Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0


4 posts in this topic

I recently purchased a new automobile and the automobile will run on E85 or gasoline. The manufacturer recommends minimum of 91 octane so in order for me to get the BEST results for the cleanest gasoline and the least amount of wear and tear on my engine gasoline I have been searching the internet for information about gasoline and where to find it. Here are some of my results.

TOP TIER Detergent Gasoline


TOP TIER Detergent Gasoline Retailers

Gasoline retailers must meet the high TOP TIER standards with all grades of gasoline to be approved by the automakers as providing TOP TIER Detergent Gasoline.

In addition, all gasoline outlets carrying the brand of the approved retailer must meet the TOP TIER standards.

Additional gasoline retailers are added to the TOP TIER list as they meet the standards. The retailers known to be on the TOP TIER list are shown below.

TOP TIER Gasoline Retailers:







Entec Stations

MFA Oil Company

Kwik Trip/Kwik Star

The Somerset Refinery, Inc.


Aloha Petroleum

Tri-Par Oil Company





What is Top Tier?



'Top Tier' gasolines and clean machines

Now that BMW, General Motors, Honda and Toyota have dubbed certain gasoline brands "Top Tier" products, should other gasoline marketers and distributors pursue that designation for the product they sell?

The "Top Tier" program was established by the four automakers as a voluntary program to identify oil companies that provide a higher level of detergency that is designed to help prevent deposits on intake valves and fuel injectors.

But not everyone is pleased about the program. Tom Osborne, director of communications for the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers, told NPN MarketPulse, "We are disappointed at the way the standards were arrived at. We believe the right approach is a consensus standard. The gasoline market is already sufficiently Balkanized without making it more so."

Osborne recalled, "A few years ago the EPA adopted a mandate for additives." He said it was arrived at by consensus, with participation by automakers, government, environmentalists, refiners and marketers. That approach is preferable, Osborne said.

However, SIGMA will present a speaker from General Motors to address the subject of "Top Tier" designations during the society's annual meeting in New Orleans in November. (For information about that meeting visit

The society's members will make their own decisions as to whether they want to be participants in the "Top Tier" program, Osborne said. The society has scheduled the session in New Orleans because "our members want us to provide information so they can make a decision as intelligently as possible."

Meanwhile, those whose gasoline has been designated "Top Tier" are wasting no time marketing it as such. When NPN MarketPulse called QuikTrip on Oct. 1, the phone system included a tongue-in-cheek message to callers, delivered in a sonorous voice by an announcer who said, in part:

"If you're not using QuikTrip gasoline with the spanking new "Top Tier" rating there's something seriously wrong with you. Seriously. This co-dependency on engine drama probably goes back to childhood. ..."

ConocoPhillips, which also received the designation, ran a half-page advertisement announcing it in the Oct. 1 edition of USA Today, and will run another in the paper Oct. 8, said Al Kosley, a spokesman for the oil company.

"We've been promoting fuel quality since the beginning of the year in a number of different ways, through radio and outdoor," Kosley said. "The 'Top Tier' designation will definitely be something we'll want to emphasize."

In a press release, ConocoPhillips noted that "Top Tier Detergent Gasoline" requirements exceed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's minimum level of gasoline deposit control additive performance. "We feel it will give our marketers and dealers a distinct advantage in the marketplace," said Mark Harper, president of ConocoPhillips U.S. Marketing.

ConocoPhillips introduced "Quality PROclean Gasolines" early this year. The gasoline additive, which is available in all three grades, already exceeded the "Top Tier" requirements that were later established, according to the oil company.

ConocoPhillips utilizes a network of marketers and dealers operating approximately 13,300 outlets under the Phillips 66, Conoco and 76 brands. ConocoPhillips owns and operates approximately 330 retail sites.



On May 2, San Ramon Calif.-based ChevronTexaco announced that it would be it would be blending its Techron additive, a staple of the Chevron brand, in gasoline at its Texaco stations, in all grades of gasoline, in both the United States and Latin America.

The shift from Texaco's Clean System 3 additive is to take place during the summer months of 2005. This is the first step in a global campaign focused on introducing Techron throughout the company's global markets. Subsequent Techron launches are planned for Asia, Africa, Pakistan and Europe taking place later in 2005 and on into 2006.

The ChevronTexaco marketing network supports approximately 25,700 retail outlets — including those of affiliate companies — in nearly 90 countries. The move to Techron in all ChevronTexaco gasolines will be supported at both the retail locations, through point-of-sale material, and through various media campaigns.

At a time of higher gasoline prices and a stronger consumer focus on price, ChevronTexaco is banking on the power of the brand and a reputation for quality to drive its marketing efforts. The company sees this as being important in both domestic and international markets.

"We're positioning our ourselves as offering unsurpassed quality in all our gasoline grades, and we will be pushing that message in all markets we're in," said Danny Roden, vice president for North America Marketing for ChevronTexaco. "We see this as a great opportunity, particularly with our first move into Latin America where the Texaco brand is extremely strong. I think we see this as differentiating premium products from some of the other operations that maybe focus more on price and may not have the additive quality to protect an engine the way we can with Techron."

