Car mileage, Fuel additives and other

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Aw0k3n
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Joined: Wed May 09, 2018 10:05 am

Car mileage, Fuel additives and other

Post by Aw0k3n » Tue May 15, 2018 9:51 am

I commute a lot. Do fuel additives and Fuel injector cleaners increase the efficiency of machines? I dont know if this is worth the expense or does it make sense to add them regularly? if so how often? is the benefit so slight as to no justify the effort?
I am already doing a few things to keep fuel costs low [1. Drive a fuel efficient car (have a corolla engine which gives me 36-40 MPG on highway
, 2. Cruise control at 55 to 60 MPH, 3. Some kind of rewards credit card for fuel purchases, 4. No A/C, Fan OK (hot-cold as needed), 5. Regular maintainence, 6. Cheapest gas location (not always follow this rule - sometime conveninence helps)]

Anything else that BH'ers have tried?
Thank you

Rupert
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Re: Car mileage, Fuel additives and other

Post by Rupert » Tue May 15, 2018 9:58 am

Aw0k3n wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 9:51 am
I commute a lot. Do fuel additives and Fuel injector cleaners increase the efficiency of machines? I dont know if this is worth the expense or does it make sense to add them regularly? if so how often? is the benefit so slight as to no justify the effort?
I am already doing a few things to keep fuel costs low [1. Drive a fuel efficient car (have a corolla engine which gives me 36-40 MPG on highway
, 2. Cruise control at 55 to 60 MPH, 3. Some kind of rewards credit card for fuel purchases, 4. No A/C, Fan OK (hot-cold as needed), 5. Regular maintainence, 6. Cheapest gas location (not always follow this rule - sometime conveninence helps)]

Anything else that BH'ers have tried?
Thank you
I think if you use only top tier gas you don't really need additional fuel additives and cleaners. So skip the additives and stick with gas stations that sell top tier gas, which may or may not be the cheapest gas. (Costco, for example, is top tier and also the cheapest where I live). Also, just fyi, the A/C systems in cars today are extremely efficient. In modern cars, you get better gas mileage running the A/C than you do riding with the windows open, which increases drag.

Aw0k3n
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Joined: Wed May 09, 2018 10:05 am

Re: Car mileage, Fuel additives and other

Post by Aw0k3n » Tue May 15, 2018 10:02 am

Thanks. top Tier is a good suggestion. I will pay more attention next time.

Hanksmoney
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Re: Car mileage, Fuel additives and other

Post by Hanksmoney » Tue May 15, 2018 10:13 am

Aw0k3n wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 10:02 am
Thanks. top Tier is a good suggestion. I will pay more attention next time.
+1

Using the cheap gas is the worst way to save money on a car. Undercutting by a penny when the gas doesn't have nearly the value. The additives in the top tier fuel extend the life and performance of your car and make fuel injector cleaners useless. Even if I'm in dire need and the exit only has crap gas, I'll put only a few gallons in to make it to the next town or area with better options.

https://www.toptiergas.com/

From CR:
Consumer Reports wrote: For its test, the lab operated an engine continuously for 100 hours on a cycle to represent 4,000 real-miles of use. The engine was then disassembled, photographed, and its key components weighed and measured to determine the thickness of carbon deposits. Six fuels were used, randomly selected and split among three basic gasoline sources and three Top Tier.

The results showed that on average, Top Tier gasoline had 19 times fewer carbon deposits on injectors, intake valves, and in the combustion chamber when compared to regular gasoline.

AAA also found Top Tier gasoline can have a cleansing effect, reducing intake valve deposits by 45 to 72 percent when used over a 5,000-mile interval. Variation in the results is attributed to the detergents used by different brands.

Further, analyzing gas prices over a 12-month period found just a three cent price difference between non-Top Tier and Top Tier gasoline.

tarmangani
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Re: Car mileage, Fuel additives and other

Post by tarmangani » Tue May 15, 2018 10:40 am

The strongest contributor to fuel efficiency is the operator. I've tried different gas and oil and haven't noticed much difference. I'll use myself as a N=1 type example. I am a safe hypermiler. I don't do anything "hardcore" like remove the car seats to save on weight or turn the engine off when operating. I don't draft, I don't drive dangerously slow, and I get to lights reasonably fast so as not to prompt road rage from the lunatic, omnipresent tailgaters.

