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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Top Tier Gasoline


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33 replies to this topic

#21 OFFLINE   Randall Carlisle

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 02:56 PM

I work for a man who was in the petroleum industry several years ago.  back then,  All the brands had their gas mixed in specific places.  I/E. Exxon, Bp, Shell, et al made their mix at their big tanks after it came through the pipeline; then to the trucks to deliver to stations.  But now, not so much.  A truck is loaded with fuel.  Then the additives are put in on the spot.  Then it delivers a run of whatever brand is mixed.  Same truck willl take a load of another brand tomorrow.  Not sure I'd believe that there is more than a tiny difference in most brands.   We do work for some oil companies that run several brands - Sunoco, BP, Marathon, Exxon.   They work together to be able to buy bulk fuel so their prices stay reasonable.  Some single store sites may have a difference, but then, the owner make take extra pains to make sure his gas is clean, filtered, etc.   Or maybe it's all horse poop.  most of the lower grades are not that different from brand to brand.  THe Premium fuels have more additives to keep engines cleaner.  The article referenced has some debate in the comments section over this point.

 

The article does not state what grade of fuel was used in the test in the web article.  Just that you should spend the money on "top tier" fuels.  Is this even in 87 grade?  Or just the premium with VPower or Invigorate or Whatever each brand calls theirs.  My gas cap says Ford recommends BP gas.  I bet it ain't cause Ford researched it and decided that brand was best.  I bet some money wexchanged hands for that little BP logo (helios it's called) on each gas cap.  BP probably footed the bill for the gas caps and more.  But that's fine by me.  there is  BP near me that is competitve with every other station plus carries ethanol free for my bike and lawnmower.  

 

More the problem with ethanol blends is the effects is has on the fuel system.  I worked for the state motorcycle training program as equipment manager and got to see first hand how bad ethanol blends are on carbs and such.  In as short as a week, ethanol can start separating from the gas.  If you own a small engine - weedeater up to motorcycle, either use ethanol free or drain the device when not in use for more than a week.  

 

How was the test conducted?  100 hours of idling is not same as 100 hours of high speed running.  Again, I saw this in the motorcycle program job. Our bikes would be worn out in 3000 miles.  Or less or more.  depending on the maintenance at th e individual sites.  But a class is let's say 12 hours of motorcycle running, no more than 25 mph.  lots of time sitting in line at idle.  That's a lot of hours but not a lot of miles.  I've seen all kinds of stuff in the engines, valves, plugs, carbs, etc.  

 

Just my thoughts...


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#22 OFFLINE   TheWizard

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 03:29 PM

I have worked for a major Shell regional jobber for just shy of 20 years so perhaps I can add some information about gasoline.

 

Gas is gas... just as Randall said.  Basic gasoline is essentially the same from all suppliers.  The "unbranded" stores will buy from whatever terminal has the best price because there is no real difference in the base gasoline.  It's the additives that make all the difference.  When a tanker goes to a terminal to pick up a load for a store, they get the additives added to their load as they are filling up the truck.  Those additives are what differentiate a Top Tier gasoline from all others.  The oil companies are very secretive about what their additives include because it is one of the few things that differentiate them from their competition.  Many brand name companies that aren't Top Tier also have their own additive packages but those don't meet the standards required by the Top Tier certification.  Unbranded companies have only the minimum additives required by law.

 

The Top Tier designation applies to all grades (regular, midgrade, premium, etc.) sold by the company although many will do even more with their high octane grades in an effort to convince customers that higher octane is really "premium" fuel.  In reality, for most vehicles, there is absolutely no reason to use higher octane fuel than what is specified by the vehicle manufacturer.  For most engines, unless you are experiencing knocking issues, premium is just wasted money.  Some engines have active knock sensing that will increase ignition timing advance as far as possible to take advantage of higher octane fuel and therefore produce a small increase in top-end power.  But with the exception of higher performance vehicles (Mustang, Corvette, etc.) even that increase is tiny compared to the difference in cost between 87 and 91/93 octane and is only seen at the top end of the RPM range.  I would never recommend it for a people-mover like an Edge - there's just not enough performance increase to even be felt let alone justify the cost.


