Gasoline Type
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This is a discussion on Gasoline Type within the Everyday Impreza Talk forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; Should i be worried about going to Safeway/Vons/Costco for gas or is it better to stick with name brands like ...

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    Gasoline Type

    Should i be worried about going to Safeway/Vons/Costco for gas or is it better to stick with name brands like Chevron/Shell?

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    I've heard Safeway sources their fuel from Arco, FWIW, not sure if that's true. I don't know about Costco, but I get their gas occasionally if I'm in the area. I nearly always buy my gas from my local Fred Meyer grocery store, and never had a problem as far as knock goes. I have plenty of logs proving the gas is fine.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Renthall View Post
    Should i be worried about going to Safeway/Vons/Costco for gas or is it better to stick with name brands like Chevron/Shell?
    There is no such thing as a "name brand" in the sense I suspect you imply.

    Shop based on price. Worry about price, MPG consumption, and emissions. Those things matter immediately and long-term. The rest is marketing. It only matters to marketers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SD_GR View Post
    There is no such thing as a "name brand" in the sense I suspect you imply.

    Shop based on price. Worry about price, MPG consumption, and emissions. Those things matter immediately and long-term. The rest is marketing. It only matters to marketers.
    Agreed. With that said, I get incredibly crappy mileage with Costco gas for some reason. I have the best MPG with Exxon but I generally use Shell when I'm not running E85 since they have 20 cents off premium gas on Tuesdays and I also get discounts for being a Fuel Rewards Network member so it really works out in my favor and generally makes it cheaper than Costco/grocery store prices at the same time. Just something else to consider if the Shell's in your area do that and your car likes it.

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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    The Shell discounts you get sound great.

    I'll be honest. My criteria for fuel brands are, in order:

    1. Price
    2. Quality of coffee sold inside the gas station
    3. Cleanliness of lavatories

    Granted, I've only used this stategy for a few decades but so far, so good.
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    Registered User Willy345's Avatar
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    SD_GR,
    Great criteria.

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    Bill Freakin Murray TownLine500's Avatar
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    Hi Guys!
    I worked as a Shell gas station manager in high school. I often supervised fuel deliveries and watched each tank be filled and additives put in. From years of experience with motorcycles dirt bikes atvs and 1970s muscle cars. Where you buy gas makes a difference. Someone had commented on Costco gas, about lousy mileage. Do you honestly think fuel sold by the lowest bidder would be good quality. If you want proof take 2 lawn mover engines run one on Costco gas and one on Shell Mobile or the other big names Exxon, Arco, texaco. Remove cyl head from mower, and see the difference in carbon build up. You can never really know the condition of underground fuel reservoirs. They could be cracked and taking on water. I've seen that happen to the Getty station across the street. There tanks were leaking for years. To this day I'll only buy from Shell or Mobile where I live in Boston. You will even get better mileage with better quality gas. Bottom line it's wort the extra .10 to .15 cents.
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    SD_GR......+1 i lol'd.

    i cant be to picky about fuel where i live because for the longest time all we had was 91 octane 15%eb fuels from cenex harvest states and spf(a exxon store) right away i can tell you that in my untuned 02 that ill probably never fuel at the cenex store again. every time without fail i get misfire codes right after tanking. the last time somebody pumped diesel into the other tanks. cost a few motors, thankfully not mine. but now one little store picked up exxon 92oct with a advertised 5% or less blend. both my 02 and the wifes supercharged 07 suburban fill there as much as possible. they did it on purpose to attract performance cars and its working. good gas, and routinely a car show every day haha. just like my wrx, the burban requires 91 or better too because of the magna charger's retune of the ecu. set for 91, weird how that works. it might just boil down to which store you get it from. got 27 town pumps? try em all, pick the best one after said trials lol. i only have 4 so it was easy for me....
    when my friends come up, i hear, "you sold the camarrrroooh.....HOLY BLEEP A WRX!"
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    Gasoline Type

    Quote Originally Posted by TownLine500 View Post
    Hi Guys!
    I worked as a Shell gas station manager in high school.
    I wanted to quote this last due to the humour but it would disrupt the initial order.

    Your premise includes or implies the idea that Shell is better quality fuel than other brands, yet you state Shell has allowed at least one station to be managed by a child: you.

    Made me smile. Anyway:

    I often supervised fuel deliveries and watched each tank be filled and additives put in. From years of experience with motorcycles dirt bikes atvs and 1970s muscle cars. Where you buy gas makes a difference.
    There are no data here to support this. I doubt there are data anywhere else to support this if we are buying gasoline in the developed world.

    Do you honestly think fuel sold by the lowest bidder would be good quality.
    Yes. Fuel companies also seemingly agree. Universally. In the developed world, fuels are regulated in terms of content. Even in the US where fuel is inexpensive there is still a significant amount of money in fuel. If I were company A and knew that company B is undercutting me by breaking the rules I would make sure the politicians I control do something about it. If I could prove their product is inferior or harmful I'd name them all day every day in all media.

    Why do fuel companies limit themselves to marketing hype to differentiate their fuel from others in the eyes of the consumer? Could it be that their fuels are all equivalent and all meet the same standards? Standards that they themselves directed into law?

    Where are the data from Shell to prove their fuel is better than Mobil or Arco, and vice-versa? (Shell is just an example; their coffee is OK and their fuel is legal, so good as any other, and I've nothing against them).

