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Standard or Premium petrol? That is the question ...


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Here's an old chestnut ... my previous 5 vehicles were diesel propelled and for the last 6 years I used only Shell V-Power in the X-type which seemed to pay dividends. But was it all worth it?

Now with a petrol conveyance for the first time in 20+ years (must remember green pump not black!!) I'm wondering how much difference higher octane fuel might make ... if any?!

I'm tempted to perhaps use Premium every 4th visit to the pumps rather than all the time so I'd be interested in the experience of others as I'm aware that there are arguments on all sides relating to cost v efficiency v cleanliness v economy and even the so-called experts seem to have divided views on the subject.

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I used to buy V-Power on a regular basis when the price difference was less than 10p/litre, but recently it seems closer to 15-20p more expensive than regular unleaded.

To be honest I don't notice any difference in performance, so for me it's not worth it. Especially during the winter when a lot of fuel is wasted de-fogging frozen windows etc.

I do pour in a bottle of Redex now and again though whenever it's on sale (currently £2 in Tesco).



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Had used it quite a few times, cant really say there's a noticeable difference as by the time the fuel is being burnt it would be a gradual process of feeding it or mixing it in with what's in the tank already if its the lower ron. If there was a difference then it would not be noticed really as you would get used to the running of it.

It would possibly? be better to fill the tank with the premium and run it as low as you dare and then fill with the supermarket stuff as the performance (drop or same) may be more evident then?... dont know.

One thing i would say is that petrol does go off, using it from a garage that does not sell a lot of the premium fuel, you could be using fuel that's off and give you issues or no benefit at all from using it. Not sure what the "shelf life" actually is or how garage's actually monitor it?

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4 minutes ago, is200 Newbie said:

It would possibly? be better to fill the tank with the premium and run it as low as you dare and then fill with the supermarket stuff as the performance (drop or same) may be more evident then?... dont know.

Good point about not mixing it ... not thought of that ... good shout 👍

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I am sure there were several threads regarding this topic and all ended-up being locked-out.... for reasons...

With my IS250 I used to run the tank completely empty - my usual refill was 62-63L, 2 times actually run out of fuel and I was taking notes for each tank.

1 premium fuel does not give better fuel economy. Best fuel consumption was from my memory on cheapest ASDA fuel and worst on one of the premium ones, Potentially Tesco Momentum 99 or so. Counter argument for this - premium gives more power ECU detects it, puts more aggressive timing and as result more fuel is used.

2 cleaning effectiveness is mostly irrelevant for 4GR-FSE as it is direct injection only, it is hard to say whenever premium fuel reduced thing like carbon buildup, I even had hydrogen cleaning done and that had no effect on say emissions. 

3 premium fuel cannot give you more power, ECU is set to certain power (unless that figure is changes) and it can only get up-to that power, yes indeed one can get less power of cheap fuel and closer to full power on premium fuel, but never more than it originally had. From many tanks of premium fuel I haven't noticed any different in power and sometimes I think it was even worse. 

So overall after 70k miles in IS250  I was under impression that premium fuel is nothing more than snake-oil. It may have additional cleaners, which may in long term slowdown the buildup of some dirt in engine and fuel system, but for that to matter we don't drive cars long enough.

So my conclusion - I am not completely denying benefits of premium fuel, but I think for it to matter one may need to do 500k miles on the same engine to really benefit from it. Considering price difference over 500k miles, probably it pays for a new car anyway, so I doubt it is worth it. IF difference is like 3p, why not, but when difference is 15-20p... thanks I will spend it elsewhere.

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Linas is entirely wrong.

V-Power petrol will not only make your engine cleaner, faster and more efficient but it's very use makes you more attractive to women. Or men. Whichever. We don't judge.

That said, you really were wasting your money with the derv. Used cooking oil would have worked just as well. Yuk.

:wink:

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1 hour ago, rich1068 said:

V-Power petrol will not only make your engine cleaner, faster and more efficient but it's very use makes you more attractive to women. Or men. Whichever.

Probably more likely men... 

But my main question how would they know what is in your tank... or you suggesting to make advances whilst filling-up... "hey babe, you see whats flowing into my tank..."... 😁

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I use Shell V-power every 5th or 5th tank, usually use normal shell fuel and try to avoid supermarket, also as well as John above I use Redex every 3-5k miles.

