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Bad Gas In 2001 Taurus with 75,000 Miles

Recently my check engine light came on in my 2001 Taurus with 75,000 miles. I took the car to a car parts store for them to tell me what it meant. The guy told me that that it was running lean, and that something might be wrong with the oxygen sensor. Then he asked me where I get my gas, and I said that I get it at …,. He then told me that I should get Shell because it is a better grade of gas. Will this make my check engine light go out? Should I wait until I’ve used up the old gas before putting in the Shell? Or should I just bite the bullet and take it to a mechanic?

You can call station X, and ask if they had a run of customers with engine performance problems lately, and I suspect they will say no.

While Shell is a good brand of gas, Brand X gas may not be your problem. There are more conditions than bad gas than could cause the lean condition. I think you need to have a real mechanic read the codes and let him do a real diagnosis first.

It is very unlikely connected with the fuel.  While Shell (there top tier stuff) is really good, 98% of the cars on the road will not benefit in any way from it. 

Find a shop that will do some testing and not just replace the sensor.  While a bad sensor can cause the problem and usually replacing one is fairly easy and cheap, the fact is often it is not the sensor, rather the sensor is doing exactly what It is suppose to do, tell you the engine is running lean. 

Good Luck

It’s not likely the gas behind this at all and you should never rely on a diagnosis from from the parts counter help.
Matter of fact, the parts counter person is making a mistake by even suggesting a cause. Their job is and should be solely to provide a code for you.

You options are either to figure this out yourself or bite the bullet and have it done. Shell gasoline is not going to solve this problem.

Thanks everyone. I’ll take it to my mechanic next week.

It’s been my experience that, when someone knows nothing about cars or is incapable of properly diagnosing a problem, he/she will usually suggest that you “got bad gas” or that “you should put in a tank of premium”.

Just as “patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels”, a diagnosis of “bad gas” is the first refuge of those who have no clue about auto problems.

Ignore the parts clerk (who was probably stocking shelves at the A & P last month), and take your car to a competent mechanic. Please bear in mind that the category of “competent” does not include the likes of Midas, Meineke, Monro, Sears, or any other chain operation.