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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
After doing a good deal of research on the topic, I've seen the value in using only brands that offer Top Tier gas.

Most major brands are on the Top tier gas list, as well as some discount gas stations such as Racetrac & QuickTrip (Google for the Top tier website). Costco gas is also on the list.

Kroger & Sam's Club are NOT on the list.

Why is this important?

Because the Direct Injection engines in many of today's vehicles will get dirty valves quicker without using Top Tier gasoline, causing more costly engine repairs sooner that later. Currently, many gasoline retailers provide fuels with lower-quality additive packages that can build up deposits on fuel injectors and on intake valves. Others can build up deposits in combustion chambers and may lead to intake valve sticking. For those folks (like me) with the 2.0T or other Turbo engines...the effects are definitely important to smooth and reliable engine performance.

There's a good article on this topic - Google "How to Prevent Engine Deposits".

Hyundai dealers typically add a fuel cleaner at every oil change, specifically to help address this issue, but it's a limited value step. The key is using cleaner fuel.
 

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In an older fuel injected engine fuel is injected into the intake track at some point before is moves past the intake valve and into the cylinder. On these older engines the fuel charge washes over the intake valve as it enters the cylinder. This is where the fuel's additive package helps keep the backside of the intake valve clean. On a direct injection engine fuel is injected directly into the cylinder and never comes into contact with the back side of the intake valve. This of course means that neither the gasoline you use or any additives will help to keep the valve clean. And guess what? Turbocharged DI engines are even more prone to the problem of intake valve deposits than a non-turbo car.

There are aftermarket ways to deal with this and some manufacturers have recently recognized this problem and have modified PCV systems to cut down on the deposits that form on the intake valve. Other manufacturers have now added a second set of injectors that spray fuel on the back side of the intake valve to keep them clean. Hyundais do not have the second set of fuel injectors. I still use top tier fuel, but it won't help the intake valves on my Santa Fe.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Turbocharged DI engines are even more prone to the problem of intake valve deposits than a non-turbo car.

There are aftermarket ways to deal with this and some manufacturers have recently recognized this problem and have modified PCV systems to cut down on the deposits that form on the intake valve. Other manufacturers have now added a second set of injectors that spray fuel on the back side of the intake valve to keep them clean. Hyundais do not have the second set of fuel injectors. I still use top tier fuel, but it won't help the intake valves on my Santa Fe.
All true except that last line...

Some fuel does get into the injectors, so the Top Tier detergents do provide some help to this issue. Also, Hyundai dealers can/should do an additional inspection/cleaning as needed directly into the intake. They have a spray cleaner product for this purpose (CRC intake cleaner).

A quality fuel additive (such as the one offered by Textron) does help during the burn cycle to reduce deposits.
 

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Cool. That's really useful. You guys are smart, me dumb. Is there a list of top-tier gas outlets you use?
 

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If Top Tier gas does any good it only means the gas in your area is not very good. It's a con and a sales tactic as all gas has detergents and for the most part is all the same base stock. 90% of the gas around me in East Central Illinois comes from two no name terminals so forget branding.

The gas I'm currently using in my Gen Coupe is 93 octane Mom and Pop and is over 5 months old as they only raise the price when the get a new load of fuel. Still $2.89 for 93 octane where the current normal is $3.35.
 

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YF Sonata forum, round and round over Top Tier and GDI

Most previous edition of EFI was Port inject, fuel directed at backside of intake valve to keep fuel in airstream into cylinder

GDI is injected directly into combustion chamber at the piston dish (same as diesel)

Now the big question,, what is "USING CLEANER FUEL" going to do for an intake valve on a GDI that the fuel is sprayed directly into combustion chamber over top of piston well after the intake valve ??
 

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Some fuel does get into the injectors, so the Top Tier detergents do provide some help to this issue. Also, Hyundai dealers can/should do an additional inspection/cleaning as needed directly into the intake. They have a spray cleaner product for this purpose (CRC intake cleaner).
Fuel is injected during the compression stroke when the intake valve is closed. How does any of it get to the back side of the intake valve?

