Whether you’re planning a road trip or your fuel gauge shows low, you’re not going to escape the fact that you, from time to time, need to fill up that money-guzzling tank to continue your journey. But while doing so, you not only want to choose one of the best gas stations that ranks high on customer satisfaction, you also want to choose one that provides top-quality gas. In other words, one that provides Top Tier approved fuel.
So, to help you with that, we’ve put together a list of the best gas stations convenient for you to visit. But before that, you might wonder, what on earth is Top Tier gas? Let’s find out.
What Exactly Is Top Tier Gas?
Top Tier Gas is a benchmark for fuel quality established through a collaborative program initiated by a group of car companies. The primary vision behind this program is to assist consumers in making informed decisions when purchasing fuel for their vehicles. Not only to protect the engines but also to ensure the consumers get the most efficient, environmentally friendly, and cost-effective fuel on the market.
Where Did It Begin?
In the late 1980s, as new technologies started to take off, many car manufacturers also widely started to use more advanced fuel injectors in new cars. But soon enough, they began to notice an issue: clogging. The problem itself turned out to be inadequate levels of detergent additives in some gasoline. To tackle this problem, they turned to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for help.
But even after EPA introduced a minimum gasoline detergent standard in 1995, the car manufacturers weren’t satisfied. Their repair records suggested that the amount of detergent in some gasoline wasn’t enough. So by 2002, the automakers made a new attempt by asking EPA to increase the standards. But EPA wasn’t responsive.
As a result, representatives from different automakers decided to go together to set a new standard for higher detergency gasoline than required by regulation, and in 2004, Top Tier Gas was introduced.
What Makes Top Tier Gas So Special?
Even though the term “Top Tier” is widely used for many things, it is a trademark that has become synonymous with premium-grade gasoline that promises more efficiency, better cost-effectiveness, and a lesser environmental impact than other fuels.
Top Tier Gas aims to guarantee that individuals obtain the best available fuel to protect their engines and the environment when they visit their local gas station. Today, even the EPA recommends using Top Tier fuel, although it has 2 to 3 times more detergent than the minimum required by EPA.
However, many seem to believe that Top Tier gas or fuel and its synonymous “premium” has to do with the octane levels, but that’s not the case. You can get Top Tier approved fuel in all three types of octane gradings. So, what does the octane level mean? Let’s take a closer look.
What’s the Deal With Octane Levels?
Octane level or rating is a measure of the fuel’s stability and ability to resist uncontrolled combustion, or “engine knocking,” when ignited under pressure. In other words, a higher octane rating suggests a better and more stable fuel, and vice versa. Regular gas has an octane rating of 87, premium at 93, and super gas at 97.
But what makes these numbers so crucial? To keep it simple, fuel is normally unstable and can either ignite as intended (controlled) by the spark plug or spontaneously (uncontrolled) due to rising temperature and pressure from primary combustion. Often referred to as a “second” uncontrolled combustion, detonation, or knock.
The latter (uncontrolled) is something you want to avoid. So, by adding additional additives (higher octane number), you can achieve a more stable fuel that ignites when supposed to. Not only does this help with engine performance, but also with fuel economy and emission control.
However, not all brands do this. So, just because you see a premium price tag doesn’t mean the quality is better than regular gas. Instead, you’ll want to keep an eye out for gasoline that is Top Tier approved. Furthermore, using higher octane fuel than your car or vehicle requires won’t give any noticeable benefits.
Considering all the above, the next time you get into your car to get some gas, you’ll want to make sure you get the best out of it.
Top 5 Best Gas Stations
With so many gas station chains, it’s hard to answer which gas station is the best. Most of the time, it’s shown that it comes down to personal preference and convenient locations. But these five gas stations have set themselves apart by offering Top Tier approved fuel and high customer satisfaction, all with a rich history and reward programs that let you save some bucks every time you refuel your car.
Listed below is our pick on the top 5 best gas stations:
When finding a reliable and high-quality gas station, Shell stands out as one of the top choices for drivers worldwide. With locations in over 70 countries, a rich history, a commitment to innovation, and a focus on customer satisfaction, Shell has established itself as a leading player in the fuel industry.
Apart from being Top Tier certified, Shell’s gasoline includes special nitrogen additives that provide unsurpassed protection against gunk. While nitrogen-enriched additive is not new, Shell says they took it further and that their gasoline can “seek and destroy” carbon build-up from your car’s engine.
Moreover, with Shell’s Fuel Rewards Program, customers get the opportunity to save with every fill, making it a preferred choice for many.
Chevron gas stations are a popular choice for many drivers, and for good reason. With over 8,000 locations across the United States, Chevron is one of the country’s largest and most recognizable gas station chains. But what sets Chevron apart from its competitors?
First and foremost, Chevron is known for its high-quality gasoline. Chevron’s gasoline is formulated with Techron, a patented additive that helps keep engines clean and running smoothly.
