Costco’s Kirkland Signature Fuel Stations

December 5th, 2015 · 17 Comments

I’ve had a few questions recently about the Costco fuel and their gas/fuel stations.  Believe it or not, this wasn’t really an area where I had done much research or posting about before.  You’d think after eight years of writing this blog there would be no Costco subject left that I hadn’t talked about, wouldn’t you?  My extent of “research” was that it was where we always filled up our cars and motorcycles when we were in the US and it was always less expensive than going to nearby stations.  So, my research was not too invasive.  But now I know everything and then some, and soon you can too.

When I was looking for answers for some readers I discovered that you can find out everything you’ve ever wanted to know about Costco’s Kirkland Signature gasoline (petrol or fuel depending on where you are at) online.  They even have videos! Honestly, there is probably more here than you would normally want to know about where you fill up your car, but it is actually kind of interesting.


As they point out online, Costco puts quite a bit of thought and safety into their stations, including several ways of keeping you and the environment safe while you are refuelling.  All of the Costco stations are manned by certified attendants that have been trained to deal with the safety and environmental hazards that can come from an accidental spill or other gas station mishaps.  Costco also equips each island with a special surface clean up kit as fuel spills pose such a hazard to people, as well as the environment.  The attendants also help those who aren’t physically able to still fill up their vehicle with fuel.  They’re also trained to make sure that people are being safe about how they fill up, including things like not smoking, turning off the motor, and not putting fuel in unsuitable portable containers.  Each station has a dedicated 911 (in the US) phone, as well as fire extinguishers on the islands, and automatic extinguishers in the below-ground system.

Costco stations are also equipped to make sure that the vapor from refuelling your vehicle stays contained.  The systems at Costco work in conjunction with the Onboard Refueling Vapor Recovery (ORVR) required in vehicles sold in the US since 2001.  This means that the vapor stays in your car and doesn’t pollute the environment.

I think the biggest environmental protection that they equip their stations with though, is the continuous monitoring of their underground fuel storage system for leaks.  The whole system is electronically monitored for any type of leak and will automatically shut down the entire system if a leak is detected.  The whole system is monitored on a continuous basis by Costco employees, as well as an outside monitoring service.  Since the underground storage tanks and all piping are made with corrosion-proof, double-walled construction, you would think a leak would be unlikely, but it is good that they are constantly on the alert.

But it isn’t just all about safety when you’re buying gas, but you always need to know that what you are buying is actually good for your car.  Both grades of gasoline sold at Costco – Regular Unleaded (typically 87 octane) and Premium Unleaded (typically 91 octane) – meet and exceed TOP TIER requirements, which means vehicles from a Rolls to a Smart will be happy running the Costco fuel. Here’s a quote from the Costco fuel website with a little more about that:

As our valued member, you expect Costco to always offer the finest quality products at the best possible price. Gasoline is no exception. Costco has closely studied fuel additives and engine deposits, and conducted extensive engine tests at nationally-recognized laboratories. As a result, we decided to increase the detergent additives in our fuel to provide a better value to our members. As of March 2014 Costco is listed as a TOP TIER™ gasoline retailer. Find out more at http://www.toptiergas.com/retailers/.

Kirkland Signature™ Gasoline contains five times the EPA detergent requirement in both regular unleaded and premium grades. Kirkland Signature™ Gasoline helps remove any existing deposits and keeps your engine clean.

Keeping your engine tidy might just sound like something crazy that Martha Stewart worries about, but it is something we all need to consider and take steps to do.  Keeping your car clean on the inside is important to getting optimal fuel efficiency, while causing the least amount of pollution through emissions.  Not to mention, it will also leave your car sounding and running better, and should help with engine maintenance.  A clean car is a happy car!

One of the specific questions I received was about where Costco has diesel fuel available.  Luckily, I now have an answer for that one.  They have a page that lists all of the diesel fuelling stations in the US.  Currently, they have 45 Costco stations that sell diesel fuel, so you might not find one near you, unfortunately.  But at least now you will know before you get to the store.

