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Is Costco Gas Bad For Your Car? Debunking Myths About Its Effects on Cars

Costco gas stations use kirkland Signature Fuel.

Costco gas, also known as Kirkland Signature gas, is the fuel sold at Costco gas stations exclusively that a Costco member can use to save money when they use certain cards.

But you may be wondering whether this is quality gas or top tier fuel, and whether or not it's good for your car, engine, and or fuel economy.

Costco gas actually contains deposit control additives, as mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency. This means that when you buy Kirkland Signature gasoline, you're buying high quality gas, also known as TOP TIER gasoline.

Costco also uses fuel filters to maintain their fuel quality. The bottom line is that Kirkland Signature gas is a quality gasoline choice that Costco members can get for a better deal than they would get at other gas stations.

Keep reading as we discuss the effects that Kirkland Signature fuel can have on your vehicle, what it means for this gas to be TOP TIER, where Costco gets its fuel, and how it compares to other TOP TIER standard fuel options you'll find at other gas stations.

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    Costco gas stations use kirkland Signature Fuel.
    Costco gas stations use kirkland Signature Fuel.

    Is Costco gas bad for your engine?

    Kirkland Signature gas is actually one of the best gas options you can get and a convenient and cheap gas choice if you already have a Costco membership.

    It's not bad when it comes to engine wear, and in fact, regular gas from Costco contains certain fuel detergent additives that actually clean the fuel injectors in the engine.

    The chemical samples in these detergent additives make it so that deposits don't build up in the cylinder head, where combustion takes place. They also ensure proper lubrication and reduced friction to minimize engine wear.

    This leads to various benefits and makes Costco gas good because it:

    • reduces emissions
    • improves fuel economy
    • maintains engine horsepower
    • extends the lifespan of engine parts
    Costco Fuel Pump
    Costco Fuel Pump

    Does Costco fuel have additives?

    Almost every kind of fuel you'll find at a station contains fuel additives.

    Although this may seem like a bad thing at first due to the connotation of the word "additive" with being unnatural, additives are normal and can even benefit your car's maintenance.

    Even Costco fuel has these add-ins, relying upon Kirkland Signature licensed fuel detergent products.

    Deposit Control Additives

    This type of additive is approved by the EPA and part of what makes Costco gas a TOP TIER fuel.

    Deposit control additives ensure that the fuel is high quality, and the amount in the particular fuel product is what sets it apart from other brands.

    As previously mentioned, these add-ins are also called detergent additives.

    And when you buy gas at Costco, they are used in both the diesel and regular gas products.

    Valves with carbon buildup.
    Valves with carbon buildup.

    Does Costco gas give less mileage?

    When you buy Costco gas, you're actually doing your vehicle a favor in terms of gas mileage since the detergent additives clean the engine, allowing for increased efficiency.

    Further, if you want to think about it in terms of fuel efficiency, you are technically getting more bang for your buck by spending less to fuel up more.

    Costco gas facilitates just as good gas mileage as any other gas, if not better.

    But you also have to keep in mind the fact that other factors can negatively affect your car's gas mileage, including carried weight, acceleration habits, and excessive idling, among others.

    Is Costco gasoline good quality or top tier gas?

    Costco gas station fuel is some of the highest quality gas you'll find when purchasing gas because it is certified according to the TOP TIER gasoline standards - for both gasoline and diesel fuel.

    The official TOP TIER gas brand list includes Costco Wholesale fuel in the US, Mexico, Canada, and Puerto Rico as TOP TIER gasoline options.

    The same is true for Kirkland Signature gasoline in the US, Mexico, and Canada.

    In order to get this TOP TIER fuel rating, the gasoline omits the use of organometallic additives, which can be useful for lubrication but may not be the best for engine cleanliness.

    Fuel tanker hauling fuel to a Costco gas station.
    Fuel tanker hauling fuel to a Costco gas station.

    How does Costco ensure high quality gasoline?

    Aside from meeting TOP TIER standards and using detergent additives in the products, Costco also has strict maintenance standards for its TOP TIER gas station locations.

    They take the following measures that prove the quality of their products:

    • Filters to remove debris of a certain size
    • Filters to remove water and sediments
    • Station cleanliness is maintained on a daily basis
    • The use of ethanol compatible filters
    • Regular filter changing to ensure proper functioning
    • Monitoring of the water preset in storage tanks
    • Regular sampling and contamination tests

    Is Costco gas energy efficient?

    Although gas and diesel products aren't renewable resources in and of themselves, Costco does adhere to the US federal Renewable Fuels Standard, as laid out in the 2005 Energy Policy Act.

    This means that all Costco gasoline contains a portion of ethanol in it.

    You can find out how much ethanol is used at individual Costco pumps.

    Chevron gas station
    Chevron gas station

    Is Costco gas better than Chevron gas?

    Chevron gas in Canada, the US, and Mexico is also listed as TOP TIER gasoline, meaning it technically is the same quality as Costco gas.

    The only difference you're likely going to find between the two is the price difference, which will inevitably vary from where Costco's gas is sold to where Chevron is sold.

    Obviously, if you can afford to lose money when you buy gas by choosing the one with the higher price (likely Chevron), then neither one is really better or worse than the other.

    But you should keep in mind the very real likelihood that you'll have long lines at a Costco station compared to a station that sells Chevron fuel.

    What is a top tier gasoline alternative to Costco gas?

    TOP TIER gasoline is really just a designation that you'll see on gas stations and labels on their fuel pumps.

    There are lots of TOP TIER alternatives to Costco gas if you don't have access to Costco gasoline.

    These gas options include, but aren't limited to, the following:

    • ARCO gas (US and Mexico)
    • Exxon gas (US)
    • GetGo gas (US)
    • Marathon gas (US)
    • Mobil gas (US and Puerto Rico)
    • Shell gas (US, Puerto Rico, and Canada)
    • Texaco gas (US, Canada, Puerto Rico, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Panama)
    • Beacon gas (US)
    • CITGO gas (US)
    • Metro Petro gas (US)

    For a full list of TOP TIER gas alternatives, visit the TOP TIER gasoline website, where you can also find a TOP TIER gas station near you.

    What octane rating is Costco gas?

    Costco gas is almost always at an 87 octane rating for regular gas and a 91 octane rating for premium gas.

    The octane levels just refer to the amount of that specific hydrocarbon in Costco gas.

    Unleaded or regular gas is typically the same gas as the premium option, just with lower octane gasoline levels.

    When it comes to the different kinds of Costco gas (unleaded vs. premium gasoline for example), the octane rating is what differentiates them.

    What brand fuel does Costco use at Costco gas stations?

    Like many of the products sold at Costco stores, the brand of gas sold at Costco stations is called Kirkland Signature.

    As opposed to, say, Chevron or Shell gas, Kirkland Signature is specifically bought by the Costco company from their chosen gas companies and major refineries.

    If you're wondering where is Kirkland Signature gas sold? the answer will exclusively be Costco stations.

    Where does Costco get its gasoline?

    The exact location of the fuel distributors and major refineries that send TOP TIER gas to Costco stations is not very well disclosed.

    However, the locations can vary depending on the location of the Costco station.

    For example, if the Costco location is closer to the West Coast, the source of the fuel sold there will be closer to the West Coast.