Costco versus and other gas brands

My Toyota service department says they’ve noticed that over time gasoline from Costco tends to cause more wear on engines because it doesn’t have additives like techron or techroline found in some brands of gasoline like Chevron, Texaco or Mobil. Does this make sense?

No, it doesn’t. Costco would not sell any gasoline that is of inferior quality and set themselves up for lawsuits. Most gasoline is distributed by local refineries, whatever that might be. I have been using Costco gasoline for a long time, not exclusively-but enough to have noticed any potential downside.

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You’re being fed a line of BS by the dealer. No doubt a service writer was the one telling you this.


So they have a forensics team there do they? Busy at work all day long dismantling engines and scrutinizing them for wear? And customers busy at work recording where each tank of gas is purchased?

Costco gas is fine. Was the guy telling you this wearing his tin foil hat? I wonder what other tripe he’s been feeding customers.

In fact, Costco’s gas contains 5 times the detergent level that is required by The EPA, so the allegation is baseless–and bizarre.

So you think every tankwagon that pulls up to the loading rack gets a different additive package depending on where the load is going to be delivered?? That’s almost comical…That’s not how the wholesale gasoline market works…

If you think Shell gasoline has a completely different, proprietary, secret, additive package than Chevron or BoZo’s Quick Stop, I’ve got some news for you…Shell owns BoZo’s Quick-Stop and they both get the same gasoline…

It’s just not worth the time and effort to screw around with a bunch of additive pumps that must be set differently for each load…Retail gasoline is a standardized product which contains a standardized additive package…The “Rack Price” is the same for everybody…In areas where there is more than one petroleum loading terminal, there may be differences (slight) in product formulations. But the end result is the same.

Back in the 1950s, there was always an ongoing argument as to which brand of gasoline was the best. My dad bought gasoline at an independent station that also sold groceries, but did no mechanical work. The proprietor told horror stories about people whose engines were damaged when they used a gasoline that wasn’t a major brand. This station sold Gulf gasoline and it was the best until the local Gulf distributor started ripping off the independent dealer. He then switched to Shell gasoline. Our neighbor worked for Standard Oil and was a great supporter of Standard Oil products. At that time, Shell advertised its mileage ingredient TCP. Our neighbor’s kids insisted that TCP stood for Tom Cat P**s. I think it really stood for tri-cresso-phosphate. I have no idea what that is or what it does. When I took chemistry, the only known elements were earth, air, fire, and water. At any rate, the mileage on my dad’s cars did not improve when his station switched from Gulf to Shell. When I lived in Southern Illinois during the early 1960s, I was advised by a mechanic to “Smartin up with Martin” and buy gasoline from the Martin oil stations that were popular down there. These stations undercut the major brands by a couple of cents a gallon and did a big volume of business. The mechanic recommended the gasoline because he felt that there was less a chance that there was moisture in the tanks since the Martin stations did a big volume business. This might be important in the winter.

"In fact, Costco’s gas contains 5 times the detergent level that is required by The EPA, so the allegation is baseless–and bizarre. "

There is nothing wrong with Costco’s gas, but this statement is not always true. The manager at each Costco store had the option to install the tanks that dispense the additional detergent or not. My local Costco does have this.

Sorry caddyman, but “splash blending” of additives is standard procedure at most loading racks, and not just for proprietary additives. Adding of ethanol depending on final destination may be done as well. Fuel distribution is a complicated affair requiring cooperation between competitors. An “Associated” tanker may drive to the BP terminal to get a load to deliver to the Shell station, but the final outcome is that the fuel at a Chevron station is not the same fuel at a Shell or at Costco.

“An “Associated” tanker may drive to the BP terminal to get a load to deliver to the Shell station, but the final outcome is that the fuel at a Chevron station is not the same fuel at a Shell or at Costco.”

Yes it is…

@Triedaq That reminds me of a jingle I recall that they used to play when I was a kid. Probably in the 60’s, and I think it was Standard Oil but not sure. They would sing “Take my advice sir, get De-Icer”. Apparently it was supposed to prevent gas line freeze, and it was already mixed in the gasoline. No need to add “Heet”.

I’m not aware of any problem with the quality of CostCo gasoline. Gasoline tends to all come from the same refineries and for a given octane rating it’s basically the same additives no matter which station the gasoline is delivered . But someone did tell me who used CostCo frequently for gas that they noticed their fuel mileage was lower on CostCo gasoline than at ARCO (one of the largest gasoline evendors in the SF Bay area). They thought it was caused by the pumps maybe not being properly calibrated. This seems unlikely to me. Anyone ever done the experiment? Compare CostCo mileage on the same route & speed to a well known gasoline vendor? It doesn’t sound very likely, gas pumps are supposed to be tested every so often and should be very accurate in showing the amount of fuel dispensed, but maybe it’s interesting doing the experiment to see what you find.

If you think the dispensers are off, it is much simpler just to make your own calibrated container…You could never tell buy trying to compare fuel mileage…Worst case, they can be off by an ounce in 5 gallons…Most dispensers are checked twice a year…

I know Costco had a class action lawsuit for not temperature adjusting for the volume of gas dispensed. It was not a quality measurement and not sure but most probably brought on by competition.

Some gas companies here in Calif are complaining about the grocery store chain Safeway selling gas at too low of price. You can’t buy gas at the local Safeway, at least I’ve never seen a gas pump there, but they apparently have their own gas stations spread out over the state, and if you are willing to drive to the one near you, and you use your Safeway discount card, you can gas at a 3 cent discount. The gas companies say Safeway is selling below cost. Safeway is saying that it is a promotional, sort of like an advertisement to get people to use Safeway as their grocery store. I have a hard time believing people would drive much out of their way for 3 cents per gallon. Anyway, here’s something about it:

Costco is only one of the gas station chains in the south that are being sued to temperature adjust their gas. It was in the news recently but I don’t remember which network ran the story. However, the Costco I use has decal on the pump that says that they do compensate for temperature and it has been there for at least a year.

I just filled up at Costco today. My gas light came on at around 362 miles. Normally if I stop for gas within a mile or so of the light coming on, it takes between 9.2 and 9.3 gallons to fill to first click, where I stop. Today, at 374.2 miles (10.2 miles after the light came on), it took 9.558 gallons to fill. I get about the same mileage with Costco gas as I do with any other.

Just 3 cents off?
Krogers grocery store offers bigger discounts than that. If you use their store credit card to buy fuel, it’s 5 cents off. And for every $100 you spend on groceries, you get 10 cents off a gallon, up to $1 off. So, if you spend $1000 AND use their credit card, you’d be able to get $1.05 off per gallon you bought.
Needless to say, their gas station is pretty full a lot of times.

"Safeway is saying that it is a promotional…

That’s like selling milk at cost. A lot of grocers pick items to sell near their cost to lure you to the store to shop for milk and expect to make it up with the other items you buy. It’s not hard for a family to spend $100 during a shopping trip for 2 weeks of food. Safeway and Giant Foods also have the discount at certain gas retailers around me, and Shell has provided discounts to Shell credit card holders for a long time. I’ve had up to $0.30 off per gallon with the grocery store deals. It’s just business as usual. Those crying foul ar just a bunch of whiners.