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Top Tier Fuel or a Cheap Bottle of Additive?

As Toyota wrote in my car’s manual, “Look for gasoline that is advertised as Top Tier Detergent Gasoline.” I have no problem with this, but my automotive assistance club offers me a discount on gasoline; unfortunately, it is not Top Tier. Is it okay to use non-Top Tier, and add a bottle of STP, or Gumout fuel injector cleaner to the tank?

Sure. I’d go with Techron, but that’s me. Is the price difference enough to justify the trouble/cost of putting in some additive?

And I’m sure you’ll hear from folks who use non-Top Tier with no problems. I use it because it’s close, and no more than most other gas (except Sam’s).

Is this a new car ? Tell us what the vehicle is and what engine you have. I really don’t think you should worry but you can put an additive in if it makes you feel better.

Does this club say where to buy fuel ?

It is a 2009 Pontiac Vibe, with a 2.4 L Toyota Corolla engine. My current club offers no gasoline discount, but 2 other clubs I’m considering offer discounts at Pilot/Flying J, and Fastrac respectively.

is the non-top tier discount from the auto club going to make up for the extra expense of the fuel additive?

Personally, I tell folks to find a brand of fuel that works for their car- and stick with it. Rather than having a multitude of detergents and additives mixing and running thru their engine- stick with one brand. My preference is a top tier fuel, but it also happens to almost always be the cheapest in town (same or cheaper than Sam’s) - and my Sierra loves it.

I have zero scientific evidence to back up my stance, lol, but it works well for me and those that will listen to me. :wink:

You are confusing me. You say in the first post your assistance club offers discount then you say no discount. I suggest you use Google and you will find enough articles to help you make a decision.
Frankly I agree with the one by It is a non-issue.

Chevron, I miss Cali. The closest gas station to me is Top Tier (Mobil), but my future auto club(s) offer discounts on non-Top Tier gasoline. My current auto club offers no gasoline discount. Both clubs I am considering offer a few cents off per gallon (non-Top Teir).

This is off topic but why have Auto Clubs when your vehicle insurance can have towing for a lot less money.

My wife uses Sam’s Club gasoline in her 2003 Silhouette and doesn’t have any problems. It is not a top tier gasoline. I usually buy Shell gasoline, which is top tier. The cost is close enough to Sam’s that I don’t mind paying two or three cents more per gallon.

I’ve run several cars past 100K with no fuel troubles what so ever using a name brand (Sunoco) but not top-tier fuel. The only car I ever had a problem with just needed a bottle of Techron about once a year to restore its idle quality.

I am not particularly loyal to any gasoline brand. I’ll use most any of the majors.

If I were to call my insurance company for roadside assistance, they would treat it like a claim, and my insurance rates are high enough. I contacted the company to verify this before considering an auto club.

my mom had a '89 Firebird that would only run well on Chevron- and even then she had to add a bottle of fuel additive once every 6 weeks or so. It would idle like crap on anything else.

*Edit the year of the Firebird. The 91 wasn’t as finicky.

If the OP is anywhere near a Costco gas station, he/she should be aware that Costco gasoline is Top Tier, and is almost always the cheapest gas that can be found in any given zip code.
Then, if you purchase that gasoline with the Costco/Citi Visa card, you will be credited with a 4% rebate of your total purchase price.

That is–literally–a win-win situation in every respect.


Yes, there is a Costco about 8 miles from me, and I have a list of Top Tier gas stations in a file. I used to be a Costco member; currently, I see no reason to join. My prescription drugs can only be purchased from the insurer, my eye exams are very inexpensive, and I have no need for “giant-sized” products, I am single with no children, or spouse.

I also have a Citi visa, it is Amazon co-branded, and I love it. I have enough credit cards, I don’t need/want another at this time; hmm, maybe an Amex Black? LOL

We can mark this post as “Resolved.” I appreciate the replies I received to it, but they seemed to ask more questions than they answered. As I wrote in one of the replies, “I have a list of stations that serve ‘Top Tier’ gasoline.” “One of them very close to where I live.” Have a great day All. :slight_smile:

Things may be different in your state, but in NJ it is illegal to require “membership” in order to purchase gasoline, or prescriptions. As a result, in NJ, ANYONE can purchase gasoline and Rx drugs at Costco, whether they are members–or not.

The only restriction–if you want to call it that–is that Costco gas stations do not accept cash.
You must pay for your gas with either a Visa credit card or with an “approved” debit card.

Use whatever gas you want ank skip the injector cleaner. My wife’s Lexus and my highlander both recommend top tier gas. The closest top tier gas near me is over 10 miles away. And there are MILLIONS of people all over this country in the same situation. Many of them are driving vehicles that recommend top tier gas with no ill effects.

Many insurance companies have roadside assistant riders you pay extra for. It’s far cheaper and better then AAA. Check with your insurance company again. I really don’t know of any insurance company that doesn’t offer this.

The clubs like CostCo and SAMs sells gas to anyone. But off you’re not a member you pay more.