Is Top Tier Gas a
by Tony Medley
I was General Counsel
for an oil company for several years. Basically they marketed gasoline.
Although I never got into engineering or anything like that, one thought
was paramount when gasoline was discussed, “gas is gas.” Everything else
is marketing. Here’s what one internet commentator said, and I agree
Oil companies spend
lots of money explaining why their gas is better than the competition’s.
Chevron’s gas, for example, is fortified with “Techron,” and Amoco
Ultimate is supposed to save the planet along with your engine. But
today more than ever, one gallon of gas is as good as the next.
True, additives help to clean your engine, but what the companies don’t
tell you is that all gas has them. Since 1994 the government has
required that detergents be added to all gasoline to help prevent fuel
injectors from clogging. State and local regulators keep a close watch
to make sure those standards are met; a 2005 study indicated that
Florida inspectors checked 45,000 samples to ensure the state’s gas
supply was up to snuff, and 99 percent of the time it was. “There’s
little difference between brand-name gas and any other,” says AAA
spokesperson Geoff Sundstrom.
What’s more, your local Chevron station may sell gas refined by Shell or
Exxon Mobil. Suppliers share pipelines, so they all use the same fuel.
And the difference between the most expensive brand-name gas and the
lowliest gallon of no-brand fuel? Often just a quart of detergent added
to an 8,000-gallon tanker truck.