There are also problems with using spray type cleaners. These can indeed breakup the carbon deposits on the valve the pieces of which then wind up in the cylinder. These deposits are quite hard and abrasive. Not a good combination for something going into your cylinders. Get particles of the right size between the piston and cylinder wall and you've got the formula for scratched cylinder walls. Better yet, close the valve on a large piece and see what you get. True, many will use these cleaners with no problems, I won't take the risk.

BMW has a good mechanical cleaning method and I've seen some folks mechanically clean the intake valve themselves with the valve closed and all of the "trash" removed by vacuum, somewhat like the BMW method.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Some fuel does get into the injectors, so the Top Tier detergents do provide some help to this issue. Also, Hyundai dealers can/should do an additional inspection/cleaning as needed directly into the intake. They have a spray cleaner product for this purpose (CRC intake cleaner).
Fuel is injected during the compression stroke when the intake valve is closed. How does any of it get to the back side of the intake valve?

There are also problems with using spray type cleaners. These can indeed breakup the carbon deposits on the valve the pieces of which then wind up in the cylinder. These deposits are quite hard and abrasive. Not a good combination for something going into your cylinders. Get particles of the right size between the piston and cylinder wall and you've got the formula for scratched cylinder walls. Better yet, close the valve on a large piece and see what you get. True, many will use these cleaners with no problems, I won't take the risk.

BMW has a good mechanical cleaning method and I've seen some folks mechanically clean the intake valve themselves with the valve closed and all of the "trash" removed by vacuum, somewhat like the BMW method.
Not exactly.

Of course there is an interior and exterior side to each valve. The detergent fuel (Top Tier) reaches the interior on every burn...where the bulk of combustion takes place and the most carbon exposure is located.

The dealers can and often do spray through the intake manifold, which addresses more of the valve (deposits) surface.

The correct procedure involves steps that include “blowing out” and dislodged carbon through the exhaust. These deposits are very small and only abrasive if they are not removed.

The websites featuring cleaning products uniformly point to a 3 step process.

Bottom line - Top Tier gas reduces these drposits in the first place...with dealer cleaning through the intake manifold resolving most of any remaining issues.

Using Top Tier fuel is somewhat like using a quality synthetic oil - both contribute to reducing various problem deposits internal of an engine. In fact, several of the quality synthetic motor oils contribute to keeping valves cleaner (and they state it in their websites).

Combine good gas and a quality synthetic oil... carbon is reduced exponentially more than non-top-tier fuel and bargain motor oil.

By 2020, it’s estimated that 70% or more of gas engines will be direct injection- so this has a wide impact across auto brands as well.
 

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Sorry, but you seem to not be familiar with the problem that is being experienced with DI engines. The deposits that are causing problems in the DI engines are not on the cylinder side of the intake valve They are located on the intake side of the valve and are the results of the oil vapor and the like that are funneled through the PCV system and into the intake manifold. This comes into contact with the back side of a hot valve and cokes there. A quick search, especially of performance oriented websites will yield plenty of pictures of this. The buildup can become large enough to adversely affect performance. That's what BMW's procedure addresses. More than a few folks address it in the aftermarket by installing a catch can to remove the oil before it gets to the intake valve. Like I said, I'm not against the use of top tier gas, I use it myself, but it will not do anything to address the real problem in a DI engine.
 

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Does Hyundai do the intake manifold / back of intake valves spray procedure? Is it just squirting a can of CRC intake cleaner into the throttle body while car is running?
 

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You have to know where your local stores are getting fuel. Local Kroger's get theirs from Shell. Shell stations even accept Kroger points for discounts.
 
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You have to know where your local stores are getting fuel. Local Kroger's get theirs from Shell. Shell stations even accept Kroger points for discounts.

I sent an email to Kroger corporate and they confirmed that they do not use top tier gasoline.


Here is the email


Kroger said:
Fri, Apr 6, 2018 at 10:34 AM
Dear Scott,


Thank you for contacting Kroger Customer Connect.


