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So, last night and into today I was starting to get really antsy about my wing's performance. I was getting a loping idle, and more valve clatter than normal. Immediatly, my brain started to go into worst-case mode, and I started to think it was a failing ignition system, fuel starvation, or something similar...

As it turns out, it wasjust the brand of gasoline I used. Following is the list of gas stations I will, and won't use. I'd like to see if any of you have similar thoughts:

Yes:

Texaco

Shell

Chevron

No:

76

BP

Arco

Safeway / Costco / other misc discount.

Any Gasohol

 

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The discount stations have the same gas as the name brand stations. They just dont have the additive package as the name brand stations. But i know from experience that many times branded gas is put into nonbranded stations.

Pat
 

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philcsand wrote:
So, last night and into today I was starting to get really antsy about my wing's performance. I was getting a loping idle, and more valve clatter than normal. Immediatly, my brain started to go into worst-case mode, and I started to think it was a failing ignition system, fuel starvation, or something similar...

As it turns out, it wasjust the brand of gasoline I used. Following is the list of gas stations I will, and won't use. I'd like to see if any of you have similar thoughts:
philcsand, you have to be careful in generalizing gasoline stations just by there name or supplier.

As a general rule most all gasoline comes from the same refinery's. It is true that the additive packages in the fuel can vary by company & even vary more by region & altitude but still must maintain certain constraints to be sold as motor fuel.

There are certain things to look out for though.

-Old gas stations: those can have older underground tanks that allow water & dirt in.

-Stations or companies that use alcohol, alcohol in the fuel for older engines is usually bad news.

-Stations that sell very little fuel, the fuel in those tanks gets old & loses it's light ends & starts to sour.

-NEVER buy fuel right after or while a tanker is filling the underground tanks. That stirs up dirt & water from the bottom of the tank & can then get in your fuel supply.

One thing to remember: this is a bad time of year for buying fuel. A lot of stations are still selling winter gasoline & winter gasoline can cause all kinds of problems as the ambient temperatures increase. Problems from knocking, to vapor lock, to hard starting, to poor idling, to bad exhaust smells, to black smoke. This will soon disappear assummer gasoline is phased in.



Twisty
 

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The only stations I won't use in my area are ARCO. Mainly that's because they use more ethanol. I know my car gets less mileage with their fuel. Also it gripes me they are the only ones who ad a 35 cent charge if you use a debit card. That's over eight cents per gallon extra when you're only buying around 4 gallons.

A couple years ago when I was flying an ultralight with a Rotax 582 that didn't like ethanol I tested several brands around here using the olive jar method. There was a trace in a couple different brands, but ARCO looked like it was at least 10%. That was in the summer too.

Other than that, the red machine sucks up just about any gas I can find for her!
 

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You are right that it is the same gasoline, but that the additives are the difference. Arco and 76 use VERY high Ethanol to Gasoline ratios. (up to 19% for arco, and 15% for 76)

Texashell (Texaco was bought by Shell) gasoline is not oxygenated with Ethanol, it uses MTBE (except in California). Chevron is just good stuff all around.

In searching the net, I came across this essay about the use of ethanol.

http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/farmmgt/05010.html

Alcohol for Motor Fuels
[align=left]

Quick Facts...
  • The level of interest in using alcohol as a motor fuel has followed cycles of fuel shortages and/or low feed-grain prices.
  • Alcohols burn more completely, thus increasing combustion efficiency.
  • There are many disadvantages to using alcohols, particularly methyl and ethyl alcohol.
  • Advantages of mixing alcohol with gasoline are that alcohol tends to increase the octane rating and reduce carbon monoxide emissions.
  • Alcohols may corrode certain materials used in engines.
Alcohol has been used as a fuel for internal combustion engines since their invention. Reports on the use of alcohol as a motor fuel were published in 1907 and detailed research was conducted in the 1920s and 1930s. Historically, the level of interest in using alcohol as a motor fuel has followed cycles of fuel shortages and/or low feed-grain prices.[/align]
The properties of methyl, ethyl and butyl alcohol are compared with octane (high quality gasoline) and hexadecane (high quality diesel fuel) in Table 1. Note that octane and hexadecane (petroleum fuels) have higher boiling points, lower latent heats and are insoluble in water. The alcohols become more like petroleum fuels as their chemical weights increase.

Methyl alcohol has the lowest combustion energy of all the fuels listed. However, it also has the lowest stoichiometric or chemically correct air-fuel ratio. Therefore, an engine burning methyl alcohol would produce the most power. It also is possible to take advantage of the higher octane ratings of methyl (and ethyl) alcohol and increase the engine compression ratio. This would increase the efficiency of converting the potential combustion energy to power. Finally, alcohols burn more completely, thus increasing combustion efficiency.

Disadvantages of Alcohol
There are many disadvantages to using alcohols, particularly methyl and ethyl alcohol. Although these alcohols, when used near their stoichiometric air-fuel ratios, produce more power, a larger quantity of fuel is required to produce a specified power output. For example, in an automobile, more fuel is required for each mile driven.