A few years ago I took to driving my wife's 2005 Honda Civic Hybrid to work. It has a pre-2008 EPA mpg estimate of 48 and a "modified" estimate of 42. My wife, at the time, averaged about 37 mpg, so she performed worse than the estimate but superior to what most folks get in non-Hybrid vehicles. I'd say that's probably about an average result.

To give you some comparison, now that the weather turned warm up here, I received 56.4 mpg in my last tank. Yesterday I had about 59 mpg over 100 miles to and from work but it fell apart when hitting rush hour traffic right outside the city. BTW, these are about 65mph too. If I went to 55mph it'd be much higher. Even when I zone out I find that it's almost impossible to get a tank under 50 now unless the weather happened to be very cold/windy/stormy. And at one point, when starting out, I felt I'd never come close to 50 mpg.

Consider your 36-40mpg highway efficiency, for example.That's not bad, about what one would expect from CC, but it's not nearly as high as a true hypermiler can manage. In my 2010 non-hybrid Civic I can get about 45 pretty easily on the highway. My mileage really suffers in that car because of city traffic and my refusal to turn the engine off (the hybrid obviously does this automatically).

I would recommend, if you care a lot about mileage, to visit cleanmpg.com's forums and learn some tips. I wouldn't recommend some of the extreme behaviors like drafting.

edit: Also, if possible, try to avoiding driving unless you absolutely have to. For example, I live in a city, so I now walk to the grocery store and backpack my groceries home. When I pick my wife up at work, I make sure to hit Target up on the way home rather than make a special trip to do that. Short trips are exceptionally inefficient and will cripple your output.

alfaspider
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Re: Car mileage, Fuel additives and other

Post by alfaspider » Tue May 15, 2018 10:57 am

Hanksmoney wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 10:13 am
Aw0k3n wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 10:02 am
Thanks. top Tier is a good suggestion. I will pay more attention next time.
+1

Using the cheap gas is the worst way to save money on a car. Undercutting by a penny when the gas doesn't have nearly the value. The additives in the top tier fuel extend the life and performance of your car and make fuel injector cleaners useless. Even if I'm in dire need and the exit only has crap gas, I'll put only a few gallons in to make it to the next town or area with better options.

https://www.toptiergas.com/

From CR:
Consumer Reports wrote: For its test, the lab operated an engine continuously for 100 hours on a cycle to represent 4,000 real-miles of use. The engine was then disassembled, photographed, and its key components weighed and measured to determine the thickness of carbon deposits. Six fuels were used, randomly selected and split among three basic gasoline sources and three Top Tier.

The results showed that on average, Top Tier gasoline had 19 times fewer carbon deposits on injectors, intake valves, and in the combustion chamber when compared to regular gasoline.

AAA also found Top Tier gasoline can have a cleansing effect, reducing intake valve deposits by 45 to 72 percent when used over a 5,000-mile interval. Variation in the results is attributed to the detergents used by different brands.

Further, analyzing gas prices over a 12-month period found just a three cent price difference between non-Top Tier and Top Tier gasoline.

Top-tier gas is just an additive package certification. There's really no reason to skip a gas station on a trip because it is not "top tier" certified- running a tank or two isn't going to suddenly cause carbon deposits.

It's also worth noting that additive packages can't do anything to intake valve deposits on a direct injection motor, which are becoming increasingly common.

FlyAF
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Re: Car mileage, Fuel additives and other

Post by FlyAF » Tue May 15, 2018 11:02 am

Hanksmoney wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 10:13 am
Aw0k3n wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 10:02 am
Thanks. top Tier is a good suggestion. I will pay more attention next time.
+1

Using the cheap gas is the worst way to save money on a car. Undercutting by a penny when the gas doesn't have nearly the value. The additives in the top tier fuel extend the life and performance of your car and make fuel injector cleaners useless. Even if I'm in dire need and the exit only has crap gas, I'll put only a few gallons in to make it to the next town or area with better options.

https://www.toptiergas.com/

From CR:
Consumer Reports wrote: For its test, the lab operated an engine continuously for 100 hours on a cycle to represent 4,000 real-miles of use. The engine was then disassembled, photographed, and its key components weighed and measured to determine the thickness of carbon deposits. Six fuels were used, randomly selected and split among three basic gasoline sources and three Top Tier.

