The gas stations at Fred Meyer have earned a solid reputation for their affordable fuel. Though, sure, everyone appreciates a low price for fuel, but is cheaper gas good for your car? Might it cost you more in the long-run? This article examines differences in gas quality and why you may — or may not — want to head to Fred Meyer for your next fill-up.
General Info About Fred Meyer Gasoline
Fred Meyer is a major retailer with about 130 locations throughout Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Alaska. Fred Meyer, owned by Kroger, sells everything from groceries to electronics to furniture to apparel and accessories.
Like its parent company Kroger, Fred Meyer operates gas stations at many of its stores. In addition to its often-discounted prices on gasoline, Fred Meyers has a Fuel Program that allows you to earn one fuel point for every dollar spent in the store.
How Is Gas Quality Determined?
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), there are countless refineries that take crude oil and refine it into gasoline (all gasoline is produced in refineries in the U.S.). Once processed, the gasoline is tested before it leaves each refinery to ensure it meets local, state, and federal specifications.
However, the pipelines through which the finished gasoline travels when it leaves the refineries are shared, resulting in commingling of gasoline batches of the same octane. This means that the EIA cannot identify the refinery or state where the gas originated.
This makes identifying quality gasoline a tricky endeavor — with one exception: detergent additives.
How Do Detergent Additives Affect the Quality of Gasoline?
Detergent additives are combined with gasoline to remove and prevent engine deposits, which can cause rough idling, engine knocking, acceleration hesitation, the misfire of spark plugs, and reduced fuel economy. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets a minimum standard for detergent additives in gasoline, although some companies add more detergent additives than the EPA requires. Companies that add more detergent additives (in the right combination and formulation) to their gasoline are given the distinction of being TOP TIER licensees and can market their gasoline as such.
TOP TIER gasoline is not the same as premium gasoline. TOP TIER companies add the detergent additives to all octane levels: regular, mid-grade, or premium. Licensed TOP TIER companies have undergone testing to prove that all grades of gasoline are effective at cleaning deposits from your engine and preventing future deposits.
It’s important to know that while TOP TIER gasoline has undergone testing to ensure it meets specific requirements regarding the level and formulation of detergent additives, other companies may also sell gasoline with higher levels of quality detergent additives and choose to no go through the Top Tier licensing process…
Is Fred Meyer a TOP TIER Gasoline Brand?
Fred Meyer gas is not a licensed TOP TIER gasoline brand.
The following gas stations are currently licensed TOP TIER brands:
- 76 (see our article on 76’s gas quality)
- BP/Amoco Ultimate
- BP Regular
- BP Silver
- Break Time
- Costco (see our article on Costo’s gas quality)
- CountryMark Plus
- Diamond Shamrock
- Kwik Star
- Kwik Trip
- Kwik Trip Express
- Metro Petro
- Ohana Fuels
- Phillips 66
- Puma Energy Caribe
- Quik Trip/QT
- Road Ranger
- Shell (Canada)
- Shell (Puerto Rico)
- Sunoco (see our article about Sunoco’s gas quality)
- Tri-Par Qwik Stop
What is the Quality of Fred Meyer Gas?
Because Fred Meyer gas is not a TOP TIER licensee, determining its quality based on the available information is not possible.
We called Fred Meyer customer service in an attempt to glean more information about their fuel quality and was told that the name of their supplier is propriety information that they could not provide to us. The customer service representative told us that Fred Meyer gasoline comes from “the TOP TIER of suppliers in the nation,” but confirmed that this does not refer to the TOP TIER license that many other gas stations have earned. Customer service was also unable to confirm the level of detergent additives in Fred Meyer gasoline.
All of the gasoline processed in U.S. refineries must meet local, state, and federal specifications. However, differences in the quality of gasoline often exist among brands, due to the amount and quality of detergent additives added. While some companies have chosen to earn the distinction of being a TOP TIER licensed gasoline brand that uses more detergent additives of higher quality, Fred Meyer is not one of these. Due to a lack of information regarding Fred Meyer gas quality standards, there’s no way for us to provide you with a simple answer as to whether to pump or pass. Though since there are some TOP TIER gas providers that also discount their prices, you may find yourself heading to one of them.