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Author Topic: Which BRAND of Gasoline Gets The Best Mileage?? Back to Topics
MPG Lover

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Illinois

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Message Posted: Nov 8, 2007 9:25:59 AM

I've been researching this for a long time, and it does seem you get what you pay for.

I'd like to hear what others are finding.

For example, I seem to get 10-12% better mileage with CHEVRON than other lower tier gas (Pilot or Maverik, or Mirastar/WalMart).

I really do know 99% of the variables (wind, temperatures, fuel storage tanks, road type, air pressure in tires, etc...) but it does seem the TOP TIER gets you better MPG.

I'd say top tier is Chevron, Texaco/Shell. Am I overlooking some? What do you all find out there?

I used to live in Spokane, WA there and the COSTCO gas, which was always the cheapest, made my car ping (lower octane than advertized??) going up hills, and NO other gas did that. So there does seem to be a difference; maybe some of those additive packages do work better.

My best MPG ever, consistently, is from the Flying J on exit 3 in Evanston WY. Always 20% better MPG going East or West on 80, all seasons. May be the higher elevation.

Thoughts on BRANDS and MPG???
REPLIES (newest first) Topic is locked
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pinbuster2005
Champion Author New Hampshire

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Message Posted: Dec 18, 2008 2:59:12 AM

FarmTech - People like cheapguy will never beleive that there are different qualities of the gas we buy at the pumps. One reason for that is that he owns an unbranded station. If he was a branded station he'd agree that branded was better than unbranded.

From the automobiles I've owned I've had a couple that it didn't matter what brand I ran in them I got the same mileage. When I had those I would make sure I ran branded gas in them 50% of the time just to be safe. But a vast majority of my automobiles were brand peticular and it wasn't the same brand for every one of them. Just in my last three pick-ups the brand of gas that gave me the best economy was different in each.

In my '95 ranger it got the best with Merit (local brand now Hess) & Mobil.
in my '99 ranger it was Exxon & unbranded.
In my current 2001 f-150 it's Getty/Lukoil & Shell

Every one was different. Just in my family I can show the different automobiles that do the best with each automobile. My father's Buick mini van does the best with Shell & Citgo, My fiancee's hyundia accent does the best with Sunoco & Hess, & my cousin does the best with Mobil & Irving. Four different automobiles (including mine) that do the best with 7 different brands as far as fuel economy goes. But when the price is figured into the equation for cost per mile depending on the differences in cost per gal and MPG sometimes the lower performance brands do end up being a bit cheaper to run.
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FarmTech
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Dec 17, 2008 12:43:24 PM

cheapguy135,

Do not know what happened to my first reply, which was timestamped 12/17/2008 12:31:33 PM.

It had some words and paraagraphs all jumbled up, so I used the Edit feature. It looked good in the edit, but somehow got screwed up when it posted. Even though the time to edit had not past, it would NOT let me re-edit the mess it created.

The second set of numbered questions is extra and you can disregard.
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FarmTech
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Dec 17, 2008 12:35:39 PM

cheapguy135,

You have a lot of good questions, and nearly all related to fuel brands and mileages possible to obtain from them. Your post timestamped 12/15/2008 1:49:13 PM has at least half a dozen. I will answer them all. However, you are going to have to bear with me.

I run 7 businesses, excluding the Major Agrobusinesses (farming, ranching, etc.), that employ over 150 people. This is the Holiday Season and it is also occuring while we are having some tough economic times. I have workers out sick, on vacation, worried if they will they will continue to have a job and all types of other scenarios. I have to fill in for Managers and address a myriad of worker issues. This is also when we do employee evaluations. Last, but not least. I have 3 generations of family, some at home and other spread across the U.S, and this is Christmas and New Years. Family time is more important to me than anything else.

I typically only log into GasBuddy once every 24 hour period. At this time of year AND with all the extra demands placed on my time, it may become once every 2 or 3 days. This will be especially so on the upcoming weekend--the 20th and 21st--and from the 23rd to the 26th.
Keep checking back.

I will answer two of your questions, or concerns, one in a reply below this one.

QUOTING: "FT, your replies, like alot of additive packages, certainly contain alot of filler."
ANSWER: That is your opinion. I have a highly technical style of writing that has been with me since I was about 8 years old (I could both read and write by age 5). I try to keep my posts as concise as possible WITHOUT omitting pertinent details. I find that it actually REDUCES the amount of questions that could be asked. Additionally, I have worked and continue to work in highly technical fields--so my style of writing is expected in correspondence and reports. If you do not like, then you do not have to read it, at not all of it. However, I believe if you do read and think about it, you will find that they are facts or excellent examples.
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FarmTech
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Dec 17, 2008 12:31:33 PM

cheapguy135,

Your post timestamped12/15/2008 1:55:38 PM, QUOTING: "...if sold in an EPA Mandated Anti-Pollution area.....it would be what you're referring to as "generic"...with additives...correct?"

ANSWER: Yes. Let us be perfectly clear on what you mean, when you stated in the quote above: "...as "generic"...with additives.." The word "additives" would mean any EPA mandated additives. For my purposes, and those of everyone I personally know in the industry, EPA mandated additives are not considered as the additives branded gasolines will add to further enhance the detergent and fuel burning qualities. Gasoline that is blended as such is typically known as Reformulated Gasoline or "RFG" for short.

I should have used the term RFG in my posts. I will continue to use it for the duration. Here are links to EPA web resources that can get you started on the maze that is RFG:

EPA's RFG Maps and Areas

EPA's Guidance Documents on Reformulated Gasoline webpage

NOTE that once on either of the above two webpages, you can use the Nav Menu on the Left side to navigate to other EPA webpages, as well as each of the above.

