when it comes to buying gas for your vehicle, you make a lot of decisions on autopilot. oftentimes, you pick where to fill up based on where you are and what’s convenient. however, this thought process might be causing harm to your car engine.
while the majority of fuel stations get fuel from the same source, top tier stations have a formula that includes detergents, corrosion inhibitors, and friction reducers, which can extend the life of your car motor.
in this helpful guide, we look at the meaning of a top tier gas station and highlight the top five to choose from. let’s begin with a quick look at which gas stations to choose.
the following gas stations have the best quality gas:
further down in the article, you will find more specific information about each of these gas stations. but first, let’s take a look at the definition of top-tier gas.
what is top tier gas?
if the gas station receives top tier branding, you are assured that the fuel has reached a particular performance standard. to be labeled a top tier provider, the following requirements must be met:
- the company uses top tier fuel at all retail locations.
- all gas grades also include an approved detergent additive.
- the fuel is free from any organometallic additives that could harm the vehicle, such as mmt or ferrocene
in total, there are more than fifty brands around the country that have met the top tier standards, so you likely have several stations to choose from in your area. should you take the time to find these brands and potentially spend a little more money? the answer is yes!
consumer reports performed a study showing how valuable this fuel truly is. in the evaluation, an engine ran nonstop for 1,000 hours, equaling about 4,000 miles of travel. in the end, this engine was disassembled for a closer look. top tier gas left behind 19 times fewer carbon deposits when compared with conventional fuel. isn’t that worth a few extra pennies per gallon to you?
understanding octane levels
it’s important not to confuse top tier requirements with octane levels. when you pump gas, you have several options and different handles to choose from. some say regular, while others rely on premium, but which is right for your car?
the only difference between the two is the octane rating. this valuable number illustrates the level of performance of the fuel. it relates to the amount of pressure that the fuel can handle before it ignites. the higher the octane rating is, the more it can handle, which turns into more power.
regular gas has an octane rating of 87, while premium is considered anything above 90. some vehicles require the use of premium gas or you might notice performance issues. it’s always best to check the owner’s manual to see what is recommended.
while you could upgrade the octane level, there’s no reason to. in fact, if you use an octane level beyond what’s recommended, you could actually cause more harm than good. instead, stick to improving engine health by choosing top tier fueling stations.
related: how to dispose of old gasoline
5 gas stations with the best quality fuel
the company has been around for more than a century. in that time, you can bet that shell and its staff have learned a lot about fuel.
shell uses nitrogen-enriched gasoline that is worth spending more on. it helps to remove deposits that build up in the engine and it also inhibits further deposit growth.
you can buy almost anything at costco and you can do it in bulk. however, since 1995, the company has also been selling gasoline. costco fuel is considered a top tier gas, and it also is a kirkland signature product, which carries even more promises.
the best part about buying fuel at costco is the savings you receive. sure, you have to have a membership to fill up, but you can save up to 20 cents a gallon in some places. that cost savings is going to add up over time.
related: how long does gasoline last in a sealed container?
for decades, mobil has been one of the leading suppliers of top tier gasoline. to make things even better, in 1999, the company merged with exxon to become exxon mobil. now, the provider is one of the largest in the world.
the secret in its fuel is what’s called mobil synergy. this unique formula contains nine various additives. in the fuel, you will gain a corrosion inhibitor, a friction modifier, three detergents and more, all working together to ensure a healthy, happy engine.
in 1879, chevron hit the market. the company also became well-known for having commercials with the talking car.
however, what’s behind the fuel that’s used is what’s important. chevron uses techron, which is a proprietary blend of fuel additives. the company guarantees that these additives work together to prevent carbon buildup and break down anything that is currently in the engine.
eleven petroleum companies merged together in 1916 to create sinclair oil and refining corporation. more than a century later, you can now find more than 1,000 sinclair stations located around the nation.
what makes sinclair gas unique? the company uses dinocare, containing several additives that increase engine performance. the additives are meant to optimize the fuel economy, reduce engine deposits and lower your annual maintenance costs.
with all of this information in mind, you can see how valuable it is to choose the best quality gas for your vehicle. spend an extra minute to find a provider that uses top tier gas and your engine will thank you for it.
i have been using nothing but top tier fuel for years. all of my cars run perfectly. with the crap they put in gas these days (corn) we need all the help we can get!
that's true, there is often a big difference in maintenance costs also when using good fuel!
thanks for the helpful info. i've done my research & been given second opinions on which fuel to use in 2013 kia soul. however, my dad insists vehicle's not running properly because of "cheap" gas (costco,shell)! i use both (unleaded) from time to time lol and, coincidentally, these are on the list🤣🤣🤣! just bc i need a tune up is the excuse of me putting "cheap" fuel in the tank. should i continue using it? always helps to get professional advice
if your car is running better on fuel from another station you should definitely use that instead. it can be a difference between gas stations of the same brand also on different locations. however, if your car is still running badly on gas from another more premium station, there is definitely another issue with the car.