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Old 08-11-2011, 09:42 PM   #1
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Top Tier Gasolines

The MPG on my 2006 Saturn Vue (V6, non-AWD, 63K miles) I use as my toad has gone down over the past 3 or 4 months. Still cranks and runs very well with no missing detected. Went to a shop that I trust and had them run some diagnostics including computer scans, fuel pressures, spark plug condition, etc and they found everything within specs with no problems diagnosed.

Talked with the shop owner about the results they came up with and his only thoughts would be possibly a fuel system cleaning and change of spark plugs but told me he didn't feel those things would make much if any difference. He did recommend that I try several tanks of a Top Tier gasoline ( Top Tier Gasoline ). I've read and heard about the Top Tier for a little while now but haven't really thought much about it. Anyway I have started using gas from the TT retailers and I think it is going to help. Actually, I first noticed the MPG drop-off when Sam's Club opened their fuel station here in town and I started getting about a 2-3 MPG reduction then even with different brands my MPG stayed low. I have run 3 tanks through as of this afternoon with the first tank (mixed driving) showing a fair little increase, the second tank (about 90% road miles) giving me about the highest MPG ever and the 3rd tank (mostly in town) the MPG was low again but maybe not quite as low as before starting to use TT>

Anybody else had experience with Top Tier Gasolines....good or bad? Anybody know if ALL retailers (stations) of a Top Tier brand...ie Chevron, Texaco, 76, etc have Top Tier gas or can individual stations determine whether or not they pump TT or not? At a lot of stations, it is useless to even ask the people (cashiers) at the station as you only get THE look and a "Huh" 'cause they usually have no idea at al as to what you are talking about.

Will appreciate any and all experiences, thoughts, etc.
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Old 08-11-2011, 10:27 PM   #2
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I don't know of any Top Tear stations in Washington State. I guess my question is what octane were you running before and what is TT octane?

I have never heard of a brand of gas that will increase mpg, but have read that octane on a high performance engine can make a difference. Try a couple of SeaFoams in your tank and see. If you have 63K and it has never been tuned up I would try that.

JMHO
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Old 08-11-2011, 10:40 PM   #3
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I never paid attention to that. The Motorhome drinks, what it needs according to my driving pleasure. The Golf Diesel (60 MPG) makes up for it, when the Bay Star wants too much.
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Old 08-11-2011, 10:58 PM   #4
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From the info I have read online, the Top Tier brands are not any different in octane ratings. Still regular at around 87, mid around, 89, etc.

Actually the Top Tier has a higher concentration of cleaners in it than other fuel. From what I can determine, it is the Chevron Techron detergent. The Texaco I filled up with this afternoon had a label on the pump saying it contained Techron. Since a bottle of Techron locally runs about $7 or a little more (treats 15 gallons) and the Top Tier brands of the 87 octane which I always run in my Saturn is usually only about 3 or 4 cents higher than the 'cheap' fuels from Sam's, etc, I think I will probably keep trying the TT gas for a while to get a good feel for its effectiveness.

I have used Sea Foam for many years in boats, vehicles and many small engines from weed eaters, mowers, Honda generators, etc with great success. I can usually 'decarb' an outboard by using a pint of Sea Foam in a gallon of gas and running it straight into the outboard for about 15 or 20 minutes, shut down for 15 or 20, repeat then run it on the regular boat fuel tank to 'blow it out' a bit and have that engine running and cranking better than it had in years. It is a miracle fluid but does cost around $10 locally so it is a bit pricey to use as an additive to the gas tank on a regular basis if the Top Tier fuels work and only run about 3 or 4 cents per gallon more than the Sam's Club and independent brands.

Check out the link in my first post to the Top Tier Gasoline to see the brands that have agreed to measure up to their standards.
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Old 08-11-2011, 11:00 PM   #5
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First, my 'business' is related to the quality of engine performance. I manage a smog test and repair shop in southern Calif.

Been diagnosing & fixin cars for 45 years. Racing, restoring, rebuilding, etc.
I recommend getting to a shop that can perform some of the services using BG Performance products.

BG Products, Inc.

I have SEEN good results. My cars, trucks, & motorhomes included.
(I've owned 59 of them so far, and 23 motorcycles).

I've seen the 'before & after' results inside the engine cylinders using a borescope (camera on a bendable stick) Borescope - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Also, good gasoline REALLY makes a difference. I have seen deposits build up on spark plugs, piston tops, & injectors, all from crappy fuel.

Around here its the little 'no-name' stations, and Walmart, Sam's Club, & Costco.

That's why I quit buying all those & ONLY buy Chevron (1st), Shell, Texaco, 76, Exxon.

I'm a fanatic....if my engines miss a beat, I'm on it.

