More Snake oil?



Speedway and Cumberland Farms (Gulf) are the most common.


No Shell or Exxon/Mobil? I see them just about everywhere.


In my area it’s Irving and Mobile.
But I don’t see the point. Can you enlighten me?


They’re around…but I’d have to travel about 10 miles out of the way. Speedway is less then a mile from my house…and less then 1/4 mile down the road from Speedway is a Cumberland Farms. I don’t have the time or need to travel an extra 20+ miles to fill up on gas.


My point is that, unless someone checks the Top Tier site on a regular basis, he may not be aware that a particular brand of gas has recently become Top Tier compliant. In the case of the brands that Mike cited, they are indeed not TT–compliant.

In your case, Mobil is TT-compliant, and just out of curiosity, I will check to see Irving’s status.

It appears that Irving has not yet landed on the TT list, so if you want TT gas in your neck of the woods, you should probably stick to Mobil.


At the Valero in my town, they put the “top tier gas” sticker on every pump, where customers can see it.

I can’t help but notice the absence of national chain truck stops on the top tier list at, although many of them, such as TA truck stops, often sell branded gas, such as Shell.


Fair enough. If you don’t need it (no direct injection, for instance), convenience and price are good measures. Actually, 20 miles away is almost 2 gallons for you, and that is added cost.

I have been using cost, then convenience , and finally top tier as my measurement hierarchy for purchase. My new Accord uses direct injection, and from what I’ve read, top tier gasolines are less likely to develop sludge for these engines. There are very convenient Shell, Exxon, and BP stations near me. The prices at those brands are a lot better about half way to work. I often shopped at them or the nearby Sam’s Club. I might take Sam’s off the list now.


Sludge is not a byproduct of what gas you use. Sludge is related to oil.

My 05 4runner and wifes 07 Lexus recommended Top Tier gas. Sold 4runner with little under 300k miles and still running excellent. Wife’s 07 Lexus has just over 200k miles and still runs great. 99% of all our fillups were NOT Top Tier. I seriously the less then 1% of the time we used top tier made one bit of difference.


The kid would have been better off just buying a used automatic Silverado that had left the factory equipped the way he wanted it

plenty to choose from

This also sounds like the kind of truck that would eat up a smog inspector’s time. Does it have a BAR referee label, or is that somehow not needed, due to the truck’s age? I’m assuming it’s pretty old, partly based on the fact Chevy hasn’t used the “Custom Deluxe” trim name in quite awhile, to my knowledge


I read a few months ago that some direct injected engines were slugging up because the drivers did not use top tier gasoline. It isn’t the traditional oil sludge since it occurred in the combustion chamber. If you have a better name for the buildup, let me know. That’s what I want to prevent.


Carbon buildup maybe?


I have found carbon deposits on the back of the intake valves in direct injection engines so thick that it blocked more than 50% of the intake ports. This causes misfires and drivability problems.


…which was a good idea, since Valero wasn’t on the Top Tier list a couple of years ago.
However, someone has to first drive into a Valero station in order to be informed that the gas being sold is TT-complaint. If I was in charge of their marketing, there would be signs much more prominent than just those on the gas pumps, but I don’t think that any of the petroleum companies has ever done that.


The margins may not allow for that. Gas stations sell candy and soda because that’s where they make their money. The gas is just to get you to stop so you’ll go inside and buy munchies.

Where I live a single billboard will cost you between $1500 and $8000 per month. You’re gonna have to sell an awful lot of gas specifically to top-tier-seekers (because everyone else who stops at your station would have stopped anyway) in order to recoup the ad expenditures.


Where I live. a local supermarket gives gas discounts for buying groceries. It is where my wife always shopped anyway. We usually get $.60 to $1.00 off each time and you can buy 25 gallons. Don’t have any idea what kind of gas they buy and at that price, I don’t care.


This truck is the perfect example of backyard hack-job non-compliance. EST distributor replaced with conventional HEI, AIR and EGR systems tampered if not completely removed, not to mention the installation of an engine/carb combo that is at least 5 years older than the chassis it is in. No catalysts, EVAP system in a box in the bed. There’s no way this truck would ever be legal anywhere that has emissions testing.

We left the Seattle area a year and a half ago, we’re now living in a small town in Oregon. There is no emissions testing in this county. A BAR referee would just look at this truck and laugh…


Berryman B12 is another additive I have used to clean out neglected fuel systems. This stuff is about 1/3 the price of Seafoam and is quite aggressive so use it with caution. I usually change the fuel filter after running this through a tank of gas.

Marvel Mystery Oil is basically diesel fuel or kerosene. It is probably the most gentle of the three I am going to mention. Many like to add a couple ounces per tank of gas each time they fill up for maintenance purposes. It is also one of the cheaper additives and you can get it in larger sizes for a low cost per fluid volume.

Seafoam is by far the most expensive. I have had good luck with it on engines. Again, if you haven’t had the fuel filter changed, it might be a good idea afterwards. Yes, it does smoke when you suck it in through the intake. The rationale here is that you stall the engine with some in the cylinders and let it soak for 20 minutes or so. Then you fire the car up and drive it like is is stolen, fogging up the entire area with smoke in the process! I have also put it in the oil about 10 minutes before an oil change on engines that have been cared for. The oil seemed a lot darker with this so all I can figure is it removed deposits from the dark recesses of the engine. I have also noticed this after changing a car over to synthetic. The oil always get really dark quickly after the change.

I would say that Berryman B12 is the most aggressive, Seafoam is in the middle, and Marvel Mystery Oil is the least aggressive. MMO has been suggested for sludge monster engines as it is a more gentle cleaner and won’t break loose all the crud at once, plugging your oil filter. If you add any of these to the oil, make sure to change the filter soon afterwards along with the oil.

Some companies such as Costco have gone to the Top Tier standards but do not pay for the licensing to be Top Tier. You might look into this as well. I don’t have a Costco near me but my parents do. They buy everything there including gas. The gas is quite a bit cheaper and they say the membership would pay for itself even if they only bought gas.


You’re at least one year behind with that information.
Yes, Costco was using a TT-level of detergents before they took the plunge and agreed to pay for the licensing, but they did finally agree to pay the licensing fee. As a result Costco’s Kirkland gasoline has been listed on the Top Tier website for over 1 year.


I didn’t realize that as I haven’t been with my parents there in a while. It seems Costco has a higher quality of goods compared to Sam’s Club although I like that place as well. Costco prices are also slightly higher but you get what you pay for.


The only thing I buy at Sams is the 100 count box of K coffee cups. I would be happy to drop Sams and go to Costco instead but I can’t find out if they carry the large boxes without paying an entrance fee. Even Sams lets you go in and look around first before paying your membership fee. Sometime I’ll just bite the bullet and pay the fee and go look, I guess.