Last week, I spent a few days at camp in Northeastern Pennsylvania's beautiful Endless Mountains. It's my go-to place for many weekends and yearly vacations. There's nothing quite like taking a break from life in the middle of nowhere.

And when I'm spending money at local businesses, I'm paying 2 percent less on taxable items versus New York State. There was a time when gasoline was much cheaper in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania versus New York State, but those days are long gone. But recently the price has been pretty much the same in both states, depending on where you get gas.

Over the 4th of July holiday, one of the larger convenience store companies in Pennsylvania - Sheetz, dropped their price on certain types of gasoline. I was a bit confused about exactly what some of the discounted grades were, and if any of those types of grades would be safe for my vehicle.

My knowledge of gasoline for vehicles is unleaded regular, mid-range, supreme, non-ethanol, and diesel. To be honest, I don't really pay attention to the numbers associated with each grade.

So I did some research and the U.S. Energy Information Administration website lists the different types of octane fuel available for vehicles. They include unleaded regular which is the lowest octane fuel and is listed with an 87 octane rating. Midgrade is an 89-90 octane rating, and Premium is the highest grade with a 91-94 octane rating.

As for the discount that Sheetz offered, it was for Unleaded 88 and E85. According to the York Daily Record website, these grades contain more ethanol. The article mentions that Unleaded 88 contains 15 percent ethanol with an octane rating of 88, and E85 contains 51 to 83 percent ethanol.

The York Daily Record article breaks down the descriptions from their sources, stating that If you have a vehicle that was manufactured from 2001 to now, Unleaded 88 is safe to use, and E85 is only for use in flex-fuel vehicles.

I think I'll stick with unleaded regular (octane rating 87) and avoid any confusion at the pump. Although I'm not even sure there are any local gas stations in the Binghamton area that serve Unleaded 88 and E85. Let me know if you are aware of any.

via  U.S. Energy Information Administration, oYork Daily Record 

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