Gasoline Brands - Not all are alike

Page 1 of 2  
Are you guys aware that Honda recommends only using "Top Tier" gas in their cars? Same goes for Toyota, BMW and GM. It has to do with the amount of detergent additives. Here's an excerpt from Car and Driver
magazine.
"Gasoline is gasoline whether you're in Florida or California, right? Wrong. There are different concentrations of elements like sulfur, for example, that change the chemical composition of a batch of gasoline. Since it's not known what causes these deposits, gasoline retailers can't be penalized for selling defective fuel. So to keep the deposits from forming in the engines, you need detergents added to the fuel. But how do you know which brands have the right kinds of detergents and additives to keep your injectors clean? Until recently, that was a tough question to answer, but in 2004, representatives from BMW, General Motors, Honda, and Toyota got together to specify what makes a good fuel. They called their agreed-on standard "Top Tier" and published it for the various gasoline retailers to voluntarily meet. So far, eight companies currently sell gas that meets the Top Tier standard."
If you want to see the entire article, go to http://www.caranddriver.com/features/columns/c_d_staff/larry_webster/your_car_is_a_temple_so_put_in_the_good_stuff_column /(page)/1
In my research on this, I read somewhere that when the federal govt. adopted minimum standards for gasoline, some vendors dropped their standard to meet the federal minimums. Around that time, the Top-Tier designation arose.
I just checked with the service manager at my local Honda dealer. He was definite in his endorsement of using only Top-Tier gas.
There are some who don't think much of this "top tier" designation, but if the auto manufacturers are recommending this, I'll listen to the experts. Times have changed, and so I guess has the old notion that "all gas is the same".
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

http://www.caranddriver.com/features/columns/c_d_staff/larry_webster/your_car_is_a_temple_so_put_in_the_good_stuff_column /(page)/1
The link pretty much repeats this post. Links in the link lie. There seems to not be a www.toptiergas.com Park you mouse on that link and IE will tell you it really points to caranddriver.com. No info on gasoline. Looks like some bogus PR to me.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yeah, it's disappeared--archive.org knows, and there's a Wikipedia entry.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Top_Tier_Detergent_Gasoline
http://web.archive.org/web /*/http://www.toptiergas.com
I don't know why the web site disappeared.
Anyway, fact: Shell gas was cheaper for me to run than grocery store gas in an older car I drove. Does that extrapolate to all Top Tier gasolines? I don't know.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Technically, it hasn't really disappeared. The DNS table still has an "A" record for www.toptiergas.com at 69.20.125.210.
The site might just be down temporarily, I don't know.
Interestingly, toptiergas.com is a domain registered by General Motors Corporation.

I've really wondered about the whole "Top Tier gas" thing.
I know Honda is one of the proponents, but I can't help wondering if it's 1) marketing, or 2) part of a "belt and suspenders" approach to emissions warranty-claim avoidance, or something else.
I even called Imperial Oil (ExxonMobil's Canadian subsidiary) to ask why they don't offer a "Top Tier" grade, and received no real answer.
However, last time I checked, "Top Tier" fuel standards required the use of a certain amount of ethanol; gas with less than that was ineligible for "Top Tier" rank. ExxonMobil uses as little ethanol as possible.
--
Tegger

The Unofficial Honda/Acura FAQ
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Hmm on that last point. I thought that ethanol was bad for many cars, or at least certain rubber components. I remember in our '96 cars seeing the warning to not use more than 10% ethanol and that the E85 cars have to have some serious mods to them (else why make the big deal).
--

- dillon I am not invalid

"Jimmy, I'm sorry your girlfriend turned out
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Bionic Man wrote:

http://www.caranddriver.com/features/columns/c_d_staff/larry_webster/your_car_is_a_temple_so_put_in_the_good_stuff_column /(page)/1
Hmmm, No kidding, Eh?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

