is there any difference in the gasoline sold by big chain gas stations and little ones?

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I’m wondering about places like Chevron, ARCO, etc., as opposed to the little “Space Age” or “Comet” or other gas stations in my neighborhood. Lately the big chains are a solid fifty cents more per gallon.

In: Chemistry

6 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

National brands have specific, proprietary formulations, especially for their higher grades, which include additional cleansers , lubricants, and filtering. Running these consistently may offer some benefits to engine part longevity. The local stations buy gas on the open market, which could be the same base gas that the others are buying, or leftovers from the others. It’ll all run your car just fine, though.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Use the brand you like. They don’t make a huge difference. Bonis the cheapest imo because they have a large amount of cleansers so let’s say your getting 2% or 1% of your total gallon as cleansers that don’t really power the car but instead prevents carbon build up etc. marketing.

Anonymous 0 Comments

A friend of mine runs a small chain of gas stations here in Spain. Here, by law, everyone (all the gas companies) must buy their gas base from the national provider. This means that everyone starts out with exactly the same base, quality-wise.

I then inquired about the difference in quality of gas between brands and the purpose and value of additives, and he answered this:

Additives -any additive- costs less than the gas itself. So the more additives you add to your gasoline, the less actual gas you get in the end.

Do the math.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Most of the big chain gas stations I know have a [Top Tier certification](https://www.toptiergas.com/gasoline-brands/). Top Tier is supposed to have better detergent performance than the minimum federal requirement, so your engine supposedly runs cleaner. Some cars even recommend Top Tier gas to make sure your fuel injectors stay clean longer.

I’ve run no-name gasoline and Shell/Chevron gasoline in my 1999 car and 2024 car and I’ve honestly noticed no difference in driving or fuel economy. Maybe it makes a difference in the long term?

Anonymous 0 Comments

The government requires certain base additives. All gasoline in your area comes from the same tank farm. After the tanker has filled up with the base gasoline, the additive package that makes it a specific brand is added.

You’ll typically be getting the same base gasoline without the proprietary additive packages.

Anonymous 0 Comments

FWIW this “branded gasoline pricing” doesn’t happen in Canada. I was shocked when I moved down.

I tended to use whatever was cheapest back when I had a gas car, but that was typically ARCO or Costco.