2 wks ago, my Nissan 4x4 started running crappy. What the heck ???Every thing physical checked out fine. I ran down that tank of gas I had bought at a new place here in town, then I went to my usual Chevron & filled it with premium....within the next 40 miles it ran perfect again.

Good fuel matters, diesel too !
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Old 08-11-2011, 11:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by awarnes View Post
If you have 63K and it has never been tuned up I would try that.

JMHO
Arnold
That's basically what I was asking with the shop that did diagnostics on my Vue.... "anything wrong that I can correct to help out with my MPG". And when the shop who stands to make a couple of hundred dollars on the deal tells me I'd be throwing my $$ away, I tend to believe them. They scanned the computers, ran fuel pressures and checked a couple of the plugs (saying they looked like new).

If this trial with the TT gas doesn't get positive results over time, I'll probably go on and do a 'tune up'...at least as one is known with today's vehicles.
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Old 08-11-2011, 11:13 PM   #7
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me300ce,

Thanks for your input. I value the reply from one with experience such as you have in the industry.

The BG products you mention are great products. I have used them in the past and know of several shops in town who use them. The one I went to for diagnostics uses them exclusively and the cleaner he said he would use (in addition to new plugs) if I wanted him to was the BG product. But, his recommendation was to try the 'good' gas (Top Tier) for a while to see if that wouldn't bring my MPG back up. The brands you mention are all in the Top Tier camp.

Thanks again.
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Old 08-12-2011, 08:08 AM   #8
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Wife has an 08 Suburu. Over a period of time, using different brands of gas, I began to notice that her dash computer/GPS/etc showed that when using premium top grade gas that she was getting noticeably better mileage. I confirmed it by checking it out the old fashioned way with pencil and paper. We then quit using Sams/Walmart and other cheap gas and find that the car runs better, misses less and we gained about 2 mpg. I have also noticed that the same effect appears in my 02 F250 diesel pickup. Unfortunately Velero appears to be one of the worst and of course it is the closest and most convenient to our home. Oh well! Good luck to you!
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Old 08-12-2011, 08:23 AM   #9
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When my particular configuration of BMW motorcycle (2007 BMW K1200GT) was introduced to the U.S. with a new design high output (152 BHP from ~73 cubic inches) water-cooled slant 4 engine, driveability problems began developing within a few months. These included stalling when the throttle returned to idle position, rough running, stumbling, etc. After months of investigation, the BMW techies in the motherland determined that the problems were related to injector and throttle body deposits caused by lower quality (relative to Europe) U.S. gasolines.

The immediate fix was a stout dose of Techron concentrated cleaner in the fuel tank by the dealers and a recommendation to use only Top Tier fuels. Longer term, some ECU programming and design changes were made to make the engine more tolerant of lower quality fuels. I never had any problems with my bike because, unless in an extreme emergency situation, I only fueled up at Chevron stations, and their Top Tier fuels were already dosed with Techron.

Some engines may admittedly be more tolerant of intake system deposits, but they certainly are not going to be immune to loss of efficiency (and fuel economy) as deposits build up on the intake valves, etc.

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Old 08-12-2011, 08:33 AM   #10
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Instead of worrying your self about getting 'top tier" gasoline's, instead look at the label on the pump. If it says something like "contains XX% ethanol" or some other such words, there is your problem. Most gas today contains some form or another of ethanol and your fuel economy will be about the same percentage worse as the percentage of ethanol in the gas tank. Still have never figured out how getting lower fuel economy can be better for the environment? Or is that another false theory put out by the environmental wacko community??
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Old 08-12-2011, 08:51 AM   #11
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Instead of worrying your self about getting 'top tier" gasoline's, instead look at the label on the pump. If it says something like "contains XX% ethanol" or some other such words, there is your problem.
Yes, but some of us who live or travel in EPA-designated non-attainment areas have no choice - the EPA requires 10% ethanol in our gasoline as an oxygenate. That's where the additional detergents in the Top Tier fuels can help. The two subjects (top tier fuels and ethanol-containing fuels) are not mutually exclusive. That was one of the big differences between the European fuels and the U.S. fuels that BMW experienced when they brought the bikes I discussed earlier to America.

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Old 08-12-2011, 05:18 PM   #12
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If you're buying regular gas it really doesn't matter what brand. Walmart doesn't make gas, they buy it. All refineries make the same gas.
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Old 08-12-2011, 05:59 PM   #13
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If you're buying regular gas it really doesn't matter what brand. Walmart doesn't make gas, they buy it. All refineries make the same gas.
Additive dosings are unique between brands, however.

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Old 08-12-2011, 06:34 PM   #14
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There are still stations out there that sell ethanol-free gas. Try one of them if it is near.
Ethanol-free gas stations in the U.S. and Canada
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