Each gas brand uses its own blend of additives to differentiate their fuel from other brands. These additives can affect the quality of the gas.
For many people, gas is gas – as long as it’s conveniently located it’s good enough for them. But is there more to know about what comes out of the pump? Are there differences between brands?
That’s the question VERIFY reader Hugh asked after they noticed their car was using more fuel after changing the brand of fuel they were buying.
Are there gas differences between different gas station brands?
Yes, there are fuel differences between gasoline brands.
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WHAT WE FIND
All regular and premium gasoline in any region use the same base fuel, AAA speak. What’s different is the unique combination of additives that each brand mixes into their fuel before it gets into the fuel pump and into your car.
Fuel brands mix additives when their tankers are loaded at fuel stations, the agency said. NACSa trade association for convenience stores and fuel retailers.
NACS and AAA say the additives are designed to clean and protect car engines by preventing excessive build-up of carbon deposits. Those deposits can reduce performance and fuel economy and cause other drivability problems.
NACS explains: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires all gas retailers to use minimum levels of additives. Based on EPA regulationsThese additives must reduce engine deposits by at least 10% compared to fuel without additives.
While the standards help reduce certain deposits, some automakers feel the standards don’t go far enough, AAA said. And so, in 2004, these automakers established a gas standard called “Top Tier,” which required more additives that they deemed of higher quality. For a gas retailer to become a licensed Top Tier gas supplier, it must meet the requirements set by the car manufacturer.
AAA did a study in 2016 on the long-term impact of gas with and without “enhanced additive packages,” such as Top Tier gas. Research shows that long-term use of gas without an advanced additive package “can result in a 2-4% reduction in fuel economy, drivability problems and increased gas emissions.” waste”.
AAA research found that there were greater amounts of harmful deposits in the engines of cars that did not use Top Tier fuel than in cars that did use Top Tier fuel.
Top Tier’s website maintains a List of gas retailers are retailers certified to meet Top Tier gasoline standards. The list includes major domestic brands such as Exxon and Shell, but also includes some local retailers.
However, “Top Tier” gas stations are not the only retailers selling high-quality gasoline. Automotive Consumer Guide, an automotive review organization. Top Level certification is optional and costly, so some gas stations choose not to be certified.
“This means that there may be some gasoline retailers that sell fuel that qualifies for Top Tier certification, but have chosen not to license the right to say so,” Consumer Guide Automotive wrote in 2019.
So, should you be worried about making sure you buy gasoline with enhanced additives? DeBoer caran auto body shop in New Jersey, says that occasionally using discount gasoline without many additives probably won’t harm your car in the long run.
AAA also found that, in 2016, Top Tier fuel brands were an average of about 3 cents per gallon more expensive than other fuel brands at the time.