The results showed that on average, Top Tier gasoline had 19 times fewer carbon deposits on injectors, intake valves, and in the combustion chamber when compared to regular gasoline.

AAA also found Top Tier gasoline can have a cleansing effect, reducing intake valve deposits by 45 to 72 percent when used over a 5,000-mile interval. Variation in the results is attributed to the detergents used by different brands.

Further, analyzing gas prices over a 12-month period found just a three cent price difference between non-Top Tier and Top Tier gasoline.
So I looked through the list of retailers of Top Tier gas, and at least for my area, just about every station I could think of was on the list. The only one that I didn't see was Race Trac. It would appear to me, at least in my area, 90%+ of gas is Top Tier by default. Am I interpreting this correctly?

Aw0k3n
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Joined: Wed May 09, 2018 10:05 am

Re: Car mileage, Fuel additives and other

Post by Aw0k3n » Tue May 15, 2018 11:03 am

tarmangani wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 10:40 am
The strongest contributor to fuel efficiency is the operator. I've tried different gas and oil and haven't noticed much difference. I'll use myself as a N=1 type example. I am a safe hypermiler. I don't do anything "hardcore" like remove the car seats to save on weight or turn the engine off when operating. I don't draft, I don't drive dangerously slow, and I get to lights reasonably fast so as not to prompt road rage from the lunatic, omnipresent tailgaters.

A few years ago I took to driving my wife's 2005 Honda Civic Hybrid to work. It has a pre-2008 EPA mpg estimate of 48 and a "modified" estimate of 42. My wife, at the time, averaged about 37 mpg, so she performed worse than the estimate but superior to what most folks get in non-Hybrid vehicles. I'd say that's probably about an average result.

To give you some comparison, now that the weather turned warm up here, I received 56.4 mpg in my last tank. Yesterday I had about 59 mpg over 100 miles to and from work but it fell apart when hitting rush hour traffic right outside the city. BTW, these are about 65mph too. If I went to 55mph it'd be much higher. Even when I zone out I find that it's almost impossible to get a tank under 50 now unless the weather happened to be very cold/windy/stormy. And at one point, when starting out, I felt I'd never come close to 50 mpg.

Consider your 36-40mpg highway efficiency, for example.That's not bad, about what one would expect from CC, but it's not nearly as high as a true hypermiler can manage. In my 2010 non-hybrid Civic I can get about 45 pretty easily on the highway. My mileage really suffers in that car because of city traffic and my refusal to turn the engine off (the hybrid obviously does this automatically).

I would recommend, if you care a lot about mileage, to visit cleanmpg.com's forums and learn some tips. I wouldn't recommend some of the extreme behaviors like drafting.

edit: Also, if possible, try to avoiding driving unless you absolutely have to. For example, I live in a city, so I now walk to the grocery store and backpack my groceries home. When I pick my wife up at work, I make sure to hit Target up on the way home rather than make a special trip to do that. Short trips are exceptionally inefficient and will cripple your output.
Awesome recommendations. Thank you.
I agree the operator element and the driving style play a huge role. I too institute these safe fuel efficient behaviours and they make a big impact. My car is actually a 2008 Scion XD which I learnt has a 1.8L 4 cyl ZR engine which is also in other Toyota vehicles such as Corolla. Will check the cleanmpg site.