Promoting gasoline quality had faded in recent years, with Chevron and Amoco (now BP's Amoco branded gasoline) standing out as notable exceptions. There is now broader interest among the majors in returning to that traditional value proposition with Shell's V-Power offering and ConocoPhillip's Proclean Gasolines. A cornerstone of these efforts has been the Top Tier Detergent Gasoline criteria set by Honda, General Motors, Toyota and BMW to promote a level of fuel quality that would make it easier for those companies to meet rigid emissions standards. Chevron gasoline with Techron was the first to meet the criteria, though Shell, ConocoPhillips and a variety of others soon followed.

Finally From

In the November 2005 issue of BMW CCA’s Roundel magazine, there was a fantastic article written about gasoline and what you’re really pumping into your car each time you fill it up.

So what do you really put into your car each time you fill it up?

From a chemical standpoint, gasoline is simply a mixture of hyrdocarbons, with the most widely known of these being octane, ya know, that 87 or 93 number you see on the yellow sticker at the gas pump.

Does it really matter which octane rating (or number) you really select? Most certainly. The octane rating is “nothing more than an index of a motor fuel’s ability to resist knocking or pinging, so called for the sounds that the engine may make. Knock is also known as pre-ignition,” explains Doug McGregor, an emissions compliance engineer for BMW NA. “It’s what happens when the combustion process occurs too early, when there is not a gentle rise in the combustion process… Engine knock at it’s worse can seriously damage an engine.” Not good at all! This happens when the fuel/air mixture ignites before the spark plug fires, often as a result using a low octane rated gasoline, which is ignited by heat and compression. Hence the reason you see race cars using gasoline with an octane rating of 110 or higher; their engines are operating at such high RPMs and generating so much heat, they need a higher octane rated fuel to prevent knocking. [1]

So is 93 octane really just 93 octane? Not at all, “there are no fewer than seventeen different formulations for fuel mandated by the EPA for clean air and health standards for the lower 48 states.” One of the main differences is the Reid Vapor Pressure, or RVP, which varies from lower levels in the summer, to higher levels in the winter. The RVP value measures the volatility of gasoline; hence, a higher number in the winter for helping to deal with cold starts. [1]

Ok so is 93 octane at Shell better than say, 93 octane at Joe’s Shady FastGas? Actually, no. All gas in your neighborhood comes from the same common distributor, often only one distributor per metropolitan area (NYC actually has two). The distributor doesn’t care where it gets its gas and doesn’t draw any distinction of how it gets it.

But how does Shell claim their V-Power cleans your engine if all gas comes from the same place? “Simple: gasoline is blended with additives required by each retailer when their trucks are loaded at the terminal.” [1]

These additives are usually just detergents to prevent deposit buildups in the engine, helping it to run clean and efficient. The levels of detergents are mandated by the EPA, but many automakers feel these requirements are too low. So these automakers, including General Motors, Toyota, Honda, and BMW AG, along with a handful of fuel retailers created the Top Tier Gasoline program.

“This voluntary Top Tier program requires that its members sell gasoline—in all grades, not just the highest octane—that provides a much higher level of deposit control than the EPA-mandated levels.” So this means Joe’s Shady FastGas in Memphis has to meet the same standards as Shell in San Diego. “This quality is important. Fuels that do not control deposits effectively will eventually lead to such conditions as clogged fuel injectors, along with dirty valves and other intake parts, a recipe for poor fuel delivery. Poor fuel delivery can result in misfires, which are essentially combustion cycles that don’t combust properly—if at all. This means a loss of power and a decrease in fuel efficency, as well as greater exhaust-gas emissions as the unburned fuel mixture passes directly through the engine.” [1]

So who are the Top Tier retailers? The most known are Chevron, Shell, QuikTrip, Conoco, Phillips and 76. Not a big list, huh? Stringent requirements for being part of the Top Tier program keep participating companies to a minimum.

That’s great, but I don’t usually buy gas at those places, what can I do? Well at a minimum, I would use a can of BG 44k at least every 6 months to clean your engine. One expert BMW technician in Alexandria told me that he puts in a can of LubroMoly Jectron Fuel Injection Cleaner every other time he fills up! I would say this would only be needed if you were really going with cheap gas with very low amounts of additives. If you’re continually buying Top Tier gas, then a can of BG 44k or LubroMoly every few months would be sufficient.

So with some background information I can conclude that a person should find a reputable gas company that they trust in providing gasoline that exceeds the minimum requirements for additives in order to mantain and lengthen the logevity a vechicle's engine? What are your experiences with same or different brands of gasoling that you put in your vehicle and does it make any difference?

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have bought cheap stuff from a superstore for my Peugeot whenever possible. The rest of the time, I've been using Shell.It has 223,000 miles on a totally original engine.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

    You don't have permission to chat.
    Load More