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Gasoline Quality

Does the quality of gasoline vary from well-known brands to unfamiliar, no-name brands? Or, are they all about the same? The price of gas in my area varies by about 30 cents per gallon. In this case, is it true that you get what you pay for?

I guarantee others will disagree. There are minimum federal requirements for over-the-road gasoline, and all brands must meet them. But there are those that swear by speific brands. And that’s okay. Taste is a funny thing.

ALL GAS GOING IN TO THE TANK AT THE STATION IS BASICALLY THE SAME… The additive package can vary from station to station, but the base fuel is all the same… HOWEVER the quality of the gas coming out of the pump and into your car can differ greatly due to lack of maintnense at the station it self. If the inground tank has too much water on the bottom, or has not had its pump filters changed you can pump some nasty stuff into your tank. If they are all clean gas stations with a good rep you should be fine.

I guarantee others will disagree. The little independent gas stations get their gas from different sources, often leftovers of the major brands.
So the indies aren’t bad, just not so consistent.
I buy the cheapest I can find from these places.
I have on occasion bought a tank of gas that gets lower than expected mileage.

Gasoline is a blend of several components and they have different heat content, which affects MPG.
Ethanol for instance has about 20% lower heat content than typical “pure” gasoline.

Gasoline is an international commodity product. It’s made to set standards so the oil companies can trade product amongst themselves, which they do regularly…That “No Name” station is probably owned and operated by the “major” oil company down the street. Part of the all-important shelf-space equation…

There are the upper tier gases…but I have no idea about the quality of them because I don’t have a gas station that carries the upper tier gas anywhere near me.

I use to have a problem with Mobil gas until Mobil merged with Exxon some 10+ years ago. I could tell when my daughter or wife added Mobil to my truck. It didn’t have the same performance as other gas. But that’s no longer a problem.

For savings…look at the gas cards. I have a Hess Visa. I use it ONLY to buy gas…and pay it off at the end of each month so I don’t pay any interest. I then get 3% back of all my Hess gas purchases each month. Hess is one of the cheaper gases around…and with their 3% cash back…they’re a lot cheaper.

My ex girl friend would not use gas from Wal Mart. She claimed her Jeep would not run right on it and got less MPG. I would buy gas in cans and put it in her Jeep. I would be there anyways and it was 20-30 cents less. I would tell her I got at the Shell station. As you can guess it ran fine and got the same MPG. I buy the cheap stuff and don’t worry.

Here in Calif I don’t see much difference brand to brand or station to station. But when I lived in Colorado, in the winter at least, some stations seemed to have better storage facilities than others in preventing their gas from sand and water contamination. I got contaminated gas (usually some combo of water & sand) from certain stations, and never got bad gas from other stations at all. I learned this the hard way to avoid certain stations in the winter.

I expect though that any gas quality differences were due to the local station’s storage tanks allowing contamination of the product, not the gas that was pumped into their storage tanks from the refinery.