Avoiding crappy cheap gas

ping72

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You pull into the gas station, give them your credit card, and then go to select your fuel grade.

Since we on HROT are not poor people who drive domestic cars, we clearly choose the highest grade of fuel at the pump. Especially in states that have that ethanol garbage. But the problem is… The vast majority of the time the car in front of us got the cheap stuff. So that is what is sitting in the hose already.

How do you avoid the crappy stuff getting into your fuel tank? It seems like the gas stations have no interest in trying to help us… So I normally just pour about a quarter of a gallon onto the ground before I put anything in my car.

Is there a better way for me to be doing this?
 

hawkeyez

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gasoline-party-zoolander.gif
 

bagdropper

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Don't buy at crappy gas stations and don't buy crappy fuel (ethanol). And if you have a favorite store that has never let you down, always buy there and there alone.

For years, from say roughly 1995 to 2008, my best options were always Citgo (and whomever bought them out...they in turn went to Casey's locally), Quik Trip (now gone in CR), Hawkeye Convenience stores (usually Sinclair gas back then), or Casey's - and I kept having occasional fuel issues with both vehicles and OPE/boats. I'd have gone BP/Amaco (which was almost always more expensive), but their stations were both few and far enough away to make it costly to always drive those extra miles every time - I've always thought it silly to (for example) drive halfway across CR just to save a dime on gas because you burn close to a gallon in doing so.

When at first Kum & Go, then Kwik Star, started making inroads to eastern Iowa and near where I live - haven't had one single fuel related issue since (about 14 years now).

Also, if possible, NEVER buy ethanol. Most vehicles need either 87 or 91. Buy what your vehicle requires, and keep the moonshine out of it.
 
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bagdropper

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I'll add also, buy if possible at newer stations. Going to the same old Casey's that's been on your corner for 40 years probably means their tanks are older 'n dirt.
 
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bagdropper

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Yet again another tip - say you're driving a 400 mile drive. Your 100 miles from home and you will need to buy gas. You have a tried and true station you usually buy from, but you're not there yet. So, you have to stop at some store along the interstate you've never bought from before.

Hopefully you have a pretty good idea what MPG your vehicle gets. ONLY buy enough from the unknown station to get back to your favorite station. Then when you get home, fill up with the stuff you know is good.
 
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Hawki97

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I'll add also, buy if possible at newer stations. Going to the same old Casey's that's been on your corner for 40 years probably means their tanks are older 'n dirt.

Combining your two posts into one: go to new KwikStar stations and stay away from ethanol. Solid answer.

Edit to add: I'm not so paranoid about ethanol that I'm concerned about the last person's gas-up - so sorry, no help there.
 

SeaPA

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Based on the thread title, I was assuming this was a thread about Taco Bell.

Seriously though, how the hell would I know what my driver does when he's gassing up my vehicle?
 

bagdropper

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Combining your two posts into one: go to new KwikStar stations. Solid answer.

Yep. In Guttenberg there's a store there that is huge, wide lanes, etc - maybe 4 years old now.

They have pumps (river resort town) with 91 octane no ethanol specifically for recreational gas - never an issue with it with my chain saws, trimmer, lawn mower, and boat motors.

If I had to ask for two things, one would be that they had one pump with 87 no ethanol and two that it wasn't 30 to 50 cents higher than the same gas in CR (although I understand that it costs more to haul it to those small towns/low volume usage than to big cities/volume usage).
 

Hawkeyenuts66

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Oct 11, 2013
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You pull into the gas station, give them your credit card, and then go to select your fuel grade.

Since we on HROT are not poor people who drive domestic cars, we clearly choose the highest grade of fuel at the pump. Especially in states that have that ethanol garbage. But the problem is… The vast majority of the time the car in front of us got the cheap stuff. So that is what is sitting in the hose already.

How do you avoid the crappy stuff getting into your fuel tank? It seems like the gas stations have no interest in trying to help us… So I normally just pour about a quarter of a gallon onto the ground before I put anything in my car.

Is there a better way for me to be doing this?
Thanks for the polluted ground water.
 
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hawkmart

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Well 💩 it never crossed my mind about what crappy gas the last person left in the hose, now I'll have to ponder that for a bit
 
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Hawkeyenuts66

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Our RAGBRAI bus disagrees. You put ethanol in that thing and it limps and backfires its way across Iowa that last week in July. Keep the ethanol out, and she’s right as rain.
If it's an older bus it may be because the engine isn't designed for ethanol blend. Some of the older big blocks don't run well on the cooler burning ethanol.
 

Moral

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I'll add also, buy if possible at newer stations. Going to the same old Casey's that's been on your corner for 40 years probably means their tanks are older 'n dirt.

It is weird that I have never seen a gas station maintaining their tanks. We pulled water out of them every day in the USAF. We had a plumb bob we would lower in to the tanks with a paste on them that reacted to water to see how kuch was sitting on the bottom of the mogas tanks and what not.

