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CA - Gas station selling two different brands of gas? #5406137 04/17/20 03:25 PM
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TmanP Offline OP
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My dad and I took a road trip through California and Nevada over Christmas break and noticed something odd in our travels.

We stopped at a Chevron station in Tehachapi that had two "sides" with sets of pumps on each. A convenience store separated them.
Nothing unusual with that setup, except that half of the pumps were "Chevron" while the other half said "The Barn" (unbranded gas).
The price for the Chevron gas was about 50 cents higher per gallon. The convenience store was common between the two banks of pumps. Separate signs but a common address (says Google); separate Gasbuddy entries for the two sets of pumps. I'll link StreetView so you all can see (Drive around to the right to see the cheap gas side): Chevron Street View

We saw something similar at a 76 in Fresno. The 76 pumps were more expensive than the "EZ TRIP" pumps which had no "76" branding on them. The cheap prices were posted on a separate sign.
(Which do you think the rental car got?)

The cynic in me wonders if they have two sets of tanks... that'd be six or eight tanks for one station (Chevron 87, Chevron 91, Chevron Diesel, Generic 87, Generic 91, Generic Diesel, plus Chevron and Generic 89 if those aren't blended from the regular and premium). It's also sixteen different prices including cash and credit prices! It seems like an awful lot of work and hassle to me. Or are they selling Chevron as generic, or generic as Chevron? This made me curious, as I've seen nothing like that at hundreds of gas stations all over the country... Does anyone have any ideas or knowledge about this setup?

As an aside, highly recommend a trip like this. Death Valley was so much more beautiful than I could've guessed (though being 60 degrees rather than 120 helps a lot, I'm sure.)
(This was a spur of the moment sort of thing... We got $40 plane tickets to Vegas and rented a car, then drove to Death Valley, Yosemite, and Sequoia NPs. Beautiful country! 1200 miles in three days.)


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Re: CA - Gas station selling two different brands of gas? [Re: TmanP] #5406160 04/17/20 03:49 PM
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JeffKeryk Offline
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Those people in CA are all whack anyways...


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Re: CA - Gas station selling two different brands of gas? [Re: TmanP] #5406168 04/17/20 03:54 PM
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NO2 Offline
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The only difference is an additive pack. Name brand fuels are tightly regulated and they come in their own trucks with their own tanks. But I guess that way they can get the cheap customers and the ones who care about branding, while still selling coffee and snacks.

Last edited by NO2; 04/17/20 03:55 PM.
Re: CA - Gas station selling two different brands of gas? [Re: TmanP] #5406175 04/17/20 03:58 PM
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Aren't Costco additives added at the tank rather than the truck? If other brands will allow this it could be a way to pull this off.

Last edited by csandste; 04/17/20 03:58 PM.

2017 Kia Soul+ Valvoline Daily Protection 5w30+ a bit of Harvest King syn 5w30-- 75,000 miles
Re: CA - Gas station selling two different brands of gas? [Re: TmanP] #5406181 04/17/20 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by JeffKeryk
Those people in CA are all whack anyways...


laugh

Ya know, everyone we met was very pleasant and cordial. The people were all quite nice!
You have a beautiful state, too!


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Re: CA - Gas station selling two different brands of gas? [Re: csandste] #5406184 04/17/20 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by csandste
Aren't Costco additives added at the tank rather than the truck? If other brands will allow this it could be a way to pull this off.

Doesn't most gasoline come from one or a handful of local distributors and the additives they add in the tanks are the only thing that makes them different. If Chevron gas was $.50/gal more I'd buy a bottle of Techron and add a few ounces to your tank and use the cheaper gas.

Re: CA - Gas station selling two different brands of gas? [Re: csandste] #5406195 04/17/20 04:16 PM
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Wolf359 Online Content
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Originally Posted by csandste
Aren't Costco additives added at the tank rather than the truck? If other brands will allow this it could be a way to pull this off.


I think it's all up to the buyer of the gas whether they want the additive or not. I think there was a thread here from a guy who did the delivery and he did all that when the tank was filled.

I suppose that gas station could have two sets of tanks. One for the branded and one for unbranded. Unbranded is usually cheaper so they buy it from whoever has it cheaper. Branded always has marketing costs and other fees so it's always more money. It's really the same gas with a different additive package. The EPA has a mandated minimum amount of detergents required in gasoline. The assumption that most people make is that the minimum isn't enough but they have no proof that it's true. It's the marketing that makes people think more additives is better. A fool and his money are soon parted at 50 cents a gallon.

