Gasoline Question

Discussion in 'The Guru's Pub' started by Daftshadow, Apr 29, 2014.

  1. Daftshadow

    Daftshadow Maha Guru

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    I just moved into a new house and area in El Monte, CA. I've lived in LA for the most part of my life and I rarely see USA Gasoline brand gas stations. Now here, I see them a lot more. I looked up on Google and it appears these USA Gasoline stations are formerly Arco, owned by Tesoro which also owns Shell.

    Right now gas prices are climbing up again, average is like $4.30/gal for 89. The prices at USA Gasoline stations are far cheaper. I've seen $4.17-$4.20/gal for 89. I would prefer pumping cheaper cost gas but I'm not very familiar with this brand USA Gasoline and their quality of their gasoline. Anyone have experience pumping your car with USA Gasoline brand? I know each gasoline brand uses their own additives in their gasoline to prevent harm to your car's engine. So what's the deal with USA Gasoline? No need to be concern?
     
  2. sykozis

    sykozis Ancient Guru

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    Gasoline is Gasoline.... The car really doesn't care what brand you put in. Some of the additives are mandated by the Gov't for emissions purposes. The rest are "upper cylinder lubricants" and chemicals believed to clean valves and injectors (none of which actually work) and prevent corrosion (again, none of which actually work). The worst chemical in gas, which is also mandated by the Gov't, is the ethanol (which is actually more harmful to the environment than straight gas ever was).

    There's no reason to run anything higher than 87 octane in a "standard" engine. Unless you've done something to increase timing or compression, you're just wasting the extra money.
     
  3. airbud7

    airbud7 Ancient Guru

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    I live on the South Carolina/Georgia border....Gas is much cheaper here!...Worth every cent too....Same with electricity...Worth every cent!!!...

    Try and live without it....
     
  4. Brasky

    Brasky Ancient Guru

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    the gas will be fine, try to avoid the ethanol if you can though.
     

  5. IcE

    IcE Don Snow Staff Member

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    Eh, I wouldn't trust a station giving out gas for well under what others are. They could be watering down their gas, or have filthy storage tanks. I guess that goes for any station, really.
     
  6. mmicrosysm

    mmicrosysm Master Guru

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    Big Oil likes customers like you!
     
  7. Brasky

    Brasky Ancient Guru

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    just watch out for big plumbing, especially if they have to use the snake.
     
  8. Agent-A01

    Agent-A01 Ancient Guru

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    I wouldn't say that, both of my mercs have a brand/gas preference, mainly shell and ethanol-free.

    And when inspections come and that is found out, they get in trouble
     
  9. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Master Guru

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    I work at a gas station in Montana ($3.28/gal here, btw) and I can say that from refinery to local distributor, all gas is the exact same. Each company can then add their own favorite cleaners, additives or whatever.
    As for price, unless you're seeing $0.50 or more difference, don't worry about it. The town I live has less than 30,000 people in it, yet across the three main companies serving gas (Town Pump, Holiday, Sinclair) I can see up to $0.15/gal difference on any given day. (Even bigger variance if you count Costco & Albertson's membership pricing.) Billings, Montana (our largest town) even has stations of the same company that will offer different prices, particularly based on how close to the Interstate or airport the station is located.

    Regarding ethanol, don't put it in any vehicle made before 1995. Between '95 and '03, use at your own risk. After '03, most vehicles can tolerate it, but unless you have a vehicle marked "Flex-fuel" you're better off with straight fuel where you can find it. (This is for E-10. The E-85 you should only put in Flex-Fuel vehicles)
    And at your elevation, low octane will be more than enough. Montana is anywhere from 4,000 - 6,000 feet elevation so the 95 rating is nice sometimes.

    As for dirty tanks, that is somewhat hard to do with the way the tanks are filled. Almost everyone uses a closed-loop system called Vapor Recovery when filling. But even if something gets in, even the 15+ year old pumps at my station have filters for each grade of fuel installed at the pump.
    Your biggest concern is if the delivery driver accidentally mixes grades. (Town Pump couple years back had diesel put into their mid-grade)

    Honestly, go ahead with the cheapest you can find while it's still cheap.
     
  10. IcE

    IcE Don Snow Staff Member

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    I'm pretty sure most people don't have a choice when it comes to E-10 fuels. I can't not buy it in my area.
     

  11. thatguy91

    thatguy91 Ancient Guru

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    Not all fuel is the same. Sure, some fuel is rebranded stuff possibly with a different additive package, but the fuel itself can actually vary quite a bit. Fuel isn't a single hydrocarbon liquid, it's made up of a great number of different hydrocarbons. Some even have nasty stuff like benzene in it.

    Some cars do actually seem to 'like' some fuels better than others. This may be simply represented in how it idles or in the fuel economy. In terms of biofuel, ethanol isn't the best. Butanol is more efficient (but more toxic). The future probably isn't biofuel, it's bio-sourced fuel. There is a big difference!

