12 Worst Gas Brands That Can Ruin Your Car

The type of gasoline you use matters most when it comes to keeping your car running. While most gas stations claim to provide high-quality fuel, not all gasoline is created equally. You should avoid some gas brands that can ruin your car.

Some brands contain additives that harm your vehicle’s engine over time. Thus, prioritizing fuel quality can safeguard your vehicle’s performance. We have researched various online forums and listed some unhelpful gas brands that you should avoid to save your car from getting ruined.

British Petroleum (BP)

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Despite its global presence, British Petroleum (BP) has had issues with fuel quality. Complaints often concern inconsistent fuel quality, engine knocking, and decreased fuel efficiency. Despite being a major brand, the loss of its Top Tier certification in late 2021 has raised concerns about the quality of its gasoline. While BP strives to maintain high standards, occasional lapses in quality result in subpar fuel and reduced car performance. It doesn’t contain high-quality detergent additives that are found in other brands.

Circle K

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Circle K is a cheap gasoline brand and a convenient store for many people. It is a chain of gasoline stations across the United States and Canada. Though accessible, the quality of this brand is a subject of debate among consumers. Thus, Circle K is no longer a top-tier brand like some years ago. Most car owners have experienced engine troubles and reduced mileage after using fuel from Circle K. Due to this inconsistency, Circle K has dropped from the choice list. It is a risky choice for conscientious consumers who prioritize their vehicle’s health and performance.


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With over 3,900 gas stations in the United States, Speedway is a prominent player in the fuel industry. Despite its widespread presence, Speedway has received criticism for fuel quality issues. Consumers have reported engine performance issues, such as rough idling and decreased acceleration. The fuel here lacks higher-quality additives. This inconsistent fuel quality warrants caution for car owners who rely on their vehicles for optimal performance.


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Amoco, formerly a standalone brand, is now a subsidiary of BP after rebranding and relaunching. Once a top-tier brand, Amoco’s decline has caused havoc. Top Tier certification is important because it ensures that the gasoline contains a higher level of detergent additives, which helps keep engines cleaner and more efficient. Non-Top Tier fuels, like those from Amoco, have been shown to cause more engine deposits and can negatively impact vehicle performance over time. Contaminants like water, dirt, and debris in gasoline can cause these problems.


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Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores is a popular chain of travel centers and gas stations. While convenient for travelers across the United States, Love’s faced severe criticism due to the absence of enhanced additives. As per a 2024 news report driver’s complained against fuel mishap problems after refueling from Love’s gas station. They faced problems with engine efficiency and many more. A general speculation lurked that using fuel from Love’s can also result in fouled fuel injectors. Thus, the lapse in quality has also made this brand stoop down from the list of top-tier fuel brands.

Murphy USA

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Murphy USA operates over 1650 gas stations in 27 states. It offers affordable fuel to consumers, but despite that, its quality has come under scrutiny. There are several complaints about the fuel from Murphy. As per an ABC News from 2023, customers complained that Murphy USA served them contaminated fuel. It decreased their car’s fuel efficiency and created engine misfires as well as rough idling. You might not experience any adverse effects from refueling at Murphy in the short term, but there are potential drawbacks in the long run.


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Safeway is a prominent grocery store chain that also operates gas stations. You might not resist the attractive offer of getting groceries and fuel from the same place, but there is much concern about the quality of the fuel. NBC Bay Area reported in 2023 that Safeway stores are accused of overcharging their customers. This serious concern cannot be neglected especially during inflation times and vehicle safety. Though Safeway offers competitive prices, you should consider the potential risks associated with its fuel quality.

Sam’s Club

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Selecting the right gas brand is essential for maintaining your car’s performance and longevity. So, Sam’s Club was a popular choice among consumers. However, many questioned the quality as engine health issues increased after Sam’s refueling. Though affordable, Sam’s Club’s fuel lacks high-quality additives that ensure the healthy performance of your vehicle. Issues like engine knocking, reduced fuel efficiency, and overall vehicle performance were noted. Thus, regular use of this fuel can lead to engine malfunctioning.

Kwik Trip

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Kwik Trip gas stations, while convenient and competitively priced, have garnered a reputation for being among the worst gas brands. Their fuel quality is questionable and many motorists have raised their concern over this. One of the primary concerns with Kwik Trip gasoline is the presence of higher levels of impurities compared to other brands. These impurities can lead to engine buildup over time, including carbon deposits on critical engine components such as fuel injectors and intake valves. This buildup can restrict fuel flow, compromise engine efficiency, and increase exhaust emissions, ultimately diminishing your vehicle’s overall performance and longevity.


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Thornton gas stations are no longer a top-tier brand despite their widespread presence. Consumer reports indicate various issues, including engine misfires and stalling. These issues suggest potential problems with fuel composition or additives, which can disrupt the combustion process and lead to erratic engine operation. Poor fuel quality not only affects engine performance but also increases the likelihood of long-term damage to critical engine components.


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Sunoco, once a trusted name, has lost favor due to concerns over fuel quality. Inconsistent octane levels, leading to engine knocking and reduced performance, are the primary reasons this brand is not top-tier. Congestion in fuel injectors and fuel lines has also been reported. The cause of this condition is the imbalance of additives in the gas composition. Moreover, buildup from the fuel has detrimental effects on vehicle reliability and longevity.


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Gulf has also experienced a decline in reputation. Gulf gasoline has been associated with increased emissions, indicating inefficient combustion and incomplete fuel combustion processes. As a result, many consumers have decreased their use of Gulf fuel as the maintenance cost has increased. Many consumers have also reported subpar vehicle performance after refueling from Gulf. The potential damage of the engine that it causes is a concern that led many to choose other brands over Gulf.

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