If you think my technical style is hard to read, this will just boggle your mind. Note that even though it started about 1996, it appears to have just recently been updated, showing the date of 11-19-2008.

EPA: Federal Register: Regulation of Fuels and Fuel Additives: Standards for Reformulated and Conventional Gasoline

As an Independent Fuel Retailer, you should be reading all of this AND more. Once you have reviewed some of the above info, with at least the RFG Mandated areas, you will have an idea what is happening in your state of New Jersey. If you already know some, or all of this, then please remember it is supplied for your benefit.

I do not know how you arrange for the purchase and/or financing of your fuel> It is none of my business. I am mentioning it, because in the remainder of this reply, you will see the term "3rd party". When I use "3rd party" it means a company that may sell and/or finance any fuel you buy through any one of a number of Distributors.

IN ORDER THAT WE MAY BETTER PROCEED WITH FUTURE QUESTIONS, here is research that you need to do. You MAY need to ask these questions of your suppliers:

1) When I see the term <NAME BRAND> Generic Gas on my invoice, exactly what does that mean??
Is it a way to track the fuel credits that <NAME BRAND> refiner has put into the system??
Did a 3rd party, or yourself, buy those <NAME BRAND> credits and are you or the 3rd party using them to sell the base fuel to me??

NOTE: the variable <NAME BRAND> is where you could substitute any brand, such as Exxon, Texaco, etc.

2) The additives you are showing on my invoice, are they part of the EPA mandated additives for RFG in my NJ Service Area??

3) Are these additives blended in the gasoline prior to be delivered to you or are you adding them when pumped into the tanker??

4) The additive package you state is in my fuel, is that the EPA mandated additives for the RFG sold in NJ or are you selling me additional
additives?? If so, what is the cost of the additives to me??

Once you have obtained and posted the answers to the above questions, we can eliminate any confusion in future discussions.

2) The additives you are showing on my invoice, are they part of the EPA mandated additives for RFG in my NJ Service Area??

3) Are these additives blended in the gasoline prior to be delivered to you or are you adding them when pumped into the tanker??

4) The additive package you state is in my fuel, is that the EPA mandated additives for the RFG sold in NJ or are you selling me additional additives?? If so, what is the cost of the additives to me??

Once you have obtained and posted the answers to the above questions, we can eliminate any confusion in future discussions.

[Edited by: FarmTech at 12/17/2008 12:34:11 PM EST]
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FarmTech
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Dec 17, 2008 12:23:51 PM

pinbuster2005,

Thanks for the support. I agree that people need to keep an open mind and be willing to explore things they do not know.

Keep watching and participating in this topic.
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FarmTech
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Dec 17, 2008 12:23:16 PM

cputrdoc,

Pinbuster2005 answered your question as I would have. Fuel mileage is, essentially, dependent on 4 variable conditions:
1) Vehicle Dependent: Lots of variables here -- engine condition, component conditions, etc.
2) Operator Dependent: based on how efficiently operator uses powertrain.
3) Actual Road Conditions: hilly, flat, city traffic congestion -- I think you can just imagine the variables.
4) Qualtiy of Gasoline and Amount of Ethanol blended in that gas: ethanol provides less energy than conventional gasoline.
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pinbuster2005
Champion Author New Hampshire

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Message Posted: Dec 17, 2008 1:45:08 AM

cheapguy - the tests showed with my three pick-ups that each one did the best with different brands. I drove the same with all of them. As far as top-tier goes. I personally never said top-tier was the best just Name brand fuel. There was no top-tier standard when I had my '95 & '99 rangers if I remember right that didn't start until about 2001 or 2002. Plus Ford doesn't recomend top-tier fuel like GM, Honda, & others. My tests do show a difference between fuel brands with each automobile. As it's been said by myself and others on this site every automobile is different. I've had automobiles that would prove all gas was the same because they have got the same mileage with every brand & unbranded fuel in this area. Also as I showed in my last post I've had automobiles that were brand peticular. Some prefered unbranded fuel for what ever reason I don't know but it worked out that way with my 99 ranger.
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cheapguy135
Champion Author New Jersey

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Message Posted: Dec 16, 2008 2:20:09 PM

"My 95 ranger did the best with Merit (local brand Now Hess), & Mobil did the worst with Getty. My 99 ranger did the best with Exxon & unbranded gas and did the worst with citgo. My current 2001 f-150 does the best with Getty/Lukoil & Shell and does the worst with C.W. Fuels. As I said different results with each automobile."




Then why are there still people who insist that "top-tier" or other branded fuel is superior in all aspects to unbranded, generic, or non-top-tier fuel and still calling unbranded "econocrap"? Your results don't prove that every vehicle and every brand is different...they prove that every tankful will be different for every driver, every brand, and every vehicle. It's what we've said all along. Gas is gas. Your results WILL vary. The rest is marketing.
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MustangVicki89
Champion Author New Brunswick

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Message Posted: Dec 16, 2008 7:06:13 AM

Irving
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pinbuster2005
Champion Author New Hampshire

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Message Posted: Dec 16, 2008 5:29:33 AM

cputrdoc - There is no one brand everyone should be using. The reason for that is everyone will get different results. Some people will get the same milage no matter what they run in their automobile. I had that with a couple of automobiles i've owned. Some people will get better milage out of certain brands in their automobiles but they will be different for each one. I can just go by my last three pick-ups and show that.

