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Old 06-09-2013, 09:08 PM   #43
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First, about the additives: See
Octane can be increased by the addition of butane into the gasoline. While this is frequently done (most gasoline pipeline and tank farms have the ability to add butane) it is important to remember that butane is a hydrocarbon gas, and will eventually dissipate; thus lowering the quality of the gasoline the longer it sits unused.
Another concern is where the gasoline is refined. While the United States imports crude and refines it here, due to extensive government regulations companies also refine somewhere else and then ship the gasoline here. While it all goes through the same pipeline network, refineries and tank farms can store product in different tanks. So an unbranded retailer with a high volume can purchase the lowest cost refined product overseas (and since it's such a low cost the quality can be called into question, just like any other product). It arrives here, and stored in its own tank at the tank farm. When a truck comes in to load for that customer, the product is then drawn from that tank.
The "customer swap" doesn't happen as much as it used to as described by someone else previously. Why? Electronic billing. If a truck pulls on the rack and loads for Exxon, then Exxon gets billed for the load immediately. If it is for a third party (a private seller that purchases Exxon fuel, for example) it is possible for that third party to get billed for the load before the load even reaches their station. When situations do occur (not enough room in station tank for load, etc) the load will go to another stop that sells the same brand (my example Exxon) just because of the billing issues.
Dealing with fuels is an absolute nightmare with everything that is involved. Want to control it with regards to what goes in your tank? Take a sample and test it every time you purchase gasoline.
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Old 06-09-2013, 09:19 PM   #44

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Originally Posted by jaysonstuart View Post
...The biggest thing to ensure the quality of your gas is the handling of the fuel and the upkeep of the station. Most mom and pop stations are in poor repair and they do as little as possible to keep things up to snuff.

Larger chains in AZ such as Valero, QT and Kroger keep all their fuel monitoring equipment operational at all times. Keep the pumps in great repair and do all the necessary maintenance to the fuel dispensers. Like changing the filters and calibrating the pumps a couple times a year.

I've been to privately owned stations who have filters that are dated 10 years old on their pumps. Depending on the volume of your site you should be changing your filters every 90-180 days tops. FYI for any guys living in AZ all Shell and Chevron stations are privately owned thus not maintained like and of the bigger corporate sites.

Just take a look around at the station when you're there. Look at the pumps and see if their in decent shape, also look inside the store and see how well it's kept up. Those will give you and idea of how well things are maintained at the site.


Shell adds more quaternary ammonium salts to get more nitrogen properties. This gets them in the top tier in fuel detergent. Whether the detergent amount makes a difference isn't important.

What matters is the station's fuel filter! Detergents won't matter then. Places with broken or loose parts on the pump or a rancid meat odor inside the place tells me a filter change is low priority.

I try to go to a good looking shell station but I'll go to the one closest that looks clean.
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Old 06-09-2013, 10:27 PM   #45

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Petro canada. Only one that carries 94 octane.
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Old 06-10-2013, 06:28 AM   #46

