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recommended fuel

kiaikiai Posts: 4
edited March 2014 in Toyota
I own a 2003 toyota camry le,4-cyl,auto transmission.Would you recommend using "Costco" fuel to be used in the camry?Also, I have Techron Fuel Injection Cleaner.When should I start using it?


  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    is sourced just like everything else out there - they just buy it right, then subsidize the cost to lower the price for Costco members - through your membership fees.

    No biggie for me.

    Skip the fuel injection cleaner - huge waste of time and money. If your injectors ever get to look like those on the bottle, that little bottle of stuff in a tank of gas isn't going to help you.
  • kiaikiai Posts: 4
    Are the additives in the "Costco" fuel have good quatlities like Techron?
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    additives like Techron - they all have detergent qualities.

    Techron is just a patented name that the oil company uses for advertising purposes. If Techron-loaded fuel was so danged good, no other oil companies would be selling gasoline -

    All the hype about additives, using premium when your car can't even "recognize" the additional octane - all advertising gimmicks designed to increase profits.
  • tbonertboner Posts: 402
    is a pretty good fuel system cleaner. Probably one of the most convincing arguments is the Michigan automakers truck the stuff in for the vehicles they send for EPA certification. (I know, more marketing hype, but probably has some meaning.)

    However, you know the argument about Techron only if it were so good falls flat for two reasons.

    1. The first I'll call the McDonalds effect. MickyD's sells lots of burgers, but they certainly are not the best burgers on the market. The are convenient, and inexpensive. For many folks, that is good enough to win their buck. Besides, you've been in the carbiz long enough to know that for some people, price is the only factor in sales, this is true for a "commodity" like gasoline.

    B. Chevron isn't in every market. They don't sell fuel in the St. Louis area, for instance, so you can't say.

    I know the fuels are basically generic gasoline, and what makes it "Chevron" gas is not the refinery, but that bottle of additives they pour in the tanks as the generic gasoline is added.

    I can say that I was a bit disappointed the the Chevron-Texaco merger didn't bring Chevron stations in the St. Louis area. Texaco gas stations are in a seperate marketing company with Shell. (I forget the name of that company right now.)

    For the original poster, pretty much any station that does a high volume business will have quality fresh gasoline. In most cases, premium fuel is not needed. Some premium fuels claim to have higher detergent contents, but I couldn't tell you if it is really worth purchasing periodically.

    If your car runs well on regular (usually 87 octane) then run it on that and sleep well at night.

    Besides, if your car gets 5% better fuel economy on 91-93 octane, but that fuel is 10%+ more expensive, you really aren't saving anything.

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    is a good fuel injector cleaner, I believe.

    I wouldn't waste my money buying it for a brand new car though. When it was older, I might add a bottle of Techron every five fill-ups or something like that.

    Chevron claims in its advertising that they put more Techron in their premium than they do in their regular...if they do not actually do so, that would be false advertising, although is anyone actually checking?...

    Or you could just buy Chevron gas all the time and not buy Techron at all...the law mandates a minimal level of cleaners be in all gas.

    Costco will just do what all "cash-and-go" type stations do - buy the lowest-priced gas they can find. The source will probably vary from week to week.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    oil companies used to be vertical monopolies... from the wellhead to the cap on the full-service attendant's head, Amoco owned their business from one end to the other, Philips likewise, Humble/Enco the same. then they pretended to be verticals, but maybe all that they had in North Dakota was trucks painted with their logo, and a bunch of franchisees, with the pipeline company paid to be sure they pumped additives from the Spilco drum for each truckload.

    now it's pretty segmented. your next tank of Citgo might be pumped and refined in Venezula, shipped to Houston, entering the Williams pipeline as a bunch of gasoline credits, and up in Minneapolis, whatever is in the tank when Liquid Transport pulls up to get a load of 87 octane for the LC road gas station goes in the tank, along with some "formula X" definition of additives from whatever chemical company was low bid last week that is specified for Citgo brand gas. and the ethanol for the 5 or 10 percent oxygenate can come from anyplace close. gas stations don't buy purple-tinted gas direct from the refinery, they buy credits at the delivery terminal.

    individual operations can make a difference... if Joe changes his pump filters and Bill doesn't, Joe's gas will be cleaner. if Herm only sells 2000 gallons a week and Pete sells 150,000 from his 2500-gallon buried tank, then Pete is more likely to have the correct blend for the season on any particular day... and that is diddled from the raw stocks at the delivery terminal when it's time to make the change. if Spilco cleans their tankers and Drips doesn't, you could have dirty deliveries from Drips.