My 95 ranger did the best with Merit (local brand Now Hess), & Mobil did the worst with Getty. My 99 ranger did the best with Exxon & unbranded gas and did the worst with citgo. My current 2001 f-150 does the best with Getty/Lukoil & Shell and does the worst with C.W. Fuels. As I said different results with each automobile.
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gasspy49
All-Star Author Michigan

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Message Posted: Dec 15, 2008 7:03:01 PM

I use Wesco in SW MI and Valero in AZ and have good gas mileage.
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cputrdoc
Veteran Author San Jose

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Message Posted: Dec 15, 2008 6:06:28 PM

Since FarmTech knows so much about this process, he/she should be able to answer this question quite succinctly (in 3 sentences or less):

Which brand of gas should we all be using?
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cheapguy135
Champion Author New Jersey

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Message Posted: Dec 15, 2008 1:55:38 PM

Many of your brands, such as Costco, East Coast and Wawa, use the Certified Base fuels with No Additives. Therefore, virtually all "No-Name" retailers, as well as many Independent--even if branded and DEPENDING on the brand--retailers will be selling gasoline that has no additives.

This is exactly how it works and this is what I meant when I wrote, QUOTING: "...same generic--No Additive Package--gasoline...". Even if the gasoline was sold to retailer in an area that required EPA Mandated Anti-Pollution Additives, but that retailer did not have a contract with the FDC for additives (and all that such a contract entailed), it would still be gasoline that myself and many others would term as "generic".



-but if sold in an EPA Mandated Anti-Pollution area.....it would be what you're referring to as "generic"...with additives...correct?
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cheapguy135
Champion Author New Jersey

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Message Posted: Dec 15, 2008 1:49:13 PM

FT, your replies, like alot of additive packages, certainly contain alot of filler. I know plenty about gasoline distribution because I also have access to the internet and although I'm not nearly as worldly as you, I work very closely with associates who are authorized distributors for a number of brands. Your reply offers alot of copied info, but dodges the question, and it sounds like we only disagree in what you refer to as "generic". I'm an independent retailer and the fuel I receive absolutely contains an additive package...from a number of different terminals and of different types and names. I also receive plenty of major branded product which is sold as "generic". But to clarify, "Certified Base Fuel".....contains additives...yes? And in your grand expertise....beyond the claimed fuel system cleaning attributes of a particular proprietary additive package, how does that brand it get better mileage than "CBF" in a brand new car with a shiny new fuel delivery system and valve train? Additionally, why are you avoiding the acetone question?
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FarmTech
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Dec 15, 2008 10:21:27 AM

mikerock,

Obviously you have nothing better to do with your time than engage in personal attacks against me. You have also chosen to ignore what I wrote in my post timestamped 12/15/2008 7:59:45 AM, which is specifically addressed to you and Member "cheapguy135".

Specifically targeted at you where these items, quoting my aforereferenced post:
"If you do not like something or disagree with some member has posted, AND whatever they posted is well within the realm of possibility, then it is best to keep your comments either to yourself of lowkey, if you must make a reply.

If you think I am way out of line, then report me to the Webmaster and see what he has to say."

Since you are abusing me by personal attacks, I have reported you to the Webmaster and we will now see what he has to say on these matters.
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FarmTech
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Dec 15, 2008 10:08:24 AM

ADDRESSING cheapguy135's issues with what I have previously posted, as obtained from cheapguy135's post timestamped 12/14/2008 12:19:36 PM:

QUOTING cheapguy135: "I do take exception to statements like:
"Therefore, because of the fuel where you live, you are not burning the same generic--No Additive Package--gasoline that over 90 percent of the rest of the U.S. does."

or "The Primary reason why most people can not tell the difference between mileage derived from Top Tier fuels versus Generic--No Addtive Package--gasoline,"

Those statements are absolutley false...generically sold gasoline (ie. independent or "no-name" stations absolutely contain additives SIMILAR (not exact) in type and quantity to any branded fuel. They are generic because those additive packages are available off the shelf and are simply not proprietary in nature. It doesn't mean that it's "no-additive package gasoline". Making blanket statements like that makes he doubt the Wizard's credibility altogether. I also noticed that The Wizard hasn't commented about the alledged mileage benefits the "believers" are deriving from the use of acetone."

Some basic facts to start. When a Base Fuel grade (AKA as "frungible" within the industry) is transported via the commercial pipeline system to a commercial fuel storage facility, the quality of that fuel is tested. Each grade, such as 87 or 93, is kept in seperate storage tanks. Samples are taken from various locations within a tank and tested to insure that they meet the Federal standards for what can be sold and labeled as that grade of gasoline. When that fuel is certified, the contents of that tank are then sold. That tank's contents are sold as that grade of Base and will not be mixed with any other fuel. If that tank has untested fuel pumped into it from the pipeline system, it must be removed from sale and re-certified before any of it can be sold.

Note that most commercial fuel storage facilities are usually also a Fuel Distribution Center. A Fuel Distribution Center has the pumping stations that blend in the ethanol and additives, IF ANY, to make the type or brand of fuel being sold.

Hereinafter, the term "Fuel Distribution Center" will be abbreviated as "FDC".

1) for your exception to, QUOTING "The Primary reason why most people can not tell the difference between mileage derived from Top Tier fuels versus Generic--No Addtive Package--gasoline,",

You have left out the remainder of that statement, therefore, you are taking it out of context. That entire statement addresses PROCEDURES USED TO ACCURATELY TEST DIFFERENT BRANDS OF FUEL. This has been addressed by pinbuster2005 in his "Cost Per Mile Versus Cost Per Gallon" testing procedure and the posts related to this testing procedure.

Additionally, GB Member outlaw329 verifies his experiences in his post, also in this topic, timestamped 11/29/2008 1:16:16 AM. The first sentence, quoting: "I agree with all parts of this! Testing which gas runs best in your car takes more then a couple of tanks, but you are going to have to switch stations every fourth or fifth tankful."

