COSTCO vrs SAMS CLUB Gasoline - Is There a Difference?

Is one of the warehouse gasolines better than the other?


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Interesting…! Thanks

It’s styled as a news report, but this looks like a marketing segment for Top Tier gas. The Top Tier producers are laundering their marketing through AAA and this program to make seem less like marketing. Not stated: whether “19 times fewer carbon deposits” makes any difference.

Carbon deposits create hotspots that will cause erosion of spark plugs and exhaust valves. That shortens the useful life of those parts.

I know what they can do. I don’t know whether the amount observed is enough to do any of that to any degree that would ever be noticed.

The damage will happen 19 times sooner with non-top-tier gas and the top-tier gas is the same or cheaper. What else do you need to know?

From Motley Fool’s site: “I did a snapshot of gas prices across Atlanta, Georgia; Cherry Hill, New Jersey; Sacramento, California; Houston, Texas; and Springfield, Missouri. On the day I checked, gas prices at Sam’s Club and Costco were the same at all locations, except in Cherry Hill, where Costco’s fuel price was $0.08 cheaper per gallon than a comparable Sam’s Club location.”

That isn’t in evidence. And even if it were, you’d want to know whether that means there would be some noticeable effect at 10,000 miles vs. 200,000 miles, or at 1,000,000 miles vs. 20,000,000 miles. You’d also want to know the cost to repair and the cost of only buying top-tier gas vs. buying by price. You might also want to know the cost and effectiveness of other alternatives, like putting a bottle of fuel injector cleaner in the tank every now and then.

That sounds like a lotta work, I’ll leave it others to figure that one out. Besides that, the nearest Sam’s Club to me is three times the distance to two Costco’s. I think I’ll just keep going to Costco to fuel our ICE car, it’s only once a month or so. :nerd_face:

In my case, Costco is my ‘go to’ place. It is a lot cheaper than any other provider. Prior to COVID it may have been $1 a gallon cheaper that the next cheaper station. I wouldn’t have cared about Top Tier or not.

Currently, COSTCO has been closer to other stations, right now 20 cents a gallon cheaper than the next cheaper and 30 cents per gallon different from many other stations.

Keep in mind that all our fuel must be shipped to us. We have 1 crude oil refinery (Honolulu) which can process about 94,000 barrels of crude oil per calendar day. We don’t have many ‘generic’ gasoline stations such as Racetrack, Speedway, Circle K, Quick Trip, etc. Thus, most stations charge what the Big Name company (Shell, Texaco and Sonoco) wants them to.

So you’re buying by price and convenience? That’s pretty much what I do.

I’ve given up on Costco gas. No matter which car I put it in (Both Subaru) they ping terribly. I end up running some ethanol free gas for a couple of tankful’s. Never have the problem at WAWA. My thought is that Costco turns their gas SO much that the sediment that is stirred up when filling the underground tanks never gets settled down and I end up sucking into my car. Remember, Clark does say never to fill up when you see the tanker there for that exact reason.

Pinging sounds like an octane issue. Are you using 87 octane from each station? It could also be a difference in blends (summer vrs winter). We don’t change that mixture here.

Here is an old thread about the Outback… Pinging / Knocking | Subaru Outback Forums

Sams is closer to me but I make the drive (only about 10 minutes diff) to Costco since I heard about Top Tier. Don’t know if it makes a difference, but the price is about the same. Also, I can get my $1.50 hotdog and drink if I time it around lunch!! :money_mouth_face:

It’s either an octane issue or a timing problem. It is possible that someone installed an after-market go-fast chip to get better performance. They usually mess with the ignition timing.