Is Top Tier Gas really on top?

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Moneytalks
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Is Top Tier Gas really on top?

Postby Moneytalks » Thu Jul 21, 2016 2:08 pm

Hey forum,

Life got busy, but I'm trying to get back on the good old CCF! Any thoughts on Top Tier Gas? Would you drive farther to fill up at a Top Tier station, or pay a few cents extra? Any preferred brand?I believe Exxon just recently debuted their Synergy fuel, BP has Invigorate, and I don't recall the names of Shell and Citgo's, but they have them too.

For those who don't know what I'm talking about, here's a link: http://www.toptiergas.com
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TXviking
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Re: Is Top Tier Gas really on top?

Postby TXviking » Thu Jul 21, 2016 3:12 pm

In a previous job, I was the director of engineering for an ISP, and we had diesel generators for our datacenters. I got to chatting with the driver, and he told me that all the major vendors got their gasoline from the same place (the Port Everglades refinery in Fort Lauderdale, in this case.)

Supposedly, the difference is simply the additives each station adds, and perhaps the condition of the individual station's storage tanks. Personally, I fuel at Costco if they're open, or at Racetrac otherwise. I also go to Racetrac for diesel, since Costco does not sell diesel fuel in my area. That's based on customer service experience and price more than it is any particular affinity for Kirkland or Racetrac-branded gasoline.

That said, the information I got from that driver is very anecdotal, so take it with a grain of salt.

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TyE
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Re: Is Top Tier Gas really on top?

Postby TyE » Thu Jul 21, 2016 5:07 pm

From my understanding, the higher the octane, the cleaner the fuel is. The higher the octane rating, the more resistant the fuel is to knocking. I read a MIT article on this and it said, "If the majority of light-duty vehicles in the United States ran on higher-octane gasoline, the automotive industry as a whole would reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 35 million tons per year, saving up to $6 billion in fuel costs, according to a new analysis by MIT researchers." I would tend to believe researchers from MIT.

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Re: Is Top Tier Gas really on top?

Postby augiedog » Thu Jul 21, 2016 6:08 pm

Yes, I really do believe cars need top tier gas. Gas doesn't burn cleanly in engines, which is why all gas stations have to add some kind of detergents to their gas. Only Top Tier brands are certified to have a much higher concentration of detergents to keep your engine clean. There are also other benefits of them adding additional detergents, like some resist the tendency for gas to attract water. I only buy from Top Tier brands, and my truck has been running well over 100k miles without any hiccups.

TyE wrote:From my understanding, the higher the octane, the cleaner the fuel is. The higher the octane rating, the more resistant the fuel is to knocking. I read a MIT article on this and it said, "If the majority of light-duty vehicles in the United States ran on higher-octane gasoline, the automotive industry as a whole would reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 35 million tons per year, saving up to $6 billion in fuel costs, according to a new analysis by MIT researchers." I would tend to believe researchers from MIT.



This isn't necessarily true. If your engine requires a higher octane gas, then you should use it for best engine performance.
Since the EPA will require higher MPG cars in the future, one way that can be accomplished is by using a higher compression engine, which would require a higher octane fuel. If you use a higher octane fuel in your car that doesn't require it, you won't receive any kinds of benefits. The engine has to be equipped to use premium fuel.
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takeshi
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Re: Is Top Tier Gas really on top?

Postby takeshi » Fri Jul 22, 2016 10:11 am

Moneytalks wrote:Any preferred brand?

It's not typical for me but for some reason I only use Shell. No valid reason or careful consideration on the matter. I'm not normally a brand person. I guess it just hasn't been a priority yet for me to look into this.

TXviking wrote:In a previous job, I was the director of engineering for an ISP, and we had diesel generators for our datacenters. I got to chatting with the driver, and he told me that all the major vendors got their gasoline from the same place (the Port Everglades refinery in Fort Lauderdale, in this case.)

