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With gas prices going through the roof, we decided to write an article about the price of gas and if cheap gas is bad or not for your car. We have been paying more attention to different stations  in Gresham to check what they are charging and the type of gas that they have. Space Age and Arco  almost always seem to have cheaper gas. Sometimes, it’s as more than 10-15 cents less per gallon as other stations and it’s not a small difference!  I always wondered if we purchase that cheap gas will we end up paying more money to repair our engine than save up?

The Auto Club’s Mazor was very honest, and obtained interesting results from a blind test they made on three samples of gasoline from both major and small gas stations.

“We tested emissions, fuel economy and performance and we could not tell the difference,” he says.

Mazor thinks that the driving crowd  has outpaced the notion that cheap gas is not the same as premium gas. Seventeen years ago, indeed premium gas was the only type of gas that had detergents in it. And it was found very usefull to sometimes fill your tank of expensive gas to clean the engine. Then, you can imagine that they didn’t have the regulation from now, they were very relaxes, now a days this doesn’t apply anymore. We have very strict regulations that are very well enforced, and the difference between the gas is very small, all of them have detergents and a lot of good things for your engine.

Also, Randy Stephens, chief engineer for Toyota’s, isn’t fully convinced by the claims of engine protection offered  by higher-priced gas. He says fuel experts at his company study the effects of different brands of gas on the Toyota engines. Car engineers take apart engines after 10,000 miles of running them on a various of brands of gas to see if there is a difference.

“Honestly, in the 10 years I’ve been in charge of Avalon, I’ve never seen one come back with any sort of deposit issue,” Stephens says

Earl Baker from AAA Oregon and Idaho’s automotive expert says that: “There’s really no such thing as gas that’s bad for your car” .

All retail fuel must meet federal, state and industry environmental and quality standards, Baker said. “It’s OK to buy based on the price.”

In fact, investigations by the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers have found no quality differences based on brand or location.

Still, there are picky drivers who swear by Chevron, Shell and other chains that add engine-cleaning additives to standard fuel. Station-to-station price fluctuations, however, tend to be more about timing and business practices.

The reason for the price fluctuations could be because some buyers may have put in ahuge fuel orders right before the price went  up with 10 cents a gallon. For example  Arco owns its own refineries and doesn’t accept credit cards at most of its stations (but it’s currently piloting the acceptance of credit cards at some Northwest stations), allowing it to pass on savings from bank fees.

If your find yourself in the position of driving through the neighborhood you see one of your neighbor’s selling premium gas for $2 a gallon out of his garage, keep driving. But don’t let your petrol-snob pal scare you away from the Portland area’s lowest gas prices, which you can track daily online.

Henry is a school professor that is not living in the city and he drives to the city on a daily basis and he is very concerned regarding the gas that he puts in his car. Henry also enjoys reading articles on www.coopskw.com/