EASTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Is unbranded gasoline different from branded gas? The short answer is yes. The differences between branded and unbranded gas determine how it functions in your engine.
22News contacted Jeff Hazel of the American Fuels and Petrochemicals Manufacturers. He said branded gas often has ‘more’ or ‘different’ detergent additives, and that additives in gasoline are very important. They can keep deposits from forming in your fuel injector or carburator.
“Many of the branded gasoline’s made by the larger companies will have proprietary additives they use to reduce those deposits. It may be a difference in flavor rather than type,” said Jeff Hazle, Senior Director of Refining Technology of the American Fuels and Petrochemicals Manufacturers.
Hazle said the octane rating doesn’t change between branded and unbranded gas. The octane rating is federally regulated. The additives are also governed by federal regulation, which means all gas has to at least meet minimum federal standards.
22News asked people if they shop the brand or the price. “It’s all about the price for me,” said Dan Carpenter of Cummington. “Gas is pretty expensive so a couple cents here and there makes the difference.”
Anne Marie Caplan of Enfield, CT told 22News, “If it’s on my way to work its easiest and if it’s cheap that’s even better. I don’t really look at the kind because I don’t really pay attention to that.”
Gas prices often go down in the winter. Refiners switch to a different blend for colder months. They make the gas more volatile, so it’s easier to start on a cold day. That winter blend can be less expensive.
Hazle says sometimes branded and unbranded gas can come from the same refinery, but it’s hard to know for sure because of the buying and selling between refineries.