Know the Facts About Gasoline

Gasoline Facts & Tips

Gasoline fuels our engines and gets us where we’re going—it’s why Sunoco provides high quality gasoline and racing fuel. You don’t have to be an expert mechanic to know how to choose the right fuel for your car. Below are a few gasoline facts and tips to help.

Fast Facts about Gasoline

  1. US refineries produce approximately 20 gallons of gasoline from a barrel of crude oil 1
  2. Americans consumed an average of 143 billion gallons of gasoline in 2016. That’s nearly 392 million gallons of gas a day! 2
  3. Ninety-five percent of the gasoline used in motor vehicles contains 10% of ethanol (also known as E10) 3
  4. In 2015, the state of California consumed the most commercial motor gasoline at nearly 10 million barrels 4
  5. Oil rig workers make an average annual salary of $99,175 5
  6. In 2016, the top two countries where the US imported petroleum from were Canada and Saudi Arabia 6
  7. Oil refineries follow a three-step process to break down crude oil into gasoline. Those steps include separation and distillation, conversion, and treatment 7
  8. Factors that affect retail gas prices include the cost of crude oil, refining costs and profits, distribution and marketing costs and profits, and taxes 8

Know your octane

Octane is a measure of the antiknock quality of gasoline. High octane gasoline has less tendency to pre-detonate, or knock, as it is compressed.

There are several gasoline octane facts to keep in mind when choosing your fuel grade. First, follow the auto manufacturer’s octane recommendations in your owner’s manual. Regular octane is recommended for most cars but some cars with high compression engines need mid-grade or premium gasoline to prevent knock. Next, it’s normal for an engine to ping a little bit at full throttle because, cylinder pressures are very high. Engine knock, however, should not be ignored since it can result in serious damage to the engine. If you experience knock, try the next highest octane grade to eliminate it.

Tips for handling gasoline

  • Never smoke, light matches, or use lighters.
  • Never use gasoline as a cleaning solvent or for any purpose other than as a fuel. 
  • Practice good hygiene after handling gasoline. Wash hands and other areas that may have come in contact with gasoline.
  • Avoid prolonged inhalation of vapors as gasoline contains benzene, a known carcinogen.

Learn how to be safe at the pump.

Tips for storing gasoline

  • Most gasolines will last several months in a sealed, clean container – including your vehicle’s fuel tank.
  • If you think the gasoline will be sitting unused for more than a few months, add stabilizer to the fuel as soon as you buy it.
  • If storing fuel in a gas can, keep the container in a dry place away from direct sunlight. It’s also best not to expose the container to temperature extremes.
  • Minimize the amount of gasoline you store for more than a few months. Fresh gasoline is still the best gasoline.
  • Other than adding fuel stabilizer as needed, refrain from adding other chemicals and additives to your fuel. Most engine manufacturers do not advise adding anything other than gasoline to a gas tank.

About Sunoco Fuel

Sunoco gasoline and racing fuels significantly exceed U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) gasoline detergency standards. In fact, all grades of Sunoco fuel contain the same level of detergent. Along with government-mandated detergency tests, Sunoco fuels are also subject to additional testing by an independent, third-party lab to further ensure their quality. Learn more about our safety and environmental policies.

Sunoco Gas Quality

Sunoco fuels contain additives, such as corrosion inhibitors and antioxidants, which help to ensure quality and promote a longer “shelf life." This means the gasoline will last longer between uses. Gasoline filters trap particles as small as 10 microns from the gasoline before it goes into your tank.


This information is merely for your information and not intended to replace automotive technical or mechanical advice. Statements expressed and information provided here should not be considered facts or representations of any kind and are without any warranty of any kind, express or implied; Sunoco is not liable for its accuracy, for mistakes, errors, or omissions of any kind, nor for any loss or damage caused by a user's reliance on this information.