The Truth About Discount Gas – If you want to start a lively discussion at your next barbecue ask, “What do you think about ARCO gas?” Just make sure that the sharp utensils are put away.
Few topics bring out heated discussion as much as the question of “name brand” versus discount gas for your car.
The Truth About Discount Gas
Seemingly everyone, I mean everyone, has a brother-in-law who works in a high level position at a testing facility, and will give you the straight skinny on gasoline.
The question of whether ARCO stations “watered” or otherwise diluted their gas has been a subject of some discussion for years.
Such discussion was the main reason behind ARCO’s ad campaign “Straight Up Gas.” It was Atlantic Richfield’s (and now BP’s) way of saying that there isn’t a garden hose running into the tanker truck, messing with your fuel.
BP, better known as British Petroleum made the headlines when its oil well exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, destroying thousands of miles of U.S. coastline.
In spite of “Straight Up Gas” and in spite of this from ARCO themselves, “ARCO fuel meets or exceeds all EPA and ASTM standards for quality and provides what modern cars need to run well. Our additive levels in ARCO fuel are sufficient to keep fuel-injectors clean,” questions linger.
The answer to this question is of importance as it becomes more apparent every month that the $2.00 gallon of gas went away with the heyday of big hair and Fleetwood Mac.
If you use Gas Buddy online, you’re going to be led to ARCO, Costco, Sam’s Club, or another discount stations. Is this okay or are you playing fast and loose with both the performance, and the life of your car?
Related: Before Renting A Car, Read This
The truth is found in what happens to the gas after it is refined and drawn from the big pipe. Individual companies insert their signature additive blend into the mix.
These additives are designed to clean fuel injectors, and keep the gas flowing smoothly in your system.
They go by names like “Techron”, and “Vektron”, which are fancy names for drying agents that pull water out of your fuel delivery system.
Companies that are considered Top Tier use more of these additives. Some studies indicate that the life of your engine will be lengthened by a greater concentration of additives.
Deciding this question with any complete certainty is a difficult task. No two tanks are used in the same weather and driving conditions.
As the old saying goes, “Your mileage may vary.” It will, and the gas may, or may not, be the reason.
There are a few ways of making sure that you are getting the most for your money.
1. Go to Busy Stations
Gas, like almost everything else, works best when fresh. Over time fuel storage tanks will acquire sediments and impurities that can foul your engine.
Avoid the Mom and Pop gas stations.
Related: How To Save Money Buying A Car
Put away the Bluetooth, turn down the sound system and really listen to your car. It will tell you what you need to know.
You can get one bad tank of gas from any station, even Top Tier outlets. If you get a ping or knock regularly, pay attention the dime per gallon that you save at the pump isn’t worth straining your engine.
So next time the barbecue conversation turns to gasoline, you can shift it to something less controversial…like who makes the best barbecue sauce.
Motorists Give Gas Prices a Pass
Higher gas prices are getting a pass from U.S. motorists who have become less likely to change their driving habits as a result of rising fuel prices at the pump, according to a survey by AAA. Some 47% of motorists surveyed in the nationwide poll said they were not taking any action to offset gas prices.
Demand for gasoline increased a slim 1.1% in 2013, the largest annual increase in fuel usage since 2006, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said. “Many people seem to be feeling less pressure to make significant changes in their lives on account of high gas prices,” said Bob Darbelnet, CEO of AAA. “Less expensive gasoline may encourage people to drive more and worry less about the financial burden of filling up their tanks.”
Gas prices have remained lower than in previous years this spring, with summer, the busiest driving season of the year around the corner. The national average price for unleaded gas is $3.51 a gallon, according to GasBuddy.com, which is 14 cents less than the highest average last year and about 40 cents less than 2012.
“People may be less likely to change their habits, but they do not seem any happier at the pumps,” said Darbelnet. Consumers realize that paying more than $3.00 a gallon for gas is the new normal as U.S. based oil giants reach record high profits almost every year. Motorists are searching for alternative energy sources to fuel vehicles, including electricity.
Technology driven automakers are also working on developing fuel cells to power vehicles, which may be marketed to the ainstream market in the next decade at comparable prices to gasoline powered vehicles. Forty-percent of consumers surveyed in the annual AAA study said gasoline prices are too high when the price of a gallon reaches $3.00.
Some 85% of drivers said they combine errands to save money and use less gasoline, about the same figure as a year ago. Fifty-two percent said they are delaying major purchases and 68% said they are reducing shopping or dining out, increasing signs that consumers are scrimping and cutting corners to save money in a tough economy.
Younger adults between 18-34 are increasingly more likely to offset prices than older adults working closer to home (60 percent vs. 34 percent), carpooling (49 percent vs. 23 percent) and using public transportation more regularly (32 percent vs. 11 percent). The results show a major gap between younger drivers and older consumers, who once paid much lower prices for fuel to power their vehicles.
AAA conducted a telephone survey for its study across the U.S. including 610 interviews of land-line users and 401 interviews on cell phones.