Right above this post by outlaw329 is a post by pinbuster2005 referencing his testing methodology.

Take the Entire Statement in the Complete and Proper Context, as it was meant, if you have something to comment.

=======

2) Your exceptions to, QUOTING: ""Therefore, because of the fuel where you live, you are not burning the same generic--No Additive Package--gasoline that over 90 percent of the rest of the U.S. does."
AND
"Those statements are absolutley false...generically sold gasoline (ie. independent or "no-name" stations absolutely contain additives SIMILAR (not exact) in type and quantity to any branded fuel. They are generic because those additive packages are available off the shelf and are simply not proprietary in nature. It doesn't mean that it's "no-additive package gasoline". "

Since these are related, actually the same, I will address both together. I do not know where you get your information, but you are WRONG. You are ENTIRELY INCORRECT when you state, QUOTING: "Those statements are absolutley false...generically sold gasoline (ie. independent or "no-name" stations absolutely contain additives SIMILAR (not exact) in type and quantity to any branded fuel." I will address the specifics on this in following paragraphs, as this relates to contracts with the FDC from which the fuel is obtained and the new EPA and DOE rules for Certified Base Gasoline.

I can see that some Picky Technical Detail factors into this, so lets address that first. The technical detail, as I see how it may relate, is in what I am terming as "generic" gas with no additives. By that, I mean the Certified Base Gasoline, under the current EPA and DOE rules, per the preceeding paragraph.

To start I will refer you, and all, to the EIA's and DOE's "Where Does My Gasoline Come From?" web page

When I use the term "no-name" fuel retailer, it means just exactly that, a company that does not sell fuel under any nationwide or regional brand name. This might be a small store, that sells fuel to bring in business or it is just something that they have always done. A good example would be a family owned store in a rural area that always sold fuel.

An Independent fuel retailer is any person or business that sells fuel products and does not have their business owned or directly controlled by a brand name oil company. An Independent fuel retailer can be a "no-name" fuel retailer, however, most are affiliated with a brand name. For example, Shell, Texaco, Wawa and East Coast are all brand names. Some person or business entity can own a station that has those brand names, with all licensed branding displayed, and sell those brand name products and not be owned by that brand name. These Independent fuel retailers have contracts with their brand named company.

As for any and all EPA Mandated Additives blended in gasoline at a FDC, the EPA only mandates certain anti-pollution additives be blended in fuel that is destined for a certain ZIP Code. If that fuel is destined for retailer that is not located in areas that EPA has designated as polluted by vehicle emissions, by ZIP Code, then no anti-pollution additives are blended into that fuel. Somewhere around 80 percent of the fuel sold in the U.S. does not require any EPA mandated additives. And before you launch into comments about the actual percentage, it will vary depending on the amount of fuel sold in those areas the EPA has designated as pollution zones versus the amount sold to areas without the designation.

The EPA has changed and relaxed its rules and standards on Motor Vehicle Fuels. For this topic, we will focus just on gasoline and any additives, if required under Federal Standards, that would need to be added. A lot of those changes came from the Federal cases filed by the State of CA against the EPA and DOE. If the Base Fuel is tested and certified at a commercial fuel storage facility or FDC, then it does NOT require any additives. It has met, and been certified to meet, the Federal Standards for that grade of gasoline. This Certified Base Fuel is what can become what many term "generic" gasoline.

When a Fuel Transporter arrives at a FDC, his documentation and authorizations (for propietary brands) is checked at the Control Center. The operator then tells the transporter which Numbered Pumping Station, or Stations, he will use to pump his fuel. The Numbered Pumping Station also has the industry term of "rack". The rack, and what it will blend, is controlled by the FDC.

The transporter uses the computerized controls, at the rack, to fill one compartment at a time. After completion of a compartment fill, the transporter documents the exact amount, grade and type of fuel which is in that compartment. If a transporter is carrying both propietary branded fuels and generics, then his documentation specifies what is in each compartment. The gasoline is delivered to the proper retailer, by compartment.

Now this is where I answer your exception and where fuel becomes what will be delivered. For this specific example, I will explicitly be discussing fuel delivered to a ZIP Code that does not require any EPA Mandated Anti-Pollution additives.

If the fuel to be blended will be bought by a retailer (whoever that may be) that does NOT have a contract with the FDC for additives to be blended in the pumping process, then NO ADDITIVES ARE BLENDED. Period. They take the Certified Base fuel from that FDC. This is Generic gasoline.

Any retailer (whoever that may be) must have a contract with that FDC for additives and honor all that contract entails. The basics of what such a contract would entail are that the contractee maintains the additive levels in their designated tanks and supplies the FDC with the computerized blending ratios and the ratio changes for the various amount of ethanol that could be blended in the fuel.

Many of your brands, such as Costco, East Coast and Wawa, use the Certified Base fuels with No Additives. Therefore, virtually all "No-Name" retailers, as well as many Independent--even if branded and DEPENDING on the brand--retailers will be selling gasoline that has no additives.

This is exactly how it works and this is what I meant when I wrote, QUOTING: "...same generic--No Additive Package--gasoline...". Even if the gasoline was sold to retailer in an area that required EPA Mandated Anti-Pollution Additives, but that retailer did not have a contract with the FDC for additives (and all that such a contract entailed), it would still be gasoline that myself and many others would term as "generic".

=======

3) As for your statement, QUOTING: "I also noticed that The Wizard hasn't commented about the alledged mileage benefits the "believers" are deriving from the use of acetone.", that is an entirely seperate issue.

