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#3388058 - 06/03/14 06:36 PM Arco now advertising top tier status
another Todd Offline


Registered: 05/15/06
Posts: 1782
Loc: Southern CA
TOP TIER® Gas For Less - ARCO Has TOP TIER® Gas For Less.
www.ARCO.com

The above is cut and paste of the website indicating Arco is Top Tier, and explaining all about it. The Top Tier website does not list them, it lists BP but not Arco.

Forgive me if this has been discussed already. I searched but didn't find anything.
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#3388080 - 06/03/14 06:52 PM Re: Arco now advertising top tier status [Re: another Todd]
Durango Offline


Registered: 02/15/07
Posts: 2052
Loc: Los Angeles, California
another Todd,

I had always thought about this for a good while since the So. Cal refinery was sold to another company.

Since then I kinda always thought it was a "Top Tier" but hesitated to really call it as such. Now that I've seen your article I guess that's what they say now.

In the past I've always used ARCO gasoline and never had any issues with it. I truely believe it's fine to use. as in my area I see Mercedess and Porsche etc use this gas.

Durango

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#3388083 - 06/03/14 06:54 PM Re: Arco now advertising top tier status [Re: another Todd]
dave5358 Offline


Registered: 04/25/13
Posts: 669
Loc: North Bend
Originally Posted By: another Todd
TOP TIER® Gas For Less - ARCO Has TOP TIER® Gas For Less.
www.ARCO.com

The above is cut and paste of the website indicating Arco is Top Tier, and explaining all about it. The Top Tier website does not list them, it lists BP but not Arco.

Top Tier may just be slow in revising their web copy.
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#3388085 - 06/03/14 06:57 PM Re: Arco now advertising top tier status [Re: another Todd]
y_p_w Offline


Registered: 05/06/05
Posts: 2589
Loc: SF Bay Area
I've heard their radio spots. They use two phrases, one of which is "top quality gas for less". And they suggest going to the Top Tier website, which is odd since it doesn't list Arco (yet).

The use of the Arco trademark is rather complicated. BP sold the trademark to Tesoro. The Arco website says "Tesoro Refining" at the bottom, but then Tesoro licensed it back to BP to operate gas stations in certain markets (Northern California to Washington). Arco still owns the ampm name and licenses it to Arco convenience stores Southern California that are franchised by Tesoro. They own it so BP affiliated stations can use it.

However, to use the Top Tier trademark, all the stations under a specific brand must meet their standards and give them their test results. I'm interested in how this works given the complicated BP/Tesoro relationship with the Arco trademark. I would think they could work something out where the Tesoro affiliated stations can use an additive selected by Tesoro, and the BP affiliated stations one for BP.

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#3388251 - 06/03/14 09:44 PM Re: Arco now advertising top tier status [Re: another Todd]
WhyMe Offline


Registered: 12/18/12
Posts: 263
Loc: Washington for now
So jut more detergent make it top tier now?? If i can get the same gas mileage with Arco as i get with Costco or Chevron, i am gonna switch. they are usually less expensive buy about 10 cents

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#3390223 - 06/05/14 10:21 PM Re: Arco now advertising top tier status [Re: another Todd]
Durango Offline


Registered: 02/15/07
Posts: 2052
Loc: Los Angeles, California
WhyMe,

Your question might put us back as to how gas is made and wether the process is more or less the same as the other manufacturers. If I remember gas is basically made the same. It's the chemical detergency and how much is put in the truck before it leaves the plant/depot. If the quality is suppose to be considered just as good then generally it must have enough detergent to keep fuel injector and pistons clean. Perhaps as a precausion you might consider an extra bottle in the tank every 6 months along with a full fresh tank of gas should keep thing fine.

Durango

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#3390617 - 06/06/14 11:24 AM Re: Arco now advertising top tier status [Re: WhyMe]
rhhsiao Offline


Registered: 01/13/12
Posts: 153
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Originally Posted By: WhyMe
So jut more detergent make it top tier now?? If i can get the same gas mileage with Arco as i get with Costco or Chevron, i am gonna switch. they are usually less expensive buy about 10 cents


The Costco Amex gives 3% cash back on gas. That would make up for any savings once gas hits $3.33/gallon.

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#3390817 - 06/06/14 03:30 PM Re: Arco now advertising top tier status [Re: Durango]
y_p_w Offline


Registered: 05/06/05
Posts: 2589
Loc: SF Bay Area
Originally Posted By: Durango
WhyMe,

Your question might put us back as to how gas is made and wether the process is more or less the same as the other manufacturers. If I remember gas is basically made the same. It's the chemical detergency and how much is put in the truck before it leaves the plant/depot. If the quality is suppose to be considered just as good then generally it must have enough detergent to keep fuel injector and pistons clean. Perhaps as a precausion you might consider an extra bottle in the tank every 6 months along with a full fresh tank of gas should keep thing fine.