No. I'm not kidding. I'm glad that some here have apparently done some additional checking and I see that some here don't believe the "top- tier" pitch. That echos what I've found when I tell my friends. Some want to know more, others outright dismiss the notion that all gas is not equal.
There is good reason to be skeptical, EXCEPT that the manufacturers themselves RECOMMEND Top-Tier gas. Now, that COULD be due to a clandestine marketing agreement between auto manufacturers and gasoline retailers. BUT, if that is the case, wouldn't there be some advertising? For example, I heard that FORD recommends only BP gas. In fact, that recommendation is printed right on the Ford gas caps. That clearly sounds like a marketing agreement to me.
I'm not trying to convince anyone here to buy Top-Tier gas. Instead, I offered some at best "important information regarding proper car care", and at worst "much ado about nothing". From what I've read here so far, there is nothing to convince me of the latter.
Too bad there is so little information on this at least potentially important topic. I'll stop back here from time to time to see if there is anything new. In the meanwhile, I'll pay for the piece of mind and limit my cars to Top-Tier gas.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

That's for sure.
To me, the whole thing smells faintly "off". Maybe it's all perfectly above-board, but the relative lack of information (and participation) after five long years has me wondering.

www.toptiergas.com is still down. Very weird.
ExxonMobil gas is not rated as "Top Tier" likely only because the "Top Tier" standard requires more ethanol than Exxon is willing to use. Even if Exxon fuels had more effective detergents than anybody else, you'd never know, since they don't qualify for consideration in any case.
And what about Valero? Valero is America's largest gasoline refiner, and they even operate their own retail stations. They're not "Top Tier" either.
What makes me more curious than anything else is why, after five years, have Ford, Chrysler, Subaru, Suzuki, Mazda, Nissan, Hyundai, Mercedes, and Volkswagen/Porsche/Audi _not_ jumped on the "Top Tier" bandwagon?
--
Tegger

The Unofficial Honda/Acura FAQ
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

In Chicago (maybe all of IL) all gas has 10% ethanol including Mobil. For what it is worth, I had an '86 Integra that ran on regular gas. After years of filling up at mostly one Mobil station, the car developed a knock on acceleration. I believe that this was caused by carbon build up in the head/valves. This is exactly the problem that more detergent is intended to remedy.

Certainly right to be skeptical of anything big corporations do. The one thing that makes me think the Top Tier designation is legit is that by accounts it is a published standard that any fuel company could choose to meet.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Who publishes this "standard"? ISO? ANSI? SEMA? SAE?
And, to quote a pretty neat movie, "if everyone's special, no one's special".
--

- dillon I am not invalid

"Jimmy, I'm sorry your girlfriend turned out
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 25 Jun 2009 14:31:39 -0500, Dillon Pyron

It is described in detail at the top tier site. It is their standard but it references ASTM methods.

In this case, not everyone chooses to be special. In any event, their is no indication that the standard requires payment of any licensing fees which is the real issue.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

the site is back up.
I'm pretty sure all grades of gas must meet Top Tier standards for the brand to get Top Tier approval.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

FF. Safari. Opera. Chrome.

--

- dillon I am not invalid

"Jimmy, I'm sorry your girlfriend turned out
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In article

no, it's not. They've mapped toptiergas.com to AC Delco's site.
still no sign of the actual toptiergas.com content...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

It appears back to normal. No connection to AC Delco's site.

Very little info at all, except that VW now appears to be part of the consortium. But still not Ford, Chrysler, Subaru, Suzuki, Mazda, Nissan, Hyundai or Mercedes.
--
Tegger

The Unofficial Honda/Acura FAQ
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

huh, still AC Delco's site here.
I'll wait for the router tables to update, I guess.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

What IP address were you getting?
toptiergas.com is 69.20.102.218 acdelco.com is 170.224.60.163
Both are registered by GM, though...
--
Tegger

The Unofficial Honda/Acura FAQ
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

well, that's what my lookup shows.
Hang on, let me try my virtual XP machine.
Nope. So it's not a local cache, it's a remote cache or a router problem.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

OK, get this:
http://toptiergas.com goes to ACDelco's TechConnect
http://www.toptiergas.com goes to Top Tier Gas.
whatever.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.