Which Gas Stations Have the Best Quality Gas?

All gasoline types smell the same. They all make your nose itch in a funny way and it somehow makes … Continued

All gasoline types smell the same. They all make your nose itch in a funny way and it somehow makes you feel unsafe if you inhale it in the gasoline station. But other than the smell, there are other things about gasoline that a lot of car owners have no idea about. For example, where do you get the best gasoline?

Gas station

Best Gasoline Defined

When car owners mention “best gasoline”, they often mean top tier gasoline. Top tier gasoline simply refers to gasoline that has more fuel additives that will make your car become more efficient and reliable. These fuels are often supplied by top-tier gas stations. However, there are many misconceptions that revolve around high-quality gasoline.

The first misconception is that gasoline from mid- to low-tier gas stations is dangerous and can cause your car to have problems. This is untrue as all gasoline stations are required to adhere to the standards set by the United States when it comes to clean and consistent fuel. This means that whatever gas station you go to, your car will still be able to run properly.

The second misconception is that top tier gas will make your car perform better. This is not necessarily true given that top tier gas is not exactly made to improve performance. In fact, they were made so that carbon buildup in the engines will be reduced.

But buying from top-tier stations does not mean that you are just wasting money. The reason they are called as such is that their own formulation of gas will help improve how your engine works and how it uses gasoline efficiently.

Here is a list of the best quality gas stations that you can go to:

  1. Shell
  2. Sinclair
  3. Texaco
  4. Costco
  5. Conoco
  6. Chevron
  7. BP
  8. Exxon
  9. Holiday
  10. Kwik Trip
  11. Mobil

The Real Deal About Regular and Premium Gas

Top tier gas is just one of the things you need to know about your car’s fuel. The term “top tier” is often used interchangeably with premium gas. However, there are slight differences between the two.

As discussed earlier, top tier gas mainly refers to gasoline bought from top tier stations. These types of gasoline have the same basic formula except that different gas stations add a different mix of additives in order to produce efficient and long-lasting engines. On the other hand, premium gas generally refers to a gas that has an octane rating of at least 90. This rating describes the comparison of the fuel mixture and its efficiency in using fuel to run the engines. Premium gas is always going to be higher than what is considered as regular gas. As regular gasoline is always less than 90 in the octane readings.

color fuel gasoline dispenser

Regular vs. Premium Gasoline

When it comes to gas, one of the things car owners often ask is the difference between regular gas vs. premium gas. Is there an actual difference? When do you need to use premium gas? Is premium gas better than regular gas? Here are some answers to the most asked questions.

  • Is there an actual difference?

There’s a difference between regular and premium gas. If there weren’t, then there would be no distinction. The main difference lies in the octane rating. As you read a while back, premium gas has an octane rating of at least 90 while the regular gas has around 87. However, there are some differences in ratings depending on the state. There are states where the octane rating for premium gas should be 92.

In any case, premium gasoline has this rating because it has a lower rate of experiencing knocking. Knocking is a term used to describe the unstable explosions often occurring when the fuel mixture ignites before there’s an actual compression. It’s called “knocking” because it creates a knocking sound whenever it has these unstable explosions.

Hence, when you use premium gas, your fuel use will definitely be more efficient because less fuel mixture is wasted. However, there is no guarantee that you will be saving more because the price point of premium gas is also a lot higher than the regular one.

  • When do you need to use premium gas?

You only need to use premium gas if you experience either of these situations. One is when the car manufacturer explicitly says that it should run on premium gas. If it only says “premium gas is recommended”, then you do not need to fill it up with premium gas. If you do, then you will easily throw away a lot of money using the kind of gas your car does not need.

Two is when your car does not need premium gas but it has a knocking sound when you use regular gas. There are times when your car does not need premium gas, but it was used to run on this kind of gas, so when you switch to regular it is not able to adapt. When this happens, you should not worry that something is wrong with your car. It can easily just be that your car works better with premium gas.

  • Is premium gas better than regular gas?

Premium gas is not always better than regular gas. Again, if your car does not need it, then regular gas will work well. Nonetheless, premium gas is recommended for more modern cars made by Audi, General Motors, Honda, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Mercedes-Benz. This is because these cars models have high-performance engines that require a kind of gasoline that can keep up with the engine. Plus, these modern cars were already built for fuel economy and engine efficiency. Filling it with regular gasoline will only waste the capacity of the car.

Fill up fuel at gas station

On a side note, if your car is running on regular gas, it is better to fill it with gas that has an octane rating of 87. According to Mike Monticello who is a Consumer Reports expert, gas with a rating of 89 does not have a significant difference in fuel efficiency and reliability. This means that you do not have to pay extra bucks just to get the same fuel performance.

Overall, it’s important for you to know if your car needs premium fuel. If it doesn’t, then going for regular fuel is the wisest thing to do.

Sources:

  1. Study Shows Top Tier Gasoine Worth the Extra Price – Consumer Reports
  2. How It Works: Regular vs Unleaded Gas – Medium