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View Poll Results: All else being equal, does fuel brand affect FE?
Yes, significantly 17 21.79%
Yes, but not by a significant amount 27 34.62%
No, there's no significant impact 34 43.59%
Voters: 78. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-16-2012, 01:02 PM   #11 (permalink)
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A few years ago I was commuting 180 miles a day in a Silverado that got 18MPG so I was burning 10 gallons of gas per day. That can lead to desperation at the pump. At that time Speedway was usually 5 cents per gallon less than BP so I was buying it regularly. I decided to see if the BP was worth the extra money or not. I logged each tank and only compared tanks used only for commuting, no weekend in-town driving. After I had 10 tanks of each I found that the cost of the BP was 1.6% more but the mileage was 8.3% better.

Not all engines respond the same, my Impala doesn't seem to have a preference, at least not that I have found yet.
Interesting.

How long of a period of time was this over? Were there seasonal changes? My logs show about a 1% change in FE for every 2 deg F temperature change. So if you're comparing to different time periods with different temperature that could potentially skew the data.

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Old 10-16-2012, 06:44 PM   #12 (permalink)
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It took about 6 weeks. I alternated between the two brands to allow for environmental issues. In two days I would burn 20 gallons from a tank and then refill with the other brand. It was done in the March / April time frame to avoid the switch to summer gas which is usually in the last half of May. The same daily drive, no changes like filters or oil, but even if I had both would have seen the effect.
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Old 10-17-2012, 12:07 AM   #13 (permalink)
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It took about 6 weeks. I alternated between the two brands to allow for environmental issues. In two days I would burn 20 gallons from a tank and then refill with the other brand. It was done in the March / April time frame to avoid the switch to summer gas which is usually in the last half of May. The same daily drive, no changes like filters or oil, but even if I had both would have seen the effect.

Do you happen to have all those numbers posted anywhere? I'd be interested to see that. Also, any chance that one station was E10 and the other was E0?
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Old 10-17-2012, 12:37 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I traded the Silverado 4 1/2 years ago and the fuel log notebook has long since been re-purposed. It is very possible that the ethanol content was the difference, but isn't that what you were looking for, if there is a difference? All refiners start with the same raw stock and blend in their secret recipe of additives that they think will differentiate them from the rest to gain customer loyalty. Gasoline isn't an element, it is a blend of dozens of compounds in differing ratios.
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Old 10-17-2012, 01:08 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbrowning View Post
I traded the Silverado 4 1/2 years ago and the fuel log notebook has long since been re-purposed. It is very possible that the ethanol content was the difference, but isn't that what you were looking for, if there is a difference? All refiners start with the same raw stock and blend in their secret recipe of additives that they think will differentiate them from the rest to gain customer loyalty. Gasoline isn't an element, it is a blend of dozens of compounds in differing ratios.
I think variation in mileage with variation in ethanol content is fairly well documented. I guess my question was whether people feel there's a significant difference if the ethanol content is the same. In my mind I guess that would have to be due to the additives because, as I understand it, all the fuel goes into the pipelines after refiniing and then there's no distinction of who refined it after that, i.e. if BP puts a million gallons of E0 octane 87into the pipeline, they're gauranteed to be able to suck out a million gallons of E0 octane 87 on the other end, but not gaurenteed that it's the same million gallons--those million gallons might have been refined by Shell. As I understand it, the additives are added after the fuel is taken out of the pipeline.
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My version of energy storage is called "momentum".
My version of regenerative braking is called "bump starting".

1 Year Avg (Every Mile Traveled) = 47.8 mpg

BEST TANK: 2,009.6 mi on 35 gal (57.42 mpg): http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...5-a-26259.html


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Old 10-17-2012, 06:09 PM   #16 (permalink)
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We used to live a mile from a distribution station where the pipeline from TX is tapped and shunted to either a Marathon or Shell distribution station. Various tankers would go to one or the other, load up with gas and go to the various gas stations. After a major spill an article in the paper said that the raw stock from TX was generic. At the two farms additives were added, loaded into the various trucks and sent off. The blend in each truck was supposedly tailored to the customer, ie two trucks, one after the other, could have different mixes.