It is NOT the focus of this topic, which is BRAND and fuel mileages thereof.

Additionally, I have participated in a number of Acetone topics in the past.
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pinbuster2005
Champion Author New Hampshire

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Message Posted: Dec 15, 2008 8:25:01 AM

FarmTech - I couldn't have said it better myself. Both of them have come right out and claimed that I've prefered certain brands when doing my tests and that I am a fraud because of how I do real world testing. When I've made comments like are say four different labs doing the same kind of tests always going to come up with the same kind of results even under controled conditions? I've said maybe but there again maybe not but even if they don't the scientists aren't going to sit there and say that just because the others don't agree with them or their results don't match that they are compleately wrong or they don't know what they are doing or talking about. They are going to take all the information from all the tests and compare it with an open mind and form a colective conclusion. The problem with the nay-sayers like cheapguy & mikerock is they won't take and look at things with that open mind. Cheapguy I know owns an unbranded station so I think that is why he says it's all the same. If he owned a branded station he would be saying his brand was the best just like any car dealer will tell you that their brand of automobile is the best. In the automobiles i've owned I've had a couple that yes didn't matter what brand I ran in them they got the same milage so I ran both branded & unbranded gas depending on what was available where I was when I needed gas. In other automobiles I've owned certain brands did better than others. When compareing I use cost per mile to determin what is going to be the cheapest to run overall because it's the combination of cost per gallon & miles per gallon. As i've said just because you might save 10 cents a gallon at the pump if you lose 2 mpg in fuel economy your going to end up spaending more in the long run per mile.
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FarmTech
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Dec 15, 2008 7:59:45 AM

cheapguy135 and mikerock,

Say and Nay-Say all you want. I am not some--QUOTING mikerock: "pompous A--" or QUOTING cheapguy135: :"the little man behind the curtain in The Wizard of Oz" when I provide facts about my background. I am just trying to use the KISS principle and state some of my qualifications so you or other GB Members will not have to keep asking questions as to how I know.

IN FACT, you two are the ONLY GB Members that have EVER mentioned anything of the sort. That means that Greater Majority of GB Members disagree with you. Quite a few members have commented that they were glad to see someone state their qualifications and provide links to reputable websites, such as DOE's EIA, so that they could start their own research.

If you do not like something or disagree with some member has posted, AND whatever they posted is well within the realm of possibility, then it is best to keep your comments either to yourself of lowkey, if you must make a reply.

If you think I am way out of line, then report me to the Webmaster and see what he has to say.

From a logical perspective, cheapguy135 and mikerock, you are engaging in personal attacks. In fact, mikerock, you started with a personal attack loaded with sarcasm.

cheapguy135, I am going to address some of your issues in a seperate reply.

Now, do either of you two know the facts about any of those subjects:

1) The structure of the commercial pipeline and petroleum storage industries?

2) How refinerers distribute their fuel and obtain fuel credits from the commercial pipeline and petroleum storage industries?

3) How does the commercial petroleum storage industry maintain special tanks, under contract, at Fuel Distribution Centers for branded oil companies to store their proprietary additives?

4) Just how does the a branded oil company make sure those special additive storage tanks are kept adequately filled with their additives and that those additives are being properly blended to make their propietary brands?

5) How does a fuel pumping station make all of the various blends of gasoline, especially those that become the propietary formulations for brand name companies?

6) How financing is arranged for fuel retailers (fuel station operators) to obtain petroluem products?

7) That many major oil companies offer financing packages to smaller fuel retailers and then use their fuel credits to allow them to draw against?

8) That all fuel retailers have to make their own arrangements to have fuel transported from a Fuel Distribution Center to their retail location(s)?

9) How does ethanol arrive at Fuel Distribution Centers?

10) Just how is ethanol stored and what, if any, special storage requirements are there for ethanol?

The answers to these questions lead to knowledge about how propietary brands are made and the differences between them and generic gasoline. That then becomes the heart of this post, which asks about the BRAND of gasoline and the fuel mileage obtained from it.
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AmericanMuscle
Champion Author Pennsylvania

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Message Posted: Dec 15, 2008 3:10:58 AM

Exxon
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tobasco
Champion Author Los Angeles

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Message Posted: Dec 15, 2008 1:30:59 AM

Nonsense.
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cheapguy135
Champion Author New Jersey

Posts:1,133
Points:503,235
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Message Posted: Dec 14, 2008 12:19:36 PM

Is it just me, but whenever Farmtech chimes in with statements like:


"I know just about everything there is to know, and if I do not, I can pick up the phone and call any one of hundreds of CEO's, experts, Geologist or Petrochemical Engineers that can tell me the facts. I still do not think that makes me an expert, although a lot of my colleagues and friends say that it does."


or " have worked as a Master Mechanic for General Motors, tore down 10s of 1,000s of engines and now own two each of Custom Auto Parts and ASE Certified Repair Shops."


or "I have worked from a hole in ground, to building the pipeline, building the refinery, working with Petrochemical Engineers, to sitting in the corporate boardroom. I own a number of pumping wells in ranchs in OK and TX, as well as stock in VLO, CVX and COP. I actively participate in my corporate holdings and know just what the latest is within the industry."


why do I feel like I'm hearing from the little man behind the curtain in The Wizard of Oz?



I do take exception to statements like:

"Therefore, because of the fuel where you live, you are not burning the same generic--No Additive Package--gasoline that over 90 percent of the rest of the U.S. does."


or "The Primary reason why most people can not tell the difference between mileage derived from Top Tier fuels versus Generic--No Addtive Package--gasoline,"


Those statements are absolutley false...generically sold gasoline (ie. independent or "no-name" stations absolutely contain additives SIMILAR (not exact) in type and quantity to any branded fuel. They are generic because those additive packages are available off the shelf and are simply not proprietary in nature. It doesn't mean that it's "no-additive package gasoline". Making blanket statements like that makes he doubt the Wizard's credibility altogether. I also noticed that The Wizard hasn't commented about the alledged mileage benefits the "believers" are deriving from the use of acetone.