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#23 OFFLINE   WWWPerfA_ZN0W

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 04:05 PM

Thankfully Ford has finally moved the Edge out of the people-mover category with the Gen 2 ;)


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#24 OFFLINE   junehhan

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Posted 15 January 2017 - 12:00 AM

Yup. It has gone from hauling people to also hauling ass with the people being lucky enough to come for the ride.

 

You guys are absolutely right. The base product between all the brands are virtually the same as they all come from the same refineries. The difference is in the additive package which differs between the brands. In my area, I believe the refineries are mostly owned by Sunoco and Marathon which are both considered to be very dirty fuels mostly due to their additive packages. Discount fuels usually only contain the minimum amount of additives as federal law requires which has been proven to be nowhere near enough to prevent major drivability problems. Premium usually will have a higher level additive package and sometimes even a different additive package but receiving top tier certification requires that ALL grades of the fuel must meet the standard for engine cleanliness as per their testing protocol. When you look at that list, some of them are no surprise as brands such as Shell and Chevron have always had a reputation for being a really good brand. Others are indeed a surprise as you see some discount brands and chains such as Costco, Kum and Go, as well as some other small chains and coops.


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#25 OFFLINE   WWWPerfA_ZN0W

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Posted 15 January 2017 - 06:28 AM

I will add Kwik Stop/Kwik Star to the list of "good fuel" places.  And in my area, Sunoco and "discount" brands are selling at the same or GREATER prices than top tier like Shell & BP.  World upside down or what LOL.



#26 OFFLINE   enigma-2

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Posted 15 January 2017 - 02:36 PM

In my opinion Chevron is the best due to the additives (Techron). Not available in my area, I use Sunoco as it doesn't contain Ethanol.
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#27 OFFLINE   junehhan

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Posted 15 January 2017 - 08:42 PM

Techron is considered to be one of the best additives on the market. It is excellent at cleaning soft and some medium deposits within the combustion chamber. This is why utilizing a top tier fuel is so important as you don't want deposits to get caked to the point of hardness that only a manual cleaning takes care of it. Techron is largely considered to be the "father" of many of these proprietary additive packages that all of the well known brands are using today.

 

I have often wondered how in the world some of these discount and cheap brands manage to sell their non top-tier fuels at or above the price of top tier fuels. I suspect it comes from a public that largely isn't very aware of the need to run a good fuel(many think gas is just gas) combined with the fact that many of those discount stations are often small or independent which means that they don't have access to some of the logistical advantages the big name brands might.



#28 OFFLINE   gjb89

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Posted 15 January 2017 - 08:45 PM

I would agree most people do not care what they put in their cars and trucks. Whatever is the most convenient.

#29 OFFLINE   junehhan

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Posted 15 January 2017 - 09:10 PM

As much as I hate to admit it, most people are not enthusiasts like us. They put whatever fuel is convenient or cheap and then takes it in for an oil change when that light pops up on the dash. I utilize the rule that any car that does not have me looking back at it as I walk away after parking it is not a car worth owning.



#30 OFFLINE   blockisle9

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 06:56 PM

Just a queston, I have about 500 miles on my three week old edge naturally aspirated 3.5 L V6. I plan on using top tier fuel, but I always don't have access to it. Would it be very detrimental to use NON top tier fuel every once and awhile? Say maybe every 3 tanks or so.
Thanks
Lenny

#31 OFFLINE   chefduane

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 12:11 AM

500 miles!  I'm jealous.

I would think that running a non-top tier tank through once in a while shouldn't be that big a deal.  Probably best to also add a bottle of Techron when you do it, tho.

