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SnoManX

Are we paying more for cheaper gas?

Question

SnoManX

I've noticed this past year that my Silverado 5.3 has been getting lower gas mileage. I went from normally getting 15-16 mpg to now getting 12 - 13 mpg. I had it into the shop at 93k for it's 100k tune up thinking that would help - nothing. Brought it into another shop to get tires this fall and asked them to look over it also but they said everything was up to par.

I asked a buddy who has the same year truck and he says that he's averaging around 11-12 mpg when he was usually getting 15 mpg and my girlfriends little 4 cyl Escort is getting 100 miles less per tank. Has anyone else noticed this with their vehicles?

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Jeremy airjer W

Was the mileage decrease before or after the cold weather started. If after than this is normal. Every vehicle in MN will get worse mileage just due to the cold weather.

If it was before than I would be curious to see if others have experienced this. I know that there is no question that I get the worst mileage when I fill up at a holiday? and I get the best when I fill up at a Lucky Seven, which I think has Spur?

This summer I had the best fuel economy ever with my Tundra. 18mpg on the freeway. This winter it has been around 13 - 15mpg, which was the same as last winter.

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Orlip

YES

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jwhjr

Mine has been the same as always, I haven't noticed a drop in mileage (other than when the cold weather hits). I average 17-18 going to work and close to 20 on the trips up north (15 when towing).

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BobT

Ditto the Holiday gas - and diesel too. I will not buy Holiday fuels unless I absolutely must. My vehicles run like crap on the stuff and efficiency drops.

Bob

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311Hemi

Keep in mind that if you are warming your vehicles in the morning for any length of time that that contributes to lower mileage in the winter.

I have not noticed a drop in mileage overall with my diesel, but I do have a station near my house that I would use very often because I did see a noticeable drop in mileage after filling up at their station.

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slipperybob

Quote:

Ditto the Holiday gas - and diesel too. I will not buy Holiday fuels unless I absolutely must. My vehicles run like crap on the stuff and efficiency drops.

Bob


I usually find that Holiday gas has some alchohol mixed in it. Is that the probable cause of the lower MPG?

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DTro

Doesn't the ethanol blend mixture ratio go up in the winter? I always notice a drop in MPG in the winter months.

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sirsunnyslayer


I usually find that Holiday gas has some alchohol mixed in it. Is that the probable cause of the lower MPG?


ALL gas sold in Minnesota has at least 10% alcohol in it unless the pump is labeled "non oxygenated fuel".

I don't know if it's true but I have been told that the gas sold at all the major gas stations comes from the same refinery so I don't know if I can believe that one stations gas is any better than anothers. I have not found any of my vehicles to run any differently on SA, Holiday or BP gas.

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boatfixer

You are correct sir, I've pulled tankers and sat at the same refinery terminal (Murphy in Duluth) and pulled gas from very same hose as everyone else.

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LwnmwnMan2

Quote:


I usually find that Holiday gas has some alchohol mixed in it. Is that the probable cause of the lower MPG?


ALL gas sold in Minnesota has at least 10% alcohol in it unless the pump is labeled "non oxygenated fuel".

I don't know if it's true but I have been told that the gas sold at all the major gas stations comes from the same refinery so I don't know if I can believe that one stations gas is any better than anothers. I have not found any of my vehicles to run any differently on SA, Holiday or BP gas.


Correct. My father hauled gas for Holiday. He'd know if there was going to be a big price change because all of a sudden they'd start hauling out of Koch Refinery, south on Hwy 3 and 52, I believe it is.

Ashland Refinery is more or less Super America. That's the one that's in St. Paul Park that you seen heading south on Hwy 61.

BP gets their gas out of a tank farm located in Roseville, County Road C and 35W.

The rest of the stations pretty much all haul out of Koch refinery.

The problem isn't a certain gas station per say, it's the amount of alcohol (ethanol) that's being blended.

It's much like the discussions as to why E-85 isn't really worth the hassle, more just a marketing gimmick. You don't get the mileage or power from it, so it's a wash with the cheaper price, since you have to buy more to go the same distance.

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harvey lee

Correct me if I'm wrong but, dont the gas companies change fuel for the winter months and run another blend for the summer.

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Orlip

They all have to run a 10% mixture in the winter. To my knowlege there are 3 refinery's in the twin cities, could it be that different???

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LwnmwnMan2

Quote:

Correct me if I'm wrong but, dont the gas companies change fuel for the winter months and run another blend for the summer.


For the most part, that's diesel. They can run a "#2", but "suggest" that they're running a thinner diesel in the winter, with additives, to help prevent fuel gels.

A couple years ago, you might have seen ads for "Arctic Blend".

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MuleShack

I was just at holiday tonight, and above their diesel pump they have dates they change the additives to lower the fuel ratings to. I dont remember what they are, but like after 10/30 rated for 10degrees, by 11/30 rated for 0 degrees....etc.

So i'm guessing the refinery is changing the additives in the diesel blends, but dont know if they mess with the regular fuels.

Also the "non-oxygenated" fuel is not for use in a regualr car, only for snowmobiles, atv's, boats and other stuff. I think you can still use it in collector cars? not sure though.

