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pappy19 10-26-2011 07:03 AM

Gasoline brands-interesting thread
This was in a gasoline thread on the Ford truck forum and I thought it was interesting.

Originally Posted by ********
I run 87 Oct. I usally use either Mobil, Chevron and Shell. I prefer Mobil but look for the others if mobil is not around. I would like to use BP. but we do not have it here. BP is suppose to be oil not from the middle east. I got news for you and all the others. First of all, I haul the stuff for a living. Second, ALL the major branded (and some of the nonbranded Racetrack, Speedway, etc) gasoline is now blended with ethanol, anywhere from 10% (E10) up to 85% (E85) ALL the major brands have their own mix of additives blended into the gasoline at the loading rack. You may [i]think[i] you're buying Chevron's gas made by Chevron, (or take your pick of other companies) but everyone loads from a common loading rack(s) where the rack has multiple storage tanks for each brand's additives. So you want to buy BP only fuel ? Good luck with that. You're not likely going to get BP made gasoline, unless the station is on a BP refinery parking lot. Even then, it could have come from anotherr refinery. Stations and marketers buy based on the price of the day, whatever loading rack has the cheapest price, that's where EVERYBODY gets their gas from that day (with very few exceptions) If a Chevron marketer can get his fuel (blended to Chevron's specs and additives) cheaper from a Citgo refinery, that's where he'll buy it. Bottom line is, buy your gas whereever you choose, wherever you think you'll get the best gas with the best mileage, but don't ever think the gas you're buying was made by that particular company, cause it probably wasn't. Here in south Louisiana, there are about ten loading racks owned by as many oil companies (and pipeline operators) and the ALL sell each others blend of fuel. And there are another half dozen refineries that ship their fuel via pipeline exclusively to other parts of the country. One I personally know of sold ALL their production to Goldman-Sachs simply so Goldman-Sachs could play the market with in New York and New Jersey. All that aside, Chevron, Texaco and Shell have the best additive blend, all the others are inferior, Exxon-Mobil included. Some of the crappiest gas I've ever seen came from an Exxon-Mobil refinery and was dumped into a Pilot Travel Centers truck stop tank. The temperature of the fuel when you pump it also has an effect on your mileage. Those high volume stations ? You know, the ones who sell 4 loads of fuel a day ? Well their tanks have just as good a chance of having water in their fuel (actually better than average as some of the water comes with the fuel from the loading rack) as anyone else does, but the bigger drawback (in the summer months mostly) is that fuel was (if it came straight from a refinery) loaded hot (temp wise) and never got a chance to cool down in the storage tank and you likely got that same hot fuel as you pumped it into your vehicle. Hot fuel is less dense as cool fuel is, so as a result, you get less fuel than that from a station that's not a high volume dealer. Fuel pump suction pipes are raised about 8" off the tank bottom, and the driver regularly checks the stick for water (if he's doing his job right) so a low volume dealer is actually less likely to have water in his fuel than one that moves a bigger volume of fuel does.

casa3805 10-26-2011 07:22 AM

I think most of what he says is probably true. But I would challenge one part. Not all gasoline has ethanol added. There are a few gas stations that still sell ethanol free gas. I buy from one here in Corpus christi. and it makes a huge difference in small engines like lawnmowers, weedeaters, etc...My neighbor swears it increased his gas mileage in his truck. I see no difference myself in.mine. But I probably did not give it a fair chance since it is about 17 cents more per gallon.

pappy19 10-26-2011 07:36 AM

Living next to all those refineries in Corpus Christi is a real advantage in obtaining ethanol free gasoline. Most places don't have that choice.


SteveH 10-26-2011 08:07 AM

I know the OP is right about everyone getting fuel from the same place. I used to work for a company that delivered gasoline via pipeline from Corpus Christi to here in San Antonio. From there it was trucked to the various gas stations in the area, all from the same tank. Like the OP said, each brand of station had their own blend of addatives, and that was the only difference.

casa3805 10-26-2011 08:15 AM

Try Ethanol-free gas stations in the U.S. and Canada for a list of ethanol free gas stations. I see one in Garden valley Idaho overlander. I don't think it has anything to do with our refineries myself. yep, it all starts out the same, but ethanol is an optional additive.

