View original topic: What brand of gas do you feed your Vanagon? Page: 1, 2  Next
RCB Sun Mar 18, 2012 6:16 am

I dont have first hand experience with this but my mechanic has a collection of valves that look pretty cruddy. He claims the cruddiness is/was caused by cheap gas. He suggests either Chevron or Shell. I sure dont want to start a "gas" war Im just curious to what some of you more knowledgeable wrenchers might have to say.

spitsnrovers Sun Mar 18, 2012 6:34 am

When I first got my '88, back in 2005 my mechanic also advised against using cheap gas to protect injectors, etc. He suggested Shell of Esso.
Therefore I have used Esso almost exclusively, and usually top grade. Sometimes I do drop to mid grade.

Haven't noticed any appreciable difference, and haven't had injectors or anything like that repaired in the 6 years I have had the van.

Glenn Sun Mar 18, 2012 6:36 am

Gas is gas, the same truck that fills up at the central depot will deliver it to different gas stations.

Now if the station does not maintain their underground tanks, you can get water and debris when you fill up.

RCB Sun Mar 18, 2012 6:52 am

Glenn wrote: Gas is gas, the same truck that fills up at the central depot will deliver it to different gas stations.

Now if the station does not maintain their underground tanks, you can get water and debris when you fill up.

Hi Glen, appreciate your reply. So the highly touted Chevron with "techron" might end up in the Arco or Shell stations tanks ?

Glenn Sun Mar 18, 2012 8:18 am

On Long Island, gasoline is distributed by a handful of "bulk carriers" and i've seen the same trucks making deliveries at different name brand stations.

In my daily driver, 2001 Civic, I put the cheapest gas in and never had a problem. In my Beetle, which has a high performance engine, I put 93 in and generally stick to the stations that are well maintained. I figure if the station looks nice then they probably have newer fiberglass tanks and not 30 year old metal tanks with tons of sediment and rust.

Also if you're not going to drive your car for a month, you should add some of the "blue" fuel stabilizer. It's specifically formulated for gas with ethanol. This gas can go bad in as little as 4 weeks and will attract water. You want the blue and not the red stabilizer.

Ahwahnee Sun Mar 18, 2012 8:23 am

It is my understanding that additives (such as Techron) are added at point of delivery resulting in a product that is different and possibly better.

Techron in particular seems to be accepted as beneficial by some who claim to know.

I use almost anything but (because of a deal with a grocery chain -- Kroger/Frys/City Mkt/King Sooper) Shell is the cheapest and is what I use when I'm filling up locally.

On my other cars (older, with points ignition) I can easily tell the difference between the no-name gas (e.g. Costco) and the brand names (Shell, Chevron). I can only run the cheap stuff by going up 2 grades or retarding the timing about 4.

RCB Sun Mar 18, 2012 8:56 am

Good information guys, thanks. Any other comments are also welcome.

randywebb Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:40 am

Glenn wrote: Gas is gas, the same truck that fills up at the central depot will deliver it to different gas stations.

Now if the station does not maintain their underground tanks, you can get water and debris when you fill up.

partly true

additive packages DO differ among brands; and premium seems to have a better additive package than regular (at least, the majors refuse to deny the converse of that)

Chevron has sued other brands who claimed their additives were as good as Techron

EPA regs. have reduced the differences among brands, but it appears there may still be some difference

--> does it matter? Likely not for a VW; maybe for your old high-compression, super-cammed up Porsche that you have spent 10 years working on and $90,000...

water and debris is definitely the big issue; and is more likely at a low volume station, esp. one way out in the boonies (you know where you like to camp)

a Racor fuel filter/water separator might be money well spent

I try hard to use only Chevron/Techron in the sports car - I use the cheapest stuff around in the VW & Subaru (which is also a high volume station).

WestyBob Sun Mar 18, 2012 12:44 pm

I'll echo I use Chevron whenever possible. I'll also use whatever's available in a pinch like Shell, Conoco and Texaco which all worked fine. BP isn't bad but usually very expensive in my 'hood. Overall I just use regular without any problems.

The only problem I ever had in a vanagon is with the local (Portland) Arco sometimes which is notorious for their additives although often cheapest. In my old air-coolers I could usually burn anything, even Arco, but the vanagons (stock) are a little more touchy.

As already mentioned, the small station in the woods that seldom gets visited has a greater chance for introducing water and crud.

mtwrench540 Sun Mar 18, 2012 12:58 pm

i will back you up glenn,my father worked for mobile at a tank farm and across there was exxon and gulf farms,ALL of thier product came down the same big pipeline from N.J.,even diesel! so make your own conclusion,but yes additives are added after the fact!

madspaniard Sun Mar 18, 2012 1:15 pm

Costco, no regrets, no ill effects so far...don't see the value of paying extra for Chevron or Shell

morymob Sun Mar 18, 2012 1:44 pm

Being loyal to a gas brand stopped a long time ago, now i just require it being able to lite with a match.

Jake de Villiers Sun Mar 18, 2012 1:50 pm

I've used most everything they sell in western Canada and the USA with good results *EXCEPT* for Union 76. Three different vans, three different stations, yet each time the gas caused a niggling high-speed miss on the highway that went away with the next tank of gas.

So, no 76 for me... :(

msinabottle Sun Mar 18, 2012 2:34 pm

I listened to a long discussion about this on 'Drive Radio,' a local car repair and maintenance radio show. They were rather firm in recommending what's described on this page:

All I can say, is that after I switched Winston over to Conoco, he quit eating so many plastic pre-filters, and seems to run and idle better. Mileage went back up to 24 MPG after dipping on the cheaper gas at Sinclair.

I should still replace the pre-filter this season--he's gone two years without a new one!


joseph928 Sun Mar 18, 2012 2:47 pm

:bay_blue: Safeway gas, we buy a lot of food, makes the gas cheaper! But then again if it will burn we will come! price! is the god of gas now.

reluctantartist Sun Mar 18, 2012 3:29 pm

I used to be loyal to a brand until everything went to the gasohol fuels. Now if I happen to find a place on the map:

If it is close to where I am going I will buy it there. I have noticed a difference in mpg with straight fuel verses the 10% alcohol fuels. For me all of the brands suck, but I will keep Glenn's advice in mind.

?Waldo? Sun Mar 18, 2012 4:17 pm

In a diesel VW I tracked the fuel mileage on the same commute over several tanks of fuel bought alternating between two name brands. There was a 10% difference in fuel economy that directly coincided with which brand I used. This could potentially be an error in their measured quantity, but 10% seems like a really big mistake if that's the case.

randywebb Sun Mar 18, 2012 4:21 pm

unless you average a large number of fill ups together, then 10% does not sound like an unusual deviation based on how these things work

re the earlier post:
Et-OH is well known to lower mileage, just as it cleans the engine

greenbus pilot Sun Mar 18, 2012 5:16 pm

You guys have name - brand gas stations?
Anyways, the price is always EXACTLY the same anywhere in town, cuz they all jack it up every day at the same time, in the same increments- usually 5 cents per day. I think they all call each other and agree on the days' price.
And, no, I use whatever is handy. Never had any problem. Yet. It all comes out the same pipe, thru Chicago.
So, if all the stations use the same gas, but a couple claim "top tier", why does it all cost exactly the same?
And then, why does it go up even though their tank was just filled yesterday, and you KNOW that gas was paid for at YESTERDAY'S prevailing price, yet it still jumps daily? Oh yeah, - greed. :wink:

Mark Sun Mar 18, 2012 9:27 pm

Chevron. Not because of any brand loyalty or noted performance-based results but because they're just down the road and usually have the best price during our ongoing gas war.

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