That is why I dont mess withbgas if the tanks are getting refueled or if they just did. I just assume the water is kicked up all over at that point.
 
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Hawki97

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If it's an older bus it may be because the engine isn't designed for ethanol blend. Some of the older big blocks don't run well on the cooler burning ethanol.

92 Bluebird. But that doesn’t mean jack because the engine had a full rip and replace before we bought it. No idea what’s in it now. Just know that ethanol is a big no-no.
 
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SalAunese

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I put 337k miles on a Land Cruiser, using ethanol fuel exclusively. It’s still out there from what I assume.
 

MeetTheFerentz

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I can tell that many of you learned in the '90s that ethanol is bad and are sticking to your story. It's the funniest frickin' thing. Ya'll remind me of so many people I know that think using ethanol gas is some sign of poor social status.

WTF are ya'll driving these days that gets it's engine f*'d up or doesn't perform well with ethanol? And since just about all of you drive high performance vehicles that require 93 octane, where the heck do you find that ethanol-free?

LOL
 

MeetTheFerentz

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Yet again another tip - say you're driving a 400 mile drive. Your 100 miles from home and you will need to buy gas. You have a tried and true station you usually buy from, but you're not there yet. So, you have to stop at some store along the interstate you've never bought from before.

Hopefully you have a pretty good idea what MPG your vehicle gets. ONLY buy enough from the unknown station to get back to your favorite station. Then when you get home, fill up with the stuff you know is good.
Brilliant, hot take. Never thought of that before. Thanks for explaining it to us like we're all 10 years old, too.
 

ping72

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I can tell that many of you learned in the '90s that ethanol is bad and are sticking to your story. It's the funniest frickin' thing. Ya'll remind me of so many people I know that think using ethanol gas is some sign of poor social status.

WTF are ya'll driving these days that gets it's engine f*'d up or doesn't perform well with ethanol? And since just about all of you drive high performance vehicles that require 93 octane, where the heck do you find that ethanol-free?

LOL

Growing up in Iowa, I was all about my ethanol. That was in the 90s… I was brainwashed to think that it was fantastic and the reason we had cheap gas in Iowa.

But then I moved away for many years in several states that don’t sell ethanol.

Now when I return to Iowa, I’m surprised by two things: 1) Iowa gas isn’t cheap; 2) how my mpg tanks when I get ethanol-it’s legit 2+ mpg than normal.
 

MeetTheFerentz

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Growing up in Iowa, I was all about my ethanol. That was in the 90s… I was brainwashed to think that it was fantastic and the reason we had cheap gas in Iowa.

But then I moved away for many years in several states that don’t sell ethanol.

Now when I return to Iowa, I’m surprised by two things: 1) Iowa gas isn’t cheap; 2) how my mpg tanks when I get ethanol-it’s legit 2+ mpg than normal.
It still sounds like you’re talking about the past, maybe 10 to 12 years ago. Ethanol-containing gas is available in almost every state now and accounts for about 98% of all gasoline sold in the US.

You’re right that E10 does not get as good of gas mileage as ethanol free fuel. It makes up for it by being cheaper and depending on the market could turn out to be the better deal as far as miles/$.

Now, if you are saying that you currently don’t get as good of gas mileage out of Iowa E10 as he do your home state E10, well, I guess that doesn’t surprise me, either. Iowa seems to be headed in the wrong direction and so many things, so why not crappy gas, too…
 

NorthDSMHawk

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It is weird that I have never seen a gas station maintaining their tanks. We pulled water out of them every day in the USAF. We had a plumb bob we would lower in to the tanks with a paste on them that reacted to water to see how kuch was sitting on the bottom of the mogas tanks and what not.

That is why I dont mess withbgas if the tanks are getting refueled or if they just did. I just assume the water is kicked up all over at that point.
No, it's not weird. Because we've developed systems to actually prevent leaks and decay by corrosion prevention (cathodic protection), double wall fiberglass tanks, continuous ATG monitoring, etc. to make sure we don't need guys continuously doing that.
 
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If it's an older bus it may be because the engine isn't designed for ethanol blend. Some of the older big blocks don't run well on the cooler burning ethanol.
^This. Unless you're driving a vehicle from before 2007, it's extremely unlikely that running an ethanol blend of 15% or less will have any deleterious effect on your vehicle or its components. In fact, it can have a benefit of a cleaner running fuel system and lower cylinder temperatures, not to mention lower emissions and resulting pollution.

That being said, I'm not pro-ethanol as the industry is a sham and has a noticeable environmental impact during the production phase. Also, don't use ethanol blends in your small engine equipment as they are not equipped and manufactured to handle them as they will generally run hotter and are more likely to degrade the engine components, even fiberglass fuel tanks. Don't let ethanol sit in your small engine machines either as the water will tend to separate in the fuel and settle in the tank or turn into brown sludge if left unused for a long period of time.