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Chevron used to have really decent coffee, the van Houte stuff. Now it's just not as impressive and the prices have gone up slightly. The Shell stations in my area now offer a discount for being a Ralphs card holder (the Dude had a Ralphs card, his only form of ID, and I too am a proud member) and in addition to getting a discount on the fuel you can get a discount on a drive-through car wash also -- yay! Other than that, I shop solely on price.

I've yet to see any convincing evidence that one should not shop solely based on price. There are reasons I've shopped based on other criteria in the past, and will do so in the future, but they have nothing to do with fuel "quality" because there is no such thing as fuel "quality" beyond what is mandated by the law: bathroom cleanliness, lines, coffee quality, whether there is a discount for Ralphs cards, whether there is a working pressure gauge at the air pumps etc. That stuff is actually quantifiable and meaningful. The rest...

Anyway, this is more important than "best gasoline" silliness: Here's a pic of the ca. early 90s era Ralphs card, issued to the Dude, as examined by the chief of police of Malibu (a real reactionary).

I like that flick, too!

So, there's no such thing as "top tier fuel"?

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I like that flick, too!
It may be the finest study of the human condition ever put on film.

So, there's no such thing as "top tier fuel"?
I've no idea if there is such a thing, or why anyone would be concerned about it in the developed world. I just added up rough estimates of the total miles driven by all my vehicles: it's roughly 700K miles. That's just the vehicles I own currently. I've not had an issue with fuel.

In a way, I do hope there is such a thing as top tier fuel, that someone actually proves it, and that more and more people flock to it. I'll continue to shop solely based on price, hopefully with fewer people at the station etc.
 

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It may be the finest study of the human condition ever put on film.



I've no idea if there is such a thing, or why anyone would be concerned about it in the developed world. I just added up rough estimates of the total miles driven by all my vehicles: it's roughly 700K miles. That's just the vehicles I own currently. I've not had an issue with fuel.

In a way, I do hope there is such a thing as top tier fuel, that someone actually proves it, and that more and more people flock to it. I'll continue to shop solely based on price, hopefully with fewer people at the station etc.
Well, I reckon I'm good, either way, since Costco is supposed to be top tier and is usually the cheapest, here.

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Well, I reckon I'm good, either way, since Costco is supposed to be top tier and is usually the cheapest, here.

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Costco is a good choice. Their pizza by the slice is great (though not NYC/NJ/1970s 25cent quality) and the price they charge for their hotdog plus drink combo has not increased since the Cold War in my area. I'd buy fuel there no reservations.
 

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Costco is a good choice. Their pizza by the slice is great (though not NYC/NJ/1970s 25cent quality) and the price they charge for their hotdog plus drink combo has not increased since the Cold War in my area. I'd buy fuel there no reservations.
I can't tell if you're being serious, sarcastic or sardonic. ;)

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Serious statement made at face value. I'd buy fuel at Costco without reservation. It's a good choice.
 

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I guess it's more of personal pref. But check this report out on youtube.youtu.be/ystuUJWae0Y

I was curious to as well.
 

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There are no data presented though. This is the age-old problem. Endorsements mean nothing, nor do blanket statements, since I could dismiss it all as marketing, mythology, or a combination thereof. However, I'd still shop at Costco!

What I want to be convinced that any fuel is "better" than any other fuel is statistically significant data that are reproducible and have been collected under double-blind conditions, then analyzed and presented in a manner that withstands peer review, with any/all conflicts of interest presented openly. Even that won't guarantee accuracy (after all, that's what we do with drugs and we've had some issues nonetheless...) but it's the best we can do.

Failing that, we are left with empirical and anecdotal experiences. I'll value mine most, since I've got lots of vehicles and have driven lots of miles, I'm awesome, and I'm almost entirely self-absorbed. I've never had a fuel problem in the developed world. I shop by price.

Now, there may be individual stations that let their brand down. I know of one that had water in their tanks, for example. But the fuel itself, as distributed, was probably no better or worse than any other fuel available legally -- or at least we have no data to support otherwise.

To be fair, I'm not only this skeptical when it comes to fuel maker claims. I'm equally skeptical when it comes to fuel filters, air filters, spark plugs, and so on. I may be the most boring consumer on the planet.

EDIT: PS: I'm heading out to Ralph's tonight!

PPS: I re-read my statements, and still believe them. I do however concede there might be a certain level of lunacy in expecting the same procedures used in developing medications to be employed by a seller trying to convince me to buy their gasoline over the gasoline of other sellers (or their filters or whatever). I'm not willing to change my views, but I do admit (if not boast...) of a certain level of "out there."
 

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There are no data presented though. This is the age-old problem. Endorsements mean nothing, nor do blanket statements, since I could dismiss it all as marketing, mythology, or a combination thereof. However, I'd still shop at Costco!

What I want to be convinced that any fuel is "better" than any other fuel is statistically significant data that are reproducible and have been collected under double-blind conditions, then analyzed and presented in a manner that withstands peer review, with any/all conflicts of interest presented openly. Even that won't guarantee accuracy (after all, that's what we do with drugs and we've had some issues nonetheless...) but it's the best we can do.

Failing that, we are left with empirical and anecdotal experiences. I'll value mine most, since I've got lots of vehicles and have driven lots of miles, I'm awesome, and I'm almost entirely self-absorbed. I've never had a fuel problem in the developed world. I shop by price.

Now, there may be individual stations that let their brand down. I know of one that had water in their tanks, for example. But the fuel itself, as distributed, was probably no better or worse than any other fuel available legally -- or at least we have no data to support otherwise.

To be fair, I'm not only this skeptical when it comes to fuel maker claims. I'm equally skeptical when it comes to fuel filters, air filters, spark plugs, and so on. I may be the most boring consumer on the planet.

EDIT: PS: I'm heading out to Ralph's tonight!

PPS: I re-read my statements, and still believe them. I do however concede there might be a certain level of lunacy in expecting the same procedures used in developing medications to be employed by a seller trying to convince me to buy their gasoline over the gasoline of other sellers (or their filters or whatever). I'm not willing to change my views, but I do admit (if not boast...) of a certain level of "out there."
Did you watch the video in the post prior to mine? It was only a local news report, but they did test gasoline and present the data.
 

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It's unconvincing and inadequate. If it were an ingestible pharmaceutical, for example, it'd never be approved. Rightfully so. I want double blind, statistically significant, peer reviewed data that is readily reproducible.

In fact, let's take it a step further. If two legally sold fuels from the same market differ significantly then one or more of their components would be the cause of those differences.

Which components?
What is the structure of this component?
What is the abundance of the component?
What reactions is the component involved in?

This is where sellers usually carry on about "proprietary blends" and miracle molecules, and where I fall back to my dismissal as mythology or marketing (I can't tell which, and doubt anyone can, including marketers).

I recall briefly hearing an oil company commerical where they described a molecule as "intelligent." I can't decide who is the bigger idiot -- their marketers for coming up with that description, such as it is, or the public (including me) for not hunting them down and running them out of town tarred and feathered on a rail.
 
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