    If you want proof
    I do, but only out of interest. I've never had a fuel-related failure in the developed world so this is all academic to me.

    take 2 lawn mover engines run one on Costco gas and one on Shell Mobile or the other big names Exxon, Arco, texaco. Remove cyl head from mower, and see the difference in carbon build up.
    What about the proof I wanted though?

    What about a statistically significant number of engines examined under controlled conditions (probably double blind) so that actual, meaningful conclusions can be drawn?

    Who has the resources to do such tests though? It'd be an enormous undertaking requiring huge resources and infrastructure. It'd have to be... a fuel company...

    If company A could prove their competitors are inferior I postulate there is enough money at stake they would do so. Instead all companies limit their claims to vague hype. Could this be because in lieu of convincing data they'd be sued senseless (and rightfully so since fuels are functionally equivalent)?

    You can never really know the condition of underground fuel reservoirs.
    You can specifically know the condition of underground reservoirs since they are regulated, and inspected, as are their contents.

    They could be cracked and taking on water. I've seen that happen to the Getty station across the street. There tanks were leaking for years.
    That station didn't follow the same rules as others? Taking on water implies an environmental violation that would interest both federal and state regulators. Name brands are not immune to this; it's the same for everyone. If you see it, report it. Reservoirs are specified the same for all retailers. It could be Shell or Mobil.

    To this day I'll only buy from Shell or Mobile where I live in Boston. You will even get better mileage with better quality gas. Bottom line it's wort the extra .10 to .15 cents.
    I'm skeptical.

    Legal fuel adequately powers vehicles and meets the same environmental standards as any other legal fuel. No fuel company has proven publicly a specific competitor is inferior. There are no Costco refineries so Costco is supplied by someone that owns refineries -- like anyone else selling fuel.

    I'll leave it to a Shell/Arco/Mobil/et al to prove it.

    (Consumer Reports took on fuel quality but I found their sample sizes disappointing and the transparency of their methodology underwhelming; to be fair they did try and although there is a certain blissful ignorance to them at times and an entirely unjustified arrogance to them at others, they did try and they were decent).

    Incidentally, do automakers require (care here; not "recommend" as the latter is marketing, the former functional) a specific brand for optimum performance or longevity? Why not? Could it be that they also lack data to substantiate claims that one legal fuel differs functionally from any other? Or could it be that the range of fuels available, even if we accept they do differ, all work well enough to power a car throughout it's expected service life?

    The more I think about it the more skeptical I become.

    If a station is violating the law (reservoir contents or condition) report it. We should be able to buy correct fuel (not "good" but correct since my premise is there is no such thing as "good" fuel, only legal regulated fuel) anywhere in the USA. We should not accept less -- nor should we accept marketing hype.

    Interesting topic!
    Last edited by SD_GR; 07-17-2014 at 01:51 AM.
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    Bill Freakin Murray TownLine500's Avatar
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    My point was all gas is not the same. Quality can vary from vendor to vendor at there pumps. And as far as being a child gas stations manager, I worked my way up to that position. And if you are still judgmental, hear this. My father died when I was 16. My two little brothers were 14 and 9. I clawed my way up to manger so I could pay the freaking mortgage. I learned and took in as much info as possible to make money to keep my family out of the street. So you can say what you will about me, but know this. I was a grown man at 18, supporting my family. And Sd_GR just because you have so many posts, you clearly have no real responsibility. 22,000 thousand posts come on. Your definitely a person who spends there time being judgmental to others, GET A LIFE! And stop deconstructing peoples threads for your amusement.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TownLine500 View Post
    My point was all gas is not the same. Quality can vary from vendor to vendor at there pumps. And as far as being a child gas stations manager, I worked my way up to that position. And if you are still judgmental, hear this. My father died when I was 16. My two little brothers were 14 and 9. I clawed my way up to manger so I could pay the freaking mortgage. I learned and took in as much info as possible to make money to keep my family out of the street. So you can say what you will about me, but know this. I was a grown man at 18, supporting my family. And Sd_GR just because you have so many posts, you clearly have no real responsibility. 22,000 thousand posts come on. Your definitely a person who spends there time being judgmental to others, GET A LIFE! And stop deconstructing peoples threads for your amusement.
    Personal insults are not tolerated on these forums. Especially insults directed at senior members and forum moderators. Consider this your final warning. Nothing SD_GR has typed warrants the response you have so graciously provided.
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    Given the choice I will stop into larger name brand station, as I am reasonably assured that they are maintaining tanks/etc properly. My only concern with smaller stations is that they might have an incentive to improperly mark the octane (in other words charge more for lower octane, claiming that it is higher octane). I have never experienced this before, and if you are friends with the owner, then I am sure you can trust them. Also, I suspect that that larger stations move the gas quicker through the tanks, and thus have fresher product...again, I would assume most stations wouldn't have gas sitting in the tanks for long enough for it to go bad, but if in a unfamiliar area, who knows?! I typically will do datalogs after I fill up at an unfamiliar station, regardless of if they are large/small/etc, just to make sure. No data analysis to provide here, but it makes me feel warm and fuzzy.

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    zax
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    TownLine, for the record, much of what you have claimed has little logical or scientific basing. At this point, we are merely deconstructing your post to dispel the misinformation.
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    +1 on your criteria SD-GR.

    Although I would add Ease of getting in/out. For some reason the two best stations around me are on the smallest lots. Nothing like being on E and having to wait on the street until there's space to pull into the station.

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