Durango

Fuel is pretty much a commodity. Just do a search here and several former fuel truckers will vouch for that. There are some specialty fuels (race gas, no ethanol, or 93 octane) out there, but few and far between. In California it's going to be commodity fuel if it's 87/89/91.

They all go to the same fuel terminals and load the same base fuel. TiredTrucker mentioned having everything arranged ahead of time before arrival, including the amount of fuel, type of fuel, and end customer. The terminals have piping to meter amounts of each end customers' proprietary additive as well as generic additives available to any customer. He said each driver has an ID card that gets swiped after hooking up. They already know who ordered and where it's going. So the additive gets dispensed first, and then the fuel which mixes. The fuel is the same. It's highly regulated and differences in the base fuel are minimal.

Who made the base fuel is generally a matter of geography and/or availability. Some fuel terminals are right next to refineries. Others are located far from refineries where the fuel is sent by pipeline. One gas station is likely to get fuel consistently from the closest fuel terminal.

Costco is the most interesting. They now have the additive (made for them by Lubrizol) blended into their tanks at the time the fuel is delivered by truck. They have an additive tank on site where the additive is also delivered by tank occasionally. Their employee punches in the amount of fuel delivered and it meters the amount of additive into the tank. The mechanical action mixes the additive and fuel.

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#3390866 - 06/06/14 04:26 PM Re: Arco now advertising top tier status [Re: another Todd]
surfstar Offline


Registered: 09/16/04
Posts: 4451
Loc: Santa Barbara, CA
They still won't get my business. They charge me to use a debit card or I have to pay with cash.

I get 5% cashback at any other gas station using my CC - so eff ewe ARCO.

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#3390927 - 06/06/14 05:45 PM Re: Arco now advertising top tier status [Re: y_p_w]
dave5358 Offline


Registered: 04/25/13
Posts: 669
Loc: North Bend
Originally Posted By: y_p_w
Originally Posted By: Durango
WhyMe,

Your question might put us back as to how gas is made and whether the process is more or less the same as the other manufacturers. If I remember gas is basically made the same. It's the chemical detergency and how much is put in the truck before it leaves the plant/depot. If the quality is suppose to be considered just as good then generally it must have enough detergent to keep fuel injector and pistons clean. Perhaps as a precausion you might consider an extra bottle in the tank every 6 months along with a full fresh tank of gas should keep thing fine.

Durango

Fuel is pretty much a commodity. Just do a search here and several former fuel truckers will vouch for that. There are some specialty fuels (race gas, no ethanol, or 93 octane) out there, but few and far between. In California it's going to be commodity fuel if it's 87/89/91.

They all go to the same fuel terminals and load the same base fuel. TiredTrucker mentioned having everything arranged ahead of time before arrival, including the amount of fuel, type of fuel, and end customer. The terminals have piping to meter amounts of each end customers' proprietary additive as well as generic additives available to any customer. He said each driver has an ID card that gets swiped after hooking up. They already know who ordered and where it's going. So the additive gets dispensed first, and then the fuel which mixes. The fuel is the same. It's highly regulated and differences in the base fuel are minimal.

Who made the base fuel is generally a matter of geography and/or availability. Some fuel terminals are right next to refineries. Others are located far from refineries where the fuel is sent by pipeline. One gas station is likely to get fuel consistently from the closest fuel terminal.<snip>

Is there much (or any) federal regulation of this process? This came up in another thread, with one responder stating that the fuel had to meet [unspecified] federal regulations.

I think it's pretty much between the refiner, pipeline operator, tank farm operator and end consumer (e.g. Costco or whoever). The feds might get involved if there's a spill or threat to the pipeline or tank farm or something like that (but they do that for railroads as well - NTSB or Homeland Security, probably the same agencies for pipelines).

But for routine business, is there any government involvement?
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2008 Corolla LE

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#3390948 - 06/06/14 06:20 PM Re: Arco now advertising top tier status [Re: dave5358]
y_p_w Offline


Registered: 05/06/05
Posts: 2589
Loc: SF Bay Area
Originally Posted By: dave5358
Originally Posted By: y_p_w
Originally Posted By: Durango
WhyMe,

Your question might put us back as to how gas is made and whether the process is more or less the same as the other manufacturers. If I remember gas is basically made the same. It's the chemical detergency and how much is put in the truck before it leaves the plant/depot. If the quality is suppose to be considered just as good then generally it must have enough detergent to keep fuel injector and pistons clean. Perhaps as a precausion you might consider an extra bottle in the tank every 6 months along with a full fresh tank of gas should keep thing fine.

