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The importance of running Top-Tier gasoline in your 2019+ Ranger.

Blmpkn

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Direct injection... Fancy stuff. Increases efficiency AND power, whats not to love right?

Well... unfortunately, fancy new ways of doing things can bring along fancy new problems.

If a direct injection motor is run on garbage fuel.. I.E fuel NOT labeled Top-Tier (see below)..
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..this can (relatively quickly) lead to an alarming amount of carbon buildup on the backside & stems of the motors intake valves, the surrounding area in the intake, and even the tips of the injectors themselves.
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This buildup can and WILL cause:
  • Loss of top end power
  • Poor acceleration
  • Cold stalling
  • Misfiring
  • Reduced fuel economy
  • Check engine lights
  • Rough running
  • Poor idle
This build up comes from a few places. Quality of gasoline makes a massive difference. By just using a top-tier rated fuel you will greatly reduce the amount of buildup (regardless of injection style) thanks to its extra detergents and science.

gasket-top-tier-885.jpg


The pcv system is also a big culprit. The pcv system recycles oil vapor/combustion blow-by/unburnt fuel from the crankcase into the intake. On their way through the Intake the aforementioned gasses/vapors stick to the hot valve and get baked on.

The pcv related buildup can be somewhat increased by the DI motors penchant for fuel dilution in the oil. If you take short trips with your 2019+ ranger, the chances of your oil having a quart+ of gasoline in it by the time you hit the reccomended change interval is a good possibility. Due to this, and how the pcv operates, if your recycling non-top tier gasoline through the intake.. naturally the build up will be worse.

Running an air/oil seperator will greatly reduce the amount of buildup by removing most or all of the oil vapor & unburnt fuel before it can make its way past the valves.

DI motors are more susceptible to this buildup compared to carburated, TBI, or MPI motors simply because the DI motor doesn't have these areas of the intake/valves constantly "washed" down with fuel during operation.

If/when this build up gets bad enough, the only real fix is to media blast the inside of the intake & back of the valves. While this cleaning is getting to be common practice due to the increasing amount of DI engines on the road, its not exactly a cheap thing to have done.


While the list of top-tier selling gas stations has massively increased over the past 10 years or so, not every station is on board. Below is a list of top-tier stations.

 


sgtsandman

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Running an intake cleaner once a year helps too.
 

Blmpkn

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Running an intake cleaner once a year helps too.
I'll update the OP a couple times with some more thorough info about intake cleaners and such. There's certainly no shortage of them nowadays due to the prevalence of DI motors.
 

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I learned this back in the 1990 with my 89 2.9L Ranger. I found that if I used a non-tiered gas, it would be hard to start when the engine was cold. The dealer could not figure it out and had a Ford engineer check it out. They replaced a couple injectors and a few other things then told be to run premium gas. I wasn't about to run premium gas and the problem came back. I decide to run Chevron regular and that solved the problem. I found I could run non-tiered gas on long trips but not around town. Apparently, the injectors would leave a drop of fuel on the tip when shutting off the engine and would evaporate leaving a residue. This residue would char when the engine was running and eventually build up enough to make the injectors squirt instead of a fine spray.

The non-tiered gas I was using then was ARCO. It is now considered a tiered gas and should be OK. I use it all the time in my 4.0 SOHC 02 Ranger with no problem.
 

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I dump in the leftover 2 stroke mix gas before it gets too old. Lubes up the valves real nice...old gas makes great turpentine parts cleaner.
 

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I learned this back in the 1990 with my 89 2.9L Ranger. I found that if I used a non-tiered gas, it would be hard to start when the engine was cold. The dealer could not figure it out and had a Ford engineer check it out. They replaced a couple injectors and a few other things then told be to run premium gas. I wasn't about to run premium gas and the problem came back. I decide to run Chevron regular and that solved the problem. I found I could run non-tiered gas on long trips but not around town. Apparently, the injectors would leave a drop of fuel on the tip when shutting off the engine and would evaporate leaving a residue. This residue would char when the engine was running and eventually build up enough to make the injectors squirt instead of a fine spray.

The non-tiered gas I was using then was ARCO. It is now considered a tiered gas and should be OK. I use it all the time in my 4.0 SOHC 02 Ranger with no problem.
Ran into a similar issue with a car that had a carburetor. Start ups were long and performance and fuel economy was terrible. It wasn’t worth the few cents saved and I started using big name brand fuel.

As a side note, Get Go and Sheetz use Marathon gas. I used to see their trucks at the Marathon refueling depot all the time.
 

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I have never even noticed the green "Top Tier" sticker before. I will start looking for it.
 

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I have never even noticed the green "Top Tier" sticker before. I will start looking for it.
Its not always green like in the picture. Most of the top tier stickers I've seen are black with white writing.
 

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Its not always green like in the picture. Most of the top tier stickers I've seen are black with white writing.
I usually run the cheap stuff in my Daily Driver Corolla. My Santa Fe has the GDI engine and usually run the High Octane stuff on road trips.
But it seems as if I should flip it and run High octane around town for short trips, & 87 on road trips, eh?
 

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Many of the "name brand" stations I see which are Top-Tier (Sunoco, BP, Amoco, Shell and others) do not put the "TT" sticker on the pump.
In the future they may.
 

Blmpkn

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I usually run the cheap stuff in my Daily Driver Corolla. My Santa Fe has the GDI engine and usually run the High Octane stuff on road trips.
But it seems as if I should flip it and run High octane around town for short trips, & 87 on road trips, eh?

There's no difference in the cleanliness of top tier gas between grades, so all you need is the manufacturer reccomended octane rating.

And actually, I'm relatively sure that running a higher octane fuel than the motor NEEDS can accelerate carbon buildup due to the fact that a motor that only needs 87 won't burn a charge of 91 or 93 as thoroughly as it would a cylinder full of 87 because the higher test stuff burns slower.
 

Blmpkn

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Many of the "name brand" stations I see which are Top-Tier (Sunoco, BP, Amoco, Shell and others) do not put the "TT" sticker on the pump.
In the future they may.
Not something I would of thought of, but something i do remember noticing.. and definitely worth noting. Thank you.
 

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I usually run the cheap stuff in my Daily Driver Corolla. My Santa Fe has the GDI engine and usually run the High Octane stuff on road trips.
But it seems as if I should flip it and run High octane around town for short trips, & 87 on road trips, eh?
I think you may be missing something or maybe not. He’a talking about brands, not octane level. So, like here, Qwik Fill would be a no-no. Garbage gas.
 

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I think you may be missing something or maybe not. He’a talking about brands, not octane level. So, like here, Qwik Fill would be a no-no. Garbage gas.
Yes, I guess I was mixing Brands with Octane. Thanks for the clarification. Qwik Fill is a station or brand of fuel? When I think "brands" usually it's Shell, 76, Exxon, BP, and the like. We have BP stations, but Circle K stores carry Shell gas, but we don't have a "Shell Station" unless you consider the Circle K the "Shell Station". I still have never noticed "top Tire" or "TT" on the pumps, but I will start looking.
 

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Wasn't aware of the Top Tier designation but I've always been picky about only buying gas at QuikTrip. Seems they use Top Tier gas

 

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