RickBoglehead
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Re: Car mileage, Fuel additives and other

Post by RickBoglehead » Tue May 15, 2018 12:09 pm

FlyAF wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 11:02 am
So I looked through the list of retailers of Top Tier gas, and at least for my area, just about every station I could think of was on the list. The only one that I didn't see was Race Trac. It would appear to me, at least in my area, 90%+ of gas is Top Tier by default. Am I interpreting this correctly?
Pretty simple to read a list, so if that's what your reading of the list tells you, then yes. Totally depends on what gas retailers service your area.

core4portfolio
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Re: Car mileage, Fuel additives and other

Post by core4portfolio » Tue May 15, 2018 12:10 pm

Try driving in 50 to 55 MPH with minimal or no hard brakes.
Your fuel efficient will be higher.
Below 35 or above 60 will have big hit on your mileage. Also traffic added to impact as well.
On my long drives, i use cruise control at 55 to 60. i got very good mileage most of the time.
I used costco, exxon, shell and chevron most of the time
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PFInterest
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Re: Car mileage, Fuel additives and other

Post by PFInterest » Tue May 15, 2018 12:11 pm

Aw0k3n wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 9:51 am
I commute a lot. Do fuel additives and Fuel injector cleaners increase the efficiency of machines? I dont know if this is worth the expense or does it make sense to add them regularly? if so how often? is the benefit so slight as to no justify the effort?
I am already doing a few things to keep fuel costs low [1. Drive a fuel efficient car (have a corolla engine which gives me 36-40 MPG on highway
, 2. Cruise control at 55 to 60 MPH, 3. Some kind of rewards credit card for fuel purchases, 4. No A/C, Fan OK (hot-cold as needed), 5. Regular maintainence, 6. Cheapest gas location (not always follow this rule - sometime conveninence helps)]

Anything else that BH'ers have tried?
Thank you
Nope.

AerialP
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Location: Central Kentucky

Re: Car mileage, Fuel additives and other

Post by AerialP » Tue May 15, 2018 12:21 pm

I like Marvel's Mystery Oil. We have used it regularly in the past as a fuel additive in aircraft engines, per mechanic recommendation. It is hailed as an excellent top-end lubricant. It is anecdotally also often used in the oil fields out West in pump engines which run for long periods of time in remote areas.
I add a couple of glugs of Marvel's to most of my tank fills, and about 50 miles before an oil change I put several glugs in the crankcase too. I have no data to back any of this up but it has never to my knowledge harmed my Datsun, Mazda, or Subaru over the past 20 years, nor the Lycoming or Continental engines in my work fleet.
Fun bonus: its scent is not unlike that of teaberry gum!

sport
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Re: Car mileage, Fuel additives and other

Post by sport » Tue May 15, 2018 12:26 pm

Make sure your tires are properly inflated.

dsmclone
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Re: Car mileage, Fuel additives and other

Post by dsmclone » Tue May 15, 2018 12:35 pm

Here is what I do

1. Use the octane the manufacture recommends. No more/No less

2. No additives. I believe they are mostly snake oil. I do put stabil in my mower during the winter.

3. Drive it like I want to. This probably means about 10-15 mph faster than the speed limit.

4. Tires are inflated to what the manufacture recommends.

5. I get service done when the manufacture/car recommends (not the dealership)

6. My BMW has Eco/Regular/Sport/Sport + mode. 80% of the time I leave it in Regular mode. Never use Eco.

The car was advertised as getting 22 mpg combined. I average around 24mpg. If I put it in ECO mode, drove the speed limit, etc. I may get another 2mpg. By doing this and driving 12k miles a year I would save roughly $120. Not worth worrying about.

On a side note, even though it does save fuel, I hate the auto stop on most new cars and can't imagine that it's good for the battery/starter over the life of a car.
Last edited by dsmclone on Tue May 15, 2018 12:47 pm, edited 3 times in total.

chevca
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Re: Car mileage, Fuel additives and other

Post by chevca » Tue May 15, 2018 12:38 pm

None of you 55-60 mph folks drive in the left lane on the freeway, do you? If so, stay out! Not all of us care about getting optimal mpg. :happy

dsmclone
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Re: Car mileage, Fuel additives and other

Post by dsmclone » Tue May 15, 2018 12:48 pm

chevca wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 12:38 pm
None of you 55-60 mph folks drive in the left lane on the freeway, do you? If so, stay out! Not all of us care about getting optimal mpg. :happy
Some of us call that the passing(only) lane. :D

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whodidntante
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Re: Car mileage, Fuel additives and other

Post by whodidntante » Tue May 15, 2018 12:51 pm

To save gas, move closer, then buy a fire breathing hot rod.