Durango

Fuel is pretty much a commodity. Just do a search here and several former fuel truckers will vouch for that. There are some specialty fuels (race gas, no ethanol, or 93 octane) out there, but few and far between. In California it's going to be commodity fuel if it's 87/89/91.

They all go to the same fuel terminals and load the same base fuel. TiredTrucker mentioned having everything arranged ahead of time before arrival, including the amount of fuel, type of fuel, and end customer. The terminals have piping to meter amounts of each end customers' proprietary additive as well as generic additives available to any customer. He said each driver has an ID card that gets swiped after hooking up. They already know who ordered and where it's going. So the additive gets dispensed first, and then the fuel which mixes. The fuel is the same. It's highly regulated and differences in the base fuel are minimal.

Who made the base fuel is generally a matter of geography and/or availability. Some fuel terminals are right next to refineries. Others are located far from refineries where the fuel is sent by pipeline. One gas station is likely to get fuel consistently from the closest fuel terminal.<snip>

Is there much (or any) federal regulation of this process? This came up in another thread, with one responder stating that the fuel had to meet [unspecified] federal regulations.

I think it's pretty much between the refiner, pipeline operator, tank farm operator and end consumer (e.g. Costco or whoever). The feds might get involved if there's a spill or threat to the pipeline or tank farm or something like that (but they do that for railroads as well - NTSB or Homeland Security, probably the same agencies for pipelines).

But for routine business, is there any government involvement?

There are test procedures involved, although I'm not sure who does the testing. I think it's in the interests of the seller to make sure they get what they paid for.

California has random, unannounced inspections through its own reformulated gas program.

Quote:
http://www.arb.ca.gov/enf/fuels/inspections.htm

A primary component of the ARB's Motor Vehicle Fuels Enforcement program is the inspection of California gasoline and diesel fuel at production, transport, and dispensing facilities.

ARB Fuels Inspectors conduct frequent, unannounced inspections of refineries, service stations, distribution and storage, bulk purchaser and consumer facilities throughout the State of California to obtain samples of gasoline and diesel fuel. The samples are then analyzed in the Mobile Fuels Laboratory.

http://www.arb.ca.gov/enf/fuels/mobilelab.htm

Today, the mobile fuels laboratory contains all the analysis instruments and support equipment necessary to test for the parameters of gasoline and diesel fuel which are regulated by the ARB. Gasoline samples are analyzed for Reid vapor pressure, T50 and T90 distillation temperatures, oxygen, benzene, total aromatics, and olefin and sulfur contents. Diesel fuel is analysed for sulfur content, aromatic hydrocarbon, and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbon content. The mobile fuels laboratory also contains support equipment, including two power generators, a battery/inverter system, water system, compressed gas handling system, fume hoods, and safety systems.


The formulations are pretty tightly controlled for federal reformulated gas. I don't know how much of an incentive there would be for a reputable refining company to cheat. You can look through the EPA's rules.

http://www.epa.gov/otaq/fuels/gasolinefuels/rfg/compliance.htm

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#3391382 - 06/07/14 10:19 AM Re: Arco now advertising top tier status [Re: y_p_w]
dave5358 Offline


Registered: 04/25/13
Posts: 669
Loc: North Bend
Originally Posted By: y_p_w
Originally Posted By: dave5358
Originally Posted By: y_p_w
Originally Posted By: Durango
WhyMe,

Your question might put us back as to how gas is made and whether the process is more or less the same as the other manufacturers. If I remember gas is basically made the same. It's the chemical detergency and how much is put in the truck before it leaves the plant/depot. If the quality is suppose to be considered just as good then generally it must have enough detergent to keep fuel injector and pistons clean. Perhaps as a precausion you might consider an extra bottle in the tank every 6 months along with a full fresh tank of gas should keep thing fine.

Fuel is pretty much a commodity. Just do a search here and several former fuel truckers will vouch for that. There are some specialty fuels (race gas, no ethanol, or 93 octane) out there, but few and far between. In California it's going to be commodity fuel if it's 87/89/91.