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upnorth

I have heard more than a few people talk about there being a winter blend, not sure if it is true tho. But you really gotta figure you are going to get worse mileage in the winter from a few stand points. The motor runs richer until it warms up, that 90 weight in the axles is more like tar than oil so is the bearing grease, the tires taking a while to warm up and roll right, and that to many people let the vehicle warm up before taking off. When you consider those items you really can't expect to see the same mileage in the winter as you will in the warmer months.

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caseymcq

Quote:

Was the mileage decrease before or after the cold weather started. If after than this is normal. Every vehicle in MN will get worse mileage just due to the cold weather.


Why is that? Is this because people let the vehicle run to warm it up? Is it because colder air is denser so it takes more fuel to maintain the proper air/fuel ratio? Combination of both? I am just curious.

I seem to do pretty well with BP gas.

SnoMan, did you change your tire size? I noticed a drop in my milage when I went from 265's to 285's for tires. I don't know if it is because the computer/odometer is off now because of the taller tires or if it is because it is taking that much more umpf from the motor to turn the taller/wider tire?

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upnorth

Quote:

SnoMan, did you change your tire size? I noticed a drop in my milage when I went from 265's to 285's for tires. I don't know if it is because the computer/odometer is off now because of the taller tires or if it is because it is taking that much more umpf from the motor to turn the taller/wider tire?


By going to the taller tire you effectively altered the gearing in the axle, so it now takes more power to turn the bigger tires under load than the smaller tires.

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Outfitter17

I notice it every winter that my MPG's drop in the winter, I do notice that when I fuel up at BP that my vehicles run better and seem to get better fuel economy than when I fuel them up at a conoco or holiday station. I try to fill up whenever I can at BP's just to make sure I know I am getting good fuel

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SnoManX

I've always thought that every station carried the same gas and never really considered that to be a factor on my mileage. I normally fill up at Holiday stations because I can use the ATM without a fee from my bank and it's on my way home. However, this last tank I filled up at Fleet Farm and am getting 15 mpg again!! I'll test out this theory for the next month to see how it goes.

And my tire size stayed the same so that shouldn't have an affect on it.

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harvey lee

I have tested gasoline mileage many times over the years between different companies. I have always found that Amoco gasoline has almost always given me my best mileage.

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slipperybob

Quote:

Quote:

SnoMan, did you change your tire size? I noticed a drop in my milage when I went from 265's to 285's for tires. I don't know if it is because the computer/odometer is off now because of the taller tires or if it is because it is taking that much more umpf from the motor to turn the taller/wider tire?


By going to the taller tire you effectively altered the gearing in the axle, so it now takes more power to turn the bigger tires under load than the smaller tires.


Increasing the width of your tire tread also increases the surface contact of tire to road. In snow, that means it'll push against more, so that's more resistance. It also means more weight distribution so you'll ride on top of the snow more. Wider tire catches more air so it also means more resistance to air.

Why we want thinner tires treads and not bigger or smaller tires. Smaller tire treads, helps to cut through snow and get your tire in contact with road surface. However, in an all out ice'd road, the wider tires will perform better just for surface contact.

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slipperybob

Quote:

I have tested gasoline mileage many times over the years between different companies. I have always found that Amoco gasoline has almost always given me my best mileage.


I find Amoco/BP has the most consistency in mileage. I gas there almost exclusively. My '94 year car still runs almost better than my '03. The thing that this '94 car has gone through should've meant a blown engine or something, yet it runs quiet and smooth with new mid grade gas fill. Now gas has become expensive and I've only been using standard in the newer vehicle.

Maybe it's all a fluke, but to me maybe I should've been using the midgrade... grin.gif

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waterwolff

The sub grade gas is all the same the difference is in the additives each vendor uses. This is what differentiates BP from Shell and so on and so on. At the time the tanker truck driver cards into the operating system the terminal is using to load he is allocated as to what type fuel additive will be injected into the load. This is why one station advertises Blue Planet and another is Injector Guard Plus. They also use other additives to boost octane ratings. So yea the brand of gas you use can make a difference in your mileage. Also Minnesota mandates all fuel sold shall be oxygenated not sure as to what percentage but is to go up to I believe 20% in the upcoming years.

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Grant

I noticed this too the other day... 10 gallons of Holiday 87 octane did not go nearly as far as 10 gallons of BP 87 octane, under as close of driving conditions and environmental variables as possible... at posted on the same section of 94, truck fully warmed up, and each 10 gallon fill done on a nearly empty tank. there was a difference in the 2-5 mpg range, it'd be hard to narrow it down using such a limited data sample as 10 gallons of gas. I do think I will be watching this in more detail in the future however.

as was mentioned by someone else, I've been using Holiday for the convenience of the US Bank ATMs, however for such a difference in mileage I think for the time being I'll be going to BP when possible.

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Whoaru99

Quote:

I have heard more than a few people talk about there being a winter blend, not sure if it is true tho...


I've heard that too but, like you, don't know if it's an urban legend or the truth.

The reason, I was told, there is a winter blend is to change the formulation in order to raise the vapor pressure for easier cold weather starting. Dunno if it's true or not...

I've not seen much difference in mileage from different stations. I have no problems with Holiday gas; it seems to work just fine in my vehicles.

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