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Author: Wotdabny Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 11704  
Subject: Top Tier Gas Date: 9/2/2007 12:55 PM
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So I’m reading the owner’s manual for my car, and it says to be sure to use a quality, detergent gasoline. And I’m thinking: Such as? But they don’t say. And I kind of worry about it every time I fill up after that.

Then I come across a Click & Clack column, in which they say that pretty much all the gasoline you’ll ever buy at every service station is sourced from the same big old tanks of gas at the same refineries, with the primary difference being the additives some brands bring to the party. Change what you add to the gas, and you get a difference in how clean your car’s engine stays over time.

In 2004 BMW, General Motors, Honda, Toyota, Volkswagen and Audi created a new standard, which they call Top Tier, that exceeds the federal standards. To be on the list of Top Tier gas stations, every grade of gas for sale at every gasoline retailer has to meet Top Tier specs. And if you use Top Tier gas all or even most of the time, it is widely expected by the car gurus I’ve since read that you’ll have much less carbon buildup and other junk on your valves, injectors, throttle, and whatnot. Even switching to Top Tier gas for the next 20,000 miles is thought to do a power of good. Although the list will change, and gas stations may in time receive a Top Tier logo that’ll make them easier to identify, here’s the list as of today:

Top Tier Gasoline Retailers:

76
Chevron
Conoco
Entec Stations
Kwik Trip/Kwik Star
MFA Oil Company
Phillips
QuikTrip
Shell
Somerset Refinery
Texaco
Tri-Par Oil Company

Canada:
Petro-Canada
Shell-Canada
Sunoco-Canada
Chevron-Canada

Hawaii:
Aloha Petroleum

The budget station around the corner doesn’t make the list, no surprise, but then again, neither do Exxon, Mobil, BP, Gulf and others.

Car & Driver has some interesting things to say on the topic, as well: http://www.caranddriver.com/article.asp?section_id=27&article_id=9752&page_number=1

List as of 9/07: http://toptiergas.com/retailers.html

Click & Clack: “A Real Gas”. Sunday, September 2, 2007. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/30/AR2007083001430.html

Cheers,
Wot
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Author: dbruce100 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 8535 of 11704
Subject: Re: Top Tier Gas Date: 9/2/2007 2:16 PM
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One thing to note on the "top-tier" gas certification is that most of the time, you need to pay to have your gas or whatever certified. This means the cost of the cert may not be worth the hassle, even if your gas qualifies.

So I wouldn't worry too much if Exxon or Mobile don't qualify.......they may not want to pay the piper for the privilege of the cert.

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Author: MrStockman One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 8539 of 11704
Subject: Re: Top Tier Gas Date: 9/3/2007 8:07 PM
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When gasoline is shipped from the Gulf Coast refineries it's shipped in huge "batches" through the "finished product" interstate pipelines. Valero, Shell, Exxon, Marathon, all make their products to an industry standard in three octanes levels and they own and use the pipeline. Refiner "A"'s product is stored in the same tanks, in transit, as refiner "B","C","D" and "E". It's called "house brand" XX octane.

When it gets delivered to a breakout delivery tank farm the individual refiner mixes in the additives, detergents, color, etc. Then it becomes an individualized product XXXXX's Super Blue 93 octane or YYYYY's Wonder Blend 87 octane. The name refiners use the same product only the additives, color and name differentiates one from the other.

Between huge batches on the pipeline, in between, say, 87 octane house brand and 93 octane house brand a slug of water separates the two products. Very little of the water gets into the product in the batches, this is just pure physics. At transit points there are product/water separators. The separated mix is put into a transmix tank and sold off to companies that re-refine it and sell the result. The same technology applies to oil products, jet fuel, heating oil, diesel, kerosene.

Name refiners and name retailers do not sell inferior products. Some refiners provide exactly the same product to their stations and the rival volume station at the shopping center three hundred yards down the road. The only difference is a few cents a gallon and the "brand" credit card.

I drive a luxury SUV with a sophisticated multi-cam, multi-valve engine, I buy gas at the volume station at the shopping center and if I drive out of the area, I buy at the refiner's station or another name brand. I won't risk an expensive engine repair to save 4 cents a gallon.

It's my money and my investment and that why I'm a longtime participant at the Motley Fool.

MrStockman
retired automation tech
for the world's largest
petroleum pipeline.

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Author: adumbsnail Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 8540 of 11704
Subject: Re: Top Tier Gas Date: 9/4/2007 8:57 AM
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Does anyone know where Wawa stations get their gas from? Would they have a chain-wide contract, or would it depend on the location?

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Author: SRHCB Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 8541 of 11704
Subject: Re: Top Tier Gas Date: 9/4/2007 10:10 AM
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RE: MrStockman, retired automation tech for the world's largest petroleum pipeline: "It's my money and my investment and that why I'm a longtime participant at the Motley Fool."

This is the type of post that makes TMF's Discussion Boards "worth the price of admission".

SB (can't believe MrStockman wasn't on his Favorites List - before today!)

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Author: MrStockman One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 8548 of 11704
Subject: Re: Top Tier Gas Date: 9/4/2007 9:56 PM
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"Does anyone know where Wawa stations get their gas from? Would they have a chain-wide contract, or would it depend on the location?"

I don't know who supplies Wawa, a good guess would be Valero from the refineries they acquired in NJ and DE when they bought Premcor about two years ago. Ask the manager at a couple of Wawa outlets, they may not all know, but a consensus would narrow it down. It would be a single supplier.
MrStockman

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Author: adumbsnail Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 8549 of 11704
Subject: Re: Top Tier Gas Date: 9/5/2007 8:46 AM
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I don't know who supplies Wawa, a good guess would be Valero from the refineries they acquired in NJ and DE when they bought Premcor about two years ago. Ask the manager at a couple of Wawa outlets, they may not all know, but a consensus would narrow it down. It would be a single supplier.
MrStockman


Excellent - thanks!

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