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I am out of the loop since I retired, but as of a couple of years ago, Chevron had the best additive package in the market (I did not work for them). My impression is that their fuel quality is determined by engineers and not by bean counters (who want to reduce additive addition to the minimum required by law) or marketers (who want to pay the least they can for the product, or who are more interested in C-Store retailing than providing high quality fuel.
Shell and its affiliates were deeply afflicted / affected by both bean counters and marketers.
I buy only Chevron fuels unless they are not available - would consider BP a good second choice.
Remember in most parts of the country the base gasoline is fungible and the only differentiation is due to additive packages that are added at the truck terminal. The exceptions to this is where fuel is supplied direct from the refinery rack or in the case of Amoco (not sure if this exists any more) and perhaps some others, through a proprietary pipeline system
I had been running Valero in my Camry Hybrid, getting between 40 and 42 MPG, which pleased me. I had to buy gas in a rural area, and the cheapest one was Shell at $3.619. I only put in about a half tank. The car only got 37 MPG! I ran the tank almost empty before filling with Valero again, and now I'm only getting 39 MPG.
I think that Shell gas damaged my engine somehow. I will never, ever use it again, even if I have to run on the electric engine to avoid it.
Note that the energy content (heating value) of petroleum products per unit mass is fairly constant, but their density differs significantly – hence the energy content of a liter, gallon, etc. varies between gasoline, diesel, kerosene.
It may turn out that the best way to measure the fuel content of a gallon of gas is to just weigh a known volume, measure the density.
After April 3, use e-mail to contact me:
Last edited by bwilson4web; 04-19-2007 at 12:31 AM.
Not to sound crazy here but, gas is gas. Most of our gasoline is coming out of the same octane rated pipe, sulfur included. The only difference between the gas at your local gas stations has mainly to do with the additives that they put into the delivery truck.
Unless you live next to an Exxon oil refinery and buy Exxon gas (for example), you are getting whatever gas comes out of the pipeline. The gas companies all work together this way. Economically it makes more sense for them to truck refined gas to stations over only a few miles.
I'm not discounting what was stated above regarding differences between octane grades and sulfur content. What I am saying is that there generally is no difference in the base which your local gas stations use.
It's not unheard of to just get a bad tank of gas. The gas in the stations tanks could just be old, or they could have just been refilled and it stirred up sediment in the tanks. The latter could be especially true if it's an older station.
Just put a bottle of fuel injector cleaner in your next couple of tanks and you'll probably be fine.
I usually only buy Shell or BP gas, mainly because they import the least amount of foregin oil of any national suppliers, but also because I know the stations that I frequent have good gas and I had practically no engine troubles with my old car after I switched from using Jewel or Meijer discount gas. It's not worth saving 2 cents per gallon.