Supposedly, the difference is simply the additives each station adds, and perhaps the condition of the individual station's storage tanks.

That's certainly the case around here. The depot provides the same fuel to different brands. However, additives, tanks, etc may vary after that point.

TyE wrote:From my understanding, the higher the octane, the cleaner the fuel is. The higher the octane rating, the more resistant the fuel is to knocking.

The latter is certainly true but I'm not sure about the former. IIRC there's no benefit to running higher octane fuel in a vehicle designed for lower octane. The only reason I use 91 is that all our vehicles are designed for it.

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Re: Is Top Tier Gas really on top?

Postby MemberSince99 » Tue Jul 26, 2016 9:18 am

All I can share is personal experience

It seems to depend on the individual seller. In the 70s my mom bought gas at the cheapest seller a grocery store. She had to get her carburetor replaced soon after and was told it was due to the gas. After that she bought gas elsewhere and had no further troubles like this.
Logically we can conclude it might be wise to avoid that seller.

I had a similar thing happen I filled up at a station off the beaten path my car ran like crap until I ran.through that tank of gas. Went back to previous stations and no issues.

So I believe the big boys do all get it from the same place but you have the variables of what if anything do they add to it and how long is it sitting around as well as what's in their tank with it ie water dirt etc.

I stick with Mobil and she'll as they are common here and I've never had issues with either one. If I go cheaper but the repairs cost me money I haven't saved anything. So I just go with those and don't have to worry about it though others could be good too I just prefer not to find out the hard way.

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Re: Is Top Tier Gas really on top?

Postby JackLane » Thu Jul 28, 2016 5:07 am

Again, personal experience only. I do not understand fuel engineering.

I have a 2006 Sentra and a 2015 Forester. Sentra just can not take Sunoco, at least mine. So I used to use Gulf thats closest to my place. In last winter, I had a lot of issue with car pick up. I thought, either cold or the car is just old. Once I filled up BP Premium (by mistake, pressed wrong button). Sentra ran so so smooth, the engine fire and sound changed. I was totally surprised. Then I tried BP regular, it was still better than the Gulf but not as great as premium. Since then, I started using BP Regular. Mobil and Shell in my area are at least 30c above BP, so BP is the cheapest top tier we have.
I didn't see this change with Costco gas for sentra for e.g.

Forester doesn't care what brand I use, but I started using BP for Forester too.
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Re: Is Top Tier Gas really on top?

Postby darkguy2 » Mon Aug 01, 2016 9:40 pm

JackLane wrote:Again, personal experience only. I do not understand fuel engineering.

I have a 2006 Sentra and a 2015 Forester. Sentra just can not take Sunoco, at least mine. So I used to use Gulf thats closest to my place. In last winter, I had a lot of issue with car pick up. I thought, either cold or the car is just old. Once I filled up BP Premium (by mistake, pressed wrong button). Sentra ran so so smooth, the engine fire and sound changed. I was totally surprised. Then I tried BP regular, it was still better than the Gulf but not as great as premium. Since then, I started using BP Regular. Mobil and Shell in my area are at least 30c above BP, so BP is the cheapest top tier we have.
I didn't see this change with Costco gas for sentra for e.g.

Forester doesn't care what brand I use, but I started using BP for Forester too.


Your engine may be gunked up. That may be why it ran better on the BP gas since it has the detergents in it and it cleaned it up a bit. I would suggest you go to your local auto parts store and pick up a bottle of fuel system cleaner. Add a bottle to your tank before you fill up and it will clean up your engine. I always buy top-tier gas, but use a bottle every 10K miles to keep everything running smoothly and keep my mpg up.
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Re: Is Top Tier Gas really on top?

Postby saba » Sat Aug 06, 2016 12:46 pm

There is an article that claims a difference between top tier gas from Shell and top tier gas from other name brand stations versus the ones like Hyco, ValueSave, and Hess, but I'm not finding it right at the moment. Will try to locate it.



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