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December 05, 2006

Interview With Dr. Fuel Good!

Barbara_terry_033_small With all the buzz at the L.A. Auto Show about hybrids and fuel efficiency, as well as the holiday driving coming up, we thought we would introduce you to someone helpful! Meet Dr. Fuel Good, the Shell fuel spokesperson! Dr. Fuel Good is Barbara Terry and she is your one-stop answer to all things fuel-related! She will help you learn how to save at the pump and stretch those gallons.

ASK PATTY: How have gas prices affected the types of problems you see in the garage?

BARBARA:  Gas prices will affect the performance and longevity of a vehicle if people are buying a cheaper, low-quality gasoline. Doing so clogs up their fuel system and allows the build-up of carbon deposits on their intake valves and fuel system.

ASK PATTY: What are the main questions people ask you when you educate people on fuel tips?

BARBARA:  What gasoline I recommend - to which I always refer them to a high-quality gasoline that meets the TOP TIER Detergent Gasoline standard. 

To explain TOP TIER a little bit, it was developed by four of the world’s top automakers: BMW, General Motors, Honda and Toyota.  They recognized that EPA minimum detergent requirements do not do enough to ensure optimal engine performance and have joined together to establish and encourage a higher standard. Lower detergency fuels that don't meet TOP TIER standards can result in carbon build-up on critical engine parts, which can affect an engine's ability to perform properly.   

Man_refuelling_car My mom, for instance, always uses Shell's V-Power, which is Shell's premium grade gasoline and contains five times the cleaning agents required by federal government standards - it can clean up those deposits left behind by the lower quality gasolines.  Even Shell's regular and mid-grade gasolines have twice the amount of detergents required by federal government standards and that makes a difference.
ASK PATTY: What are some top fuel saving tips you would give women?

My top 3 FuelStretch tips are:
1. Always keep the proper air pressure in your tires.
2. Have your car tuned up on a regular basis.
3. Remove any and all excessive weight out of your vehicle.

ASK PATTY: What if any are the big changes you are seeing today in how vehicles are being marketed to women?

I think all of the automobile manufacturers are highly competitive, which has lead to a change in recent years in how vehicles are coming off the manufacturers' assembly lines.  For instance, luxury amenities and options are becoming more standard now instead of having to pay extra like in the past.  The manufactures are also offering more consumer-friendly factory warranties.

Tell me about your most recent personal experience buying a vehicle. What vehicle did you buy, and why did you buy it?

BARBARA: My most recent automobile purchase was a 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited with the 4.0 straight 6 engine and the Quadra-trac 4-wheel drive.  I think Jeep makes an awesome SUV!

ASK PATTY: What is some advice you would give women about fuel safety and fuel economy?

You should be smart when dealing with fuel and take proper precautions when handling or filling up.  One obvious thing is not to be around anything flammable when handling gasoline. (More tips for this can be found at Shell’s website.)

Red_and_blue_cars_95x58 Fuel economy is something that people can learn more about at  On the site, they have a whole program called FuelStretch that includes several easy-to-use driving and maintenance tips.  There is also a Fuel I.Q. quiz on the site that's quick and fun and will help you learn what "fuel personality" you have. 


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