They all go to the same fuel terminals and load the same base fuel. TiredTrucker mentioned having everything arranged ahead of time before arrival, including the amount of fuel, type of fuel, and end customer. The terminals have piping to meter amounts of each end customers' proprietary additive as well as generic additives available to any customer. He said each driver has an ID card that gets swiped after hooking up. They already know who ordered and where it's going. So the additive gets dispensed first, and then the fuel which mixes. The fuel is the same. It's highly regulated and differences in the base fuel are minimal.

Who made the base fuel is generally a matter of geography and/or availability. Some fuel terminals are right next to refineries. Others are located far from refineries where the fuel is sent by pipeline. One gas station is likely to get fuel consistently from the closest fuel terminal.<snip>

Is there much (or any) federal regulation of this process? This came up in another thread, with one responder stating that the fuel had to meet [unspecified] federal regulations.

I think it's pretty much between the refiner, pipeline operator, tank farm operator and end consumer (e.g. Costco or whoever). The feds might get involved if there's a spill or threat to the pipeline or tank farm or something like that (but they do that for railroads as well - NTSB or Homeland Security, probably the same agencies for pipelines).

But for routine business, is there any government involvement?

There are test procedures involved, although I'm not sure who does the testing. I think it's in the interests of the seller to make sure they get what they paid for.

California has random, unannounced inspections through its own reformulated gas program.

Quote:
http://www.arb.ca.gov/enf/fuels/inspections.htm

A primary component of the ARB's Motor Vehicle Fuels Enforcement program is the inspection of California gasoline and diesel fuel at production, transport, and dispensing facilities.

ARB Fuels Inspectors conduct frequent, unannounced inspections of refineries, service stations, distribution and storage, bulk purchaser and consumer facilities throughout the State of California to obtain samples of gasoline and diesel fuel. The samples are then analyzed in the Mobile Fuels Laboratory.

http://www.arb.ca.gov/enf/fuels/mobilelab.htm

Today, the mobile fuels laboratory contains all the analysis instruments and support equipment necessary to test for the parameters of gasoline and diesel fuel which are regulated by the ARB. Gasoline samples are analyzed for Reid vapor pressure, T50 and T90 distillation temperatures, oxygen, benzene, total aromatics, and olefin and sulfur contents. Diesel fuel is analysed for sulfur content, aromatic hydrocarbon, and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbon content. The mobile fuels laboratory also contains support equipment, including two power generators, a battery/inverter system, water system, compressed gas handling system, fume hoods, and safety systems.


The formulations are pretty tightly controlled for federal reformulated gas. I don't know how much of an incentive there would be for a reputable refining company to cheat. You can look through the EPA's rules.

http://www.epa.gov/otaq/fuels/gasolinefuels/rfg/compliance.htm

Thanks to all. Good information. I don't think there is anything remotely like mobile fuels lab testing in Ohio... zero... nada. The county auditor is supposed to test pumps for accurate delivery. He then puts a sticker on the pump which prominently displays his name.

The EPA does monitor air quality - mostly done in cities. Some years ago, the EPA was a big mover behind the Ohio E-Check program to test vehicle emissions. The state built a bunch of E-check stations, caused a lot of headaches for a lot of people... and then the whole program went away. It was deemed ineffective. So now we're back to... zero. Beyond that I have never heard of a state program to test anything.

There is a large tank farm and pipeline terminal in town. Shell and BP both have their own terminals but there are one or two others with no brand name prominently displayed. Some of the gasoline may come from the Husky Refinery in Lima, Ohio, which is on the other end of the local pipeline. This same pipeline may go on to Cincinnati.

Anyhow, thanks for the info.
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2008 Corolla LE

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#3391963 - 06/08/14 07:20 AM Re: Arco now advertising top tier status [Re: y_p_w]
gaijinnv Online   content


Registered: 02/14/13
Posts: 238
Loc: Nevada, USA
Originally Posted By: y_p_w
I've heard their radio spots. They use two phrases, one of which is "top quality gas for less". And they suggest going to the Top Tier website, which is odd since it doesn't list Arco (yet).

The use of the Arco trademark is rather complicated. BP sold the trademark to Tesoro. The Arco website says "Tesoro Refining" at the bottom, but then Tesoro licensed it back to BP to operate gas stations in certain markets (Northern California to Washington). Arco still owns the ampm name and licenses it to Arco convenience stores Southern California that are franchised by Tesoro. They own it so BP affiliated stations can use it.

However, to use the Top Tier trademark, all the stations under a specific brand must meet their standards and give them their test results. I'm interested in how this works given the complicated BP/Tesoro relationship with the Arco trademark. I would think they could work something out where the Tesoro affiliated stations can use an additive selected by Tesoro, and the BP affiliated stations one for BP.