I appreciate you taking the time to inquire about Kroger Fuel. We are not currently top-tier as this adds costs to the overall price of the fuel sold to you. However, all Kroger fuel does contain approved, high-quality detergents and additives. As you may guess, we supply fuel to millions of our loyal Kroger customers each week and stand behind every gallon we sell!


Please feel free to reply to this email or call us at 1-800-576-4377 and reference case number 28332950 should you have further questions or concerns. We appreciate hearing from our valued customers and will assist in any way possible.

Thank you for shopping with us and have a great day.

Sincerely,

Krista
Kroger Customer Connect

The Kroger Family of Stores
 

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I sent an email to Kroger corporate and they confirmed that they do not use top tier gasoline.


Here is the email

Kroger has no single supplier for gas. It varies from location to location. I can say ours uses Shell. You need to contact the local store and ask the manager as each store uses a bidding system to select gas supplier.


YMMV


Something to think about, Kroger and like places use unbranded fuel, which only means they don't list the "brand" as that would raise their costs. If your car runs fine with the same mileage there shouldn't be an issue. But I've fuel related failures from most listed at top tier as well (we deal in fleets). I know this past Friday I filled the Elantra at Walmart (Marathon, top tier) and I've lost about 2 mpg from my normal driving.....lol


Companies pay to be listed as top tier.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Kroger has no single supplier for gas. It varies from location to location. I can say ours uses Shell. You need to contact the local store and ask the manager as each store uses a bidding system to select gas supplier. Something to think about, Kroger and like places use unbranded fuel, which only means they don't list the "brand" as that would raise their costs. If your car runs fine with the same mileage there shouldn't be an issue. But I've fuel related failures from most listed at top tier as well (we deal in fleets). I know this past Friday I filled the Elantra at Walmart (Marathon, top tier) and I've lost about 2 mpg from my normal driving.....lol


Companies pay to be listed as top tier.
Actually, companies pay to get certified as Top Tier compliant, meaning they are tested and given the "rights" to promote themselves as Top Tier. As you correctly pointed out....Kroger deals with multiple distributors to obtain their gas for their store stations. Based on their "price-only-based" process, it would be very difficult for them to get certification as Top Tier. Yet....Costco does it.

The whole point of all this is to use quality fuel that reduces the impurities in the gas that contribute to carbon building within engines.

That saves people trouble and money - a good thing.
 

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H0001 has it right as far as how the program is supposed to work.

<< The detergency package is validated at an independent ISO 17025 certified laboratory by the additive company to the TOP TIER™ Performance Standards (see gasoline standards below). Once the detergency package is validated, the treat rates and performance testing data can be supplied to a fuel marketer for the license agreement. The fuel supply terminal will then supply gasoline with the agreed detergent and treat rate. >>

As with anything in life I am sure there are ways to cheat......There are thieves in every profession....
 

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The whole point of all this is to use quality fuel that reduces the impurities in the gas that contribute to carbon building within engines.
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Reduce the impurities - Top Tier gasoline simply adds detergents, burning a hydrocarbon which gasoline mostly is produces water and carbon dioxide as by products, so combustion of gasoline is always going to produce some form of carbon by product. Top tier companies seem to suggest that their gas combusts more completely thereby minimizing carbon buildup, but I'm not sure that claim has been substantiated for preventing carbon buildup on GDI intake valves - despite their photos showing otherwise.

Refineries contract with various gas companies to supply individual blends of gas, that shell sells gas to Kroeger can mean absolutely nothing in terms of it being top tier fuel as shell likely refines gas that doesn't meet the top tier standard and simply resells it to non shell distributors. The addition of extra detergents comes at a real cost so I wouldn't expect Shell to be selling top tier gas to Kroeger and Kroeger reselling the gas for less than Shell top tier fuel, bottom line is refineries operated by one entity often refine gas for a number of resellers and/or competitors, that gas may or may not be top tier.
 

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You also have to remember, how many also add techron or other additives to their tank, probably a lot more often than needed.


But you do what feels good to you.
 
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