    Bio-sourced fuel is where you take biomass, such as bamboo which is super-fast growing (some species are better than others), and heat it to around 700 C (from memory). This creates biogas, which you then create synthetic fuel out of. It's actually reasonably cost effective now that oil is up around US$100 a barrel, not to mention the fact it's environmentally friendly if done correctly. It does result in some carbon dioxide emissions, but you have to remember these emissions come from bio-sourced material, so the net result it still zero emissions! Ideally you would run the plants on green energy.

    In any case though, most people don't care or don't know (and wouldn't care if they did!), but the best thing you could do is shop around for a few different good value fuels and see which ones work better for you. Remember if you have a quarter of a tank and top right up with a new fuel, there is still a quarter of a tank of the old stuff in there. The solution to this would be to fill up twice. Keep a good note on how the car sounds, feels when driving, and fuel economy. Fuel economy can vary considerably with different driving environments, but you should start to see a pattern.
     
  12. scipio

    scipio Ancient Guru

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    I bought a new Honda Pilot and they said regular gas is fine but to use gas with quality detergents from chevron, shell or 76 stations
     
  13. nm+

    nm+ Don Cappuccino Staff Member

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    The real difference is in the station. How clean are their tanks? Also, you want a good volume of sales to refresh the tanks.
    I'd only buy from better looking stations that get a relatively high volume of traffic. The good news is that the cheaper stations will have a pretty good volume of 87 running through them.
    91 buyers often don't care as much about price or believe that branding matters. I can't prove it, but I believe that the local 76 sells more 91 based on the cars I see their than the Valero, which is the cheapest that takes credit cards around here.
    So I buy 87 from the Valero for my Mazda and 91 from the 76 for the subaru.
     
  14. BigBlockTowncar

    BigBlockTowncar Ancient Guru

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    CA areas have different boutique blends of fuel to cope with CA emissions standards.

    If you can hear pinging, use better gasoline. My old Buick would ping under heavy load with Arco 87 octane which is 10% ethanol. It would not do the same with 76 brand 87 octane which was across the street.
     
  15. ALPINEST4RS

    ALPINEST4RS Member Guru

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    E-10 is turning into E-15 soon. Its only on the rise. There are additives you can put in the gasoline to mix it better. Ethanol treatments. They do work.. Overtime ethanol will tarnish fuel components. The worst part about it is E-10 can create moisture if it sits long enough in a tank. Ugh. The shelf life for gas now is only a few months "e-blended". I totally agree that gas comes from the same mainstream, but additives are essential for a car to run properly today. Seasonal, ect.

    There is a gas station in my area that offers 90 oct which is ethanol free. 4.20/gal. Since I have a flex fuel vehicle +tune i run either e-85 or 93. All of my lawn equipment/utv/atv gets 90 ethanol free. E-10 destroys them.

    Back on topic, I'd stick to shell/ top tier.. I know that "top tier" is no longer(par say GM) used, but some gas out there is plain crap. I had a buddy that put premium gas from a kroger station in his camaro, pinged like crazy. Put the same oct rating in from a top tier station and no biggie, ping went away. The kroger gas station was brand new.

    Of course, fuels have to meet a regulation to pass. The question is though, how low can the regulation be??
     

  16. BigBlockTowncar

    BigBlockTowncar Ancient Guru

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    As long as the government is crazed on alternative energy, it will probably continue to increase. Burning ethanol is not better for the environment, it has less chemical potential energy, and it is heavily subsidized, which is the only way they can get people to make it.
     
  17. scoter man1

    scoter man1 Ancient Guru

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    I love how the government and greenies think that e cars are better too. I did a research paper for a class and the production of a Nissan Leaf battery is equivalent to running an economy car about 40k miles. Then you have the added benefits of coal electricity which are about equal to or worse than burning gas to go the same distance. It's genius really!
     
  18. BigBlockTowncar

    BigBlockTowncar Ancient Guru

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    They don't officially sell ethanol as a clean alternative...it's ambiguous...just an alternative. Most people think it is clean burning, but it is not.

    It is just a chemical platitude from the "get off middle east oil" thing...most USA oil imports come from non-OPEC.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2014
  19. nm+

    nm+ Don Cappuccino Staff Member

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    No, ethanol is a massive vote buying scheme by both parties for the state of Iowa. No one wants to oppose it or they'll have issues next primary season.
     
  20. ManofGod

    ManofGod Ancient Guru

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    Most fuel is definitely not all the same in my Area. (Western New York.) Tops brand gas, which is a local chain grocery store, gives me up to 2 mpg less than Sunoco gas in my 2013 Dodge Dart 1.4l Turbo. (93 Octane Tops vs 91 Octane Sunoco.) Also, the power loose with Tops gas can be clearly felt. (Chrysler recommends 91 octane in my car and when I tried 87 Octane once, the power loose was significant and my gas mileage took a nose dive.)
     

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