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Old 04-18-2010, 09:27 PM
 
Location: DFW
107 posts, read 439,673 times
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Hi
I know that there is Top Tier Gasoline retailers which include Chevron, Shell, Conoco, QuikTrip and more then dozen of others. Does the premium gas these companies are selling differ in quality? I am asking because in Dallas/FW area for example QuikTrip stations usually sell premium gas cheaper then Chevron or Shell. Does it mean that QT gas has less cleaning or whatsoever additives and overall is lower in quality then more expensive brands? Where would BMW owners recommend to fill up the tank? Should I stick to Top Tier in general and don't bother about all these questions.

I am planning to keep the car for a long time. This is why I am asking..

Thanks.

Last edited by amtex; 04-18-2010 at 09:44 PM..
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Old 04-18-2010, 09:51 PM
 
Location: Chicago
38,691 posts, read 86,783,990 times
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Top Tier applies to all grades, and all Top Tier gasolines have enhanced detergent quantities in them.
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Old 04-19-2010, 01:44 AM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
5,996 posts, read 13,283,477 times
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NEWS: All gas virtually identical in quality. Specifically, the vehicle needs 91 octane gas to prevent detonation while providing maximum power output levels and all gas stations have premium fuel that meets this requirement.
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Old 04-19-2010, 07:44 AM
 
10,485 posts, read 22,547,424 times
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I put nothing except for Shell gas in my car. It has that nitrogen enriched formula and really is not any more expensive than the cheap gas.
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Old 04-19-2010, 07:45 AM
 
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Sorry "Egg", but you are wrong. While Octane rating is specific among all brands and is governmentally regulated, the actual refined quality of the gasoline and the detergent additive package differ widely as do the internal company controls regarding the storage of the finished product at the distribution point.

The original classification of "Tier One" gasoline was developed jointly by BMW, GM, Honda and Toyota with the goal of providing a standard higher than what the government recommends for additives and detergents to ensure people would recieve adequate detergent mixes to keep their engines running optimally and provides for better performance, fuel economy and emissions.

Currently the list of "Tier One" fuel companies is: Chevron, QuikTrip, Texaco, ConocoPhillips, Shell, Entec and MFA Oil and several other smaller brands including some Canadian brands. Together these companies only represent about 40% of gasoline sold with the rest falling into "Tier Two" which is most other name brand fuels and "Tier Three" which are considered non-name brand fuels.

Of all of them, Chevron and Shell are generally regarded as the "best of the best", but you can't go wrong with gas from any of them as they all meet the enhanced minimum standard of "Tier One".

For what it's worth, a friend of mine tunes cars for a living and I don't mean he changes spark plugs. He ran some back to back tests on his personal Corvette and found that using Shell gasoline he baselined his Vette at 478whp. His next fill up he switched to Lukoil and re-dynoed. He found he had to pull the timing back several degrees to prevent detonation and could only manage 457whp. That is a 21whp loss simply through a gasoline change in a highly tuned car. If you have a performance or turbo car, you really should be using "Tier One" fuel to ensure optimal operation.
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Old 04-19-2010, 08:13 AM
 
1,474 posts, read 4,214,338 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
For what it's worth, a friend of mine tunes cars for a living and I don't mean he changes spark plugs. He ran some back to back tests on his personal Corvette and found that using Shell gasoline he baselined his Vette at 478whp. His next fill up he switched to Lukoil and re-dynoed. He found he had to pull the timing back several degrees to prevent detonation and could only manage 457whp. That is a 21whp loss simply through a gasoline change in a highly tuned car. If you have a performance or turbo car, you really should be using "Tier One" fuel to ensure optimal operation.
Dude, everyone in NJ tunes with Sunoco!
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Old 04-19-2010, 08:36 AM
 
14,777 posts, read 34,490,118 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveArmy View Post
Dude, everyone in NJ tunes with Sunoco!
While that was true a few years ago, Ultra-94 is getting harder and harder to come by and is pretty much non-existent when you travel. This is what in part prompted my friend to start testing other blends as all of our cars had been tuned on 94 and a couple local stations had stopped carrying it. We found there wasn't much power loss between the 94 Sunoco and 93 Shell and that 93 Shell outperformed 93 Sunoco. It seemed like the best bet was to tune for 93 Shell as it is readily available and easy to get.

The biggest tuning headache right now is Ethanol content. All of the blends can contain "up to" 10% and if you are tuning for every last drop of power you can actually experience some power loss and detonation filling up with the same gas from the same station as the ethanol content may have changed with a new fuel load being delivered. Obviously the solution is to find the peak and then back off the timing and/or boost a bit to give consistent performance regardless of the blend.
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Old 04-19-2010, 08:51 AM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
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Thanks for the clarification. I've been using 76 or shell for years now.
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Old 04-19-2010, 10:15 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
10,750 posts, read 25,521,951 times
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I tend to use Chevron as a first pick, but not because the gasoline offers any distinct advantage, just that the stations are more convenient. After that, I will use Shell, since they're the next most convenient. ETA: I do, however, tend to use the Tier One 90% of the time, since it's sometimes difficult to find certain stations when traveling.
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Last edited by bmwguydc; 04-19-2010 at 11:03 AM..
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Old 04-19-2010, 10:31 AM
 
Location: San Diego
2,858 posts, read 6,200,239 times
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The difference between gas stations is what they put into the gas. All stations get gas from the same location but the preservatives after the fact usually input by the driver is what people pay more for. I've always used Chervon when I want good gas. Since you need premium, I'd suggest getting a Costco or Sams Club card. Check if they have gas stations at the ones near your home since not all of them do. They are typically 10 cents cheaper for 87, might be more for 91 but I don't pay attention to it.
I know you don't have Arco in your area of the nation but whatever is similiar to Arco, stay away from it.
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