Rupert
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Re: Car mileage, Fuel additives and other

Post by Rupert » Tue May 15, 2018 12:51 pm

dsmclone wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 12:48 pm
chevca wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 12:38 pm
None of you 55-60 mph folks drive in the left lane on the freeway, do you? If so, stay out! Not all of us care about getting optimal mpg. :happy
Some of us call that the passing(only) lane. :D
"Some of us"? All of us. It's actually the law in my state (and probably everywhere else). You only enter the left lane to pass and then merge back into the right lane. I have very strong feelings about people who cruise in the left lane.

open_circuit
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Re: Car mileage, Fuel additives and other

Post by open_circuit » Tue May 15, 2018 12:51 pm

dsmclone wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 12:35 pm
1. Use the octane the manufacture recommends. No more/No less
I agree with this, but be aware that available octanes differ based on altitude. In New Mexico and Colorado, for instance, pumps often only carry 85 (regular), 87 (mid), and 91 (premium) octane. 93 premium, available near sea level, is not available in some high altitude markets.

tarmangani
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Re: Car mileage, Fuel additives and other

Post by tarmangani » Tue May 15, 2018 12:55 pm

chevca wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 12:38 pm
None of you 55-60 mph folks drive in the left lane on the freeway, do you? If so, stay out! Not all of us care about getting optimal mpg. :happy
I always (except passing or responding to other road conditions) drive in the right-most lane. Much calmer there.

chevca
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Re: Car mileage, Fuel additives and other

Post by chevca » Tue May 15, 2018 12:57 pm

dsmclone wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 12:48 pm
chevca wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 12:38 pm
None of you 55-60 mph folks drive in the left lane on the freeway, do you? If so, stay out! Not all of us care about getting optimal mpg. :happy
Some of us call that the passing(only) lane. :D
Remember back when it used to be followed as such? Those were the days.

At least where I live, it's just a lane of travel for many. So frustrating to have 3 or 4 wide going 55-60 mph!

chevca
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Re: Car mileage, Fuel additives and other

Post by chevca » Tue May 15, 2018 1:01 pm

open_circuit wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 12:51 pm
dsmclone wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 12:35 pm
1. Use the octane the manufacture recommends. No more/No less
I agree with this, but be aware that available octanes differ based on altitude. In New Mexico and Colorado, for instance, pumps often only carry 85 (regular), 87 (mid), and 91 (premium) octane. 93 premium, available near sea level, is not available in some high altitude markets.
That's all they need at altitude due to air density and science and stuff. It's just easier for the manufacturers to list on recommended number rather than try to account for vehicles that will live in NM or CO. Use the recommended grade... how's that? If one uses regular at sea level, use regular at higher altitudes... same for mid and premium.

Hanksmoney
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Re: Car mileage, Fuel additives and other

Post by Hanksmoney » Wed May 16, 2018 4:06 pm

Aw0k3n wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 10:02 am
So I looked through the list of retailers of Top Tier gas, and at least for my area, just about every station I could think of was on the list. The only one that I didn't see was Race Trac. It would appear to me, at least in my area, 90%+ of gas is Top Tier by default. Am I interpreting this correctly?

I couldn't find the ranking list I read a few years back, but it ranked Shell BP and Exxon at the top. The list I saw even differed depending on the grade. I only use BP and Shell with good results.

audioaxes
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Re: Car mileage, Fuel additives and other

Post by audioaxes » Thu May 17, 2018 1:31 pm

I have a 2012 Camry thats closing in on 170K miles... still driving strong, still averaging the same 27ish MPG when i first got it at. Never added fuel cleaners and such to it, never paid attention to tier level of the gas stations that I have filled up at over the years.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Car mileage, Fuel additives and other

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Thu May 17, 2018 1:49 pm

In the Northeast, I think every station is required to include 10% ethanol. Fuel injector cleaner is generally ethanol, so you already have it.