CanoeStream 10-26-2011 09:25 AM

Gas with ethanol is pretty normal in corn producing states. But no way it's 10-15% unless specifically labeled on the pump. That's because ethanol is still more expensive per gallon and the price for E85 is artificially low because of subsidies.

I've got some vintage unused bottles of HEET on a window header out in the garage. Stuff is 95% denatured alcohol and intended to pull moisture from the bottom of the tank up into solution and otherwise deal with winter frost condensation on headspace walls inside the gas tank. I haven't had to use any HEET since some EtOH in gas has become the norm around these parts.

So ... water in gas is an issue principally, 1.) if you use EtOH-free gas, and 2.) live in a climate that's cold enough to condense atmospheric humidity inside emptier gas tanks. Yes, the old strategy on the latter always was to not let your tank get much below half a tank. Any Arizonans saying "As if!" yet?

About 20% of the corn crop goes to EtOH production and that demand has made farmers happy with better prices. There's still not 3 of corn in a box of your favorite cereal. Supply limits and price rises have about ensured that E85 will be a small and only regional player in vehicle fuel markets. And on top of that, E85 has 10% less energy content per gallon than straight gasoline (ie, mileage will drop).

Skater 10-26-2011 09:42 AM

Ethanol has a lower energy per unit compared to gasoline, so in theory you would get lower gas mileage/less power out of a car using ethanol over one on strict gasoline. For 10% ethanol blends, it's probably not noticeable though.

The topic of different brands comes up on the car forum I'm on now and then. I always say that I buy the cheapest gas around and I've never had a problem, and this is in cars that are 12 years old, 7 years old, etc. I do occasionally throw some BG44K in, but that's pretty much it.

dznf0g 10-26-2011 10:45 AM

Guys & Gals,

Here's the easy way out of this argument.

Top Tier Gasoline

These Well respected automakers had their fuels and lubes engineers set standards and test these fuels regularly. If it don't hurt their stuff, it ain't gonna hurt your stuff.
Use these brands regularly and you'll be fine. Ethanol is really a moot point unless:

your vehicle is older than mid 1980s;
We're talking very wet environments (boats);
concentration is above 10% (flexfuel capable vehicles excluded);

I know ethanol is relatively new for you west coasters, since MTBE was banned, but I fear you're falling for all the old mythology that we easterners have dealt with for decades now. The fouling of fuel systems has little to nothing to do with ethanol, but, rather to do with the final blending done AT THE END OF THE PIPELINE by the branded companies. The final cleanliness, octane, detergent packages, etc. is done there.

Use All this, of course is IMPO. Been living it for almost 30 years.

withidl 10-26-2011 11:13 AM

I worked for Texaco for 28 years, the first 7 years in dealing with retail service stations, the last 21 years in the Texaco Lubricants Company. I agree with most of what the OP says except that the fuel is sold at “net 60 degrees F”. What this means is that the density of the fuel is calculated back to what its density would be at 60 degrees F. If memory serves me correctly the retail fuel dispensers are temperature compensated such that the billing for the amount that is dispensed is the same as it would be at 60 degrees F, so there should not be any cheating taking place. Additionally, the states have inspectors who periodically check each dispenser for accuracy and leave an inspection sticker on the dispensers where all can see.

pappy19 10-26-2011 07:11 PM


Originally Posted by casa3805 (Post 1063932)
Try Ethanol-free gas stations in the U.S. and Canada for a list of ethanol free gas stations. I see one in Garden valley Idaho overlander. I don't think it has anything to do with our refineries myself. yep, it all starts out the same, but ethanol is an optional additive.

That's a real interesting site. There are only 2 gas stations in Garden Valley, Idaho, one Chevron and one "unmarked" as I never knew it was a Sinclair and I hardly ever filled up at the "Merc" gas station. Now I know where to find a no-ethanol gas fill. Thanks!!


PS-How will I know if they are liars?

casa3805 10-26-2011 08:52 PM


Originally Posted by pappy19 (Post 1064241)

PS-How will I know if they are liars?

You probably never will Pappy, but like I was saying earlier, my neighbor swears his gas mileage has increased by several miles per gallon. He uses the mid level gas in a 2010 Tundra 4 X 4. And if it really does do that for us it may be worthwhile, especially when towing... And some folks down here are starting to test the fuel with kits like this. I doubt I will take that leap but if they post 10% and test at 20% then maybe we do need to pay attention.
Ethanol Fuel Test Kit -AFTK1500D

We also had a brand new Honda Civic Hybrid ( I think it was an 09). It left my wife stranded on the road twice due to problems the dealer specifically related to the Ethanol in the gas. We got rid of it because it does not matter to me what the problem is if it is leaving my wife stranded on the road. But that would indicate to me the ethanol has a bad effect on newer vehicles as well.

