Gas quality

I have a 97 Dakota 318 and have noticed what appears to be a difference in gas quality between brands of gas. When I fill up at Valero or Kroger I get some
'pinging' under hard acceleration but when I use Shell it doesn't seem to do that. Is there really a difference between brands and which is the best?
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The word is that all of the gas stations get their gas from the same refineries and that there is no difference between them for the gas itself. There can be and are differences in the additives that the different brands add to that gas before they sell it that may effect how the different fuels react in your vehicle. Are you starting to use more oil now then you used to? Does your engine idle a little on the hugh side?
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"Electrician" < snipped-for-privacy@xo.com> wrote in message
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says...

I haven't noticed any problems with the idle speed but it does use about a quart of oil every 2-3K miles or so. And that started all of a sudden a couple of years back. But I haven't had any problems with fouled plugs and it passes the state emissions check so I haven't worried about it too much.
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That's what I thought. You have a failed plenum gasket which is causing both your oil consumption as well as the pinging. Eventually, it will probably cause your idle speed to increase which will then set an error code and light the check engine light.
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"Electrician" < snipped-for-privacy@xo.com> wrote in message
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Failed plenum gasket is a problem which seemed to plague the '97's - my Ram 1500 had the exact same problem, but along with many more issues, including a cracked cylinder head right across the #7 exhaust valve seat. I still have the truck, today 99k on the clock.
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snipped-for-privacy@dodgecity.cc writes:

Apologies for following-up my own post, but I forgot something. Finally after replacing both cylinder heads at 80+ K and a number of other mechanical problems with the truck through the years we recently had an attorney-friend of the family volunteer to do a title and records search & found the original (commercial) owner. Although the Car-Facts reports came back clear, our attorney discovered that there had been an insurance "incident report" (not a claim) in late 1997 after the truck was accidentally driven into a swimming pool. This showed up on the original owner's business (shopkeeper's liability) insurance and not on any vehicle insurance policy.
Bottom line, CarFax **DOESN'T** find everything.
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says...

Do you know how big of a deal this is to have it replaced (i.e. how big are the dollars to have a shop do it)? And thanks for your info on this.
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Since I had to do it myself, yes I do. How big of a deal it is really depends on how mechanically inclined you are and what tools you have. It is a bit if work as you have to remove the intake manifold as this gasket is on the bottom of it and this reqiures a fair amount of disassembly on the top of the motor. I would also suggest not just replacing the gasket but to go with a upgrade kit such as http://www.hughesengines.com/partDetail.asp?partID 698 This is the one that I installed on my engine and was amazed with the results. You really don't know how much power you are losing due to this condition or how really lousy your engine is actually running until you make the repair. This gasket is failing for a reason and I believe that it's because the plate that the factory uses is just inferior and the company was more concerned with making a few extra dollars then doing it right ti begin with and this upgrade kit corrects that. After all, it it last thru the warranty period it's no skin off of their nose when it fails. I would suggest getting either the FSM or a Chilton manual for your truck and take a look to see what is involved and if you have any questions, post them here. As for shop costs, I don't have a clue as I just don't use them any more.
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I agree 100%. I did the Hughes plate fix and everything is fine now.
I do however still get some pinging on very hard acceleration but I have the Superchips reprogram and it requires high octane fuel. On that note, I have been paying close attention to which brands seem to do better and so far, I think Shell seems to be my fuel of choice.
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On Jun 5, 9:43 am, snipped-for-privacy@xo.com (Electrician) wrote:

I agree with TBone that it all probably comes from the same place. My Corvette requires high test. It'll ping a little under load with mid grade and it's undriveable on low grade. Thus, it's pretty easy to know what kind of gas went into the tank. I've found a few gas stations that have low grade on all three pumps.
Also found a pump once that managed to squeeze 23 gallons into a 20 gallon tank that wasn't even empty. Go figure.
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On Fri, 6 Jun 2008 14:21:34 -0700 (PDT), The Reverend Natural Light

