Can You Save On Generic Gas And Not Harm Your Car?

By: Scott Siegel

As the price of fuel goes up and up more drivers are thinking about using generic gas from stations that are not affiliated with the big international gas companies like Exxon or Shell. The question is, can you get the same quality of gas from ABC gas station as you can get from the big guys? Will the XYZ gas run your car with out causing damage to your engine?

The answer is yes the generic gas will work just fine. There is really not much difference between the generic gas and the more expensive branded gasoline except for additives that define a company brand. To understand how this can be you can take a quick look at how the gas refining system handles the gas it produces. This makes the generic versus brand argument easy to figure out.

In general fuel produced at refineries is what is called a generic product. In specific regions of the country gas has to meet certain environmental specifications. Because all gas in those regions gas depots are produced to the same specifications, gas refiners often share and exchange gasoline and store it in common tanks.

The gas that is made at one refinery is pretty much the same as any other refinery. They all make generic gas. The additives that are put into the generic gas are what makes one brand of gas different from another brand of gas. Each has it's own particular recipe or formula of additives.

The brand additives are put into the gas when the gas is being loaded into tanker trucks. All the oil companies are starting with the same generic gas so the main component that runs your car is all the same. You can see why generic gas is really no different than branded gas.

Just to be safe, there have been studies to see if there is a difference between generic fuel and branded fuel. The latest research was a cooperative study was done by the Maryland State Comptroller's office and ABC News.

Scientists at the Fuel Testing Lab performed a myriad of tests on generic and branded gasoline. The gasoline was tested for many things including contaminants like excessive sediments or diesel that might have gotten mixed with the gas. The scientists put the fuel into a special test engine to make sure that the fuel was all 87 octane. The chemists at the lab even made sure that the fuel was properly formulated for the current season as mandated by regulations.

The study results are good news for you. The study found that for the most part all gas was one and the same. The major difference between brands of gasoline is how much detergent additives are put into it. Even taking into consideration the additives the differences between them are very small.

Essentially gas is gas is gas. All fuel sold for your vehicle regardless if it is generic or branded will work just fine. The one big difference is really what you already knew, the non branded gas has the lower price.

$100 to $200 per year is the estimate that is used in gauging how much you can save by using generic gas. Go to the generic station the next time you fill up and save yourself some cash.

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