Automotive

Shell vs Esso gas stations

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  • Aug 17th, 2014 12:39 pm
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Newbie
May 22, 2013
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Shell vs Esso gas stations

So, I will be getting a new car very soon and also thinking of switching from Esso to Shell gas station. First off, is it true that Shell's gas considered as the best in Canada? I heard this a lot.

Secondly, I am used to the Esso rewards card, which I often use to get free car wash for 600 points ($1 spent earns 1 point). Then, I just looked into what Shell has to offer, and I don't think their Air Miles collector program is anywhere as beneficial as the Esso rewards program. Am I missing something here? Do you only get 1 Airmile reward for every $30 spent??? That's almost like nothing!!!
109 replies
Deal Fanatic
May 1, 2012
5229 posts
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Markham
All gas comes from the same refinery. Esso/Shell/Sunoco/Husky all have the same gas. Perhaps some have certain kinds of additives but at such low concentrations it does not really matter. Esso points are worth it only for the car washes.
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Feb 9, 2003
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Langley
Gas is gas.

Aeroplan is generally better than Airmiles so you should consider collecting those.
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Dec 14, 2005
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Richmond
They are both "TOP TIER Detergent Gasoline Retailers" in Canada:

"TOP TIER Gasoline Retailers:

Canada
Chevron Canada
Esso
Petro-Canada
Shell Canada"
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Sr. Member
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Aug 13, 2009
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I prefer Shell Vpower as it has no ethanol.
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May 10, 2005
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Ottawa
Anikiri wrote:
May 23rd, 2013 11:59 am
All gas comes from the same refinery. Esso/Shell/Sunoco/Husky all have the same gas. Perhaps some have certain kinds of additives but at such low concentrations it does not really matter. Esso points are worth it only for the car washes.
That is not even close to being true.
There are 5 refineries in Ontario. Shell and Imperial (ESSO) have their own.
http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/energy/sources/i ... cture/1607

As NSX said, both Shell and ESSO are top tier gasoline.
If it a loyalty points or reward issue, well then you have to make a decision on which one serves you best.
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Mar 24, 2004
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Toronto
kazkira wrote:
May 23rd, 2013 12:23 pm
I prefer Shell Vpower as it has no ethanol.
+1. My car's been fed V-Power from day 1.

If you don't require 91, then I don't think there's really a difference between the top tiers.
Deal Addict
Jul 13, 2006
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Thornhill
Yep, Shell 91 for no ethanol, and wash your own car to prevent scratches from gas station car washes (2 bucket wash).
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Mar 5, 2006
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Murica
Myv wrote:
May 23rd, 2013 12:45 pm
Yep, Shell 91 for no ethanol, and wash your own car to prevent scratches from gas station car washes (2 bucket wash).
I concur.
[OP]
Newbie
May 22, 2013
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Ok.. So gathering the information from you guys

- Shell's 91 is better than Esso's, below that... They are basically equal in quality
- Reward points wise, Esso gives more rewards for every dollar spent on gas
Deal Addict
Jan 17, 2012
1631 posts
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Toronto
In my turbo car I use the highest octane commercial gas I can find. For my other vehicles I buy the cheapest possible gas and have never had a problem...its usually PC gas. I only buy Shell when they have the Air-Miles promotions and that's only because I benefit quite a bit from the AM programme.
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Jul 13, 2006
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Thornhill
rMBA13 wrote:
May 23rd, 2013 3:37 pm
Ok.. So gathering the information from you guys

- Shell's 91 is better than Esso's, below that... They are basically equal in quality
- Reward points wise, Esso gives more rewards for every dollar spent on gas
Shell seems to be having a lot of Air Miles promotion lately too, ie. spend $50 total (min $25 91 V-power, min $30 reg) for 50 Air Miles or 25 bonus AM for spending min $30.
Deal Addict
Oct 26, 2008
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BC
rMBA13 wrote:
May 23rd, 2013 3:37 pm
- Shell's 91 is better than Esso's, below that... They are basically equal in quality
You might want to consider factors other than reward programs when choosing your preferred gas retailer.

Depends on what is important to you though.

I prefer stations with a consistent user experience at the pump, such as:
- those that don't have annoying menu questions like "do you require a fillup, $20, $40, etc."
- no line ups but otherwise a well-used and busy station
- either require a PIN for your credit card or they don't, and not a mix like the Shell and Esso stations around here
- have a separate nozzle for the ethanol-free 91 (I don't want a hose full of the previous customer's Regular with ethanol)
- respond quickly to card processing and don't keep you waiting
- print out a receipt immediately without you having to select one
- always have clean water in the squeegee bucket and a squeegee that's not falling apart with exposed metal edges
- have decent quality white paper towel for getting the black residue off your wiper blades
- are the first oil company or individual station to lower prices during a gas war and the last to raise them (can be up to the individual station manager)
- have a good and no-charge air hose for your tires

I don't quite agree with the "gas is gas" crowd, nor at the other extreme those that insist they get better L/100 km. with brand X.

All gas has additives such as detergents, but there is a difference in how many of those, and the quality and quantity.
As they are added by the tanker driver at the point of delivery at the gas station, Costco gas may not be exactly the same as Shell or PetroCanada under the prevailing contract.
Some additives appear to inhibit formation of sulphur on sender units for your gas gauge (e.g. Chevron's Techron) and are well worth having on a consistent basis

Fluctuations in the price of gas during price wars means that savings (or losses) are several times greater than what you get out of reward programs. So is it worth attaching much value to them?
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Mar 5, 2006
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Murica
Trouble is no investigative journalism has attempted to test the quality of petrol in North America.
In UK, fifth gear has tested BP, Shell, Chevron, and local supermarket gas.
Shell came out on top with hp gains.
That's why I vote for Shell.
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