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Is top tier gas real?


Topic starter

Im sure this has been brought up before but I couldnt find anything recently. 

What is top tier gas, and is it worth it going to a certified station?

To me, I think that if you do not experience any knocking/ pinging, do oil changes frequently, and blow out the carbon every now and then youre okay. 

I know different companies have different formulas of detergents they put in, but how much does it matter? I see things online and people are pretty mixed, there are bold opinions on each side.

The station I go to the most is wawa, I fill up on 87 in my camaro & 91 in my WRX (it calls for it).


3 Answers

Nobody is going to do the chemical lab analysis, and then do controlled, long term testing on real engines in vehicles. (except those standing to gain from it).

So... the world will never know.

I saw someone say that the only companies that are "certified" payed for the test, so basically the only people with the certified tag just payed for it. Again I don't know the industry well so I don't know.

Well of course you would charge certification fees. It costs money to develop a standard, and the gasoline retailers benefit from increased sales.


The history of Top Tier Gas is interesting. 

It was initially a private affair, where automakers that had this then new technology called fuel injection, recommended certain brands that had detergents in them. To help keep their injectors clean. 

Government stepped in and created a minimum standard for detergents. Some gas brands lowered their standard. Some kept with higher standard. 

Supposedly, cars using the lower government standard got their fuel injectors clogged up more often than the higher standard. 

Top Tier Gas label was created to help differentiate this higher standard of detergents in gas. Which was also higher than the government standard. 

In theory, non Top Tier Gas could contain just as much detergent, it just doesn’t have the label. Then again, it could not. And it is a station by station basis for that.

My personal preference for gas is Top Tier from a well kept and clean gas station. I usually default to Costco gas. Which meets this criteria. At a cheaper price than most brands. 

If this is not available where I am road trip traveling, once in a while I will use Love’s or Pilot’s, only because their travel centers are nicer than regular gas stations. Love’s or Pilot’s are not Top Tier.

In your owners manual, some car makes actually recommend Top Tier gas. 

Posted by: @kaizen

In your owners manual, some car makes actually recommend Top Tier gas. 

It makes me wonder how much they’re getting in kickbacks to put that there.