When I pull into a service station to fill my car up I look at the cost of fuel and try and go on the cheaper days. like everyone this is human nature to want a bargain or to want to save money. ( so true )
But not everything is what it seems at the fuel stations, we have so so many choices ? we have united, 7 eleven, shell, bp, caltex and puma stations. I may have missed one or two but hey ! ! ! I'm human.
So as a mechanic, automotive technician service provider to motor vehicles of all shapes and sizes. I run my old trusty VE commodore sv6 ute, sidi v6 auto, the reason i chose this vehicle back in 2010 was because it was advertised to run from Sydney to Melbourne on one tank of fuel. (I was like wow, lets go to google maps, how far is that ? wow that's 900+ km's on one tank). Cool I was sold, now 7 years old and 150,000 km's on the clock she is a trustee reliable work horse, only once ever have i got 950 km's out of one tank of petrol though on a long trip.
So at the petrol station pump we have fuel options of E10 unleaded 91 octane, 95 octane and top premium of 98 octane. Even though there is a little sticker on the inside of my fuel flap that says E10 compatible, I cringe and even when i see the currant adds on tv about E10 I still as a mechanic and engine builder cringe.
E10 fuel cheap at the pump out of all fuels, but does not deliver the km's, helps carbon up your engine & throttle body intake quicker. Also in-tank submersible fuel pumps do not like this fuel after long periods of running it.
(this is from first hand true personal experience)
95 Octane used to be our premium base, not bad average fuel economy in most family cars. most vehicles, fuel and engine operating systems ECU's computers are happy with this goes ok .
98 Octane premium unleaded , for me personally BP Ultimate, Shell V power and caltex Vortex are the real deal. it may cost 0.25 cents to 0.40 cents more per litre, a lot of people at this point say " I'm not paying that much for fuel when E10 is 0.40 cents cheaper ". Here is the facts though that may change your mind next time you think this: a 98+octane premium fuel would most likely
get you an extra 30-60 km's out a full tank fuel over a 95 octane based fuel or maybe even 100 km's more than your trusty old E10 blend of fuel (depending on vehicle. of course and tuning. this comparison is on standard 2001-2012 family vehicles)
On your vehicles side of things all vehicles these days have to meet pollution laws. this means some gases through an egr system go back through your intake system then back into the combustion chamber to be burned off. Dirty oil and engine internal fumes can soon dull this fire right down. regular services and spark plug changes are important. also live data reading of your vehicles oxygen sensors if these are faulty or on their way they are the number one thing that can affect your cars tune in late model vehicles. There is also a thing in the air intake system called a mass air flow sensor this must also be regularly cleaned as it also helps. With direct injection vehicles carbon makes its way onto the valves face and can not be washed down by fuel. Upper cylinder decarb or decoke machines and chemicals are required to do a full intake system clean other wise the vehicle can run poorly. (decreasing fuel efficiency)
A few of these things are definitely not in your vehicles owners manual or recommended by your vehicles manufacturer when servicing the vehicle.
So in short to get the maximum out of your fuel use the highest octane rating possible, keep your car regularly serviced and tuning up to date. Remember there is no such thing as an over serviced or maintained vehicle.
Set yourself a challenge next time you fill your vehicle reset the km's on your odometer to 0 and see what you get out of your fuel per tank, this could be a worth while little experiment to save your hip pocket. Your car and even (omg I'm officially old and become a tree hugger NOT ) the environment.
I hope everyone has got something out of this and I can share some future automotive care and wisdom with you all.
Cheers Mr RPM . LB.
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