I have heard from a number of sources that Techron is the truly only effective additive.  The rest are snake oil.  (My dad swore by Marvel Mystery oil in the tank once in a while.)  But that brings up a question:  Would filling up with a non-top tier gas AND adding a bottle of Techron be equivalent to just filling up with Chevron in the first place?  I guess that depends on what additives the non-top tier supplier adds to their gas in the first place, eh?  What about using a top tier supplier (like a Costco) and also tossing in a bottle of Techron once in a while?  Questions, questions....



#32 OFFLINE   WWWPerfA_ZN0W

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 06:33 AM

There are different levels of Techron products.  For longterm cleaning (ie 1 bottle in 3 months to a year), you would use Techron Concentrate Plus, for example.  If you were throwing Techron ProGard with the non top tier fuel, that would probably be better, but even then it would go for 1,000 miles, no need to do with every tankful.  Can't say nonTT fuel + Techron = Chevron, but it certainly would be a much improved product.  Since the base fuel is only produced by a few refineries, and the main difference is detergents, you would think so, right?  But with any station, the difference is going to be the transport tankers and how well they are maintained.  Never pump gas if you see the tanker at the station.  All the sediment in the tank will have been stirred up and will end up in YOUR vehicle's fuel tank.  Ugh.

 

Instead, I WOULD use synthetic marine oil like TC-W3 or the Marvel Mystery Oil, usually at 1 oz of the product to every 5 gallons of fuel pumped.  Add before pumping fuel, first tank doesn't matter, but if you add on the second tank as well, then you need to know how much to add.  These products burn cleanly and have lubricating properties that help injectors and fuel pumps stay happy despite winter fuel.

 

Always look for a busy station because even if non Top Tier, the fuel has had less chance to go stale/pick up contaminants from the storage tanks.



#33 OFFLINE   TheWizard

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 08:45 AM

Never pump gas if you see the tanker at the station.  All the sediment in the tank will have been stirred up and will end up in YOUR vehicle's fuel tank.  Ugh.

 

Always look for a busy station because even if non Top Tier, the fuel has had less chance to go stale/pick up contaminants from the storage tanks.

 

That first part really isn't the case anymore.  Modern tanks (since the EPA forced replacements in 2009) have their pickups away from the bottom and have large fuel filters inline to each dispenser (pump).  The bottom 500 - 800 gallons of the tank can't be picked up by the dispensers and has to be pumped out from the top when tanks need to be emptied.  Also, the tanks are sealed to prevent water intrusion and that practically eliminates particulates as well.

 

The part about buying from a busy station is very true - especially when buying E10 because the fuel has a tendency to absorb moisture and to separate while sitting in the tank.  But you should also be aware of the pump speed... if it seems to be pumping slowly, stop and go somewhere else.  The most common cause of slow fuel rate is a clogged filter which indicates poor maintenance at the station.  Either water or particulates will clog the filter and you don't want either of them in your gas.

 

Another common thing is always finding a station with separate hoses for each grade if you are buying high octane gas.  The theory is that a single hose dispenser (the most common type these days) probably has about a gallon of whatever was last pumped still in the hose and that is usually regular 87 octane.  Most dispensers really only retain about a half gallon in the hose but even if it was a full gallon, it wouldn't make any significant difference unless you're only buying 3-4 gallons (for a motorcycle for example).  Even then, three gallons of 91 octane mixed with one gallon of 87 only reduces the octane to 90.  For any fill up with more total gallons, the difference becomes insignificant.


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#34 OFFLINE   macbwt

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Posted Yesterday, 12:04 AM

Just a queston, I have about 500 miles on my three week old edge naturally aspirated 3.5 L V6. I plan on using top tier fuel, but I always don't have access to it. Would it be very detrimental to use NON top tier fuel every once and awhile? Say maybe every 3 tanks or so.
Thanks
Lenny

I am generally purchase a tank of gas a day and do buy top tier almost every time, but on occasions I have had to buy non top tier.  The only real issue I find is lower MPG's in most cases.   I would not worry about it and if you do get gas and fill up you may have some gas left in the tank and as stated above it will mix in but be diluted.


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