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  • Totally Insane Diesel and Gasoline Pricing in MD

    Here in Maryland, and in nearby PA and VA, I see totally insane pricing. An example is where there are 4 name brand stations all very close to each other along a busy highway. Regular gasoline will be $3.939 at station A and $4.229 at Station B and $3.999 at station C and $4.129 at Station D, but if you check the price of Super grade gasoline it will be lowest at station B !!!

    Diesel fuel while normally a good bit higher is lowest at station D. I've actually seen where a huge truck stop had #2 Diesel at 45 cents per gallon more than a small gasoline station only 1/2 mile away. Both were ultra low sulfur on highway type.

    The lesson is to know just what you want and price that while forgetting the general pricing structure of a given station.

    What I do normally find is that when I get closer to a large city, the prices skyrocket. Same with the out of the way stations and those right along main highways. With prices constantly changing, it's wise to have friends and when one finds a good price, make some phone calls so everyone can fill up.

    Web sites are very outdated. You must look right on the pumps. The signs out in front in many cases are in error. It's the pump price that matters.

  • #2
    Re: Totally Insane Diesel and Gasoline Pricing in MD

    Originally posted by Woussko View Post
    Here in Maryland, and in nearby PA and VA, I see totally insane pricing. An example is where there are 4 name brand stations all very close to each other along a busy highway. Regular gasoline will be $3.939 at station A and $4.229 at Station B and $3.999 at station C and $4.129 at Station D, but if you check the price of Super grade gasoline it will be lowest at station B !!!

    Diesel fuel while normally a good bit higher is lowest at station D. I've actually seen where a huge truck stop had #2 Diesel at 45 cents per gallon more than a small gasoline station only 1/2 mile away. Both were ultra low sulfur on highway type.

    The lesson is to know just what you want and price that while forgetting the general pricing structure of a given station.

    What I do normally find is that when I get closer to a large city, the prices skyrocket. Same with the out of the way stations and those right along main highways. With prices constantly changing, it's wise to have friends and when one finds a good price, make some phone calls so everyone can fill up.

    Web sites are very outdated. You must look right on the pumps. The signs out in front in many cases are in error. It's the pump price that matters.
    I've never actually seen that here where the price at the pump is different than the outside signage. The closest thing I've seen is the pumps out of regular, in which case I pull out and keep driving.

    I wish that I could find regular gas for <$4 a gallon. The regular price around here seems to be $4.25 and up. The highest price for gas/diesel I have seen is $5.75 for diesel at the station closest to my house for the last week.

    One thing that I've been pondering is that I wonder if premium gasoline will begin to make economic sense. When gas was only in the high $1s when I started driving a $.20 difference was huge, but now when gas is $4+ it could be that designing engines that would get better mileage with better gas could become cost effective. I don't know if this is true or not, just something that I've thought of as passing by the signs.

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    • #3
      Re: Totally Insane Diesel and Gasoline Pricing in MD

      Originally posted by cpw View Post
      One thing that I've been pondering is that I wonder if premium gasoline will begin to make economic sense. When gas was only in the high $1s when I started driving a $.20 difference was huge, but now when gas is $4+ it could be that designing engines that would get better mileage with better gas could become cost effective. I don't know if this is true or not, just something that I've thought of as passing by the signs.
      That is an interesting concept because it would be nice to have engines that are more fuel efficient with higher quality fuels (until a better fuel alternative is developed). Currently I use premium fuel in my vehicle that will run on regular because premium fuel significantly improves the acceleration to crusing speeds and the engine runs smoother. My gas mileage decreases on regular because I need to run the motor harder to achieve the same results I obtain on premium. This does not apply to all vehicles but if the cost of premium continues to rise I will have to settle with regular and alter my driving habits and acceleration expectations.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Totally Insane Diesel and Gasoline Pricing in MD

        Most of today's naturally aspirated (non turbo charged) gasoline engines are engineered for regular 87 octane gasoline. A friend that has a SUBARU with a turbo charged engine showed me in the owner's manual where it said to run it on 91 octane gasoline. He was putting in 2 parts of super 93 and 1 regular 87 but thought he would run a few tests. He started running it on super 93 to see what would happen. So far he hasn't found any improvements in power or fuel savings. He did run it on plus 89 and found it loggy and to knock some now and then on hills. I personally own a 2004 Subaru Outback with the standard engine. While it runs great on 87 regular, I have run it on 89 plus to find out what happens. All I can tell is a very slight boost in power and a little smoother idle when warming up in the winter.