Re: CA - Gas station selling two different brands of gas? [Re: NO2] #5406203 04/17/20 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by NO2
The only difference is an additive pack. Name brand fuels are tightly regulated and they come in their own trucks with their own tanks. But I guess that way they can get the cheap customers and the ones who care about branding, while still selling coffee and snacks.


You would have to tell that to me local Mobil station.....


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Re: CA - Gas station selling two different brands of gas? [Re: TmanP] #5406220 04/17/20 04:37 PM
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What's interesting here is they all compete with each other on price-no name stores like Kroger, UDF, Speedway are all within a cent or two of a nearby Shell or BP!


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Re: CA - Gas station selling two different brands of gas? [Re: TmanP] #5406247 04/17/20 05:05 PM
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JohnG Offline
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California requires so many different kinds of gasoline. I'm not a bit surprised at this trend. Maybe a few entrepreneurs from the south got together and split up the pumps. Split the electric bill etc.
Anyway, I doubt that the station was designed that way from the start.

Recent overcapacity is prevalent everywhere in the oil industry these days.

As far as adding certain things (additives) to the tank, they would need to be "additional" additives, not required by law. Record keeping on such items are typically tracked in a monthly report to the EPA.
I'm gonna call SCAM on the whole affair!

California is failing in so many ways it's becoming ridiculous.

Re: CA - Gas station selling two different brands of gas? [Re: TmanP] #5406265 04/17/20 05:22 PM
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Chris142 Offline
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Originally Posted by TmanP
Originally Posted by JeffKeryk
Those people in CA are all whack anyways...


laugh

Ya know, everyone we met was very pleasant and cordial. The people were all quite nice!
You have a beautiful state, too!


[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

Did you happen to pass through the town of Shoshonee,Ca? Really good and historical restaurant there as well as a museum. Although with whats going on I do not know if either is open.


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Re: CA - Gas station selling two different brands of gas? [Re: TmanP] #5406271 04/17/20 05:25 PM
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Quote

Name brand fuels are tightly regulated and they come in their own trucks with their own tanks.

Never seen a mobil gas tanker; local mobil gas comes via Island Transportation out of New Haven, a petroleum distribution hub.

Of course YMMW in your area.


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Re: CA - Gas station selling two different brands of gas? [Re: simple_gifts] #5406293 04/17/20 05:44 PM
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hatt Offline
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Originally Posted by simple_gifts
Quote

Name brand fuels are tightly regulated and they come in their own trucks with their own tanks.

Never seen a mobil gas tanker; local mobil gas comes via Island Transportation out of New Haven, a petroleum distribution hub.

Of course YMMW in your area.


Evidently Pilot is the only name brand gas because that's the only branded tanker I've ever seen.


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Re: CA - Gas station selling two different brands of gas? [Re: TmanP] #5406334 04/17/20 06:17 PM
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So much missinformation in this thread. All gasoline sold in the us had an EPA regulated amount of additive in it added at the terminal and has tracers that can be used to check dosage rate. It is documented and spot tested. No gasoline is legitimately delivered to any that is not fully documented. If someone is adding additives at the station that is in addition to the EPA required amount.

Truck drivers are not a good source of information on the products they are hauling. All a trucker knows for certain is what the dispatcher told them to do. Some of them may know what they are talking about and many do not. Many of them think they know everything about anything. Those are the ones that tend to drive away with hoses and cables still hooked to their truck.

I know I am not the most knowledgeable person on this but I can spot most of the BS about fuel since I work in the industry now. (and now that I read that again it sounds just like something that someone who is full of BS would say but you get what you pay for.)

Last edited by jhellwig; 04/17/20 06:21 PM.

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Re: CA - Gas station selling two different brands of gas? [Re: jhellwig] #5406675 04/18/20 05:20 AM
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Originally Posted by jhellwig
So much missinformation in this thread. All gasoline sold in the us had an EPA regulated amount of additive in it added at the terminal and has tracers that can be used to check dosage rate. It is documented and spot tested. No gasoline is legitimately delivered to any that is not fully documented. If someone is adding additives at the station that is in addition to the EPA required amount.

Truck drivers are not a good source of information on the products they are hauling. All a trucker knows for certain is what the dispatcher told them to do. Some of them may know what they are talking about and many do not. Many of them think they know everything about anything. Those are the ones that tend to drive away with hoses and cables still hooked to their truck.

I know I am not the most knowledgeable person on this but I can spot most of the BS about fuel since I work in the industry now. (and now that I read that again it sounds just like something that someone who is full of BS would say but you get what you pay for.)





This might be true for 49 states but this is California. Don’t they require their own special blend of gasoline per their state EPA?


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