Top tier, bottom tier, sludge from the bottom of the tank.....if you have a new direct injected engine, your intake valves won't be any different. Not one micron. Why? The gas doesn't go past them. So your intake valves will look like they're from a 200k mile car by the time you have 100k on the car.
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midareff
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Re: Car mileage, Fuel additives and other

Post by midareff » Thu May 17, 2018 1:53 pm

If you are not using synthetic oil that will make a slight difference in efficiency. Whether or not that will offset the addition cost is another question. It used to be that Chevron had the best additive (Techron) but that was then and this is now and I haven't followed the industry. That said, I only use their fuel.

bloom2708
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Re: Car mileage, Fuel additives and other

Post by bloom2708 » Thu May 17, 2018 2:51 pm

High mpg hybrid car (Prius) + Synthetic oil (I still use Mobile 1) + Costco Executive Membership + Costco gas (lower price by quite a bit) + Costco Visa (4% back on gas purchases)

Is a Costco handy to your location?
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wrongfunds
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Re: Car mileage, Fuel additives and other

Post by wrongfunds » Thu May 17, 2018 3:33 pm

If you want to use fuel additives; these are the ones you want to try

1) Techron Fuel SYSTEM Cleaner Additive (NOT the one which says injection cleaner)
2) Gumout Total

There are other boutique stuff available over internet but the above two are readily available at your local stores such as Walmart or Autozone.

audioaxes
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Re: Car mileage, Fuel additives and other

Post by audioaxes » Thu May 17, 2018 4:16 pm

bloom2708 wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 2:51 pm
High mpg hybrid car (Prius) + Synthetic oil (I still use Mobile 1) + Costco Executive Membership + Costco gas (lower price by quite a bit) + Costco Visa (4% back on gas purchases)

Is a Costco handy to your location?
sounds like torture trying to fuel up exclusively at costco. I have membership and one nearby but use the gas station only once every 2 months or so. Around here Arco (top tier gas too) can be cheaper than Costco (depending on the arco location you go to) and you dont have to deal with refugee camp lines. Only thing is the card fees but I buy Arco cards at a grocery store to avoid fees plus get 6% cash back with my Amex.

bloom2708
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Re: Car mileage, Fuel additives and other

Post by bloom2708 » Thu May 17, 2018 4:20 pm

audioaxes wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 4:16 pm
bloom2708 wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 2:51 pm
High mpg hybrid car (Prius) + Synthetic oil (I still use Mobile 1) + Costco Executive Membership + Costco gas (lower price by quite a bit) + Costco Visa (4% back on gas purchases)

Is a Costco handy to your location?
sounds like torture trying to fuel up exclusively at costco. I have membership and one nearby but use the gas station only once every 2 months or so. Around here Arco (top tier gas too) can be cheaper than Costco (depending on the arco location you go to) and you dont have to deal with refugee camp lines. Only thing is the card fees but I buy Arco cards at a grocery store to avoid fees plus get 6% cash back with my Amex.
Our Costco never has long gas lines. I bike to work. 10,000 mpg. If I had a long commute and drove a lot and wanted to maximize whatever benefit you could, Costco would be part of it. I would have to be deliberate on filling up and it might be painful. But, the commute would already be painful. I would do most anything to cut the commute down. But that wasn't the question asked. Just one idea. Nobody said it had to be a good one. :wink:
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wander
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Re: Car mileage, Fuel additives and other

Post by wander » Thu May 17, 2018 5:04 pm

I don't know about top tier or bottom tier. I fill gasoline where I need and usually at Wawa or BJs near where I live. Once in awhile, I pour a small bottle of injecton cleaner (or something like that) in the tank and call it a day. I don't know if it works or not, but it is not too expensive to think about it too much.

neilpilot
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Re: Car mileage, Fuel additives and other

Post by neilpilot » Fri May 18, 2018 6:59 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 1:49 pm
In the Northeast, I think every station is required to include 10% ethanol. Fuel injector cleaner is generally ethanol, so you already have it.
I think your wrong on both counts. The ethanol addition is an option, but usually only 10% ethanol blend is available since suppliers get a government credit and typically can't price compete if they sell under 10%. There are still a few retailers who sell ethanol free as an option, but at a higher price.

While an alcohol such as ethanol is the carrier solvent in injector cleaner, it's not the active ingredient. A typical active ingredient in fuel system cleaner is polyetheramine (PEA), but there are others. I don't think injector cleaner is advisable in most cases, but you don't "already have it" based on the ethanol in your fuel.

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