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Texaco, Chevron or Shell. I tend to stay away from BP if I can.
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Old 06-10-2013, 07:09 AM   #47
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Only the finest Stop & Shop 87 for my baby!
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Old 06-10-2013, 09:26 AM   #48
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There is this Racetrac gas station here in Florida that has their pumps with three different hoses for each octane so I know I am getting 93.
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Old 06-10-2013, 11:13 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by Rocky1974 View Post
I love these fuel threads. I know how it works in my area and I'll bet that it's not much different in other areas. I live about 45 miles from a refinery. It's owned and operated by Marathon. 99.9% of the fuel in the mid-Ohio valley comes out of that refinery. I run service calls in that refinery and I'm always amused when I see all the tanker trucks lined up. There'll be Marathon, Speedway, Shell, BP, Exxon, Valero, etc, and no-name trucks lined up to load fuel. I always think: Could it really be much different, if it all comes out of the same spigot? So I asked a buddy of mine who drives a fuel truck for a regional jobber. He says it's all the exact same stuff, with one exception: the additive package. He says that the base fuel has an additive package that is plenty good, but Marathon stocks all the major brands additive packages and if he tells them he's headed to a Shell station, they will fill his tank and then add the proper amount of Shell additives. But he says that it is strictly a honor system. He says that they simply put in what he tells them to and after he leaves with it he can drop it wherever he pleases. He says that normally, if he's headed to a Shell station he gets Shell fuel, but if he's headed to a Valero station with a load of Valero fuel and a Shell station, on the way calls and requests a 3000 gallons, he doesn't dump the Valero fuel and head back for 3000 gallons of Shell. The Shell gets 3000 gallons of Valero. He also tells me that the refinery only refines 2 grades and he only hauls 2 grades, 87 and 92. The 89 is created in the stations tanks by 50/50 mixing 87 and 92. He also tells me that the octane is mostly an honor system too. He says that some retailers just put 87 in all tanks, because most customers wont notice the difference. He says that the states do spot check for octane occasionally and fines retailers if they catch them, but most retailers don't care because the additional profit more than pays the fines. He says that if a retailer is caught enough, the state will threaten to shut them down, but he says that doesn't scare them much either. They just keep doing it until they get threatened and then clean their act up. He tells me that if I buy fuel where he's dropped it, if I buy 87, I get 87, if I buy 92, I get 92, if I buy 89, I get pot-luck. Ever since he told me that, I've been buying either 87 or 92 at stations he delivers to and I've had no problems. My advice to all you people who are hung up on a particular brand or octane is: You better make friends with the fuel truck driver, because only he knows what he loaded and what he dumped in each tank.
So very true. But as someone else stated, no one will listen. We used ti have Rock Island refinery here......but they shut it down years ago. I live a mile away from a fuel farm
The trucks roll in, the trucks roll out. The gas goes in, the gas goes out. Pretty simple. As stated by another, I try to visit stations that keep up on maintanance. Ad for co-ops, Its all about the same. We have a Country Mark in Clermont thats a mom n pop....but boy do they keep a tight ship.
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Old 06-10-2013, 11:17 AM   #50

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Tried many and it runs best on Shell 93.
Sold 2012 2LT RS 12.3@112 old setup

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Old 06-10-2013, 01:52 PM   #51
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I know these threads come up often, but I still read them with interest. That being said, I still normally go to the Quick Stop (which is owned by Kroger I guess) and get the premium's a busy, clean station and is right by the house. I've got an Arco and a Chevron (along with a bunch of truck stop / Flying J and Loves) right in my town, which keeps the prices lower than most of the surrounding area, but the Arco is a good .40 - .50 less than the Chevron (actually it's Chevron that is .40 - .50 higher than everyone else)..

I don't know if the Chevron is worth it, but it's just really difficult to pay that much more, even though I don't drive the Camaro / fill it up all that often..
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Old 06-10-2013, 03:43 PM   #52
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ran my "scientific" study on the last car. shell and chevron are the two big names in vegas. i had significantly less timing retardation with shell than chevron. but the smiths/ kroger gas i have had good results with too. and its really connaco phillips. so its Alaskan oil until they get there operation in the gulf up and running.
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Old 06-10-2013, 08:24 PM   #53
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I'm sooo glad no one is talking avgas.....
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Old 06-10-2013, 08:53 PM   #54

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Top Tier only Last I checked Shell was not a top tier company , which means you could be getting fuel that will not be nice to your car .
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Old 06-10-2013, 08:58 PM   #55

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After working around our main distribution for our area and seeing just about everyone's trucks there getting the same gas, I buy 91 and up anywhere I can get it as long as the seller is reputable.
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Old 06-10-2013, 09:02 PM   #56

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So, are most SS owners better off buying 87 and adding Octane boost for roughly the same cost?
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