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Fuel Debate


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I would be interested on other TOC members views on the varying fuel types available today.

I have always been told that Supermarket fuel is of poorer quality than branded fuels - I have heard that they buy in bulk from the branded suppliers and then mix the fuels together - I have also heard that they buy the 'bottom' of tankers - which branded retailers won't take as it can contain sludge etc. Can anyone verify any of this ? Incidentally I have seen cars advertised in the local paper etc. with 'never used supermarket fuel' as a positive selling point so there must be something in it (?)

Whilst we are on the subject does anyone have a strong view on whether a particuler fuel brand is most suited to Toyotas' lean burn engines ?

Fuel additives - do they work ? I know some can cause cat damage, are there any other positive / negative tales out there ?

Finally super unleaded and Optimax ( < < not sure of spelling) fuels - are they worth the extra money or do they only really benefit the T Sport and performance boys ?

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Can only speak from an NA MR2 Import point of view but....

When I frsit bought this car back in October there was a big debate on another forum over which fuel was better for the car, so, I tried a couple of tanks of unleaded (esso), then a couple of tanks of Optimax....

IMHO there is a large difference in the way the car drove, I am not sure how to describe it but "It just feels better..."

I guess it's one of those arguments that will change depending on how you drive your car and what you are hoping to achieve, I guess the only true way for individuals to see which is better for them is to run a couple of tanks of unleaded from the same garage, a couple of tanks of super from the same garage, and a couple of tanks on Optimax from a Shell garage....

My car now drinks nothing but Optimax as again IMO it's the champagne of fuels and I love driving her hard (ooer missus)....

Of course this is just my opinion and other people may have different opinions :P

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Details on Shell Optimax Here

I have tried vaious unleaded and super unleaded (97 RON) Petrols in the past and since using Optimax (98 RON) have never looked back. The car seems to run smoother, is sharper and more responsive.

Yes - it may all be in my mind......... but who cares? :lol:

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Nice site Zee although I think maybe a bit misleading with some of the info, I agree Optimax is a better fuel but can't see how it would give 2 identical cars 1-3 car lengths advantage while accelerating from 55mph to 70mph. Mind you they PR is an amazing thing where stats can be made up as required....

Once tried, it's gotta be Optimax :D :D :D

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Tricky this one as so many factors affect a cars performance on a day to day basis so its really just opinions.

I get better fuel economy from optimax and super unleaded but thats because its 98ron and the combustion is that little bit more clean because of it, Your engine and where you live in the world will play apart, In Japan and the UK for example, the engines are NOT detuned from factory spec because we can get 98 octane, but in South Africa for example they only get 95 octane max so their engines are de-tuned from the factory by closing the inlet quicker on each stroke so there is actually less fuel in the chamber and therefore has more chance of burning it all (its called scavenging)

dont worry about the 'sludge' or bottom of the tanks because your petrol stations forecourt filler has a filter, the pump has a filter the car also has a filter, keep your car filter clean as its the only one you have control over. Tankers are cleaned after each 'empty' at the depot (My friends Dad drives a tanker for BP).

so 98 octane should enable your car to run to its 'optimum' but remeber its all controlled by the ECU so in the long run it doesn't make the blindest bit of difference.

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We don't doubt that companies like BP clean their tankers out etc - but I do aggree that fuel from supermarkets is trash! I do notice the difference in performance and econamy between filling up sat our local BP compared to the Tescos or Safeway filling station.

Zee - do you manage to find optimax everytime - or do you just top up everytime you see it - I live in loughborough and I think the closest station that does optimax is the airport services.

Steve.

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Zee - do you manage to find optimax everytime - or do you just top up everytime you see it - I live in loughborough and I think the closest station that does optimax is the airport services.

Steve.

Hi Steve,

There are only three Shell's in Leicester and a couple in Nottingham which, between the two, I spend 75% of my time. The other 25% is spent in London - so I don't really have too much difficulty to be honest.

But being that you're in Loughborough......I feel for you mate...... :blink:

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Well, I will give the Opimax a blast, seeing as my car shud have 20bhp more when its in japan mainly because of there fuel! Optimax should really hep :rolleyes:

For a performance car (like Turbos, Supercharged etc), I would ALWAYS reccomend Super Unleaded or Optimax.

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Ive worked with people who have worked or shell in ellesmereport and they are sayin there is no difference in fuel (supermarket and brands) supermarkets get it from exact same place as the shell tankers fill up.

I'd have to disagree - otherwise, everyone would be suing the big firms for false advertising.... :blink:

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My mate used to work in a Sainsbury's petrol station for four years & there definately is a difference!!!

I can't speak for the other supermarkets but I know Sainsbury petrol is cheaper than cheap unbranded crap aka the dregs! Also they change supplier from week to week, region to region so you are never getting the same fuel. All of these different kinds of petrol contain different additives & when these mix together you are in trouble!!

He has loads of horror storys about peoples cars blowing up on the forcourt....in short don't buy supermarket petrol!!!

Hope this helps!!

Having said that aren't Tesco stations affilated to Fina?

Also is it ok to use 97 RON if you've always used 95?

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from what i understand, the only difference between supermarket bulk bought fuel and branded fuels are:

supermarkeet fuel does not contain any of the addatives that the branded fuel companys market to us

and thats basically it.

its not cheaper because it contains sludge, supermarkets buy there fuel from whoever (branded fuel) is selling it cheaper that day

another note:

sometimes BP,SHELL and ESSO will use each others fuels depending on availability

in Germany

BP,SHELL and ARAL are now the same company

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I can't answer the technical stuff, as I've got no idea. I only know that I used to buy petrol at Asda's but since I have stopped I seem to get more miles to a gallon than I did with Asda petrol.

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I worked in a petrol station for a while and all i can tell you is that the supermarkets do get their fuel from basically the same sources as the major players (fawley etc) saying that the somerfield petrol stations all use BP fuels

The military also get their fuel from the same sources my mum works for the Defence Fuels Group and thats what she says

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The RON rating is a measure of how easy it is to burn.

97 RON burns easier, so less "power" is wasted during the burning process than 95 RON and therefore more power is available to move the car.

Hi,

I thought it had to do with detonation..... the lower the octane rating the less pressure it takes to detonate. The higher the rating the more compression it can take. Hence high comp. engines can only use 100octane or will suffer from massive detonation......

unsure on this one though

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