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Warehouse Discounted Gas You Should and Should Not Buy

Which provides the better gasoline for your car---Costco or Sam’s Club? Here’s the latest on which source your car is better off with despite the price at the pump.


Are you using the best gasoline possible to protect your car’s engine? It turns out that many car owners are not choosing the best gasoline for their engines according to a past and recently updated analysis by automotive experts who recommended that car owners should be using Top Tier gas in their vehicles…but unknowingly might not.

How Car Owners Shop for Gas

According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), Americans are six times more likely to choose a gas station based on gasoline price rather than quality. This is understandable---we should all be cost-conscious. However, this is a near-sighted view toward saving money.

A more far-sighted view would be to choose the gasoline that is actually rated best for your particular car to cut down on maintenance and repair costs down the road---which can be substantial. Especially in light of car engine problems in models that are prone to develop engine problems as well as models that cost more in repairs than other models when it comes to engine work.

Car Makers Recommended for Top Tier Gasoline

Earlier, we’ve discussed how that choosing the wrong octane fuel can destroy your engine and void your car’s warranty. And have passed on that when it comes to choosing over buying regular, mid-grade, or premium gas, that car owners should really choose only the gas that is recommended in their owner’s manual.

Unfortunately, too many car owners mistakenly assume that aside from its octane rating, gas is gas when it comes to choosing regular or premium at the pump. It turns out, however, that when it comes to the fuel you choose, there’s another consideration beyond a fuel’s octane rating: the additives to basic gasoline.

Additives are mostly detergents that add to the life of your car’s engine by helping keep it clean and that is what differentiates Top Tier gasoline from suppliers that use only the minimum additives regulated by law with their non-Top Tier fuel.

According to a recent news story from WFAA TV an affiliate of ABC, a recent AAA publication about gas prices and what you are getting at the pumps at discount warehouse providers Costco and Sam’s Club reveals that one of the two is skimping on the additives.

In fact, WFAA TV reports that just from a 4,000-mile comparison between Top Tier and non-Top Tier fuels that Top Tier fuel results in 19-times less carbon deposits in car engines. Earlier reports also stated that continued use of fuel without Top Tier additives could result in getting 2% to 4% lower mpg, increased emissions, and a greater chance of maintenance issues.

So, which of the two main discount warehouse chains provides Top Tier gas?

Here’s the story released on WFAA TV:

VERIFY: Sam's Club and Costco gas is not the same quality

What If You Have Not Been Fueling with Top Tier?

According to AAA experts, even if you have been driving your car with non-Top Tier gasoline, it is never too late to get started doing so. In fact, they state that in most cases, carbon deposits can be reduced or removed from critical engine components by switching gasoline brands to one that meets TOP TIER standards. For more about what the AAA has to say about Top Tier gasoline, here is a link to a useful Top Tier fact sheet from the AAA newsroom.

For additional articles about cars and fuel, here are two selected articles about why “The Littlest VW SUV Could Be The Biggest New-Model Deathtrap”; and, “When Smelling Gasoline Around Your Car is an Immediate Problem.

Timothy Boyer is an automotive reporter based in Cincinnati. Experienced with early car restorations, he regularly restores older vehicles with engine modifications for improved performance. Follow Tim on  “Zen and the Art of DIY Car Repair” website, the Zen Mechanic blog and on Twitter at @TimBoyerWrites  and Facebook for daily news and topics related to new and used cars and trucks.

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Image source: Deposit Photos