SUNOCO missing from TOP TIER list ,

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I contacted Sunoco...they said their fuel still meets TT specs but with COVID uncertainty they stopped paying for the certification. The pumps at my local station still have the stickers.
 
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Originally Posted by Slick17601
I contacted Sunoco...they said their fuel still meets TT specs but with COVID uncertainty they stopped paying for the certification. The pumps at my local station still have the stickers.
TOP TIER takes a dim view of that practice.
 

odie

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VALERO has the Top Tier sticker on their pumps . CITGO has it painted(?) on . SUNOCO has no indication . Stopped using it and staying with VALERO . Never been much of a fan for CITGO gas .
 
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I wouldn't be concerned about this since Sunoco has always had a good fuel. Heck it wasn't that long ago when Sunoco, ExxonMobil, and BP weren't even on the TopTier list but their fuels have always been high quality.
 

Jackson_Slugger

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Originally Posted by y_p_w
Originally Posted by Jackson_Slugger
Originally Posted by JG44
Here's what I got when I asked about Sunoco and Top Tier "Sunoco gasoline has always been known for high quality, even before we became Top Tier certified - that is not changing. When we decided to attain Top Tier certification, we took on increased cost. During these unprecedented times, we are temporarily suspending our Top Tier program. We will re-evaluate once we are through the current COVID-related impact on our business."
You got that, how?
They have a customer service form. That would be my guess. https://www.sunoco.com/contact-us#email-us The Wikipedia article on Top Tier claims that the suspension is a matter of COVID-19 financial difficulties, but doesn't cite any source.
It's just kind of a weird reason to drop TT, I never notice much in the way of price differences between Top Tier and non-TT...
 
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Originally Posted by Jackson_Slugger
Originally Posted by y_p_w
Originally Posted by Jackson_Slugger
Originally Posted by JG44
Here's what I got when I asked about Sunoco and Top Tier "Sunoco gasoline has always been known for high quality, even before we became Top Tier certified - that is not changing. When we decided to attain Top Tier certification, we took on increased cost. During these unprecedented times, we are temporarily suspending our Top Tier program. We will re-evaluate once we are through the current COVID-related impact on our business."
You got that, how?
They have a customer service form. That would be my guess. https://www.sunoco.com/contact-us#email-us The Wikipedia article on Top Tier claims that the suspension is a matter of COVID-19 financial difficulties, but doesn't cite any source.
It's just kind of a weird reason to drop TT, I never notice much in the way of price differences between Top Tier and non-TT...
Not sure how much it costs since the licensing agreements aren't exactly public. I thought that it was pretty low. It could be anything including a fee per location and/or cost per unit of fuel. Costco has the most consistency low fuel prices and they went Top Tier. But there are claims that their fuel isn't sold at a profit.
 
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Originally Posted by buddylpal
I wouldn't be concerned about this since Sunoco has always had a good fuel. Heck it wasn't that long ago when Sunoco, ExxonMobil, and BP weren't even on the TopTier list but their fuels have always been high quality.
BP had gone a long time without Top Tier, although BMW specifically recommended them. I though that ExxonMobile was early on Top Tier.
 
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Exxonmobil didn't join top tier until around 2011 or 2012 at the latest. But I think it was 2010 they officially joined, I can't remember exactly after all these years.
 
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Originally Posted by kschachn
Originally Posted by Slick17601
I contacted Sunoco...they said their fuel still meets TT specs but with COVID uncertainty they stopped paying for the certification. The pumps at my local station still have the stickers.
TOP TIER takes a dim view of that practice.
I checked the pumps at a half-dozen nearby stations that are supposed to be Top Tier (Marathon, Sunoco, and Shell, as I recall) and none had any indication of offering TT fuel. People here suggested that we (consumers) should just trust that it really is TT fuel....
 
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Originally Posted by y_p_w
Originally Posted by Jackson_Slugger
It's just kind of a weird reason to drop TT, I never notice much in the way of price differences between Top Tier and non-TT...
Not sure how much it costs since the licensing agreements aren't exactly public. I thought that it was pretty low. It could be anything including a fee per location and/or cost per unit of fuel. Costco has the most consistency low fuel prices and they went Top Tier. But there are claims that their fuel isn't sold at a profit.
Every indication is that gas stations make little to no profit on their actual fuel sales. This is why almost all places sell drinks, snacks, etc as that's where they make their money. That said, if the cost of TT certification was just one cent too high or too much, I can see stations dropping it in a heartbeat. On the fuel side, literally, "every penny counts".
 