Arco and BP are both listed on the Top Tier web site: Top Tier Retailers

HTH

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#3391975 - 06/08/14 07:41 AM Re: Arco now advertising top tier status [Re: gaijinnv]
dave5358 Offline


Registered: 04/25/13
Posts: 669
Loc: North Bend
Originally Posted By: gaijinnv
Arco and BP are both listed on the Top Tier web site: Top Tier Retailers

That just happened... like 6/6/2014. ARCO probably reads BITOG posts and noted that folks were commenting on this.
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2006 Forester XT
2008 Corolla LE

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#3392132 - 06/08/14 11:33 AM Re: Arco now advertising top tier status [Re: dave5358]
y_p_w Offline


Registered: 05/06/05
Posts: 2589
Loc: SF Bay Area
Originally Posted By: dave5358
Thanks to all. Good information. I don't think there is anything remotely like mobile fuels lab testing in Ohio... zero... nada. The county auditor is supposed to test pumps for accurate delivery. He then puts a sticker on the pump which prominently displays his name.

That's pretty common around the US. However, it's not terribly complicated. Just pump out different amounts of fuel and verify that they produce an accurate volume. Now testing fuel for content, water amount, vapor pressure, etc takes a lot more effort and equipment.

In California every county has a weights & measures office - almost always part of the county agricultural commissioner's office. The exception I can think of is San Francisco, (which strangely enough does have an agricultural commissioner) where it's run out of the public health department.

I've even seen county weights & measures stickers on old-fashioned gravity feed pumps. These are hand pumped into large glass vials and then dropped via gravity.


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#3392286 - 06/08/14 03:30 PM Re: Arco now advertising top tier status [Re: gaijinnv]
Durango Offline


Registered: 02/15/07
Posts: 2052
Loc: Los Angeles, California
Originally Posted By: gaijinnv
Originally Posted By: y_p_w
I've heard their radio spots. They use two phrases, one of which is "top quality gas for less". And they suggest going to the Top Tier website, which is odd since it doesn't list Arco (yet).

The use of the Arco trademark is rather complicated. BP sold the trademark to Tesoro. The Arco website says "Tesoro Refining" at the bottom, but then Tesoro licensed it back to BP to operate gas stations in certain markets (Northern California to Washington). Arco still owns the ampm name and licenses it to Arco convenience stores Southern California that are franchised by Tesoro. They own it so BP affiliated stations can use it.

However, to use the Top Tier trademark, all the stations under a specific brand must meet their standards and give them their test results. I'm interested in how this works given the complicated BP/Tesoro relationship with the Arco trademark. I would think they could work something out where the Tesoro affiliated stations can use an additive selected by Tesoro, and the BP affiliated stations one for BP.


Arco and BP are both listed on the Top Tier web site: Top Tier Retailers

HTH


I just bought some ARCO from my local station and now they have a new sign stating " smile you bought TOP TIER gas for less". Gee wiz that California list is getting rather large.

Durango

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#3392973 - 06/09/14 11:41 AM Re: Arco now advertising top tier status [Re: Durango]
y_p_w Offline


Registered: 05/06/05
Posts: 2589
Loc: SF Bay Area
Originally Posted By: Durango
I just bought some ARCO from my local station and now they have a new sign stating " smile you bought TOP TIER gas for less". Gee wiz that California list is getting rather large.

Durango

I've heard an estimate that the additional cost of a detergent package (compared to minimum EPA standards) that meets Top Tier standards plus the licensing fee might be in the range of 1 or 2 cents per gallon. If it improves sales, it would be well worth it.

I remember seeing the typical "treat rate" for one detergent package that was already Top Tier qualified. Any fuel marketer that wanted to use it could just buy it and use the pre-qualified test reports from the additive maker. I think it was something like a 1:1700 treat rate. Costco's "Kirkland Signature" (formerly Clean Power) setup involves an additive tank on-site where the additive is delivered by tanker. The majority of locations use an underground additive tank with about a 1500 gallon capacity. I think for most locations this should last at least 6 months. In the grand scheme of things, additives don't really cost that much to the fuel marketer, but can yield big returns if it can be advertised.

I understand some people are cynical that "Top Tier" is some money-making scheme from the licensing company. However, my understanding is that it was created by several automakers, who were having issues because of inadequate detergent levels in fuel along with the inevitable warranty issues. Part of the issue was that the EPA mandated a minimum level of detergent performance, and supposedly some gasoline marketers were actually dialing down the level of detergent additive as a result. Fine for some generics, but they were recommending some brands by name because they were providing high detergent levels.

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