Does gas really matter?

I keep hearing these ads that this gas contains this or that and with this additive it will clean your engine and provide better performance. Isn’t all gas the same and the only difference is the octane?

Read this and then decide.


It’s not all the same. And for that matter, it is different in the Winter than in the Summer and will probably be different in Kingman, AZ than 20 minutes drive West in Needles, CA.

Does it actually make much difference? I personally doubt it and further I suspect that if you asked five experts, you’d get six answers. My guess is that even though SlushCo has a different mix than Sludgeking, your chances of figuring out which is better for your car are somewhere between slim and none. And the chances that your informed choice if you manage to make one will still be valid two years from now probably aren’t that good either.

As per many GM Technical Bulletins your car will love you more and better if you always use Top Teir fuel (I did paraphrase a bit).

I wonder what Testers link says, I did not look.

I really wonder about all this stuff. Through the years we have had the following:

Shell with TCP–I think that stands for tricresophosphate, although our neighbor who worked for Standard Oil said that it stood for Tom Cat ____

Super shell with Platfomate

Standard with M2PG

D-X with Boron

I’m sure that other gasolines had some secret ingredient for mileage or performance. In the old carburetor days it didn’t seem to make a difference. Perhaps with our fuel injected vehicles, maybe there is about these top tier fuels, but I can’t tell any difference with my vehicles.

The article praises top tier gasoline. It makes statements which it doesn’t substantiate. Should I accept it, unquestioned? I won’t. Others can choose as they wish.

That’s a good point. The referenced site doesn’t include the sources of its claims. For all we know, it could be published by the oil companies listed as top tier fuel sellers.

indy4192, I believe it is all the same gas. The only difference is in the additives each oil company uses. Those oil companies listed as “top tier” add proprietary detergents to their fuel.

Generally, I buy my fuel where it is cheap, which ends up being a mixture of top tier fuel and non-top tier fuel.

Who knows where many non chain stations get their gas from, any list of those that are not top tier?

Tom and Ray weigh in Sunday, September 2, 2007 :

[i]My husband and I have entered into a heated debate about the quality of gas. My less-than-informed husband insists that gas from quick-stop gas stations is a lesser quality than that of the big oil companies. My supposition is that there are only a few oil-refinery companies in our country and that “all gas is created equal.” We are in agreement that there is a difference among octane. Could you please let us know which is best to put in my car? – Anne

A TOM: The only difference between gasoline brands is in the contents of the “additives package” used. The stuff you buy at Fred’s Gas & Herring comes from the same holding tank as the stuff at Chevron, Shell or Texaco. But some brands use additives that do a better job of keeping your car’s valves and electronic throttle clean.

RAY: Back in 2004, several big carmakers – GM, Honda, Toyota and others – were unhappy with the detergent performance of gasoline, because they were finding deposits inside their engines. So they created some new gasoline standards that are tougher than the federal standards. They called the gasoline that meets these higher standards “Top Tier” gas.

TOM: Companies that voluntarily sell only Top Tier gas in the United States are: QuikTrip, Chevron, Conoco, Phillips, 76, Shell, Entec, MFA Oil, Kwik Trip/Kwik Star, Somerset, Aloha Petroleum and Texaco.

RAY: So you won’t find Joe’s Gas and Step Stool Emporium on that list. Exxon, Mobil, BP, Gulf, Amoco, Sunoco and Hess are also absent.

TOM: Does it matter? Honda, BMW, Audi, VW, Toyota and GM think it does. But if you use the gas with fewer detergents and end up with carbon buildup after 100,000 miles, you can often get rid of it with a few cans of engine cleaner or by using Top Tier fuel for 10,000 or 20,000 miles. So it’s rarely irreversible.

RAY: But if you drive a high-end car, or you want to be sure you never get any buildup on your fuel injectors or valves, you have to use Top Tier gasoline at least most of the time.

TOM: One other thing to keep in mind: The list of Top Tier providers might change. To see the latest list, go to their Web site, [/i]

My entire family runs vehicles into the 200k-300k range. They uses the least expensive pump price possible and change their oil every 5k miles. No one has had fuel related problems.

I hear you, but coincidentally have used top tier gas, and have known people with fouled injector problems, though have been lucky enough not to experience it. I have never asked them about brands of gas they use. We have fleet fueling for our work vehicles, and 2 of the similar model and same year truck, 1 gmc 1 chevy, one had fuel injectors replaced the other never had a problem, I do not remember which, same maintenance from our mechanics.

Tester , While I find the toptier link interesting,It’s only an academic interest because not a single one of these retailers sells in my area.

Yes there are differences in gas. However good enough and the very best and most expensive will have little if any difference to you. Unless you have some sort of a problem and not many of us have such problems, you will not gain anything with additives or fancy fuels.