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 gas stations with the best quality gas include:
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?
Top 5 Gas Stations with the Best Quality Fuel
This 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 is also a Kirkland Signature product, which carries even more promise.
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.
READ MORE: Why Is Costco Gas So Cheap?
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 additives, including 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 a talking car.
However, the important part is what’s behind the fuel. 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 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.
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 one is the right choice 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 in turn means more power.
Regular gas has an octane rating of 87, while anything above 90 is considered to be Premium. 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.
Do gas brands matter?
Yes! Different gas companies use different types of gasoline, and each type of gasoline has its own unique set of additives and chemicals. So, the type of gas you put in your car can make a big difference in how your car runs. Top Tier gasoline is specially formulated to be cleaner and to run more smoothly than other types of gas.
Is premium gas really worth it?
There is a lot of debate over whether or not premium gasoline is worth the extra cost. The truth is, it depends on your car and how you drive it. If you have a car that requires premium gas, then using regular gas can actually harm your engine. However, if you have an older car that doesn’t require premium gas, using it won’t do any good and you will just waste your money.
Does premium gas clean your engine?
Both yes and no. Premium gas sometimes has detergent additives that can help clean the engine, and it can prevent it from building up dirt and sludge inside of the engine and fuel system. If your engine is already very dirty or has build-up, premium gas isn’t going to magically clean it.
Do different grades of gas make a difference?
The type of gas you use can make a difference in your car’s performance. Lower-octane gas is appropriate for most vehicles. Upper-octane gas, on the other hand, is needed for high-performance vehicles that require higher compression ratios.
It’s worth noting that using a higher octane than what’s recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer won’t necessarily improve performance.
To find a gas station with high-quality gas, you should look for gas stations with the Top Tier brand. This ensures that service stations adhere to a variety of performance standards.
Some of the Top Tier gas stations with the best quality gas are Shell, Costco, Mobil, Chevron, and Sinclair. There are also other gas stations with the Top Tier badge, but these are the most common.
The octane rating, additives, and cleaning agents all play a role in keeping your car’s engine running smoothly. Some gas stations offer higher-quality gas with different additives than others, so it’s important to do your research before filling up. The next time you’re looking for a place to fill up, keep these tips in mind and choose one of the top five options on our list. Your car will thank you!