It may actually make a difference what type of gasoline you put into your vehicle. At least four major car manufacturers think it does.
News on 6 consumer Reporter Rick Wells says perhaps he is just a cynic, but he always thought gasoline is just gasoline and the rest, the differences was just good marketing. Then he read that GM, Honda, BMW and Toyota rate Quik Trip's gas as one of only two, top-tier gasolines in the country.
The Magellan gasoline terminal in west Tulsa, tanker trucks pull under the rack and load up with gasoline 24 hours a day. A QuikTrip tanker in one bay and a tanker from Flying J Truck Stops pulling in next to it. Picking up a load of fuel from the same place, same gasoline, or so I thought.
Mike Thornbrugh with Quik Trip: "All gasoline is the same no one argues that the difference is the detergent level."
The Environmental Protection Agency prescribes a certain level of detergents in gasoline; they burn cleaner, less harmful to the environment. GM, Honda, Toyota and BMW determined higher detergent level also mean better engine performance. So they created this top tier gasoline standard, only Chevron and QuikTrip made the list. "If you have these types of detergent in your gasoline your car will run better, it will clean your engine and quite frankly we think it's probably better for the environment."
So back to the terminal. The tanks contain the detergent additives; each marketer prescribes his own detergent mixture. So the Quik Trip tanker gets the Quik Trip mix, the Flying J tanker gets something different.
The detergent is mixed in as the gasoline goes in the tanker. The top tier detergent mixture is about 300% higher than the EPA minimum standard. QuikTrips high detergent mixture dates back about 16 years since they started the guaranteed gasoline program.
There may really be a difference in gasolines, nothing wrong with any of them, but at least in the minds of BMW, Honda, GM and Toyota, Chevron and Quik Trip gasoline may perform a little better.