Mostly the locations in the US have gas stations now, though not all do.  You can always check Costco.com to find the locations in the US that have gas stations.  But in the rest of the world it is much more rare.  In the UK just a single three locations in Liverpool, Bristol, and Oldham have  petrol stations.  I don’t have a car here but I do sometimes have to fill up my Zipcar and would love it if we could do it at Costco just for the convenience.  Japan has four gas stations currently, at locations in Chubu Airport, Hashima, Imizu, and Kaminoyama. I do not believe any of the locations in Korea, Taiwan, or Mexico have gas stations. I’m not sure if this is because of local regulations or something else though.  The new Madrid (Getefe) location in Spain has a fuel station, but not the location in Seville.  I’m wondering if they are thinking of adding a station in Seville or if that is not possible.  Five of the locations in Australia have petrol stations.  If you are looking for a list of the locations in Australia that have stations, you can check the Costco Australia website (and get hours too).  Costco Canada also seems to have a high number of gas stations, but I’m guessing by the fact that they have a list online, that not all Costco locations also have a gas station; just 55 of the locations in Canada have gas stations.

You can find out all about the Costco Kirkland Signature Gasoline and their stations online.  Each country that has a gas/fuel/petrol stations has a webpage where you can find out about the stations and fuel in your area (though, they are pretty much all the same content it seems to me).   Here is a list of those sites:

Each of these sites has a FAQ that covers important questions you might have about paying and safe refuelling practices.  They even have an answer to the question about a mobile phone being able to start a fire with gasoline vapor.  No, as it turns out because there’s just not enough voltage and nowhere in the world are no confirmed cases of mobile phones igniting gas vapor.  They do of course point out that you are less attentive while talking on the phone, so you should probably put it down to safely refuel and pay attention to what you are doing.

And if you read through all of that information and still have questions about the Kirkland Signature gasoline, you can email them.  You can also email them about their diesel fuel to get your questions answered.

[2015.12.17 Updated: I added to the information on how many gas stations each area has based on better information from Costco.]

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17 Responses so far ↓

  1. 1 Tony // 2016.09.27 at 6:49 am

    Hi – Costco UK – Lakeside (Thurrock) just off the M25 now has a filling station. Fuel was 5p / litre cheaper than local supermarket. My car was at empty at fill up (20 miles to empty on display); and within 10 miles the difference was notable, the car (XC90 D5) was running much smoother. Will definitely use them again.

  2. 2 cris // 2016.04.08 at 3:15 pm

    I have a Suburu. I used to always buy Costco gas but when I had some weird issues in a new car and took it in, the mechanic told me not to put costco gas in a Suburu. Mine takes high grade and I always used hugh grade but I guess it’s not pure enough

    • 3 John // 2016.04.08 at 4:06 pm

      Chris,
      Our 2014 Subaru requires 87 octane; we use Costco fuel exclusively and have had no trouble. Costco is now conforming to “Top Tier” specs. You could do a lot worse.
      We do blend 85 octane 50% and 91 octane 50% to insure a minimum of 87 octane.
      Regards,

    • 4 Arthur // 2016.06.16 at 10:47 am

      Hi Chris
      I have a 96 Outback with the DOHC engine, which requires premium gas. Odd year engine, and it only effects the 1996 models, but its picky enough that I can only get gas at some gas stations for the best performance.
      The list is something like Mobil, Costco, BP, EXXON, etc. which all seem to be top tier fueling stations. I almost always run costco gas because its the cheapest around that lets my engine perform the way it was designed to.

  3. 5 David // 2016.03.15 at 3:53 pm

    Not all stores may exhibit this, but the gas station attendants at the stores I frequent regularly clean the cutoff flap on automatic pumps. Big deal, right? Yes, when you have a buildup of dirt, dust, grime on those flaps that the gas filler nozzle contacts with, dirt can get into the nozzle, then into your gas tank, finally into your gas filter. Keeping those cutoff flaps clean means less dirt going in my tank.

    On at least one occasion I’ve thanked the attendant for those extra efforts, and boy do they appreciate a customer thinking enough to say so. They’re out there in the heat of summer, and the freezing cold of winter, keeping the gas stations ready for us. Give ’em a shout out.