    there are now government regulations on minimum amounts of detergent that all gas has to contain, so the infamous BMW run-clean engine tests are history.

    it's a commodity like air, buy where you want.
  • chile96chile96 Posts: 330
    After a few years of miserable mpg, I decided to switch things up in my 99 yukon. I used premium unleaded and immediately noticed a difference in "responsiveness/accelleration". I haven't calculated it out but noticed a few more miles on my trip odometer between fill-ups. Am I just optimistic or can premium actually improve gas mileage, and improve it in a 4 yr old truck w/ 67K ticks? Any opinions?

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    using higher octane gas.

    If the vehicle is designed to be able to take advantage of higher octane gas, you may notice an improvement in pep though.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    depends on where you are. I frankly haven't the slightest idea. google indicates that they are more modernly known as alkenes, which is a distillation product, I believe from reformulation (alkylation), and various alkenes run the gamut from ethylene gas to polyolefin fiber for carpets.

    if you want to polymerize them, here's a treatise

    most of the references refer to polymerized olefin as polypropylene, and in the context of fabrics. chevron's refinery page indicates alkylation is the head end for aviation fuel as a major product, so we're talking essentially kerosene with some heavier, waxier compounds mixed in. a drilling mud compound is also produced from this feedstock 20olefin

    I thought this link was long enough to break, but it tests OK on posting.

    the critical question is whether the fuel in question, whatever its blend, and that is somewhat dependent on where the crude came from, meets technical standards to run in your engine. the raw, crude measurement is average octane. I have been to three of the top oil company sites at this point and nobody is publishing their formulas ;) part of the reason is that I have read that with various EPA and state laws in the mix, there are well over two dozen "standard" formulas for good old lead-free 87 octane regular. wisconsin gas is not legal in Chicago, for instance, which complicates delivery and production.

    in the end, it should burn the same. if you can't store brand X in your area and can store brand Y, try adding some stabil when you tank it, and be sure the tank is air tight... ethanol blends can separate and get funky over long storage.
  • kinleykinley Posts: 854
    After being "shafted" in Butte in '48 I knew that wasn't for me. A paper plant is what enabled me to earn money for college. I toured the Pontiac assembly plant in '60 and the Lincoln at Wixom in 96. Now, I want to tour a refinery after reading your sources. Thanks again for the post.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    so maybe the rest of the mining crew wasn't as efficient? :-D

    go to and click the refinery link, you can get a simplified tour of a refinery. you can also check for another look at the insides.

    thanks to our buddy Osama, average Joes aren't going to get a chance to tour the nuclear power plants and refineries in the near future. I had a chance on may day a few years back to see a Westinghouse nuke with the reactor empty, and was able to stand on the catwalk and look into the belly of the beast. I thought that was kind of cool. won't happen now due to paranoia.
  • texasbeasttexasbeast Posts: 5
    I-Car-umba Care Care Encyclopedia. <>

    According to these guys, autotive gasoline varies measurably over the course of the year in terms not only of octane rating(s), but also in terms of volatility and density. Article says manufacturers intentionally vary the volatility of fuel to compensate for changes in ambient air temps/pressures as the seasons change. Now, if they can control that, then couldn't they more consistently deliver us controlled density and octane levels, too?

    Could a denser fuel contribute towards higher power output for a car's engine? Assuming same octane rating, would a denser fuel have a greater tendency to knock?
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    you put summer gas in your car at 20 below, it's going to be real dense, all right... and isn't going to vaporize when it hits the cylinder, so it won't fire. winter gas at 80 degrees or higher will vapor lock.

    the octane rating is going to stay relatively constant throughout this process. it's a comparative engine-based test to show that the fuel is balanced for the current conditions, and will deliver its promised octane. if you are blending winter fuel for 0 degrees, I believe they run the test at zero.

    it's a double-check, because by now everybody in the fuel business knows that X parts of this feedstock and Y parts of that one blends down to 87 octane at 70 degrees, and they can modify the blend per their little chart to suit the weather. they test to be sure they will be competively accurate and the state commerce regulators won't catch them and fine them.

    I'm not real sure about the "density" argument, but I have seen it used by folks against the oxygenated gasolines (MTBE, ethanol, etc.) because they typically provide a few percent less mileage. those fuels exist to meet EPA pollution requirements, and muttering or writing letters is not going to get the booze out of the tank.
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