Top Tier Fuel

kshaw

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I was watching a Porsche Workshop on YouTube last night and presenters were stressing the importance of using top tier fuel for engine health. I had never heard of top tier fuels. Service stations that use top tier fuel is supposed to contain additives that minimize carbon buildup in the engine. I have always purchased my gas from discounters such as Wawa, 7-11, Sheetz, and Liberty and none of those were on the top tier list, however I noticed that Marathon was. Marathon usually has fuel prices similar to the ones I use. I may be changing where I buy fuel. https://www.toptiergas.com/gasoline-brands/
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Cursed Bronco

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I recently moved and saw Marathon when I searched for Top Tier stations Near Me as well. I had never heard of Marathon as Top Tier before, but I gave it a shot. I didn't see any pump stickers noting Top Tier at this location, however. The store was kind of ran down, so maybe they are just lazy but I hope it is Top Tier :cwl: I am pretty much located in a Top Tier desert
 

CactusBS

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I was watching a Porsche Workshop on YouTube last night and presenters were stressing the importance of using top tier fuel for engine health. I had never heard of top tier fuels. Service stations that use top tier fuel is supposed to contain additives that minimize carbon buildup in the engine. I have always purchased my gas from discounters such as Wawa, 7-11, Sheetz, and Liberty and none of those were on the top tier list, however I noticed that Marathon was. Marathon usually has fuel prices similar to the ones I use. I may be changing where I buy fuel. https://www.toptiergas.com/gasoline-brands/
Not sure if I would be able to tell a difference in the Bronco Sport, however when I had a tuned WRX the quality and octane of the fuel made a huge difference. I picked up some "bad" gas once from a smaller gas station and it made the car run really rough and idle lower than usual. Topped off with some 93 from my regular gas station and it made a big difference. I haven't had any issue like that with the BS, maybe newer technology fixes that, definitely in the back of my mind though.
 

Mike_n_Texas

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When I had my Focus ST I would monitor the engine performance with the Cobb Accessport and note which stations would cause timing pulls or knocks. Shell gas ALWAYS ran the best for me. I never had any timing being pulled when I ran Shell 93. The only time I would go elsewhere is when I would switch to the e30 tune and needed e85.
 
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kshaw

kshaw

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When I had my Focus ST I would monitor the engine performance with the Cobb Accessport and note which stations would cause timing pulls or knocks. Shell gas ALWAYS ran the best for me. I never had any timing being pulled when I ran Shell 93. The only time I would go elsewhere is when I would switch to the e30 tune and needed e85.
Presenters had favorable comments on Shell specifically.
 


gatornek

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This is another reason why I just make it a point to trek to Costco for my 93 (a habit I started with my Mustang, because it was well documented that the 2.3 was super sensitive to Octane)

I'm getting the best octane performance (even though it might not be "necessary") and getting the Top Tier status at what is the best possible price

idk ... that and full synthetic oil every 5K miles have left my Ecoboost engines purring even well after 100K
 

CactusBS

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When I had my Focus ST I would monitor the engine performance with the Cobb Accessport and note which stations would cause timing pulls or knocks. Shell gas ALWAYS ran the best for me. I never had any timing being pulled when I ran Shell 93. The only time I would go elsewhere is when I would switch to the e30 tune and needed e85.
My accessport did the same thing, Shell V Power 93 was always my go to as well.
 

Barry S.

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I must be a dull guy. Since my first car in 1963, I've had approximately 17 cars. I have used 87 octane in all of them and I'm still here. Guess I have missed the thrill of 93 octane or top tier.😢
 

Bill G

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I normally run 87, and have for years (except in the Tiger). Last three tanks I’ve put 93 in (Costco for sure) and I have to admit it seems to run a little better. Then, again, the way I drive who cares??
 

BourbonRunner

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I must be a dull guy. Since my first car in 1963, I've had approximately 17 cars. I have used 87 octane in all of them and I'm still here. Guess I have missed the thrill of 93 octane or top tier.😢
Depends on the car, Barry.

If you had any German cars, or anything with forced induction in the past you'd have wanted to run a higher octane to prevent detonation. If you were running naturally aspirated American or Japanese cars you didn't have to.

And in most non-FI motors, there isn't much of any difference running 93 octane vs 87 unless we're talking about a high performance V8 or a racing motor of dubious origin.

Top Tier as I always understood it was the equivalent of running a small amount of SeaFoam through the motor on a regular basis.


I normally run 87, and have for years (except in the Tiger). Last three tanks I’ve put 93 in (Costco for sure) and I have to admit it seems to run a little better. Then, again, the way I drive who cares??
Forced induction is more sensitive to octane rating.

And if you note in the bigger Bronco's Ecoboosts, the higher the octane the higher the power output. Trade off? Lower MPG.
 


Mark S.

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Depends on the car, Barry.
The key is the engine has to be designed to take advantage of the higher octane. In the case of Ford's EcoBoost series, the powertrain control module can modulate ignition timing and maximum boost to get more power when you use higher octane fuel. You almost certainly won't notice much difference except at full throttle, where the engine is commanded to produce maximum power.
 

BourbonRunner

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The key is the engine has to be designed to take advantage of the higher octane. In the case of Ford's EcoBoost series, the powertrain control module can modulate ignition timing and maximum boost to get more power when you use higher octane fuel. You almost certainly won't notice much difference except at full throttle, where the engine is commanded to produce maximum power.
Exactly right, Mark, and very well stated.

My 2004 BMW with the MB54 straight six requires 91 octane (like most naturally aspirated BMWs of yore) but 91 is as rare as hen's teeth, ergo it gets 93 all the time. And if I'm near a Sunoco with high test, I'll occasionally run a tank of that through, even if it isn't track day.
 

gatornek

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I must be a dull guy. Since my first car in 1963, I've had approximately 17 cars. I have used 87 octane in all of them and I'm still here. Guess I have missed the thrill of 93 octane or top tier.😢
It's really a GDI thing more than anything. This is ony my 3rd GDI engine. Before that, I was an 87-cheapest-gas-you-can-find guy.
 

gatornek

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Exactly right, Mark, and very well stated.

My 2004 BMW with the MB54 straight six requires 91 octane (like most naturally aspirated BMWs of yore) but 91 is as rare as hen's teeth, ergo it gets 93 all the time. And if I'm near a Sunoco with high test, I'll occasionally run a tank of that through, even if it isn't track day.
Yep. 91 would suffice for this engine's Octane needs, but 93 it must be, because 91 is super scarce and is often the same price or more expensive than Costco 93.
 

wiyeti

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I wonder how accurate the Top Tier site is anymore. From what I understand, the detergents were hard to source during Covid and the big supply chain fiasco. Stations around me removed the Top Tier pump stickers and they never came back.
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