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Thread: What's the Difference Between Regular and Discount Gas?

  1. #1
    Ridin Dirty dom's Avatar
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    What's the Difference Between Regular and Discount Gas?

    I know some people swear by certain name brand gas stations.

    Then I know others, like myself, that purchase gas anywhere.

    Is there a difference between the name brands of gasoline?

    "Tutto nello Stato, niente al di fuori dello Stato, nulla contro lo Stato "
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    All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Ken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dom View Post
    I know some people swear by certain name brand gas stations.

    Then I know others, like myself, that purchase gas anywhere.

    Is there a difference between the name brands of gasoline?
    If it is like over here then, yes, there are differences between brands. It all depends on the blends they use. Also the grade standards quoted at the pump are the minimum that the supplier guarantees. Depending on how the cracking/blending process goes the gas may 'just' meet the standard or easily exceed the standard. I buy my gas from one local station, usually fill up when the tank is half full, and it is very rarely that I get any anywhere else. It suits my car, what more could I ask.

    Ken.
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  3. #3
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dom View Post
    I know some people swear by certain name brand gas stations.

    Then I know others, like myself, that purchase gas anywhere.

    Is there a difference between the name brands of gasoline?
    Yes, absolutely.

    Some brands have more than mandatory minimum additive package (or different additives). Also, some brands have higher octane premium (Sunoco), which may matter if you have a vehicle that needs the higher octane brew.

    But in my opinion the thing that matters most is getting fresh fuel. Old gas that's been sitting in an underground tank for weeks/months (possibly getting contaminated with water/other stuff) is bad news. Avoid out-of-the-way stations that don't get much business for this reason. Buy gas at places that are very busy; they will have the freshest gas.

  4. #4
    Senior Member DonTom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dom View Post
    Is there a difference between the name brands of gasoline?
    Just the price. It's often the exact same gas, just the discount places get it from various places instead of the same place each time.

    In other words, your discount gas can be from Shell one week and Exxon the next, or whatever. It's just that you don't know which, but who cares? It's the same octane rating, the additives might be a little different ech week, which might be a good thing anyway.

    So use the cheap gas as often as you want.

    -Don-

  5. #5
    Ridin Dirty dom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom View Post
    Just the price. It's often the exact same gas, just the discount places get it from various places instead of the same place each time.

    In other words, your discount gas can be from Shell one week and Exxon the next, or whatever. It's just that you don't know which, but who cares? It's the same octane rating, the additives might be a little different ech week, which might be a good thing anyway.

    So use the cheap gas as often as you want.

    -Don-
    I've always had a sneaky suspicion this was the case.

    "Tutto nello Stato, niente al di fuori dello Stato, nulla contro lo Stato "
    -Mussolini
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    Senior Member DonTom's Avatar
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    Not only that, IMO, cheap gas is often, if not usually better.

    But . . .

    Be sure to check to octane rating, some places use 85 instead of 87 for regular gas--this is a common trick in NV around Reno. Perhaps in other high elevation places too. If you're going to stay up at high elevations (above 4,000 feet) , it's probably okay to use the 85 in a car that's designed for 87. The reason I say the cheap gas is better is that the cheaper gas stations usually sell more gas and therefore it's often a lot fresher than in the more expensive stations.

    But don't waste your money at expensive gas stations if the octane rating is the same as the more expensive gas.

    There is NO WAY that you can buy the gasoline without the necessary additives.

    -Don-

  7. #7
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    A customer at a previous job was a petroleum distributor in Georgia. I asked them one time if there were differences, and what they told me was that there's only one or two pipelines from the refineries in Louisiana and Texas to the southeastern US. To get the various petroleum products there (gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, home heating oil, kerosene, etc) they run either a plastic plug or a water slug between them in the pipe.

    On receipt, they take the portion of the product that was in the middle, between the separators, and sell it to the major oil companies (because they are willing to pay for purity). The parts at the ends, just on either side of the separator, they sell to the "Cheap Joe's Gas and Bait" places, because they don't care if there's a little bit of jet fuel or diesel or water mixed in with it.

    The major gas companies (Exxon, BP, Sunoco, Shell, etc) will add their own chemical packages to the basic gas, which they say will give you better mileage and/or keep your injectors clean, etc.

    I buy my gas at either a major brand station, or at Costco, whichever is convenient.

    Chip H.

  8. #8
    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dom View Post
    I know some people swear by certain name brand gas stations.

    Then I know others, like myself, that purchase gas anywhere.

    Is there a difference between the name brands of gasoline?


    Most of the time, just the price. Large companies like Shell do have a particular blend but most gasoline is the same. The main difference is the amount of alcohol in the gasoline. It can be anywhere from 0 to 15%.
    Honk if you love Jesus.

    Text if you want to meet him.

  9. #9
    Senior Member DonTom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiph View Post
    A customer at a previous job was a petroleum distributor in Georgia.
    How long ago was that? I doubt if they will allow such here (as water or other stuff mixed in ) in CA because of the smog requirements.

    I have read at a cheap gas station where they get their gas from, that explained it right there in writing. And the only differences was the name, it can be a different brand every time but always the exact same gas as one (or more) of the major names. Few of us use the same gas each time from the same oil company anyway, so that mixing shouldn't be a bit harmful, and perhaps even beneficial as it's good to vary the additives.

    I have heard that these cheap places "bid" for the best deal they can get from anywhere, not really caring where from and that's the main reason they can get the lowest prices.

    In CA at least, the octane rating must be on the pump. Also, it has to have to correct additives for the seasons in CA, etc. It would probably even be even more expensive if they could not use the exact same gasoline as the major names.

    -Don-


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    They were in Savannah, so the area wasn't (at the time.. don't know about today) subject to heightened pollution checks on the cars.

    Outside California, you often only need a pollution check if you live in either a high population density area, or if the weather conditions in the area cause atmospheric inversions that concentrate auto exhaust. In the rest of the state, the cars only need a safety inspection, if that.

    Chip H.

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