I've worked at 3 different gas stations in the areas, and yes it does all come from the same place for the most part. We have 1 refinery that all the stations end up getting their gas from for the most part. And if you look closely, you'll find that around here most of them use Dupre' to deliver their gasoline from the refinery to the station. I don't know your refinery's policy, but around here, in order to use Conoco's bulk terminal, you have to own 3 gas stations or more. When Huber Oil filed bank ruptcy and sold all but 2 of his stations, he had to do away with using his own trucks and started using Dupre' to haul his gasoline if I'm not mistaken.... (Been a while since I worked for them). Any way, when looking at the manifest sheets, you can see what refinery they get their gas from. When Connoco's out of Super Unleaded, they usually get it from Citco. If Citgo can't provide them enough super and Connoco's out, then they have to go to this plant near New Orleans.... So while a particular station may alllways get their gas locally, if the refinery isn't producing as much (Very common as they like to hold-back production to raise gas pricese these days) The gasoline drivers must then go to refineries farther away to get the gasoline (and likely charge a higher price), causing a change in the quality of gasoline. I've been told by a driver that the gasoline we use is actually of a very high quality, because it gets pipelined in from Citgo, where its pipelined in from somewhere else.... He mentions that up north, I think near New York, they get their gasoline from a barge, and says that whenever you get the gasoline from a barge, it usually contains a lot of trash in it. Though bear in mind that all gas stations are required by law to have filters on their pumps and get inspected quite often. What is less known though is that some pumps have filters to stop the flow of gasoline if water is present by using a floating plastic ball in the filter. Not all gas stations have such filters! Though it is still not wise to pump gasoline while the gas driver is dropping off gasoline, as his dumping of gasoline stirs up the trash on the bottom of the tanks, which eventually will clogg of the filters and cause the hose to start jerking and eventually not allow you to get gasoline until the filter is changed....
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Thanks for the info.
I'm curious. If the local suppliers are all out of high test, will the driver ever just fill up with midgrade and deliver it as if it were high test? I'm almost positive that happens in my area.
Good advice on not filling up during a delivery. Hadn't though of that. I turn off my oil furnace during and after an oil delivery for the same reason.
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On Mon, 9 Jun 2008 13:15:49 -0700 (PDT), The Reverend Natural Light

There is *no* such thing as mid-grade. There is only the low grade (regular) and premium. Mid-grade is just a blend of the two. Therefore it is impossible to run out of premium and still have mid-grade.

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On Mon, 9 Jun 2008 13:15:49 -0700 (PDT), The Reverend Natural Light

Actually, They don't normally "Manufacture" Mid-Grade gasoline. Mid-Grade Gasoline is a mix of unleaded and super gasoline. Depending on the way the tanks are setup at the station (so far all the stations I've worked at have 3 seperate tanks. The driver will fill up the mid-grade tank by emptying normally 1 chamber of unleaded and 1 chamber of super into the same tank. (I seem to recall that gallon wise, it seems to be more like a 25% super 75% unleaded mix, but don't remember, as we don't have a lot of mid-grade and super deliveries these days....) Some stations only have 2 tanks, Super and Unleaded, and the pumps will mix the gasoline at the pump its self.... When they changed out our "Dispensers" , they mentioned it was like the older dispenser in that it used all 3 tanks. Had they changed the dispenser to one that used 2 grades of gas and mixed it, then we'd only used two of our 3 tanks under ground. (and eventually would have had to have the mid-grade pumped out and sent to another store....) On the subject, there is a couple of other thoughts....
1> When they closed down this gas station in the middle of the worstcrack-slum in the area, the gasoline was pumpped out and distributed to other stores the owner owned. The gasoline driver said he wouldn't get any gas from any of their stations for at least 3 weeks afterwards.... Granted, I used to buy my gasoline from that station, so I had no problems buying it from another station, but he had a good point.... The place usually flooded, and there was a really high chance of getting water in the tanks.... After a station is shut-down, the gasoline gets delivered to another station somewhere.... It could affect another gas station owned by the same company.... What I look for in choosing a station is the quality of their cement.... I learned a long time ago, if you have cracked cement, when it rains / floods, especially older tanks with cracks in the cement can leak water in and cause you to have problems with the gasoline....
2> The other thought is that you said your using Super Gasoline....Bear in mind that at today's prices, few people use Super Gasoline.... Translated, that means that the gasoline you put in your vehichle has been sitting in the tank for probably 2-3 months as compared to the gasoline most people are putting in their cars lasting no more than 2-3 days in the tanks.... Furthermore, if a driver gets gasoline from a trashy source or has trash in his truck, etc. one time, that means it'll take longer for them to get rid of the bad gasoline than if it was unleaded.... Just a thought...

If it works on the same concept as the gas pumps, then I'd have to say also turn the furnace off if you ever run out of oil/fuel for it. You can burn up your motors in the pumps by not turning it off if you run out of fuel, because they'll constantly try to pump gas and never get anything, .... Like leaving your starter hard-wired to your battery and running for a week or so straight continously without giving it a break.... And pumps for gas tanks aren't cheap.... Don't know about pumps for Furnaces.... ;-)
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