        Where I have found a good difference was in the past with older cars and trucks with high compression engines. They really do run far better on super 93 even when it's not called for. I would say that it might be worthwhile to do some testing. Some engines have sensors and will self adjust ignition timing based on the grade of gasoline used. If you suddenly switch from super to regular you'll have some serious knocking (pre-ignition) until the computer makes full adjustments. I used to own a 1987 Dodge with 2.5L fuel injected straight 4 and running it on super gave it more power and about a 5% fuel use savings. The same for a 1985 Chevy full size with 305 V-8 engine. It said to use regular but that engine really **&^%% on anything under a 1/2 regular and 1/2 super mix which would be 90 octane.

        When it comes to large stationary Diesel engines, they sometimes will do custom valve and injection timing to try to get all they can out of a given fuel. Especially when you're burning 100 plus gallons per hour!!!.

        Something I really want to try is a "blast from the past" where a fine mist of water is sprayed into the intake during high speed, heavy loading of gasoline engines. You would not believe the difference. The water mist flashes to steam and the engine really runs nice putting out a good bit more power. The water has to be super clean and free of minerals and chemicals. Hint: distilled water

        Many years ago farmers would buy crappy grade "AG Only" fuel for their tractors. It was sort of a mix of cheapo gasoline with a little kerosene in it. The tractor engine had a water injector that kept water spraying into the air intake when the engine was hot and under load. They claimed it was like magic what that did. The problem was to be sure not to overdue the water. Just enough so the engine run good but no more. When speed was lowered or load removed the water had to be shut off fast.

        Water injection should not be used with a Diesel engine other than special super high output modified engines and only when under very heavy loading. Careful monitoring is a must.

        Anyway, I have found that on a summer evening when it's raining and foggy that all of my gasoline engines run their best. Steam works wonders. It helps breakup and remove carbon deposits too.

        Bottom line: Find a good service center and have a really good tuneup performed. It really does make a difference. Changing to a good synthetic energy saving oil and use of premium grade oil and air filters will save us $$$ with the high fuel costs and our engines will last longer. Just be sure to check pricing.

        Enough of me and my howling away. The End

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Totally Insane Diesel and Gasoline Pricing in MD

          reConex

          Your engine can sense the grade of gasoline used in it and self adjusts. In that case use of super will pay off. You might try a 1/2 and 1/2 blend which results in a better than plus grade and in many cases at lower cost. That is you put in say 10 gallons of super, reset the pump and then put in 10 gallons of regular.

          One special note: Many companies that make small air cooled gasoline engines currently are asking that people run them on 89 plus and not on 87 regular. They have found they do run better. I've tried it and in some cases can tell the difference. In my 5 gallon cans, I run 3 gallons of regular and 2 of super. It actually costs me about 20 cents less to do it that way. Pricing is a joke for plus grade.

          For everyone:
          2 parts regular 87 and 1 part super 93 = 89 plus. (Sunoco blending pumps work this way.)
          1 part regular 87 and 1 part 93 super = 90
          1 part regular 87 and 2 parts super 93 = 91 premium (Again how Sunoco gets their 91 grade)

          Sunoco stations only have 2 bulk tanks for gasoline. One is for 87 regular and the other 93 super. They have mixing right at the pumps. In years back they did 86 Econo and 94 Ultra. The EPA ended that some time ago. The wild thing is that it really pays for us to do our own mixing and even at Sunoco stations. Regular normally is way lower than plus and super isn't all that much more than mid-super. Just take your handy calculator along.
          Last edited by Woussko; 06-12-2008, 05:39 AM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Totally Insane Diesel and Gasoline Pricing in MD

            Originally posted by Woussko View Post
            Most of today's naturally aspirated (non turbo charged) gasoline engines are engineered for regular 87 octane gasoline. A friend that has a SUBARU with a turbo charged engine showed me in the owner's manual where it said to run it on 91 octane gasoline. He was putting in 2 parts of super 93 and 1 regular 87 but thought he would run a few tests. He started running it on super 93 to see what would happen. So far he hasn't found any improvements in power or fuel savings. He did run it on plus 89 and found it loggy and to knock some now and then on hills. I personally own a 2004 Subaru Outback with the standard engine. While it runs great on 87 regular, I have run it on 89 plus to find out what happens. All I can tell is a very slight boost in power and a little smoother idle when warming up in the winter.
            Woussko,
            I have a 2002 naturally aspirated Impreza which has the same EJ25 engine as your Outback. Back when premium was still very cheap I expirimente running it on 91 for almost a year. The results were simply not very good. I put almost 30,000 miles on it that year. The first problem was the engine has a very hard time starting always. Gas mileage actually decreased a little and the engine just didn't respond all that well. As soon as I went back to regular 87 the difference was almost night and day. Bottom line, the car is designed to run on 87. Anything higher you are wasting money and making it perform worse.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Totally Insane Diesel and Gasoline Pricing in MD

