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"Non-brand" Gas and Engine Wear

Is it true that gas from non brand sources–such as buying from grocery stores and Costco, Sams Club etc instead of from Shell, Chevron, etc–contain certain components that are bad for car engines and causes quicker than normal engine deterioration?

~~ Thanks all




They don’t do any harm as far as wear goes but they might leave more deposits on the valves. The top brands claim that their gas removes valve deposits and the claims may be true. Paying the extra money won’t kill us but most of us are reluctant to let go of the money. Part of the reason is that we don’t really plan to keep those cars forever. Why pay more for cars when they are something that we will outlive by a wide margin anyway?

The gas at discounters DOES come from Shell, Chevron, Valero, Exxon, etc. It is just that nobody ever knows the exact source at any given time, given the multiple purchases made by the discounter and the inevitable mixing that takes place during transport and storage. However, the composition of the gasoline from all of those companies is essentially identical to begin with, so it may be “a distinction without a difference”.

That being said, the one difference between brands of gasoline is the additive package used by the various manufacturers. Some use more detergents, some use more effective detergents, and the detergent additives are really the only differences between brands of gasoline. If you go to the “Top Tier Gas” website, it will explain what I am talking about, and that is why I use Shell gasoline–which, coincidentally, I am able to buy for about .10 less per gallon than any of the competitors in my area.

To return to your original point–that discount gasolines contain “certain components that are bad for car engines and cause quicker than normal engine deterioration”–that is flat-out wrong. It sounds like someone is spreading some kind of urban myth and you are listening to that foolishness. Discount gasoline will not damage your engine.

NOPE. Propaganda and old wives(mechanics) tales.

I worked at an off brand station in college. We actually bought the ends of brand name fuel tankers not wanting to return to fuel depot with partial loads . Sometimes we would even have some premium branded fuel mixed into regular tanks.

You think Sams Club and Costco make their own gas?? They buy their gas from Shell, Chevron, Gulf, Exxon. Buy the cheapest gas your car can run on.

Engine wear is the result of how you treat your car, not the gas you put in. With proper care and driving style your car will go more than 300,000 miles on the cheapest gas that meets the octane stated in the manual. So, tank wherever you want, but ut the right grade in your tank!

well said

Ditto. Be sure you maintain your car correctly and ut the right octane in. Buy it wherever you’d like.

The only additional factors in reliability and longevity are the quiality of the design and manufacture. You can choose a make and model with a good reputation and record by using publications available at the local bookstore like Consumer Reports car issues. That also makes a huge difference.

Thanks for all the replies. Some of you are kinda rude in ur language (you know who you are). Anyway, I obviously don’t believe it is true or it would not be asking. Only one person gave proof/evidence to what they were saying and another person gave first-hand experience from working at a gas station; I really appreciate that! I asked the question b/c a couple of mechanics are telling ppl this. I want to prove them wrong b/c it sounded a little weird to me although I have personally heard a mechanic tell someone that convenient store gasoline is not good and mumbled some reason.

Miskii (I just drive cars, not fix them)

Thank you!!!

In the words or Mary-Kate and Ashley’s alter ego, Michelle: “How rude!”

I have heard the “Top Tier Gas” stuff before. Is there any independent proof that there is a difference? I suspect the “Top Tier Gas” website is financed by certain gas companies.

You had good reason to ask the question. There are some exceptions; if on a fishing trip you gas up at Joe’s Fish & Tackle, his gas may be remnants and it has been in a leaky tank for 6 months. Such gas is not good for your engine.

In France, 50% or more of gasoline is sold by supermarkets (Carrefour is the world’s largest), convenience stores and department stores. We have to change our mindset about where we buy gas. I happily patronize 7-11, Walmart or whoever is closest and has the best price when I need gas.

mike was correct in his reply.

the mentioned discount chains would certainly not sell “bad” gas. if they did, any potential profit would be eaten up by having to do repairs once proven as being caused by their “bad” gas. (although i AM suspect of a couple run down local cheapo gas stations beause they are falling apart so much, i can’t help but think that if the outside of the station looks so bad, what does the inside of the fuel tank look like!!)

you don’t understand the supply side of petroleum. the mentioned big names (and others maybe not so recognizable) all sell to any gas station, chain or name. the basic requirements for gas are color, api, and octane rating. as long as the gas meets the specific requirements it is good ANYWHERE.

mikes response that you should find the cheapest gas you can run your car on is correct. but you must take into account that your car may specify a certain octane rating which may change the price. (if you are unsure about this look in your owners manual, the info on required octane is in there.)

another dilemma is that some cars require 87 octane, some 91, and others 93 octane. the ‘discount’ dealers may only have 87 and 93 octane. so if you have a car needing 91 octane, and your choices are 87 and 93, you may balk at buying the gas that EXCEEDS your cars need. that could be annoying, but usually the difference is just a dollar or so for a full tank.

Well, my brother in law runs a few gasoline tankers and they deliver gasoline to everybody; from name brand to mom and pop stores. It all comes out of the same truck.

If you need 91 octane you can purchase 1/2 tanks of fuel of lower octane and higher octane to make mid grade. There is no such thing really as mid grade from a supplier its simply the fuel pump mixing the highest and lowest octanes of unleaded at appropriate amounts to create the octane.

This has been beat to death on here before. I used to work near a distribution center. They have very large storage tanks. Even the branded trucks roll up to the same dispensing station as everyone else. However, their specific additive package is mixed in while the gas is depensed into the tanker truck. So the only difference is the additives. Whether or not they are beneficial enough to warrant them on a regular basis is up for debate.

Wasn’t meant to be rude…but a valid question. Where do you think the gas at Sams Club and Costco come from??? The fact that you asked the question tells me you thought they had their own refineries.