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Somebody Else's XT
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14,437 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My outback XT turbo is more sensitive to gasoline quality than just about anything I have driven previously.

I try to feed it top tier fuel, and I do believe in the benefits of good fuel with lots of detergent to keep the valves clean.

So far I've noticed a very strong negative correlation between gas stations that sell top tier fuels and gas stations that discount the gas for loyalty club members. In other words, the discounts are almost always on fuel not recognized as having enough detergent additive to be sold as top tier. It makes sense to discount the inferior product generally speaking, so there is some sense to it.

Most of my miles in the XT were in the northeast and mid-Atlantic. Curious if any of you have seen different.
 

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'14 Subi OBW, '18 Subi Forester
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1,920 Posts
Stop-&-Shop in my area has it's Gasoline Points program with Shell, a Top Tier (maybe the top of the top in terms of grams of detergent per gal) fuel.
 

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2009 2.5i, H4, Auto.
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838 Posts
One thing to keep in mind is that due to EPA laws, all the gas in one area comes from the same depot. The gas itself is the same, no matter where you buy it from. The difference is the additives that are mixed in when they fill up each individual tanker. Those additives, including detergents, are what makes the difference between Chevron and Costco.

I don't notice a major difference between brands. I go for what is convenient and reasonably priced. The 3 cent discount at Sam's Club is not with driving across town to save $0.45 on a $50+ fill up. Filled up yesterday, 14.6 gallons at $3.509/gal.

For me, I have more issue with individual stations than brand. When I lived in Brucey's town, there was one BP station that regually gave me trouble with water in the gas, but the BP on the other end of town would be just fine.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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our Costco 'claims' to have 5x the cleaning additives required and I notice no difference in either our Outback nor my WRX.

I THINK Kroger's reward system is tied to Shell as well as their own fuel retail systems but not sure. It's a tiny discount anyway but.....
 

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2013 Outback 2.5i Premium
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232 Posts
I think that the entire tier system (that was developed by a few brand name gas companies and only is published by them) is as much a hoax/marketing scheme, as many other, similar product promises by marketing people. If there would be a large difference/really an advantage, Consumer Report would have picked up on it, and done some testing and reporting on it.
I cannot recall that Consumer Report has done this!
 

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Somebody Else's XT
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14,437 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Oh the top tier website and "business alliance" is absolutely a marketing thing, no question there...

Just that it seems to me that they're on to something. I can't claim that it works perfectly, but I'm impressed by the corellation.

USA gas is a top tier member, but the one USA station in town regularly has the worst gas.

I'm not seeing a major difference in MPG, just a slightly smoother idle and a touch more responsiveness.

I never use the loyalty discounts anyway, so I'm already predisposed to go to gas stations which don't have them in the first place. I'd rather pay for better fuel than subsidize fuel I'm not using.
 

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129 Posts
i use either chevron or costco gas. I can not tell a difference except for the price. gas mileage is the same. Put Arco and the gas mileage goes down about 8-10 %
 

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2013 Outback 2.5i Premium
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232 Posts
i use either chevron or costco gas. I can not tell a difference except for the price. gas mileage is the same. Put Arco and the gas mileage goes down about 8-10 %
Could the reason for this be a healthy dose of ethanol in the gas?
 

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129 Posts
Could the reason for this be a healthy dose of ethanol in the gas?
in my area there is ethanol in all gas. at first i thought it was fluke, but after a few tanks of alternating brands, it was real.

The 10-15 difference in price between arco and chevron, is more than offset by the better gas mileage of chevron.

Now if i am close to a Costco, i fill it up there as the price is a lot closer to Arco
 

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2011 Tacoma TRD Sport Double Cab Long Box
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Price Chopper's program is good at Sunoco stations, and their prices are about on par with other stations anyway so that's where I normally go. I think Sunoco is pretty decent, but then again my H6 isn't picky unless I feed it 87--it's not too thrilled with that, feels like I'm driving an H4 Outback.
 

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2007 OBXT Limited, 5MT 148K
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420 Posts
Usually, I ignore the cheap Costco gas and just buy Chevron but today there was $0.30 difference per gallon.
 

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2013 Outback 3.6L Limited with EyeSight
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Chevron, ExxonMobil, or Shell = better MPG and engine performance.
 

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05 OBXT Limited
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In the MD, PA, VA area I notice that Shell, Royal Farms, and often Wawa stations have decently priced and well preforming fuel. My 05 XT is running almost consistently at 23-24 mpg after some Techron and removing the ski rack!
 

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2015 Forester XT Touring w/EyeSight
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I live very close to a Sam's Club, so I usually buy my gas there.

I just filled up the Outback XT (91), Van (85), and Tundra (87) at Shell, just to see if I notice any difference.
 
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