              Originally posted by Woussko View Post
              Web sites are very outdated. You must look right on the pumps. The signs out in front in many cases are in error. It's the pump price that matters.
              Another problem I am noticing as a 93 octane-addict is quality of the gasoline. The quality of the "premium fuel" seems to vary and is very frustrating after accepting the extra 20-30 cent cost per gallon over regular. I see the same tanker truck delivering to mutiple brands of gasoline stations and really wonder whether one brand is truly better than the other. I will experiment with your "mixing formula" but I need to remember that other factors such as quality can affect my results. Fuel costs will be "curing my addiction
              Last edited by reConx; 06-12-2008, 12:35 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Totally Insane Diesel and Gasoline Pricing in MD

                Lots of Subie fans!

                Velo, I think your '02 Impreza has the EJ20 engine. The 2.5 wasn't in the Impreza yet, was it? Memory is dim... My '02 WRX has the 2.0. I never can remember engine/chassis codes.

                All of my vehicles require 91 or better, and I use Sunoco 93 exclusively. The two turbo Subarus require it, the modern Vespa runs crappy on midgrade, the MG and vintage Vespa need it for the octane, and I'll go back and forth on the Audi to keep a mix in there. For the short distance I drive it doesn't seem to make a difference. We haven't tried midgrade in the Benz yet.

                Only my Suzuki and daughter's Miata use regular (although I think the Suzuki recommends mid-grade.) I am so in the habit of poking that 93 though, that I keep accidentally putting premium in the Suzuki. At 3 gallons, the extra $.30 doesn't make much difference, but it doesn't improve the mileage, either.

                Man, I remember when you could fill a bike tank for a buck!
                Steve
                www.MorrisGarage.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Totally Insane Diesel and Gasoline Pricing in MD

                  Originally posted by smorris View Post
                  Lots of Subie fans!

                  Velo, I think your '02 Impreza has the EJ20 engine. The 2.5 wasn't in the Impreza yet, was it? Memory is dim... My '02 WRX has the 2.0. I never can remember engine/chassis codes.
                  As you can see from my avatar I'm a subie fan . The non-turbo impreza's have had the 2.5 engine since about 2001, hence the name Impreza 2.5RS. In 2006+ they became the Impreza 2.5i. The WRX also switched to the 2.5 engine at some point between 2003 to 2006. Funny thing is when I bought my 2.5RS in 2002 I picked it over the WRX in part because I was a little weary about buying a car that required premium gas. Kind of paid off now even though I've been toying with the idea of a WRX now anyway. I just hate the new styling. The 01-02 with the bug eye lamps are the best.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Totally Insane Diesel and Gasoline Pricing in MD

                    Originally posted by Woussko View Post
                    Here in Maryland, and in nearby PA and VA, I see totally insane pricing. An example is where there are 4 name brand stations all very close to each other along a busy highway. Regular gasoline will be $3.939 at station A and $4.229 at Station B and $3.999 at station C and $4.129 at Station D, but if you check the price of Super grade gasoline it will be lowest at station B !!!

                    Diesel fuel while normally a good bit higher is lowest at station D. I've actually seen where a huge truck stop had #2 Diesel at 45 cents per gallon more than a small gasoline station only 1/2 mile away. Both were ultra low sulfur on highway type.

                    The lesson is to know just what you want and price that while forgetting the general pricing structure of a given station.

                    What I do normally find is that when I get closer to a large city, the prices skyrocket. Same with the out of the way stations and those right along main highways. With prices constantly changing, it's wise to have friends and when one finds a good price, make some phone calls so everyone can fill up.

                    Web sites are very outdated. You must look right on the pumps. The signs out in front in many cases are in error. It's the pump price that matters.

                    Ahhhhh.....stop yer whinin'.......