Jackson_Slugger

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Originally Posted by hallstevenson
Originally Posted by y_p_w
Originally Posted by Jackson_Slugger
It's just kind of a weird reason to drop TT, I never notice much in the way of price differences between Top Tier and non-TT...
Not sure how much it costs since the licensing agreements aren't exactly public. I thought that it was pretty low. It could be anything including a fee per location and/or cost per unit of fuel. Costco has the most consistency low fuel prices and they went Top Tier. But there are claims that their fuel isn't sold at a profit.
Every indication is that gas stations make little to no profit on their actual fuel sales. This is why almost all places sell drinks, snacks, etc as that's where they make their money. That said, if the cost of TT certification was just one cent too high or too much, I can see stations dropping it in a heartbeat. On the fuel side, literally, "every penny counts".
I doubt fuel is a big money maker, but I also doubt it's a loss leader. I think station owners probably make a buck or two off fuel but nothing worthwhile for the hours and staffing and yes I agree the money is in drinks (noticed some local stations advertising as craft beer store destinations), chemicals, and other odds and sods like ice or carwashes. I doubt TT really makes much difference, some of the cheaper gas near where my parents live are Exxon-Mobil branded. Then again, nearly every Sunoco station has closed and the town has lost at least 4-5 gas stations in total in the last 20 years I'd say. My guess is that Sunoco for all its name recognition has slipped way behind the big refiners. I think they once owned Kendall Oil...
 
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Originally Posted by Jackson_Slugger
Originally Posted by hallstevenson
Originally Posted by y_p_w
Originally Posted by Jackson_Slugger
It's just kind of a weird reason to drop TT, I never notice much in the way of price differences between Top Tier and non-TT...
Not sure how much it costs since the licensing agreements aren't exactly public. I thought that it was pretty low. It could be anything including a fee per location and/or cost per unit of fuel. Costco has the most consistency low fuel prices and they went Top Tier. But there are claims that their fuel isn't sold at a profit.
Every indication is that gas stations make little to no profit on their actual fuel sales. This is why almost all places sell drinks, snacks, etc as that's where they make their money. That said, if the cost of TT certification was just one cent too high or too much, I can see stations dropping it in a heartbeat. On the fuel side, literally, "every penny counts".
I doubt fuel is a big money maker, but I also doubt it's a loss leader. I think station owners probably make a buck or two off fuel but nothing worthwhile for the hours and staffing and yes I agree the money is in drinks (noticed some local stations advertising as craft beer store destinations), chemicals, and other odds and sods like ice or carwashes. I doubt TT really makes much difference, some of the cheaper gas near where my parents live are Exxon-Mobil branded. Then again, nearly every Sunoco station has closed and the town has lost at least 4-5 gas stations in total in the last 20 years I'd say. My guess is that Sunoco for all its name recognition has slipped way behind the big refiners. I think they once owned Kendall Oil...
They didn't own Kendall. I remember when they were labelled as Witco. Then Tosco bought them before Tosco was sold to Phillips. Some stations might actually make money on their fuel. I've seen an Arco station with an ampm convenience store across the street from a Shell station with consistently higher prices. Arco is mostly cash with a surcharge to use a debit card, so the cash sales drives traffic into the convenience store. The Shell station has a smaller convenience store and most likely the bulk of their gas is pay at the pump with a credit card. I've also used a small gas station that barely sells anything in its convenience store. There are quite a few like that around where I live where it might be a small booth where there might be stuff for sale or just a small area with candy and gum. A few even have old garages with repair services or smog checks. That might still make some money where the gas sales drives traffic.
 
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One thing I appreciate about Sunoco is that their local station has ethanol-free "recreational fuel" for my outboard motor and my Polaris Rzr 570. I also occasionally run it in my 08 Jeep 3.8, which runs just noticeably stronger on it. But otherwise, my Jeeps get Shell.
 
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Thank you so much for the heads-up. I have been buying mostly Sunoco for the last year and a half simply because they were Top Tier. Since they have decided to cheap out I will take my few hundred dollars of fuel purchases a month to BP, Shell and Exxon.
 
