Gas does come from the same place - all gas trucks load up their fuel at the exact same terminals. What makes the difference between brands is the additives that are added to the gasoline. These additives are added to the fuel at the time the gas truck is filling up. So the gasoline becomes 76, Chevron, Safeway, or Shell gas at the time it is being loaded onto the truck.
Why Additives Matter
The additives in the fuel make the difference between gas that cleans your car while you drive, or gas that allows nasty carbon deposits to build up inside your engine (causing costly repairs down the road). Many cheaper brands of gasoline will only put in the minimum additives required by the government, while higher quality brands will sometimes put close to double, sometimes even five times more than the government's recommendations. Make no mistake - there is a difference between high quality gasoline and the cheaper stuff.
With the recent explosion of hypermarket brands, automotive manufacturers were finding that many of their new cars were coming in for costly warranty work related to carbon deposits that had built up in engines as a result of the use of inexpensive brands of gasoline.
To combat this issue, several auto manufacturers instituted a guideline that said, in order to maintain the warranty on a new vehicle, customers would have to regularly fill their vehicle with what they consider to be "Top Tier Gas". That is, gasoline brands that used a significant amount of additives that help prevent the development of carbon deposits on engines.
76 gas is a Top Tier gas, but we won't presume to tell you it's the only option around. Click here to learn more about where you can find Top Tier gas retailers