[Edited by: cheapguy135 at 12/14/2008 12:21:36 PM EST]
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baitmn
Champion Author New Orleans

Posts:11,662
Points:2,649,175
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Message Posted: Dec 14, 2008 12:16:24 PM

They advertise better fuel for better mileage at a better higher price, yes you pay for what you get.
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hotel_goddess
Rookie Author New Brunswick

Posts:21
Points:1,360
Joined:Nov 2008
Message Posted: Dec 14, 2008 11:01:48 AM

I'm interested to hear...I keep hearing Irving gas is less mileage
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FarmTech
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Dec 14, 2008 6:30:35 AM

N6CRB,

From your post and your location--Bakersfield, CA--there are two prominent things that stand out.

First, you live in CA. That state has stringent requirements for gasoline. The EPA mandates a number of anti-smog and clean air additives for CA fuels. What the EPA does not mandate, CA State Law does. In fact, CA has fought with both the EPA and DOE in Federal Court over the anti-smog and clean air additives. This expensive additives are but one reason why gasoline costs more in CA than other states.

Those additives also have a cleaning effect on fuel systems. Therefore, because of the fuel where you live, you are not burning the same generic--No Additive Package--gasoline that over 90 percent of the rest of the U.S. does.

You also state that you have a 2005 Model Year Tahoe with over 160,000 miles showing on the odometer. That works out to about 50,000 miles per year, which makes you a high-mileage driver. I am going to presume that you rack up over 85 percent, or better, of those miles at highway cruising speeds. If that is the case, and you do not spend a lot of time idling in traffic, then that is another reason you see no difference in fuel brands.

GM has some of the best Emissions controls, with the 2004 model years to present being equipped with the culmination of over 35 years of real world testing and manufacturing. The Bottom Line is that cruising at highway speeds 70 percent or more of the time, puts that Tahoe in a lean burn condition with rapid, high pressure pulses on the fuel injectors. That, in and of itself, will help keep your upper combusting chamber and fuel injector nozzles clean. When you have that, your engine achieves maximum output from fuel being burned.

Just wanted you, and all other GB members reading this, to know those conditions existed.
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FarmTech
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Dec 14, 2008 6:11:15 AM

pinbuster2005,

Yes, we know. Same old song and dance. All we can do is keep plugging away and encouraging all to do their own research, and do so with Accurate and Reproducible Scientifc Methods. If they would just eliminate cross-contamination of fuels being tested, then perhaps they would be enlightened.
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FarmTech
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Dec 14, 2008 5:51:54 AM

mikerock,

Enjoying a bit of sarcasm are we??

To be honest with you, I get tired of rehashing the same old topics regarding brands of gasoline, fuel mileage from brands and additives. I am really tired of seeing all the people who run off the keyboard with absolutely false information about fuel tanker trucks, seeing tankers all get the gas at the same place, seeing the same tanker going from no-name stations and brand name stations and ASSUMING--it is assumptions because they are not even reasoning--that all the gas is the same and comes from the same place.

The intended, and so designated, purpose of these forums is the exchange of truthful information--hopefully supported by or at least augmented by links to reputable websites--and intelligent discussion between rational adults. Therefore, excuse me if I take offense at people that write things they know nothing or very litte about.

I have worked in all phases of the petroleum industry all over the world. I have been in firefights in 3rd world hellholes with "rebels" that do not want their corrupt governments to sell their oil to the corrupt Western nations (includes Europe and the U.S.), been shot of the sky over Africa, seen wells explode and things most people would not believe.

I have worked from a hole in ground, to building the pipeline, building the refinery, working with Petrochemical Engineers, to sitting in the corporate boardroom. I own a number of pumping wells in ranchs in OK and TX, as well as stock in VLO, CVX and COP. I actively participate in my corporate holdings and know just what the latest is within the industry. I know just about everything there is to know, and if I do not, I can pick up the phone and call any one of hundreds of CEO's, experts, Geologist or Petrochemical Engineers that can tell me the facts. I still do not think that makes me an expert, although a lot of my colleagues and friends say that it does.

I have worked as a Master Mechanic for General Motors, tore down 10s of 1,000s of engines and now own two each of Custom Auto Parts and ASE Certified Repair Shops.

Here is something from an earlier posting.

The Primary reason why most people can not tell the difference between mileage derived from Top Tier fuels versus Generic--No Addtive Package--gasoline, is simply due to the fact that most people do NOT perform the proper type of testing. They need to MAKE SURE NOT TO BLEND DIFFERENT BRANDS of gas and to insure that they are SPECIFICALLY just burning the one brand of gas they which to test. They will not do the test with at least 3 Full Tankfuls of the fuel being evaluated.

pinbuster 2005 has outlined how to do this in his Cost Per Mile tests and test procedures. BTW, that type of analysis is the only proper way to compare different brands of gas.

Other Ancillary Reasons are widespread and varied. Being a Master Mechanic and discussing these issues with other Master Mechanics, plus Petrochemical Engineers shows that many people do not have properly tuned vehicles. One major reason is that they have been using cheap gas for so long that two conditions are prominent in NEARLY ALL vehicles that have in-depth engine analysis and fiber optic camera/video probes done of their combustion chambers.

