Performance Fuels

5 Reasons to Always Use Top Tier Fuel

  • News Staff @
  • 26-Aug-21


Top Tier Fuel like Sunoco Ultratech™ is automaker-approved and recommended to help your engine run cleaner, longer, and more efficiently. However, automaker approval is just one reason to always use Top Tier fuels. We've got five more reasons to always use Top Tier fuel that benefit your car, your wallet, and even the air around us.

Reason 1: Run Cleaner

Top Tier detergent fuels like Sunoco Ultratech are packed with more detergents than standard fuels that only meet the minimum EPA requirements. What does that mean for your engine? If you use a fuel that doesn’t have the added detergents found in Top Tier brands, testing by the AAA shows that in just 100 hours of driving the carbon buildup on just the backs of your intake valves alone can add up to well over half a gram. That's more than 19 times the buildup that the same engine in the same test saw using a Top Tier fuel like Sunoco Ultratech.

Those carbon deposits in the intake manifold and on the back of the valves disrupt the air-fuel mixture as it flows into your engine's combustion chamber. That disruption can leave you with poor air-fuel mixing and incomplete combustion, and that means dramatically increased exhaust emissions, especially at cold start when the catalytic converter isn't yet up to temperature.

How much of an increase? Up to 200 percent more carbon monoxide and a 30 percent increase in hydrocarbon emissions. The AAA said that those results were measured over the equivalent of 2,000 miles of driving using conventional, minimum-requirement gasoline versus Top Tier fuels like Sunoco Ultratech.

For comparison, the Top Tier fuel that was tested managed to clean up those emission effects in only about 1,000 miles of driving, which shows just how effective Top Tier fuel can be.

Reason 2: Run Smoother

AAA testing also found that the same deposits left by non-Top Tier fuels can lead to other problems. Problems like a rough idle that is caused by valve deposits actually absorbing some of the extra fuel used to warm up your engine more quickly on cold starts. Even once warmed, the deposits disrupt airflow into your engine and cause combustion problems that hurt engine smoothness.

Add those deposits to the deposits left in the fuel injector and you can experience hesitation as you accelerate. The extra fuel for acceleration is sucked up by the valve deposits, the fuel spray pattern is disrupted by the deposits in the injector, and when you experience this you'll probably just push the accelerator harder, leading to more noise, more RPM, more harshness, and less in the way of actual acceleration.

Even knocking and pinging, potentially extremely harmful conditions, can be caused by these deposits building up on the tops of the pistons or in the combustion chamber. Modern vehicles compensate for knock by adding more fuel and cutting timing, both of which make the engine run less efficiently.

Top Tier fuels like Sunoco Ultratech help your engine avoid these issues by using added detergents that remove deposits, allowing your engine to run more smoothly.

Reason 3: Your Wallet

The deposits left by minimum-requirement gasoline additive packages impact more than just smoothness and efficiency, they can hurt your wallet, too. The same AAA testing that measured the benefits of Top Tier fuels like Sunoco Ultratech found that a fuel economy hit of two to four percent could be seen just by picking the wrong fuel.

Even if you only drive an average of 13,500 miles per year, that difference could add up to two tanks of fuel every year in savings. The more you drive, the greater your potential fuel savings, just by switching where you get your fuel.


Reason 4: Protect Your Fuel System and Your Health

Sunoco Ultratech, as well as other Top Tier fuels, do not have additives like methanol or MMT. Why does that matter? Methanol is a cousin to the ethanol in alcoholic beverages and is often used in over-the-counter products designed to mix water that has accumulated in your gas tank with the rest of the fuel. Once mixed, the water can then be pumped out and sent through your fuel injection system. It's also used as a high-performance fuel in some racing applications.

But methanol in fuel causes harm to fuel system components. So much harm that automakers specifically call out methanol as being prohibited. Using it can void the warranty on your fuel system or other engine components.

MMT, or methylcyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl, is an octane booster used in some over-the-counter additives and can be present in small amounts within pump fuel that doesn't meet the Top Tier standard. It can cause deposits to form on spark plugs that end up fouling the plugs. That fouling can impact your vehicle warranty and is called out specifically as not allowed by several automakers. Finally, the EPA stated that manganese used in MMT can be a neurotoxicant at high exposure levels, and found it was unable to conclude that MMT in fuel could not be linked to emissions-related exposure and harm.

Reason 5: Direct Injection

With older fuel injected engines, the air and fuel mix before hitting the intake valves. This helps wash the back of the valves and works to help reduce deposits. In newer gasoline direct injection engines, the fuel is injected directly into the combustion chamber, so the fuel can't wash the valves. This makes cleaning the valves harder. It also makes the fuel injectors more susceptible to buildups because they are in the hottest part of the system.

Top Tier fuels, like Sunoco Ultratech, led to a lower likelihood of deposits building up in the first place, so there are no deposits there to need cleaning. They also work harder to clean and then prevent deposits from forming on the tips of the fuel injectors. Cleaner injector tips lead to better combustion, smoother running, and reduced fuel consumption, saving you money with every fill-up.

To take advantage of all these benefits, fuel up with Sunoco Ultratech Top Tier products and visit to find a station near you!