How true that story is, I can't say. How much difference the additive packages can make, I have no idea. Look for a petro/chemical engineer.
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Old 11-06-2012, 11:18 AM   #17 (permalink)
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You guys are lucky, here in Brazil "half" the gas stations around sell a "mix" that have some gasoline, and God only knows what else along with it... Solvents, water, more ethanol than the regulation (~22% to 24%)... There has been this one time when I put gas V-Power (Shell branded gas station - noting against Shell itself) in my car, and the mileage dropped from 16km/l) to 11, checked in next refuelling. I've noted the bad performance right after leaving the gas station. :-(

Some gas station owners sometimes blend cheaper liquids (solvents or more ethanol) in the gas loads during its way from refinery to gas stations, and sell this piss as regular gasoline. The law enforcement and authorities monitoring is kinda poor and so us the car owners suffer from this plague.

Imagine that some time ago it was discovered gas station owners that managed, along with the pumps technician, to add an electronic device that, with a command from a remote control, tricked the pump indicator to sell a fuel quantity like 10 gallons - but showing 11 or 12 in the pump indicator ...

The bottom line is that one must try some gas stations and be a regular customer to that one(s) where your car behaves better...
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Old 11-06-2012, 11:56 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Chevron vs. Arco

My reply isn't about mpg, but a mechanic years ago told me that Chevron has the best quality gasoline and that he could always tell from a car's engine if the owner used Arco due to build-up. That being said, I buy whatever is cheaper...and that is never Chevron.

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Old 11-06-2012, 12:42 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I use top tier gas. The only stations in my area with top tier are Exxon and Shell.
I have found that the off brands cause my engines to spark knock (detonation/pre-ignition/use your own words).
I have 2 Metrii. They are both 3cylinder 5speed cars. One set up primarily for MPG the other just for daily use.
Off brand fuel gives me approximately 10% less MPG in either car. So, as long as the difference in price is less than 10% ($3.50 as/to $3.25) I am actually saving money.


To address the pipeline statement above;
I have worked for the corner gas station most of my life.
Yes, all of the gas travels in the same pipeline, as does the diesel.
But, it is not all refined the same way, and there is a shuttle (cork/stopper/separator) between runs of fuel.
The off brand fuel is the 10,000 gallons before and after the shuttle to keep the bleed through from getting into the brand name fuel.
The EPA mandates what 95.5% of the fuel is made from and how it is formulated. This is how they control winter (to ignite easier and thus it burns shorter) and summer gas. The last 4.5% is left to the manufacturer. This is where the cleaners and additives make the difference. Some are better or more researched than others.

To me this makes a difference.
To other people it does not.
Some cars may see an improvement, some may not.
My Avalon cared, (but not enough to warrant paying extra)
My Metrii care,
My truck did not,
My sons Pontiac does not,
My daughters Jeep does not.

As with any of the information we receive as anecdotal evidence;
This is my perception and data,
Your Mileage May Vary
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Old 11-06-2012, 01:13 PM   #20 (permalink)
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As ha been stated, it seems to differ vehicle to vehicle. Being from northern Alberta, Canada I drive some pretty wicked winter drives. Bran doesn't matter much as one is either plowing through mother nature's hatefulness or having to warm up vehicles constantly.

Summer driving though seems that brand does matter. My geo doesn't care. My 04 F150 does though! I can see a 2-4 mpg difference in different brands, and had logs to prove it until my smartphone landed in the pool. (Can't be very smart if it hasn't figured out how to swim....?) anyway like I said 2-4 mpg, all highway (same highway) and 500 km one way trips with cruise set at 110 km/hr. It was actually a lesser brand that made all the difference! I think they run a shell variant but can't say for certain.

If I am lucky enough to find a fill station that my vehicles like I cling to it!

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