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Originally Posted by 340_Magnum
Thank you so much for the heads-up. I have been buying mostly Sunoco for the last year and a half simply because they were Top Tier. Since they have decided to cheap out I will take my few hundred dollars of fuel purchases a month to BP, Shell and Exxon.
LOL
 
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Originally Posted by hallstevenson
I checked the pumps at a half-dozen nearby stations that are supposed to be Top Tier (Marathon, Sunoco, and Shell, as I recall) and none had any indication of offering TT fuel. People here suggested that we (consumers) should just trust that it really is TT fuel....
I've seen this noted elsewhere on this board. I swear i just read something about this on the Top Tier website in the past week (can't find it now), or maybe a third party site. I know the TT website used to say something to the effect that TT stations had to display the logo. Anyways, the statement I read was that the requirement to prominently display the top tier logo was added to the Top Tier agreements some time after the initial TT launch, and was not made retroactive. So earlier brands do not have to comply with the labeling requirement. Now, some of the brands you mentioned (Marathon, Sunoco-before they left) joined well after TT's launch in ~2004, so I don't what iteration of the agreement they were subject to, and it may in fact be a case of local stations not following their brand's directives. Shell, being among the earliest joiners of TT in 2004, it is likely they may not be subject to the requirement TT's site now says: "Many fueling stations selling TOP TIERâ„¢ licensed brands prominently display the TOP TIERâ„¢ logo on the pump, pump handle, canopy or in a station window." https://toptiergas.com/how_do_you_know/ ...which implicitly confirms that the displaying of the TT logo is not a requirement, if it is the case that only "many stations" display the logo. Also, putting a single logo in a window apparently suffices, which would be easy to miss even if looking But as to the earlier point made in the thread, if some Sunoco stations are displaying a TT logo when they are not TT licensed, that is indeed a huge no-no, no only from TT's perspective (I assume it would be standard practice for TT's agreement to have some type of enforceable penalty for such action, as such display is degrading the TT brand), but also from a consumer deception standpoint (I'm sure the state attorney general, state consumer advocate, or TV consumer reporter would be interested) Now, as to trusting you really are getting TT gas, of course, it's possible that local stations are trying to get away with not complying, but TT compliance is enforced by the gas brands, and like anything, it's the negative consequences that act as a deterrent to bad practices. Can you be 100% sure? I guess not. But it's as much assurance that is possible without testing the gas before use Here's some Citgo stations that lost their Citgo branding and got hit with penalties from Citgo corporate for mixing non-TT gas with TT. Note this was in 2016 shortly after Citgo became TT. I recall at that time other stations which lost their Citgo branding, temporarily, shortly before the TT switch, as these stations had issues finding (or more likely reaching an agreement with) a supplier that met TT. It looks like these other stations in the link, which initially kept Citgo branding, tried to pull a fast one and were quickly caught via testing https://www.gasbuddy.com/go/branded-gas-provider-cracking-down-on-quality-issues/ FWIW, this story also notes that testing of a brand's formula for TT accreditation costs $45,000. No mention of the annual cost of the license To a point made elsewhere, I think, generally, most of the big-name brands (BP, Exxon), likely met TT prior to joining and didn't need to change formulas to get accredited as TT (Ford recommenced BP in their owners manuals prior to BP being TT). So you could say, in that respect, TT doesn't matter. However, aside from the general confirmation of detergent level that TT accreditation brings, what I think is most important is that, under the TT requirements, all stations under a brand must meet TT. I think this brings real value in a world where, especially if a brand doesn't market a specific additive or formula (Techron), the brand of gasoline may be meaningless, and, for some brands, all the brand means is signage and perhaps marketing and loyalty support, and not a specific gasoline formula, and your local branded station is buying whatever they want (perhaps there is some minimum detergent level to run the brand, but who knows). Not that I have specific evidence, but Citgo always seemed this way to me, prior to TT, and the experience above is consistent with it (if not dispositive). But in several parts of the county I am familiar with, Citgo was the most 'discount' of the major brands, and was one of the few, if not only, brand you would find being used by low volume, rural, 2 or 4 pump stations that lacked modern pumps, convenient store, or other amenities -- basically Citgo would still allow branding by Mom & Pop shops, when many of the big brands around here (Exxon, Shell, etc) went to exclusive or semi-exclusive agreements with certain 'jobbers' or middlemen, and would not directly supply small stations. My unproven speculation is that a brand like Citgo just provided branding and marketing support to these Mom&Pops, but allowed them to buy unbranded fuel from any supplier, that didn't need to meet any specific Citgo formula (until Citgo became TT, that is), which is why these small stations could support having a brand name and didn't have to meet some minimum purchase level that a jobber may require for a higher-tier brand. More to this point, Exxon used to be one of the brands with the top 3 most locations in my area. Around 2005, a lot of the smaller or 'independent' Exxon stations here lost their branding, some went to other brands, some closed, and the only remaining Exxons were all seemingly owned by the same operator (or operated under a supply, lease or similar agreement with the same jobber), I assume due to some jobber-type agreement (and the 2 Mobils we had switched to non-XOM brands). Of course, now there's a bunch more Exxons seemingly owned by different operators, and they've brought back Mobil into the area. It's always changing Anyways, the Citgo gas you could get at say, 7-11 (back when most 7-11s had Citgo circa 2005 or so) could have been very different than the Cigo gas you got at the rural country store, even though they were both the same brand. TT provides an independent assurance (or as much as is possible, noting the behaviorabove), that no matter what Citgo station you now go to, it meets TT
 