  4. 6 John // 2016.02.08 at 6:30 pm

    Two things of note: Oregon also has a ban (although limited since Jan 1, 2016) on pumping your own fuel and in Mexico, all fuel stations are owned by the government, so you will most likely never see a Costco Fuel Station in Mexico.

  5. 7 JIMBOB // 2015.12.21 at 11:12 am

    really wish costco would put out squeegies and water, but I doubt that will ever happen.

    • 8 John Frank // 2015.12.21 at 3:06 pm

      JimBob,

      Regarding your windshield washing comment. I have been to two Costco fuel stations that do have squeegees and washer fluid, Pocatello, ID and Billings MT. When I asked an attendant at the Warrenton, OR Costco fuel station how he cleaned his windshield, he said at the Fred Meyer down the street. I can conceive of an accident in the future and some attorney suing Costco. Then they will smarten up.

    • 9 BillStolz // 2016.08.12 at 10:50 am

      I’m glad COSTCO doesn’t have windshield washer supplies. The whole idea of COSTCO is high effecient operations to keep cost down amd people moving.

      • 10 John // 2016.08.12 at 11:16 am

        Bill,

        If they can’t supply cleaning stations, then they shouldn’t sell fuel.

        • 11 David S // 2016.08.12 at 3:36 pm

          Nope. The goal of Costco is reducing cost to an obsessive degree, to keep costs to customers DOWN. If you want extras like windshield washing supplies, complimentary towels, etc, then you’d be paying more for the operating and supply expenses of the store through a slightly higher gasoline price. For that, you have many alternatives. Your argument is like saying that if they can’t give away a bag of chips with hot dogs, they shouldn’t be selling hot dogs (for $1.49). O_o

          I’m quite happy having those supplies at home, and paying a cent or so less for my fuel at Costco, which has Top Tier gas, and clean cutoff flaps (many commercial stations have filthy flaps, getting grime in the nozzle and into your fuel).

          • 12 John // 2016.08.12 at 3:47 pm

            What would it cost to have a cleaning station set off to the side of the pumps for those who care to use it so as not to impede traffic flow? Like I said in my original comment, when I asked a Costco attendant at Warrenton, OR where he cleaned his windshield, he replied “at Fred Meyers down the road.” As a stock holder, I’m embarrassed. Pocatello and Billings have cleaning stations so it’s not the cost issue.

  6. 13 Bill // 2015.12.12 at 12:07 pm

    I believe NJ is the only state where you can’t pump your own gas. I just got back from FL where people in there 80s were pumping there own gas. The Costco there only needed 1 employee. Went to the new Costco in Teterboro NJ yesterday where you can’t pump your own gas and they had about 6 or 7 employees instead of 1 or 2. I guess NJ figures it’s residents aren’t smart enough to pump their own gas.
    Also I think Bergen County is the only county in the US that has Blue Laws. They can’t sell clothing and many other items on Sunday.
    Also, the brand new Costco has a liquor store in the brand new building. Just a few feet away from the Costco entrance. People go into the liquor store thinking it a Costco Liquor store. I went in looking for Kirkland wine. But they don’t sell Kirkland products, and are not Costco employees, and have nothing to do with Costco. So why is it in a brand new Costco building misleading everyone? I found out in NJ you can only have 2 liquor stores.
    Another stupid NJ law.
    Why doesn’t Costco use it’s influence to try to get rid of these stupid laws?

  7. 14 MK // 2015.12.08 at 5:43 am

    Again, similar update on UK stations – there are stations at Liverpool, Oldham and Bristol. Similarly, I know that Costco plan to roll out 25 UK petrol locations at various locations around the UK in the next few years.

  8. 15 Rick Vanover // 2015.12.05 at 1:22 pm

    While not my favorite, the fuel pump hoses already capable of fueling most vehicles on either side.

  9. 16 Paul Hawkins // 2015.12.05 at 12:53 pm

    Just an update to the UK petrol stations, one recently opened at the Bristol Costco. I used it a few days ago and it was a few pence cheaper than the other local petrol stations.

  10. 17 Bruce Neild // 2015.12.05 at 10:04 am

    The filling stations also have a rigid protocol of monitoring the credit card readers to be sure none have been tampered with. I was filling up one day and overheard a current attendant explaining it to a newbie.

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