In addition to this is their commitment to safety and sustainability. Chevron is dedicated to reducing its environmental impact and has implemented a number of initiatives to achieve this goal. For example, Chevron has invested in renewable energy sources like solar and wind power and has implemented programs to reduce waste and conserve water.
But that’s not all. Chevron’s commitment to their customers is further reflected in their rewarding programs. Through their gift cars and credit cards, customers can earn and redeem points, making each trip to Chevron a delightful experience.
Exxon, part of the ExxonMobil Corporation, is among the world’s most recognizable gas station brands. With a history that spans over a century, it’s renowned for its commitment to quality and innovation in the energy sector. With operations spread across numerous countries, Exxon offers drivers reliable fuel options wherever they might be.
A notable feature of Exxon’s gasoline is their proprietary additive mixture, which they market under the name Synergy. The Synergy lineup is designed to provide better fuel economy, improved engine cleanliness, and protection against common engine threats like rust and corrosion.
For the savvy consumer, Exxon’s loyalty program, Exxon Mobil Rewards+, provides a fantastic opportunity to save. Members accumulate points on every purchase, from fuel to convenience store items, and can then redeem these points for discounts and other benefits. So far, members have earned over $150 million in savings!
Known for its iconic green dinosaur logo, Sinclair is a historic brand in the US fuel industry. With a heritage that goes back over 100 years, Sinclair prides itself on providing high-quality petroleum products to its customers.
Sinclair is particularly recognized for its DINOcare fuel, a gasoline formulation that meets Top Tier standards, ensuring higher engine protection, better performance, and reduced emissions. Moreover, the brand’s commitment to sustainability is evident in their innovative approaches to refining and distribution.
Loyal customers can take advantage of Sinclair’s loyalty programs to get three ways of saving money.
Costco Wholesale may be better known as a giant in the retail space, but it’s also a significant player in the fuel industry, providing members with high-quality gasoline at typically lower prices than many competitors. Their gas stations, often adjacent to their massive retail warehouses, are known for their value and quality.
Costco ensures their Kirkland Signature™ Gasoline meets Top Tier standards, implying it contains detergent additives exceeding EPA’s requirements. This not only protects engines but can also lead to cleaner emissions.
The value proposition becomes even stronger for their Cash Back Rewards on gas by using the Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi. This credit card offers cashback on fuel purchases, among other benefits, allowing members to save even more when they fill up at Costco.
Which Gas Stations Have The Best Quality Gas?
BP, Shell, Chevron, Exxon, Sinclair, and Costco are some of the best places to go when looking for the best quality gas. These are all Top Tier certified and pass the requirements for high-quality fuel performance standards.
If you want to find more gas stations that have Top Tier approved fuel, you can use their station finder. You can also keep an eye on their logo, often prominently displayed on the pump, pump handle, canopy, or in the station window. If there is one, it means the fuel meets the performance requirements set by engine manufacturers.
What’s the Best Gas for My Car?
The best gas for your car is Top Tier approved gas with the octane level your manufacturer recommends. Most cars require regular 87-octane gasoline, and using higher-octane fuel usually doesn’t matter. However, lower-octane fuel can result in knocking and prevent your vehicle from meeting its stated fuel economy.
The only guaranteed result of using premium gasoline in an engine designed for regular-grade fuel is that you will spend more money on gasCARS.COM
What are the benefits of Top Tier gas?
Using Top Tier gas can have several benefits, including:
- Cleaner Engine: The higher detergent additives in Top Tier gas help prevent carbon deposits on intake valves, fuel injectors, and combustion chambers, leading to improved engine performance and longevity.
- Fuel Efficiency: By keeping the engine clean and free from deposits, Top Tier gas can help maintain optimal fuel efficiency, resulting in better mileage.
- Reduced Engine Problems: Carbon buildup in the engine can cause issues like rough idling, acceleration hesitation, and engine knock. Using Top Tier gas can help prevent these problems.
Why do people prefer Shell?
People prefer Shell for its good quality fuel, great service, and well-trained staff. Shell also invests in the best and offers a world-class career, making it an attractive choice for both customers and employees.
Which gas station is the most popular?
There is no definitive answer to which gas station is the most popular, as it varies by location and personal preference. However, by looking at yearly revenue for 2022, Exxon comes first with $413.68 billion, and Shell is in second place with $386.20 billion.
Which is the cheapest gas station?
Top Tier gasoline is a standard for quality that includes more detergents and additives to keep engines clean and running smoothly. Tier 3 gasoline is a standard set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that requires a lower sulfur content and fewer harmful emissions than previous standards.
What is Top Tier vs. Tier 3 gas?
The “Top Tier” trademark is a standard for quality that includes more detergents and additives to protect the engine, while Tier 3 gas is a standard set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that requires a lower sulfur content and fewer harmful emissions, thereby protecting the air quality.
How do I know if my gas is Top Tier?
To know if your gas is Top Tier, look for the Top Tier logo on the pump, pump handle, canopy, or station window. This logo means that the fuel meets the performance requirements set by engine manufacturers and contains detergent additives that go beyond federal standards to protect your engine better.