The relatively low boiling points and high vapor pressures of methyl and ethyl alcohol indicate that vapor lock could be a serious problem, particularly at high altitudes on warm summer days. Butyl alcohol, because of its low vapor pressure, is the least likely of the alcohols to cause vapor lock.

The relatively high latent heats of methyl and ethyl alcohol cause problems in mixing these alcohols with air and transporting them through the intake manifold of the engine. Heating the intake manifold may be necessary in cold weather or before the engine reaches operating temperatures. Without external heat to more completely vaporize the fuel, the engine may be difficult to start and sluggish for a considerable time after starting. Butyl alcohol is the least likely to cause starting difficulties or problems during warm-up. Note that its latent heat is almost the same as the latent heat of octane.

[align=left]

Figure 1: Gasoline engine full throttle power output using ethanol fuel blends.
Blending Alcohol and Gasoline
Mixing alcohol with gasoline produces gasohol. Advantages of fuel blends are that alcohol tends to increase the octane rating, which is particularly important in unleaded fuel, and reduce carbon monoxide (CO) emissions from the engine.[/align]
[align=left]

Figure 2: Gasoline engine full throttle exhaust emissions using ethanol fuel blends.
The effect of using a blend of alcohol and gasoline in an engine adjusted for gasoline is to "lean out" the fuel mixture. This is illustrated in Figure 1 for an engine burning blends of ethanol and gasoline. A mixture of 10 percent ethanol in gasoline produced more power when the carburetor was adjusted for gasoline. Increasing the ethanol content to 25 percent reduced the power output. The test results in Figure 1 were obtained at an elevation of 5,000 feet where an engine adjusted to operate on gasoline is expected to run rich. The 10 percent blend produced a leaner and better air-fuel ratio; the 25 percent blend was too lean. [/align]
Because of its higher stoichiometric air-fuel ratio, butyl alcohol can be mixed with gasoline in higher concentrations without affecting performance. Similarly, because of its low stoichiometric air-fuel ratio, only a small quantity of methyl alcohol can be mixed with gasoline without affecting performance. In other words, a fuel blend containing 20 percent methyl alcohol requires modification of the carburetor fuel jets to optimize power output, whereas a 20 percent blend of butyl alcohol does not.

The effect on exhaust emissions of increasing the ethanol concentration in the fuel is shown in Figure 2. The primary effect of ethanol is to reduce the CO emissions. It should be noted that the same effect was obtained using straight gasoline and carefully leaning the air-fuel ratio.

Alcohol and Diesel Engines
[align=left]

Figure 3: Diesel engine power output using ethanol fuel blends.
Tests results using blends of ethanol in diesel fuel are shown in Figure 3. The engine used in these tests was naturally aspirated. As with gasohol, the primary effect of the ethanol was to lean the air-fuel mixture and produce more efficient combustion.[/align]
Methyl alcohol, because of its highly polar nature, does not mix with diesel fuel. Ethanol can be mixed with diesel fuel provided there is little water in the ethanol. A diesel engine normally will not operate on ethanol nor will ethanol provide lubrication for the fuel injection system. Another problem with adding ethanol to diesel fuel is that the cetane number (ignition characteristic) may decrease below the level recommended by the engine manufacturer.

Butyl alcohol can be mixed with diesel fuel in virtually any concentration. It does not separate as water is added or as the temperature is decreased. Further, butyl alcohol does not significantly change the cetane number of diesel fuel. In blends with diesel fuel, butyl alcohol tends to reduce the solidification temperature of the fuel at low temperatures.

Corrosiveness
[align=left]
[suP]1[/suP]J.L. Smith, former Colorado State University professor and J.P. Workman, former research associate. 9/92. Reviewed 9/98 by P.D. Ayers, Cooperative Extension agricultural engineer and professor; chemical and bioresource engineering. [/align]
 

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I know that when I lived in portland Oregon, the only gas that would work in my 1999 dodge dakota was chevron ALL others pinged like mad.... yes they are different
 

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Here in the UK,

I use Shell to clean the engine and for economy

Esso and Texacofor performance (although Texaco does make the engine noisier)

anysupermarket brand for pottering around town usualy followed by a tankfull of Shell to replace the addatives.
 
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Hey philcsand :waving:I just pull in on my neighbours :18red:and tell the guy to fill her up and charge it tomy neighboursaccount. :clapper:

:weightlifter::18red::weightlifter:
 

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Years ago Maxol used to be the cheapo fuel over here. Some cars used to run badly on it and I always suspected that they just put the standard stuff into the premium tanks and that's how it was so cheap!
 

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Redwing. wrote:
Hey philcsand :waving:I just pull in on my neighbours :18red:and tell the guy to fill her up and charge it tomy neighboursaccount. :clapper:
It's difficult to get gas for my bike, the neighbor's lawnmowers are all so low it's hard to siphon from them. This modern gas tastes like hell too.:cheeky1:
 
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