I am sure the corn growers are happier, but not sure this is the best way to go. And when you are on the road, finding an ethanol free gas station right when you need it, would not be easy.

perryg114 10-27-2011 07:26 AM

Ethanol is a lose-lose scenario for the consumer. It is terrible for fuel systems especially for anything that sits for long periods of time. The Ethanol blends with water which is good if you drive your car every day. But if it sits for a while the Ethanol attracts water and acids form that will eat metal tanks and aluminum parts. Also now you have a polar solvent in your tank that provides a path for electrolysis. The Ethanol attacks rubber parts that are not designed for Ethanol use and reduces the life of rubber parts that are. The fill hose on my Ranger cracked and leaked as a result of this. This is a $400 part from Ford for a truck that is worth $500. I have also had motorcycle fuel system parts ruined by this stuff.

Ethanol costs more to produce than it is worth and it does seem to hurt gas mileage worse than the 1% or so you would expect from reduced BTU content. The reduction in gas mileage is more like 10%. Your food prices are now going up as well because farming capacity is being eaten up with government subsidized ethanol. Ethanol is not self sustaining. If it were not for subsidies this fuel would not exist. We should be burning natural gas or propane instead of Ethanol. We have lots of natural gas domestically.

One of the rally cries for ethanol is that it is cleaner burning. Since it takes more E10 per mile than real gas it is probably a wash. When you figure the total impact on the environment ethanol causes much more pollution and depletion of natural resources than burning gas. The EPA is not doing all the math just the parts that make them feel good about ethanol and the politics behind it. Ethanol makes money for farmers and politicians and you and I get screwed.


ROBERT CROSS 10-27-2011 07:37 AM

Great post Perry!!

Plus it sure makes a NASCAR race boring...everyone running out of likker at the end. :sad:


perryg114 10-27-2011 07:48 AM

Well you know that NASCAR started with a bunch of moonshiners like Junior Johnson. Burning ethanol is a waste of good hooch. I have heard that the Ethanol subsidies are going away so maybe we will have more ethanol free gas stations in the future. There are a few around here but none that are pay at the pump. It would be nice to get 10 MPG while towing instead of 9 MPG. I can dream at least. Now where is my tequila?


P.S. My truck ate my Tequila and now I am living in a twinky shaped beer keg.

perryg114 10-27-2011 07:55 AM

For a look at the future of ethanol go to South America where they slash and burn the rain forests to grow sugar cain to make cheap ethanol. They have cheap fuel but at a tremedous cost. When the farm land and rain forests are all gone no more ethanol.


ROBERT CROSS 10-27-2011 08:00 AM


Those subsidies can't disappear fast enough for me!!
The korn fuel is a real problem in the boat, makes every outing an adventure.
Had to add a a fuel/water separator last Season.


Kosm1o 10-27-2011 08:05 AM

Not to mention that producing ethanol is making food prices rise as an un-intended consequence. The sooner this thing of subsidizing anything ends, the better.

slowmover 10-27-2011 09:26 AM


Originally Posted by Kosm1o (Post 1064465)
Not to mention that producing ethanol is making food prices rise as an un-intended consequence. The sooner this thing of subsidizing anything ends, the better.

The taxpayer support and costs of the fast food industry via subsidies is past irrational, it's purpose is to make a few rich at a high expense to the rest of us. Using food for fuel is beyond the pale.

Thanks to the above for the links and the info.

noreen&sal 10-27-2011 02:22 PM

I sometimes wonder how much fuel for the farm equipment to plant, cultivate, fertilize, harvest etc. Also, ive heard of it destroying fiberglass fuel tanks in boats. Sal.

Ag&Au 10-27-2011 03:58 PM


Originally Posted by REDNAX (Post 1064492)
The taxpayer support and costs of the fast food industry via subsidies is past irrational, it's purpose is to make a few rich at a high expense to the rest of us. Using food for fuel is beyond the pale.

Thanks to the above for the links and the info.

That seems to be the purpose of almost everything that goes on now days. :(

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