Product and Services FAQs

Why should I use Esso branded fuel every time I fill up?
When you purchase gasoline at an Esso-branded gas station, you’re fueling with advanced Synergy gasoline. Engineered with 7 key ingredients to help improve fuel economy,** Synergy gasolines provide lower emissions and improved engine responsiveness** and are designed to provide corrosion protection and improved performance compared with gasolines meeting minimum government detergency standards. In addition, Esso Synergy™ gasoline contains significantly higher detergent levels than CGSB requirements and has passed a series of deposit control performance tests, resulting in it being certified TOP TIER®. Learn more

Does gasoline really need detergents?
Yes! Detergents are added to gasoline to help clean vital engine parts, including fuel injectors and intake valves. While the Canadian government has mandated that all gasoline marketed in Canada contains detergents, our gasoline contains significantly more than the minimum quantities required. A gasoline detergent is a lot like a household detergent, helping to remove any harmful deposit buildup on intake valves and keeping fuel injectors clean.*

What is unleaded gas vs. leaded gas?
If you filled your tank prior to the 1990's, you might remember that there were two choices of gasoline: "regular" and "unleaded." At the time, "regular" gasoline contained tetraethyl lead, which served as an octane booster in fuel. All vehicles manufactured after 1975 are built with catalytic converters and require unleaded gasoline. Catalytic converters help convert pollutants in exhaust to less toxic gasses such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and water vapor. Due to environmental concerns, leaded gasoline was phased out in the 1990’s and can no longer be sold at any gas station in Canada. Today, "regular gas" no longer refers to gasoline with lead content, but rather to a certain grade of unleaded gasoline.

How is gasoline performance determined?
The performance of gasoline is determined by multiple factors, including its antiknock quality (also known as octane rating), its volatility, and its detergency. Check your owner’s manual to see what octane rating is right for your vehicle.

What does antiknock mean?
Antiknock, also known as octane rating, is a measure of the gasoline's ability to resist knocking or pinging during combustion. Since it is gasoline vapor rather than liquid fuel that ignites, the air-to-fuel mixture must be correct for smooth combustion. The higher the octane rating, the greater the engine's resistance to knock. Some of the problems associated with knock are overheating of critical engine parts – namely valves, pistons and spark plugs. To minimize the effects of knocking, modern engines are equipped with knock sensors, which temporarily delay the spark timing in the piston’s compression cycle. While this prevents audible knocking, delaying the ignition spark also sacrifices engine efficiency.

What does detergency mean?
Detergency is the performance characteristic of a gasoline that refers to its ability to clean and protect the fuel delivery system, including the carburetor or fuel injectors, and intake valves. A gasoline detergent is fundamentally like a household detergent. It is a molecule that affixes itself to dirt particles. As gasoline passes through a car's engine, the molecule helps clean away dirt particles and helps to prevent any harmful deposit build-up.
Why do diesel engines sometimes emit smoke?
A modern diesel engine is calibrated to inject the amount of fuel necessary to complete combustion across a range of power outputs. White smoke can be temporarily present during startup, particularly in wintertime, as unburnt fuel mixes with exhaust. The presence of black sooty smoke is an indication of mechanical problems resulting in incomplete combustion. More specifically, sooty particulates are generated with non-ideal atomization of diesel fuel resulting in a fuel-rich combustion atmosphere. Newer vehicles equipped with diesel particulate filters greatly reduce the presence of this smoke.

What does “ignition quality” mean and how is it determined?
Ignition quality relates to a diesel fuel’s cetane number – a measure of how readily the fuel auto-ignites under compression in the engine’s cylinder. In Canada, the minimum cetane number requirement is 40 which ensures good ignition quality, ease of start-up, and smoothness of operation in modern diesel engines.

How do lower temperatures impact the operability of diesel fuel?
Low temperature operability is the ability of the fuel to flow through the vehicle’s fuel system without plugging filters at low temperatures. Since diesel fuel contains paraffin waxes that may become solid at colder ambient temperatures, the cold flow properties of diesel fuel can be estimated with filterability tests and by measuring the cloud point temperature. Esso stations offer winterized products in the majority of regions that commonly experience temperatures below 12°C.

What are some of the causes of poor diesel engine performance?
Fuel contamination by water and dirt may cause poor diesel engine performance. Extreme care must be exercised when storing and handling fuel. Fuel-tank caps, dispensing nozzles, and hoses should be kept clean to eliminate potential sources of contamination. Fuel injectors and pumps are especially sensitive to wear and abrasion from particulate matter in fuel. Regularly removing water from storage tanks, vehicle fuel tanks, and filter bowls is important. Dry storage systems help reduce fuel emulsion problems, injection system corrosion, and microbial growth.

Can I store diesel and for how long?
If you keep it clean, cool and dry, diesel fuel can be stored for six months without significant quality degradation.
Will gasoline with ethanol affect my vehicle’s fuel efficiency?
Ethanol contains less energy than gasoline per gallon of fuel, but any changes in the fuel economy performance of your vehicle are expected to be minimal.

If I have water in my vehicle’s fuel system can I use ethanol-blended fuel?
Water in your vehicle’s fuel system may cause problems regardless of whether ethanol is present or not. A number of products are available to remove water from your fuel system. You should consult your mechanic for a recommendation.

Will my vehicle require additional maintenance?
Regular vehicle maintenance is always recommended, regardless of fuel type. Gasoline containing up to 10% ethanol is suitable for use in most vehicles and will not require additional maintenance.
Are there reasons, other than using a gasoline with an octane level lower than recommended in my vehicle owner’s manual that may cause knocking to occur?
A small percentage of vehicles may require higher octane gasoline under certain operating conditions because of variations in engines of the same model due to manufacturing tolerances, or because of an unusual build-up of engine deposits. A small percentage of vehicles may knock because of variations in engines of the same model due to manufacturing tolerances, or because of an unusual build-up of engine deposits. Other factors such as extremely hot weather, changes in altitude or hard driving conditions (like towing a heavy load) may also cause knocking. Many modern vehicles are equipped with an electronic device that detects and eliminates light knocking before you hear it.

Is there a situation where the octane my vehicle needs would differ from the level recommended in my owner’s manual?
In general, the octane a vehicle needs aligns with the manufacturer’s recommendation. However, each vehicle is different, owing to factors such as manufacturing variability, mileage, type of operation and general condition. As a result, some vehicles may require a higher octane, particularly after an initial period of operation. If knocking or pinging begins to occur, using a higher octane grade may resolve the problem.
Is a touchless car wash as good as a brush wash?
If you wash your car regularly, touchless can be better because nothing touches your car.  This will help to reduce damage that may occur from a brush wash.

Will a touchless car wash remove all dirt?
touchless wash will get most cars clean and dry but may have difficulty removing some grime, road film, tar, or bird droppings

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