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Interesting topic and one I never really thought about. I'll be curious what the mechanical minded members have to say.
 

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That article sounds like Top Tier is a specific formulation of additives. Here in Australia we don't have anything like that across brands but we have three levels of octane rating. I always fill with the highest available and have learned not to use certain brands if possible, no matter the advertised octane rating.

We used to have lots of independent local suppliers but the conglomerates started buying them up some years ago and we are now dominated by two companies that own most of the market in fuel supplies, supermarkets, liquor stores, DIY hardware, lots of stuff. The few independent suppliers have to buy cheaper bulk fuel in order to compete and it's poorer quality fuel.

When I had a Scout I decided to give the independent guy in the next door suburb a try out. The bike didn't like it at all and ran very badly with lots of misfiring. I ran most of it out on a day's ride and filled with a major brand and the bike was back to normal. It taught me that there is a real difference in fuel quality and the motor suffers for it.
 

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If I have hte choice I use ethanol free 91 octane.

Where I usually ride I'm close to the mississippi river so boaters use that so it will have it's own pump at the station.
 

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The local Chevron station has non-ethanol fuel, but it is clearly marked as a non-Chevron product. I usually run non-ethanol, but lately I've been wondering about the additive package in that particular fuel. I run 10 gallons of Techron treated fuel through my scout before each Oil change and it does improve the idle quality and it also noticeably removes the surging at low speed. I'm beginning to think that ethanol may be the lesser of two evils. But, not for storage-- When Winter comes, the tank will be full of stabilized non-ethanol.
 

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Gasoline that is labeled as "Top Tier" has nothing to do with octane ratings and it has nothing to do with ethanol (as some of the comments above mention). "Top Tier" just identifies that an approved amount of detergent has been added to the gas to help prevent engine deposits on valves and injectors. Most vehicle manufacturers and fuel engineers recommend it.
 

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Gasoline that is labeled as "Top Tier" has nothing to do with octane ratings and it has nothing to do with ethanol (as some of the comments above mention). "Top Tier" just identifies that an approved amount of detergent has been added to the gas to help prevent engine deposits on valves and injectors. Most vehicle manufacturers and fuel engineers recommend it.
Yes, But. My point wasn't about octane rating (anti-knock), it was about 'unbranded fuel' and it's unknown (or non existant) additive package. The point was that you may be better off with a 'top tier' fuel which, as far as I know, has ethanol and the required additives, rather than an unknown non-ethanol fuel. Using non-ethanol fuel, I have to periodically clean my fuel system with Techron. Around here, at least, I have never seen a brand name non-ethanol fuel.
 
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If you don't ever leave your City, then use the top tier. However, if your out on the road, don't get your panties in a wad if you need gas and don't see top tier. Its going to take a hellva lot of gas through your engine before there's any sign of "bad" gas versus "good" gas. Btw, water in gas etc has nothing to do with the quality of the gas, thats a station issue.
 

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I used to work at a refinery and everyone buys the exact same gas. When the tanker pulls away from the filling portal they stop and poor the additives into the tanker then they drive off. And you would be surprised how little additives get added.
 

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I used to work at a refinery and everyone buys the exact same gas. When the tanker pulls away from the filling portal they stop and poor the additives into the tanker then they drive off. And you would be surprised how little additives get added.
The amount of detergent additive required to be effective is very small. A study in 1997 (when the government detergent program levels were established) showed the highest level in regular unleaded gas (in Exxon gas) was 0.02% additive and the lowest level was 0.006% (in CITGO and Pilot). To put that in perspective, a large 10,000 gallon tanker would have between ~ 1/2 - 2 gallons of additive in it. Note that the levels each company uses today is likely different than back in '97.
 

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The amount of detergent additive required to be effective is very small. A study in 1997 (when the government detergent program levels were established) showed the highest level in regular unleaded gas (in Exxon gas) was 0.02% additive and the lowest level was 0.006% (in CITGO and Pilot). To put that in perspective, a large 10,000 gallon tanker would have between ~ 1/2 - 2 gallons of additive in it. Note that the levels each company uses today is likely different than back in '97.
Right, the guy poured a one gallon container into the tanker and drove off.
 

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Yes, But. My point wasn't about octane rating (anti-knock), it was about 'unbranded fuel' and it's unknown (or non existant) additive package. The point was that you may be better off with a 'top tier' fuel which, as far as I know, has ethanol and the required additives, rather than an unknown non-ethanol fuel. Using non-ethanol fuel, I have to periodically clean my fuel system with Techron. Around here, at least, I have never seen a brand name non-ethanol fuel.
I thought Chevron owned the patent on Techron?..

Ethanol is splashed mixed as are the additives... our owners manual says we can go up to E-15... but it also says 91 Octane.. I'm in Ethanol country and it's always 15 - 20 cents cheaper... I only run it when regular premium is not available.. and if your going to Sturgis and head into the Great Plains any Cenex station has Top Tier gasoline you might not find premium but at least you'll be getting quality petroleum...
 

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Oil companies buy fuel from each other and those “no name” stations don’t own refineries, so they buy gas from oil companies. You really don’t know what brand you’re buying, even at a “top tier” station. Just because you're pumping at a Shell station doesn’t mean anything...it might actually be Texaco gas. There‘s only 135 refineries in the US...all our gas, regardless of brand, comes from one of these facilities.
 

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that's exactly true... that's why they splash mix their additives and ethanol...
 

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Oil companies buy fuel from each other and those “no name” stations don’t own refineries, so they buy gas from oil companies. You really don’t know what brand you’re buying, even at a “top tier” station. Just because you're pumping at a Shell station doesn’t mean anything...it might actually be Texaco gas. There‘s only 135 refineries in the US...all our gas, regardless of brand, comes from one of these facilities.
At the refinery in Minnesota where I worked, you could see 5 or more different station brands all buying at the same time and place.
 

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Lots of insight in this thread. It's helpful, thanks!
 

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Brand name gas stations that are independently owned can buy gas from any supplier, and they usually do. If you want chevron with techron the only way to guarantee that is find a station that is owned by Standard Oil.
BTW I traveled 2,000 miles in Mexico and ALWAYS bought there cheapy gas and the RM ran like a champ.
 
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I used to work at a refinery and everyone buys the exact same gas. When the tanker pulls away from the filling portal they stop and poor the additives into the tanker then they drive off. And you would be surprised how little additives get added.
Bingo - give that man a cigar!
 
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That article sounds like Top Tier is a specific formulation of additives. Here in Australia we don't have anything like that across brands but we have three levels of octane rating. I always fill with the highest available and have learned not to use certain brands if possible, no matter the advertised octane rating.

We used to have lots of independent local suppliers but the conglomerates started buying them up some years ago and we are now dominated by two companies that own most of the market in fuel supplies, supermarkets, liquor stores, DIY hardware, lots of stuff. The few independent suppliers have to buy cheaper bulk fuel in order to compete and it's poorer quality fuel.

When I had a Scout I decided to give the independent guy in the next door suburb a try out. The bike didn't like it at all and ran very badly with lots of misfiring. I ran most of it out on a day's ride and filled with a major brand and the bike was back to normal. It taught me that there is a real difference in fuel quality and the motor suffers for it.
As a fello aussie agree always use 98 in every vehicle I own and never the E-10. Am curious which brands you avoid though and why.
 

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I have never had access to gas without ethanol my entire life. I live in a town of 20,000. I'm sure that at sometime during my 30+ states of travel there was stations that had it, but I never made a point of looking.
 
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