel economy, going from 350 - 375 miles to the tank to 250 - 295 miles to the tank, from being brimmed full too. I also use the Lucas Oil fuel treatment mix, which also seems to help to a point with each fill up I do. So in short, 9 times out of 10, I will purchase gas from Shell, where I seem to get not only better economy, but what seems to me better power from the engine from their brand. I would occasionally go to Mobil, BP, or Marathon if no other choice is available or I'm in the area and I really need gas.
Post a reply Back to Topics