The First Ccondition is their computer, from data sent by their sensors (such as MAS, MAP, VVT, and Ingnition Timing Array), is now programmed to cut back engine performance to compensate for the poor quality of gasoline that has been used. In order to correct this, it may require solvent cleaning of some sensors, a valve job, and of course, resetting of the computer.

The Second Condition is that their combustion chamber already shows, or has, significant combustion residue accumulation on spark plug electrodes, upper combustion area and valve heads. While some of this residue may have "flaked", "burnt off", or otherwise been expelled from the engine--typically while under hard acceleration--what remains is the dark, greasy/oily and hardened residue. This hardened residue MAY not be able to be removed from the combustion area without removing the cylinder heads from the engine. When you have this condition, virtually no Top Tier gas will show what it really can do.

HTH all.
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pinbuster2005
Champion Author New Hampshire

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Message Posted: Dec 14, 2008 5:41:54 AM

FarmTech - The problem with these nay-sayers is that they are so set in their way they won't beleive anything anyone shows them. I have this same thing on my thread "cost per mile saves more than cost per gallon". I've even reposted a couple of your posts on there and the nay-sayers like mikerock & cheapguy don't beleive it and think your not a master mechanic like you say you are. I beleive it because it verifies the thing that both dealer & independant mechanics have told me many times in the past. But many of the nay-sayers are to ignorant to look at tests that have been done like mine or posts from master mechanis like yourself with an open mind and say "hmmm maybe I should look into this a little deeper".
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bruce725
Champion Author Dallas

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Message Posted: Dec 14, 2008 3:49:24 AM

Since the same gas gets delivered to several different "brand stations" , decisions as to which is best is based more on gut feel rather than on solid factual evidence
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FarmTech
Champion Author Virginia

Posts:14,702
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Message Posted: Dec 13, 2008 5:26:14 AM

geometro43mpg,

The information in your post is ENTIRELY INCORRECT. Obviously, you KNOW NOTHING about what the actual business of, or the operations within, refineries or Fuel Distribution Centers. It is people like you, who SPREAD RUMORS, that create a myriad of problems and mistrust. These forums are for the EXCHANGE OF KNOWLEDGE, from Informed and Knowledgeable Members (and Consumers) that allows for all who read this to gain from the written content within.

That is my purpose. Not to attack you, rather put the TRUTH out for all to start their own research.

Hereinafter, the term "Fuel Distribution Centers", will be abbreviated as "FDC". Please note that refineries, especially those in the Mid-West, CA, Great Plains, Northeast and Southeast Regional Areas, can also be an FDC.

A number of other very knowledgeable GB members and myself have made post after post on these subjects. Perhaps it would do all doubters a world of good to see if some of those posts still exist, then read all posts.

As far as exact BRAND of gas getting better MPG, that is both Vehicle and Operator Dependent. I have made a number of technical posts showing how Master Mechanics, such as myself, have actually torn engines down and found all kinds of problems from those who only use generic gasoline or overdo aftermarket addtives. It is not so much the fuel mileage you will get, rather how your engine will fare during those miles and what it will cost to fix any problem in the long run.

If you are happy with the fuel mileage you are getting from "no-name" or generic gasoline, and care to remain blissfully ignorant, then more power to you. Just do not spread B.S. about things, of which you have no or extremely limited knowledge thereof, to the rest of us or those who seek to learn.

As for any person observing a tanker getting fuel from one pumping station (AKA as a "rack") at an FDC, that is PERFECTLY NORMAL operation. That tanker can then go to several different gasoline retailers or stations. The tanker can do this becase they are COMPARTMENTALIZED.

Depending on the FDC, the tanker can remain at one rack, or have to go to several, depending on what they have been authorized to load. If one was observing the truck driver load the fuel into each of the tanker trailer's compartments, then one would see that each time this process is done, the driver must operate a control panel at the rack. That driver either has to enter in codes or settings, or verify the lit control buttons. Those settings or controls are enabled by the FDC's operators, who see the Bill of Lading and/or Fuel Pumping Authorizations/Releases the driver provided upon entry to the FDC. They direct the driver to a rack, or specific racks, then verify what pumps--as it is actually being done. They then make the driver verify what has be done by signing off on the Bill of Lading and/or other documents.

One of the Leading Manufacturers of Liquid Petroleum Tanker Trailers is Heil Trailer International. You can start your research at this webpage:
Heil Trailer's Liquid and Petroleum Trailers

A Brief Primer of Gasoline can be found at the EIA's DOE site. BTW, this entire site is excellent research on all aspects of the Petroleum Industry.
EIA's and DOE's "Where Does My Gasoline Come From?" web page

Pay SPECAIL ATTENTION to the paragraph, at approx. the middle of the webpage, where is states
QUOTING: "After shipment through the pipeline, gasoline is typically held in bulk storage terminals that often service many companies. At these terminals, the gasoline is loaded into tanker trucks destined for various retail gas stations. The tanks in these trucks, which can typically hold up to 10,000 gallons, usually have several compartments, enabling them to transport different grades of gasoline or petroleum products. The truck tank is where the special additive packages of gasoline retailers get blended into the gasoline to differentiate one blend from another."

