Choose the right gasoline for road trips


Using the right gasoline for your vehicle will keep your engine clean and lead to a longer-lasting car. If you’re not sure what grade to put into your car, check the owner’s manual. (Owais Qureshi/

Story by Staff

The road trip is one of the great Canadian pursuits of summer. Getting the most of your time on the road, though, largely depends on the performance of your ride. Hitting the road in Canada has unusual potential pitfalls because of the size of the country and its comparatively small population. The distance between towns in many regions of the nation can be exceptionally long and if your car isn’t properly cared for, you could face danger on a long-haul trek.

Along with the quality of the automobile you drive, there are numerous components to a road trip that determine how well you will handle the road on your journey. One question that road-trippers often wonder about is what to do at the gas pump. With multiple grades of gasoline available, the quick decision may be made to simply go for the cheapest grade. That’s not the smartest thing to do, however, according to Jim Macias, technology manager for North American retail fuels for Shell Global Solutions.

Macias has an advanced degree in chemistry and has spent 26 years working with Shell, primarily on improving its fuel technology. He says drivers should always refer to the owner’s manual for the grade of gasoline to use in the car. If the manual says to use premium gasoline, then topping up with a regular option isn’t the wisest choice, especially if you’re travelling far from home.

“Even if your manual says to use premium gasoline, it’s important to know that not all premium gasolines are created equally. Some premiums only use the minimum amount of additives required by federal standards,” Macias points out. “Auto manufacturers are saying that they don’t believe that the US and Canadian standards are sufficient to protect our engines. They’ve devised their own standards and this is called the Top Tier certification and all three grades of Shell gasoline are certified as Top Tier.”

Macias is particularly proud of Shell’s V Power premium gasoline because it contains five times more cleaning agents than what federal governments in Canada and the US require.

“Every drop of gasoline in Canada and the US has some gasoline additives and the reason is because the government regulations require a minimum amount of cleaning additives,” Macias says. “A clean engine runs the way an automobile manufacturer designed it. When the engine is clean, it operates at its best and that also means it reduces tailpipe emissions.”

Using the best quality of gasoline available in the grade recommended in your vehicle’s owner’s manual is a sure way to remove one possible obstacle to a successful and enjoyable road trip. It’s also an excellent way to help maintain the operational performance of your automobile, one of the priciest purchases you will ever make.

“People are holding onto cars longer than they used to, and there is a variety of reasons for that. The average age of cars in North America is nearly 11 years, that’s increased from 8.5 years back in 1995,” Macias notes. “Keeping your car’s engine clean is key to its good health. That’s why it’s so important to choose the best gasoline for it.”

Disclosure and Disclaimer – This blog post was facilitated by Shell Canada Limited via Glam Media Canada. While each blog author received some information from Shell’s Technology Manager of North America Retail Fuels, the opinions expressed by each author are those of the author alone and may not be shared by Shell Canada Limited or its affiliates.


FEEL THE POWER OF THE V. Shell V-Power is our best, most advanced gasoline designed to deliver optimum performance for the perfect drive. No other premium gasoline keeps your engine† cleaner. Visit


Vicky is the worldly publisher of Having graduated from McGill University in Montreal, she has set about building a talented team of travel experts to deliver to you words and images of the very best places to see and experience in Canada. Based in Yorkville in Toronto, Vicky regularly jet sets around Canada — be sure to catch up with her when she's in your part of the country.

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