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Old 09-14-2012, 11:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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ML350: Costco premium vs top tier gas

I normally fill it up with Costco 93 octane premium gas while I do my groceries shopping. Today I ran out of gas and had to refill at a Chevron. The car seems to feel livelier with more power and faster pickup running on Chevron premium with Techron. I'm wondering if it's placebo effect. Has anyone compared Costco and top tier gas? I've heard the gas is the same since they all come from the same source. It's just the addictive chemicals that are different.
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Old 09-15-2012, 02:03 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I have used Chevron almost exclusively for the past seven and a half years in my Honda Ridgeline truck because it is the only gas station for ten miles of my home. It is always a dime or even more a gallon more expensive than the food store discount gas in "town", if you want to call it a town. I live pretty far out and go to the Chevron only because it is close. However, I must say I never had a bit of trouble or knocking and that is using only their lower grade in the truck.

Since buying the ML, I have used the Chevron premium grade (93 oct.) and have also had very good performance. I am certain that quality control of gasoline by top tier manufacturers is better than the bulk gasoline delivered to places like food stores, Sams and Costco. It may be the same gas used by the top tier brands sometimes but you can bet it is not going to be as consistent. I have heard Tecron is a very good additive and although they probably don't put enough in the gas to make a whole lot of difference in cleaning, it still should help some. You won't get that with cheap gas.

We are paying a lot of money these days for premium gas no matter where we buy it and the difference between Chevron and the discount places can't be more than about .20 a gallon. Considering what we paid for this car that is not even worth worrying about.
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Old 09-15-2012, 09:43 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by air4matic View Post
It's just the addictive chemicals that are different.
Are those chemicals in the tank or the driver?
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Old 09-15-2012, 10:17 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I used Chevron Supreme 93 octane in all my cars until they pulled out of this area. I have never had any fuel system issues in any of these cars. Now my only options for top tier fuels are Exxon and Shell and I stick with those.

Another thing is MB only approves 2 fuel system cleaners and one is Chevron Techron Concentrate. I still use that religeously every 3000 miles in all these cars.
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Old 09-15-2012, 10:44 AM   #5 (permalink)
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"Top Tier" is a marketing gimmick. A salesman observed some brands have higher detergent levels than others and has found a way to collect fees from oil companies by getting manufacturers to recommend (but not mandate) his Top Tier trademark.

The EPA mandates minimum detergent levels with which your engine has to be able to run the 8 years or 100,000 mile Federal emissions warranty, or Mercedes-Benz has to fix it for free. All EPA testing is performed using this minimal spec fuel.

As for "peppy", log your MPG. Literally, write down every fuel purchase, source, price, gallons, odometer, trip meter, etc. It takes about 5 tanks from one source to get a good measure for comparison. If you get better MPG with Chevron and its cost per mile is better than others, then by all means continue to use Chevron.

If you can not measure a benefit/advantage then it doesn't exist.

The Trip/Fool Computer display is only good for relative comparisons. M-B has done something funky as RESET on mine always starts at 25 MPG so I'm still questioning its benefit for relative comparisons.
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Old 09-15-2012, 11:16 AM   #6 (permalink)
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all fuel comes from the same depot and the same tanks, they just get different additives so the Gas companies can make commercials. buy from a busy station, like Costco to ensure fresh fuel...
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Old 09-15-2012, 03:01 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Sure, if all things are equal and over time - yes, Techron can make a difference.

Acutally it's a unique chemistry and patented as well.

After you have continued to use the same fuel over-and-over again - it doesn't take much of a change either objective or subjective - for a dedicated enthusiast to "fee" a change in performance.

Depending on area - fuel formulations can vary very widely from week-to-week, and even major differences day-to-day - so hard to "freeze frame" comparisions.

I liked Techron addititive, swore by it for years in both my gassers and my diesels - but frankly on additive I have forsaken Techron for Stabil Blue - in large part to recover from the effects of the increased ethanol in the system.

That's my 2 cents.... keep the beat !
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Old 09-15-2012, 04:45 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Sure, if all things are equal and over time - yes, Techron can make a difference.

Acutally it's a unique chemistry and patented as well.

After you have continued to use the same fuel over-and-over again - it doesn't take much of a change either objective or subjective - for a dedicated enthusiast to "fee" a change in performance.

Depending on area - fuel formulations can vary very widely from week-to-week, and even major differences day-to-day - so hard to "freeze frame" comparisions.

I liked Techron addititive, swore by it for years in both my gassers and my diesels - but frankly on additive I have forsaken Techron for Stabil Blue - in large part to recover from the effects of the increased ethanol in the system.

That's my 2 cents.... keep the beat !
To add to what Fabris wrote, the killer of gas mileage is ethanol in fuel. Here in Southern California, some can be as high as 10% of volume.

I've used Shell V-Power for years in my race cars with no problems at all.
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Old 09-15-2012, 08:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
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all fuel comes from the same depot and the same tanks, they just get different additives so the Gas companies can make commercials. buy from a busy station, like Costco to ensure fresh fuel...
However there is considerable variation in exactly what each station orders. And not all areas serve all stations from the same source.

Ethanol and the brand-specific additives and detergents are added at the last minute as the delivery truck is loaded.

There are two local station brands I don't trust, Kangaroo and Exxon. When your dirtbike no longer likes the 93 octane from a station then something is wrong. Gasoline from other sources fixed that problem so Kangaroo fell off my acceptable sources list. Exxon runs fine, only 10% hit on MPG.

I haven't found similar likes/dislikes with diesel but for Murphy Oil Co (Walmart). Took my F-250 to Arkansas initially filled with Kroger diesel. Got 14 MPG when I filled with Murphy the next two times. Got 12 MPG on Murphy diesel. And my home Kroger diesel cost less than Murphy/Walmart.
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Old 09-15-2012, 08:41 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Ethanol is now a major gas component in almost all states - as much as 15% - fuel treatment to preserve fuel tank sensors and maintain the fuel injection simply make sense - wish North America would adopt EU standards we couldn't even get to enjoy ULE for gas engines..
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