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Originally Posted by SkulltulaHouse
[quote=hallstevenson]Anyways, the Citgo gas you could get at say, 7-11 (back when most 7-11s had Citgo circa 2005 or so) could have been very different than the Cigo gas you got at the rural country store, even though they were both the same brand. TT provides an independent assurance (or as much as is possible, noting the behaviorabove), that no matter what Citgo station you now go to, it meets TT
It's really just marketing and distribution networks to some extent. Fuel is a commodity. Some of the big brands (like Valero) used to simply specify whatever generic detergent additive was available at the depot. Perhaps there's a requirement to "buy" from the company, but the distribution is through pipeline operators that only deal in equivalent commodities where the fuel just has to meet commodity standards and doesn't have to be made by the "seller".
 
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The Top Tier program seems to have a lot of loop holes to it. I emailed them not too long ago about Hyundai owner's manual recommending Top Tier fuel even though Hyundai isn't on the top tier council. They replied back saying essentially that while it's correct that Hyundai isn't part of the top tier program, they allow anyone to advertise the Top Tier program. The customer service person even congratulated me on reading my owners manual, she said most owners don't do that. I wish I didn't delete that email. So in my eyes it's essentially a very well thought out marketing campaign. I'm not denying that top tier fuels have higher cleaning standards, but who's to say that non top tier retailers are NOT selling a fuel that is just as good? All the major lubricant additive developers sell certified top tier additives and non certified top tier additives and they perform just as well. Chevron Oronite even has a chart with these additives on their website and you can clearly see they have fuel additives that perform exactly the same (or better) as the certified top tier additive, but it isn't "top tier". They even custom blend additive packages for retailers if that's their request. It's all about money, costs, and how you want to market your fuel. But a lot can happen during the process from the fuel terminal to your gas tank. Can the Top Tier organization guarantee me that a gas station in rural town anywhere with UST's from the early 1990's have been properly maintained? Nope. Can they assure me that I'm not buying stale fuel from a less frequently traveled gas station? Nope. I'll continue buying from reputable fuel retailers that move a lot of fuel, top tier or not.
 
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Originally Posted by JG44
Here's what I got when I asked about Sunoco and Top Tier "Sunoco gasoline has always been known for high quality, even before we became Top Tier certified - that is not changing. When we decided to attain Top Tier certification, we took on increased cost. During these unprecedented times, we are temporarily suspending our Top Tier program. We will re-evaluate once we are through the current COVID-related impact on our business."
Sunoco doesn't care if our fuel systems get clogged. They care about profits. I've been a Shell purchaser ever since my first fuel injection vehicle arrived in 1984.... Pontiac 6000.
What an absurd claim. Lets see all the claims for clogged fuel systems caused by non "Top Tier" gasoline. A little extra detergent for some marketing babble to make the sheep think they're getting "better" gas. Nonsense.

There was no Top Tier gasoline back in 84 and that Pontiac would have run and would still run just fine on any gasoline no name or name brand without fuel system clogging. Stop being an hysteric.
 
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