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Is there a difference between Top Tier gas stations?

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Not trying to start a 'which gas to use' or octane level debate, but wondering of all the Top Tier gas stations is one any better than the other or is all top tier gas created equally?  I ask this because I see some pretty noticeable names on the Top Tier list like Shell, BP  Exxon, etc... but then see some that make you wonder like Value America.   Is all Top Tier gas equal or is Shell Nitro better than BP Invigorate, etc..   

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It's all the same.  

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Not even close to the same. That is why there is printed on the pump the mixture so you know how they are calculating it. And some us additives that make clams of this or that.
I would say that is snake oil. I mean it may if after 1xx,xxx miles you compare to same engines that drove the same roads at the same time and even then it maybe marginal.
But high power streetcars will tell you there are lists of where to go and at what time. As there is also summer and winter gas.
My BP 1 mile from house has race gas also.
Also I know this isn't the topic but even true pump gas is 91-93 octane is sold in cans for competition "street car" challenges.
Oh and then you get into the corn stuff people get even more serious.

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The base gasoline all comes from the same refinery/storage.  Each brand adds their own additives/detergents and that's where the differences, if any, come from.

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Makes me think of the movie days of thunder.
There is nothing stock about a stock car.
Everyone has the same car, so the rules say.

There are a few refineries and the people like me that spend 500-1000 on barrels of race gas will tell you it matters.
My grandpa the cheap old man he is went to the much cheaper gas station across the road from Marathon. Well in one month time truck ran horrible and had issues. We drained all the gas and pulsed the injectors filled with good gas and ran better. 2nd tank of good gas ran perfect.
We learned in high school science class the mixture octane ratings on the pump. How and why they are different and that the law makes them post it there.

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My suggestion is go to a high volume station. I prefer Costco--it's a top tier fuel and guarantee to be fresh fuel in their tanks. Also, likely the most newest underground tanks vs. a local station. High volume sales makes more of an impact than the specific detergent package. 

 

Lastly, the top tier "brand" is sold to those stations who meet a certain spec of detergent. Basically, if they pay for the title, meet the baseline detergent requirements, they are top tier. 

 

 

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29 minutes ago, Darmichar said:

The base gasoline all comes from the same refinery/storage.  Each brand adds their own additives/detergents and that's where the differences, if any, come from.

A total of 135 operable petroleum refineries were operable in the United States as of January 1, 2019. The newest refinery in the United States is the Targa Resources Corporation 35,000 barrels per calendar day (b/cd) condensate splitter in Channelview, Texas.5 days ago

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31 minutes ago, madsen203 said:

My suggestion is go to a high volume station. I prefer Costco--it's a top tier fuel and guarantee to be fresh fuel in their tanks. Also, likely the most newest underground tanks vs. a local station. High volume sales makes more of an impact than the specific detergent package. 

 

Lastly, the top tier "brand" is sold to those stations who meet a certain spec of detergent. Basically, if they pay for the title, meet the baseline detergent requirements, they are top tier. 

 

 

I totally agree with this.  High volume is a great sign of fresh gas and also is an indication that it's reasonably good quality.  In a large city or suburb, this may not be an issue as there is such high demand, but if you’re a bit off the beaten path, it’s something to look for.  Personally, I use Costco when I’m home.  Hard to comprehend how much gas they go through.  4 double sided lanes with two pumps per island and hardly ever a time when there’s not a line.

 

Not to get too far off topic, but I use the same logic when buying meat.  High volume meat markets tend to have better meat.  At least if it started out decent, it doesn’t have time to go bad (get worse) at a high volume place.

 

For small engine, I use non-ethanol gas.  You can find out if you have a station here.

https://www.pure-gas.org/

A lot cheaper than that True Gas in a can.

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They meet the top tier demands from the manufacturers that recommend it. They are fairly close, some add different additives or detergents but they come from a few of the same refineries or facilities, they aren't company specific. Use a top tier company and one with a good amount of turn over and you will be good. 

 

Tyler

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In my experience, they are not the same.  In my 2018 GMC, it prefers Sunoco 93.  I do have a Diablew 93 tune but even before it, my engine preferred Sunoco gas.  If I run on Mobil/Exxon 93, I notice black carbon deposits on my tailpipe but with Sunoco, it does not do it.  I had an old '06 Ridgeline.  It preferred Shell gas.  If I ran Speedway(probably not top tier), my engine light would always come on.

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My owners manual calls for top tier or name brand fuel or injector service every 30K miles. When I had my Trailblazer SS the enthusiast forum went farther. Top tier put not shell, can’t remember why.


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My owners manual calls for top tier or name brand fuel or injector service every 30K miles. When I had my Trailblazer SS the enthusiast forum went farther. Top tier put not shell, can’t remember why.


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My owners manual calls for top tier or name brand fuel or injector service every 30K miles. When I had my Trailblazer SS the enthusiast forum went farther. Top tier put not shell, can’t remember why.


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I had a trailblazer SS also. Everyone recommends top tier but. As said with the ethonal in them now the rating can be off. There is reason the big power guys stick with one brand and tune on it and monitor it in there data and even add sensor. Newest sensors have ethanol % and temp built in. Sonit is always reading.
What does one do about a tank of XX octane then fills up with higher octane or e85? The value isn't straight e85 so the tune must account for this. It isn't as simple as just hitting a commanded afr.

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It’s all the same

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33 minutes ago, Jacoby said:

It’s all the same

Try a couple of tanks with Chevron highest octane (I have a 6.2, so that is what I use) and see if you see an improvement on MPG.

 

it is not a huge difference, but I do get more MPG when I use it.

 

I have gas rewards with different grocery stores, so that is why I do not use it full time.

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