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Do our cars get used to one brand of fuel?

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huzzsaba
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Do our cars get used to one brand of fuel?

Post by huzzsaba » Wed Nov 26, 2014 2:15 pm

I have been using Canadian Tire Gas here in Canada for a few years now for my 2004 xc90 2.5t with close to 300k kms (approx. 185 k miles). I switched from Shell because of cheaper prices at Canadian tire, and because the premium at Canadian tire has no ethanol according to their website. It runs beautifully on Canadian tire Premium fuel and I have no intention to switch back.

Recently on a road trip, I filled up like I usually do at Canadian tire and got decent gas mileage that I usually get which is around 22 mpg. On the way back, I had to fill up at shell because there was no Canadian tire around, and I got the worst gas mileage in a long time which was around 18 mpg. It also felt like the car did not want to pick up speed.

I know from previous experience that Shell has good gas if not the best, but it possible that the car gets used to one and likes it better due to regular use.
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Re: Do our cars get used to one brand of fuel?

Post by jimmy57 » Wed Nov 26, 2014 8:39 pm

No.
Every drop of fuel is a new world.
The engine control module (ECM) gets input from oxygen sensors and from the knock sensors that are info that has to do with fuel burn. If the fuel is higher in ethanol then the O2 sensor gives a leaner indication and the ECM adds fuel to get the input from O2 sensor within proper range. If the fuel is low octane (who polices octane of fuel against what is posted on pump?) then the ECM retards timing and then undoes the change to test for knock again. After a few knock "tests" that show high tendency for knock the ECM will adapt timing cylinder by cylinder until the level is found where knock is nil. This adaptive is load range dependent and is not long term. Periodically the ECM will tet for knock and will return to normal ignition mapping when knock is not longer present.
So the short answer is the ECM returns to normal baseline control of fuel and ignition if the fuel is good and "fixes" things when fuel is poor. Your routinely purchased fuel seems to be good fuel and the stuff you got on trip was not. High altitude fuel is lower octane. Buying fuel on the road in a place over 1250 meters altitude (somewhere in that range) and then driving onto lower altitude would trigger the adapative knock control functionality and yield reduced performance and more fuel consumption.

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Re: Do our cars get used to one brand of fuel?

Post by shaker_chi » Sun Nov 30, 2014 8:42 pm

When I used to work at Sam's Club we had a gas station. I was out there one day when the guy from the State of Illinois Dept. of Weights and Measures was there to test our pumps. He pumped 1 gallon from each into a separate container and labeled them. I asked him what happens to the fuel after it's weighed. He told me it goes to a lab to test the octane level. So of course my next question was " who sells the best gas?". Without hesitation, he said Shell. When one buys fuel from Shell the actual octane level is routinely 4 to 5 points above advertised. When one buys gas at a no name place like Costco or Sam's the octane level is typically right on what's advertised.

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Re: Do our cars get used to one brand of fuel?

Post by jimmy57 » Mon Dec 01, 2014 7:59 am

I see a fuel survey (I think it is still done by Runzheimer) on occasion through my employer and octane level vs grade is all over the place. Shell was not a top performer for Fort Worth/Dallas. Very few were less than pump posted level and even those were less than a half point.
The refinery and the fuel depot is not the same for all of us and the local distributor choice of blend when his trucks are fueling at the depot (tank farm) all determines what you get from the pump.
The best performers for this area were a local based convenience store chain.

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Re: Do our cars get used to one brand of fuel?

Post by oragex » Mon Dec 01, 2014 8:09 am

The only thing I've personally seen, is that some cars leak quite some water from the silencer, when they go from a light for example. Does that mean some brands have water in the fuel?

I have 4 gas stations around my place. A Shell, a Ultramar, and two Petro Canada. I use one of the Petro Canada because the engine 'seems' a little more nervous with their gas. Which doesn't happen with the other Petro Canada gas station. Makes me think that even between the same name, the gas is not always the same. But then again, this is completely subjective.

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Re: Do our cars get used to one brand of fuel?

Post by 93Regina » Mon Mar 16, 2015 9:11 pm

jimmy57 wrote:ethanol
YMMV, but using 89-E10 appears to be OK with 1993-240/940 vehicles (B230F-LH2.4 & Rex/Regina via B23F). MPG with AW70 & AW71L are at or a pinch better than EPA MPG in warmer weather.

Yes, ethanol has to be blended, and sometimes, E10 is not E10, but a higher/lower mixture of ethanol.

My state checks octane rating and volume dispensed, yearly; but I would trust those with Top Tier Detergent Gasoline than the independents.

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Re: Do our cars get used to one brand of fuel?

Post by 93Regina » Mon Mar 16, 2015 9:21 pm

jimmy57 wrote:best performers
When buying a Premium fuel, without ethanol, this is a special blend only made at the refinery, and transported directly to stations.

84-Octane is pumped via land-pipeline system, and then ethanol is blended to bring it up to 87-Octane.

May 7, 2013


As a result, refineries have been able to decrease the octane level of
gasoline blendstock, with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
estimating that refineries can now produce 84 octane blendstock that,
when blended with ethanol, will meet the 87 octane minimum for
regular-grade gasoline, and produce 88 octane blendstock that will
meet a 91 octane premium-grade finished gasoline requirement after
blending.

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Re: Do our cars get used to one brand of fuel?

Post by abscate » Thu Jul 23, 2015 3:31 am

oragex wrote:The only thing I've personally seen, is that some cars leak quite some water from the silencer, when they go from a light for example. Does that mean some brands have water in the fuel?

I have 4 gas stations around my place. A Shell, a Ultramar, and two Petro Canada. I use one of the Petro Canada because the engine 'seems' a little more nervous with their gas. Which doesn't happen with the other Petro Canada gas station. Makes me think that even between the same name, the gas is not always the same. But then again, this is completely subjective.
Old thread alert.

Water from the silencer means they just left home and the car isn't warm yet.

All of the gasoline gets turned into water, CO2, soot and traces of other stuff.
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