Here why your car might feel more responsive with what feels like extra power after filling up with Chevron gas
Everyone knows Chevron gas is consistently between 20-40 cents more expensive than other brands like 76 or Arco.Embed from Getty Images
Depending on how big your gas tank is, choosing Chevron costs an extra $4-15 more than if you drove to that other gas station across the street.
So, is it worth it to choose Chevron compared to a much cheaper brand?
Here’s why Chevron gas is that much more expensive and why you’ll probably feel a slight boost in performance after filling up?
Where does Chevron gas come from?
Contrary to popular belief, Chevron gas that you get from your local station does not necessarily come from Chevron owned oil fields that subsequently gets refined by Chevron refineries before being stored and shipped by semi-truck tanker to your local Chevron station.
Far from it.
The reality is most gasoline in your area most likely comes from the same distribution point with refined oil from the nearest oil refinery. That Shell, Chevron, Arco, Sinclair, 76, and local Mom & Pop gas station in your city most likely all get their gas from the same distributor.
That refinery, in turn, gets its crude oil from wherever it’s imported from.
For example, according to the L.A. Times, in California,
“ …a little more than 50% of the crude oil used to refine California’s gasoline comes from foreign sources, such as Saudi Arabia. The rest comes from California itself, except for a small amount from Alaska.“
Chevron does own and operate its own oil acreage (land for exploration and production of crude oil) and refineries in the United States, oil sent out from those refineries to distributors not being brand specific.
In theory, the closer a Chevron station is to a Chevron-owned crude oil extraction site and refinery, the more likely that gas from that Chevron station is all Chevron produced.
If you fill up at a Chevron owned gas station in El Segundo, home to one of two Chevron refineries in California and Chevron owned oil fields in the San Joaquin Valley, your Chevron gas is probably handled by Chevron from ground to pump.
But in general, Chevron gas does not come from a specific crude oil location or refinery.
If it comes from the same distributor, what makes Chevron gas Chevron?
While all gas sold in the United States comes with an additive package to reduce emissions, it’s been determined and recommended by brands of gasoline and at least 10 OEM car companies that the minimum additive package is not enough to reduce harmful carbon buildups.
These brands and car companies set a higher standard of detergent additives, called Top Tier, that’s above the EPA limits with requirements in additive concentration and performance in eliminating carbon buildup that must be met if you want to be a Top-Tier gas supplier.
Chevron gas sets itself apart from other gas stations by being a member of the Top-Tier Gasoline of brands thanks to its own patented fuel additive called Techron.
This patented Techron additive is added at distribution points when tankers are filled up.
“Virtually all additives (including Techron) that go into any fuel, as specified by the retailer, is done at the fuel terminal when the tanker is loaded… tanker drivers swipe a card that lays out the specs for the end retailer, then watch various lights go on with different tanks as they inject additive into the stream being loaded in to the truck tanker. There might be an occasional outlet that does its own fuel dosing, but that is not the norm.”
What is the Techron additive?
“Techron is a patented fuel additive with powerful detergents to help keep engine parts clean by fighting deposits in an engine’s fuel intake system and to minimize contribution to harmful combustion chamber deposits.”
Carbon is a natural byproduct of the combustion process for gas engines. Over time, buildup can form in intake valves, combustion chambers, injector nozzles, and engine pistons.
Amsoil does a good breakdown on how carbon deposits can rob power. If you think of an engine and its cylinders as one gigantic air pump, carbon deposits in those aforementioned locations of buildup can result in less efficient combustion and, as a result, over time, less power.
According to testimonials from Chevron customers online, Techron’s carbon and fuel injector cleaning properties make for one of the best additive packages on the market.
Good videos on YouTube showcasing Techron’s carbon cleaning abilities come from Project Farm and Chris Fix,
A comment from Donald Wiglesworth in the above video said,
“I only use Techron because I live in an area where top tier fuel stations are few and far between. So maybe about twice a year I use it. It seems to help with smother idling and improved gas mileage.”
Fred Sanford said,
I’ve seen Techron clean out stuck fuel injectors in just a few dozen miles. It works at least with regards to injectors. I put a bottle in all my vehicle’s gas tank whenever I do oil changes.
Jeffy McJefferson commented,
I ran Techron in my 1994 Nissan Sentra every 3k miles and drove the car for 22 years. Never had a fuel system problem and ran the original fuel injectors until the car got towed at 280k miles (it was worth less than the tow fee, so gave them the car.) Original fuel pump lasted 216k miles. My 1995 Nissan truck has seen the same maintenance and has never once had a fuel system issue – I credit Techron.
I can go on and on finding testimonials for you on the wonders Chevron with Techron does for a modern engine, but you get the picture.
If you drive an older car, if you’ve never used Chevron with Techron, shortly after filling up you might find you feel restored power and better responsiveness thanks to optimized fuel injection and cleaner combustion.
If you drive a newer car, especially these cars and trucks with smaller, turbocharged engines, using Chevron gas is a good way to prevent carbon buildup, which these modern engines with tighter tolerances are prone to do.
While detergent additives like Techron can help restore lost performance to an engine thanks to its carbon cleaning properties, there are no octane boosters to increase octane ratings.
Chevron does weekly spot checks at branded stations.
To ensure Chevron with Techron gas is up to snuff at their branded stations, according to at least one Redditor, Chevron carries out weekly quality control checks.
“Chevron pays people to do weekly spot checks at branded stations (with Extramile stores and “With Techron” added on signs.) Full time Chevron employees drive trucks with mobile labs in the back. Phillips 66 does the same.”
Is Chevron with Techron worth the extra cost?
The extra cost of Chevron with Techron gas comes from the addition of the benefits you get from the patented Techron additive itself and the specific level of quality control Chevron performs at a station level to ensure Top Tier gas with the right amount of Techron.
If you drive an older car that you’ve already paid off, especially a high-mileage one, I don’t think it’s worth filling up with Chevron with Techron at every fill up. Sticking with a cheaper Top Tier brand of gas is probably good enough.
If you drive an older car that’s experiencing hesitation, jerkiness, or a sluggish response, using Chevron with Techron for one or two fill-ups is worth the extra cost.
If you drive a newer car, especially a turbocharged one with a tiny engine less than 2.0L with direct injection, a engine prone to carbon buildup, I think the added cost is absolutely worth it to prevent harmful carbon deposits and to maintain clean injectors.
If you’re on a budget, I’d use a cheaper Top Tier brand and, every third or fourth fill-up, use Chevron with Techron.
Alternatively, Chevron sells Techron concentrate you can add to any brand of gas. You can grab a 32 oz value-sized bottle that treats up to 32 gallons of gas (about three Honda Civic tanks or one Ford F-150 tank) for $16 if you’re really on a budget but want to try out Techron’s injector and carbon cleaning properties.