You should use Top Tier Gasoline

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"What brand or grade of Gas should I put in my car?" or "My car is running rough at idle, maybe it needs a tune up." I am confronted with these statements daily.

Your car runs on gasoline, the manufacturer and its engineers specifies what grade and minimum octane rating of your car. Your car was  engineered and programmed accordingly. Not all gasoline are the same. You get what you pay for principle applies.

A penny saved at the gas station will cost you ten dollars at the repair shop next week.

Since the minimum additive performance standards were first established by EPA in 1995, most gasoline marketers have actually reduced the concentration level of detergent additive in their gasoline by up to 50%,  leading to carbon deposits on fuel injectors, intake valves, and combustion chambers, which can have a big impact on in-use emissions and driver satisfaction.

Many gasoline retailers provide fuels with lower-quality additive packages that can build up deposits on fuel injectors and on intake valves.

When deposit control additives are not adequate in gasoline, harmful deposits can build up inside the engine:

* Fuel varnish deposits that form inside the injectors restrict fuel delivery and cause the engine to run lean. This may cause lean misfire, rough idle, hesitation, poor fuel economy and increased HC emissions. A lean fuel mixture also increases the risk of detonation and pre ignition. These deposits tend to form during the heat soak period that occurs after the engine is shut off. The shorter the trips and the more frequent the drive cycles, the faster these deposits buildup.

* Deposits that form in the throttle body can reduce airflow through the idle bypass circuit affecting idle quality and smoothness. These deposits are formed by fuel vapors that rise up through the intake manifold.

dirty intake valves
 Intake valve deposits from gasoline that does not contain enough detergent

 

* Deposits that form on the intake valves can restrict airflow through the intake ports, causing a loss of high speed power. The deposits can also act like a sponge and momentarily soak up fuel spray from the injectors. This disrupts the mixing of air and fuel causing a lean fuel condition, hesitation and reduced performance. Deposits can also cause valve sticking and valve burning. Intake valve deposits are formed by normal combustion byproducts, but may build up more rapidly if the valve guides or seals are worn and the engine is sucking oil down the guides.

* Deposits that form inside the combustion chamber and on top of the pistons increases the compression ratio of the engine and the octane requirements of the fuel. Too much compression can cause spark knock (detonation) if the fuel's octane rating isn't high enough. Over time, detonation can damage the head gasket, piston rings and rod bearings if it is not controlled. The knock sensor will detect detonation and tell the computer to retard spark timing. This will take care of the knock, but retarded timing also increases fuel consumption and emissions.

A build up of carbon deposits inside the combustion chamber also increases the risk of hot spots forming that may cause engine-damaging pre ignition. The hot spot ignites the fuel before the spark plug fires, causing a sharp rise in combustion pressure. Under extreme conditions (high rpm and load), pre ignition can burn a hole right through the top of a piston!

Six of the world's top automakers, BMW, General Motors, Honda, Toyota, Volkswagen and Audi recognize that the current EPA minimum detergent requirements do not go far enough to ensure optimal engine performance. They developed a TOP TIER Gasoline standard requirement.

These automakers have raised the bar. TOP TIER Detergent Gasoline help drivers avoid lower quality gasoline which can leave deposits on critical engine parts, which reduces engine performance. That’s something both drivers and automakers want to avoid.

Most car manufacturers have issued special service bulletins advising their dealers of this issue.

Just remember, you will spend at the repair shop a lot more than what you are saving at an inexpensive gasoline station.

The retailers known to be on the TOP TIER list are shown below.


QuikTrip
Chevron
Texaco
MFA Oil Co.
Conoco
Phillips 66
76
Entec Stations
Shell
The Somerset Refinery, Inc.
Kwik Trip / Kwik Star
Aloha Petroleum
Tri-Par Oil Co.
Turkey Hill Minit Markets
Mileage Stations