TIME PERMITTING, I will be reviewing some of my earlier posts, archived on my server, and reposting them here. Until then, this is the best I can provide on short notice.
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geometro43mpg
Champion Author Little Rock

Posts:11,007
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Message Posted: Dec 12, 2008 10:50:22 PM

If you really want a truthful answer, drive to an oil refinery and sit there and watch for a few hours, and you will discover that every brand of gas truck in the nation gets their gas from the same source. The only difference is how much money they spend on advertising. The gas is all the same.
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badguzzler
Champion Author Tacoma

Posts:10,693
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Message Posted: Dec 11, 2008 8:40:54 PM

any of them...
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UP-Skier
Champion Author Twin Cities

Posts:13,366
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Message Posted: Dec 11, 2008 5:01:42 PM

There doesn't seem to be a difference in MPG for the gas I use.
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ww2gas
Champion Author Virginia

Posts:10,373
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Message Posted: Dec 10, 2008 8:20:20 PM

I rotate between Sunoco, Exxon & Costco, whoever's cheaper or near me when I need gas. Never had a fuel related problem.
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N6CRB
Veteran Author Bakersfield

Posts:338
Points:185,830
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Message Posted: Dec 10, 2008 12:23:43 PM

I use the cheapest no name gas I can find. Our '05 5.3L Tahoe does not seem to care. I have done so since it was new. We now have over 160,000 miles on it with no problems.
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Palm 1434
All-Star Author Las Vegas

Posts:599
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Message Posted: Dec 8, 2008 10:25:27 PM

In Las Vegas best available is Chevron, next would be Texaco, because of price many cheap "garbage" gas available.
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seany_boy
Rookie Author Long Island

Posts:32
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Message Posted: Dec 8, 2008 9:18:56 AM

you would think shell but i always see the same delivery truck that delivers to a usa station near me go to shell also maybe thats just for the regular gas but idk about shell because no matter what their prices are always higher than everyone elses.
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golfmk4
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: Dec 8, 2008 9:08:37 AM

I always keep records of my milage and have been using BP for the last few years, both Diesel and gas. In 2009 I'm switching to Shell for all my fuel so will be able to tell if shell or BP gives the best milage and performance in all driving and weather conditions.
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StickySam
Champion Author Virginia

Posts:4,135
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Message Posted: Dec 8, 2008 8:50:16 AM

Shell
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the1roadhog
Champion Author Atlanta

Posts:11,521
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Message Posted: Dec 5, 2008 9:01:20 AM

The one with the most intelligent driver using the product.
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ccourt
Champion Author Columbia

Posts:2,014
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Message Posted: Dec 5, 2008 6:46:54 AM

Exxon
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workfromhome
Champion Author Raleigh

Posts:1,701
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Message Posted: Dec 5, 2008 6:14:13 AM

bp or shell work for me
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poleman2947
Champion Author Georgia

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Message Posted: Dec 5, 2008 12:25:26 AM

Brands all about the same.
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ekelly7
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Dec 3, 2008 2:59:58 AM

Not Holiday in my vehicle
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mckenzi01
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Nov 29, 2008 4:52:54 AM

I've often wondered about the additives. Is it trying to figure our which is the best for your car, or which is the least detrimental to fuel economy? Especially since it all comes out of the same pipe.
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pinbuster2005
Champion Author New Hampshire

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Message Posted: Nov 29, 2008 4:24:01 AM

outlaw - I agree you do have to do at least four tanks of each brand to determin what one gives you the best milage. One thing I'll add to that is when you are going to change brands let your tank get as low as you dare to let it to minnimize mixing of brands. When I did my tests I let my tank get down to where the low fuel light comes on so out of the 30 gallon tank that I have i'm only mixing about 2-3 gallons of the last brand with the new one i'll be testing.
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outlaw329
Champion Author Austin

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Message Posted: Nov 29, 2008 1:16:16 AM

I agree with all parts of this! Testing which gas runs best in your car takes more then a couple of tanks, but you are going to have to switch stations every fourth or fifth tankful. There are additives like Lucas or Amsoil products that you can use to help take care of your engines. I use Amsoil in the motor and transmission and Lucas in the gas. Making sure you engine is properly tuned is the first start. Just remember that driving conditions must be the same when deciding your gas mileage to determine which brand is the best for you. For me I buy almost every gallon from Randalls or in some parts Safeway, but this is my choice and others my not agree. I have never bought a bad tank from them and I know of no one that has. So it will take you time to find out for yourself which you prefer.
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CORNHICK
All-Star Author Omaha

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Message Posted: Nov 28, 2008 10:26:01 PM

all the gasoline comes from the ground so it is all the same, the only difference is the additive packet the oil company puts in it
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pinbuster2005
Champion Author New Hampshire

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Message Posted: Nov 15, 2008 1:43:41 AM

I've said it many times. Every automobiles is different some do get the same milage no matter what brand you put in them. Others are brand peticular. The only way to find out is to test each brand in your normal driving area and see what comes out the cheapest in cost per mile.

hgray14 - It's true that the base gas is all the same. The difference is the additive package that is put into that gas. Every brand has it's own additive package that are better than what is required by law while the No-name brands are only getting the minnimum required by law. This has come from tanker drivers i've known for years including my cousin who used to drive tankers.
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Bartboro
Champion Author Georgia

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Message Posted: Nov 15, 2008 12:24:23 AM

I have not kept records to prove anything, but at one time used a certain brand of gas, and after I tried several others including the economy types and saw not real difference in MPG.
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GenoAR
Veteran Author Arkansas

Posts:430
Points:902,640
Joined:Oct 2008
Message Posted: Nov 14, 2008 10:42:36 PM

I have been compulsively keeping track of my gas mileage for at least 45 years. I fill up the tank each time I buy and record the mileage, gals.,cost,odometer reading,etc., in a log book that I keep in the car. I also note all service done and any repairs or new parts and such.This allows me to keep track of maintenance and any fall off in performance.
I gave up allegiance to any one brand years ago when I discovered that brand and price paid mean little when it comes to gas .I can't prove that theory but it is my gut feeling based on my experience. Of course if you feel that one brand gives you better mileage, then go for it.
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