                    In Canada, we're paying the equivalent of $5.30 a gallon......some parts, even more than that.........
                    I'm on "The List" and I love it!!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Totally Insane Diesel and Gasoline Pricing in MD

                      And diesel is around $5.85..................
                      I'm on "The List" and I love it!!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Totally Insane Diesel and Gasoline Pricing in MD

                        Originally posted by tinmack View Post
                        Ahhhhh.....stop yer whinin'.......

                        In Canada, we're paying the equivalent of $5.30 a gallon......some parts, even more than that.........
                        Who cares?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Totally Insane Diesel and Gasoline Pricing in MD

                          Originally posted by Velosapien View Post
                          Woussko,
                          I have a 2002 naturally aspirated Impreza which has the same EJ25 engine as your Outback. Back when premium was still very cheap I expirimente running it on 91 for almost a year. The results were simply not very good. I put almost 30,000 miles on it that year. The first problem was the engine has a very hard time starting always. Gas mileage actually decreased a little and the engine just didn't respond all that well. As soon as I went back to regular 87 the difference was almost night and day. Bottom line, the car is designed to run on 87. Anything higher you are wasting money and making it perform worse.
                          For what it's worth, mine hates being run on super 93. I fully agree that it's engineered for regular 87 and that's what it should be run on. I have found that if driven on long hills with it loaded up that giving it a little super has helped but not by enough for the added cost.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Totally Insane Diesel and Gasoline Pricing in MD

                            Along a busy highway not far from me and all very close together there is BP, Liberty (local small chain) and two Shell stations. The price for Regular 87 gasoline as of Saturday evening was as follows.

                            BP - 3.399
                            Liberty - 3.379
                            Shell A - 3.699
                            Shell B - 3.799

                            Now what really gets me is that the two Shell rip off stations were busy and the BP and Liberty had no customers.

                            Now a short distance up the same highway to the north there's a Sunoco and they sell regular 87 for $3.299 and E85 (special fuel) for $2.799 per US gallon.

                            Not too many gasoline stations in my area sell Diesel fuel but those that do are much too high. I really would like to price OFF ROAD Diesel fuel and #2 home heating oil to find out if it's highway taxes or if the oil companies are playing sicko games. Not that long ago a gallon of quality highway Diesel fuel was a good bit lower priced than regular grade gasoline.


                            Part 2

                            Within a 15 mile radius of where I live I have seen regular 87 gasoline for as low as $3.179 and as high as $3.999 all within a few days. Why oh why doesn't the state take action? Some of the stations are pure SCREWERS and maybe the low price ones are selling at cost or even a loss so as to be ready for the next delivery. Something is all wrong. Maybe it's local community taxes but I seriously doubt it.
                            Last edited by Woussko; 10-13-2008, 12:46 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Totally Insane Diesel and Gasoline Pricing in MD

                              Originally posted by Woussko View Post
                              Along a busy highway not far from me and all very close together there is BP, Liberty (local small chain) and two Shell stations. The price for Regular 87 gasoline as of Saturday evening was as follows.

                              BP - 3.399
                              Liberty - 3.379
                              Shell A - 3.699
                              Shell B - 3.799

                              Now what really gets me is that the two Shell rip off stations were busy and the BP and Liberty had no customers.

                              Now a short distance up the same highway to the north there's a Sunoco and they sell regular 87 for $3.299 and E85 (special fuel) for $2.799 per US gallon.

                              Not too many gasoline stations in my area sell Diesel fuel but those that do are much too high. I really would like to price OFF ROAD Diesel fuel and #2 home heating oil to find out if it's highway taxes or if the oil companies are playing sicko games. Not that long ago a gallon of quality highway Diesel fuel was a good bit lower priced than regular grade gasoline.

                              Woussko, out here in the boonies many of the stations carry off-road diesel. I'll see a sign at a station DIESEL 3.22 and in fine print it says Off-Road! It's fooled me more than once, unfortunately. I didn't fill up, but I pulled into the station. No doubt that's just what they were hoping for. Although I immediately pulled through and didn't even stop at their little store, it got me off the road...and made me angry! The Quarles on 7W from Berryville has Diesel for 3.499 last time I checked, so I think I'll stop in and get a fill-up soon. They have off-road but they advertise their standard diesel price instead of trying to fool you with the off-road price.

                              There's a lot of price differentials here in Clarke County. One station in town has regular at 3.249, and the Triple-J station just outside town has regular at 3.159. I guess you really gotta shop around a bit. That's a huge difference, and will make it worth it to travel an extra mile.
                              I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.

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