Personally I think Shell V-power makes the car works smoother, a little more responsive accelerator and slightly better mpg, may be it is a Placebo effect but I noticed that when I had diesel BMW and Passat and now with GS.

It is getting harder to justify spending 15-20 pence difference though to normal petrol.

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Most modern petrol engines will adjust to the type of fuel being used.

Everything is monitored by sensors and controlled and adjusted by the engine ECU.

Knock sensors prevent engine damage from pinking, O2 sensors monitor and correct air/fuel mixture constantly.

In my opinion the extra cost of premium is not worth the claimed benefits.

In the UK petrol quality is generally of a reasonable quality and regularly checked to ensure this, 2 star disappeared many moons ago.

As for forgetting you now have a petrol car the diesel pump nozzle should not fit into the filler tube as they are made narrower by design.

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Using say standard Shell vs. standard Supermarket fuel, I find even harder to justify... actually sorry... it is simply not justifiable!

All petrol stations get's their petrol from same refineries/depos/terminals, there are multiple across UK, but in same area most of the stations will have same petrol. For example I know for a fact local Tesco was filled by Shell when I used to live in Beckton. It is common to see different brand tankers in different stations. And generally for East London/south Essex you can expect your petrol to come from either Esso Purfleet or Shell Heaven terminals, so don't think that ASDA has it's own terminal and handles it's own fuel - no they just get same Shell, Esso, BP fuel from the terminal which are closest to them or which can offer the same deal. Petrol being generic good I doubt that price varies massively across different suppliers, so let's just stick with closest.

On top of that - most petrol station are franchises and not actually owned by big brands, as part of agreement to have franchise they are generally required to order certain percentage or certain amount of fuel from particular brand. So if you Shell franchise you can be expected to order 50% of all your fuel from Shell, or maybe 2000t of fuel from Shell. Depending on how busy the station is and what agreement they have... it is completely possible and even common for say Shell franchise station to order the fuel from different brand. So the most bizarre thing (or logical, depending on how you look at it) is that you can sometimes get full tank of Esso fuel in Shell station, when nearby Tesco has Shell fuel.

Point being Tesco ultra cheep 95 is exactly the same fuel as Shell V standard which simply meets RON95 standard. 

There is discussion however, whenever say V Power = 99 Momentum, I believe it is, but some may argue that additives could be added on order depending who is ordering and it could be true. But this would be only true for premium fuel where Shell may have special recipe, it does not apply to standard baseline quality fuels.

With all above in mind paying premium for fuel in "branded stations" vs. supermarket makes no sense. Premium fuel? - well that is a question you will have to answer yourself...

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I don't think it matters, never seen a difference in economy or performance on the couple occasions I tried it. Possibly it makes some small difference but I think it's beyond most human drivers perception. If I can get 40mpg plus on a run with regular 95 octane, what is premium going to do much better, it's a heavy V6 powered car! Even if it did it would likely not account for the price difference. If premium makes you feel better crack on with it because if it improves your positivity towards the car and you don't care about the money great, but objectively I don't think it's ever been proven to help anything.

There may be something in the fuel quality helping stop carbon buildup, however even this is anecdotal and far from proven with the direct injection setup. There is some anecdotal evidence that the US cars had a few more carbon issues and they typically run lower octane petrol. However this is not fact because the is250 sold vastly more in the US and so without reliable data you can't prove anything since you are going to hear more complaints from the US. It would take much greater research to correlate it to fuel quality. The simplest conclusion is probably that direct injection can have some drawbacks on some engines and that is fundamentally to do with the design and little to do with fuel.

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Aside from the for and against, l have used momentum 99 in my IS200 sport and have used it in my 250 f sport every time I fill up(don't mind paying the extra 5 -6p), I  also put in a bottle of redex every now and again when my tesco have it on offer for 2 quid 🙂

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4 hours ago, 2Ravens said:

however even this is anecdotal and far from proven with the direct injection setup. 

Well, it is basically proven not to work, especially when we consider the place where carbon build-up is the biggest issue - intake valves and intake ports. Even the cylinders themselves - it merely slows down build-up.

Much more beneficial thing would be consider oil catch-can. At least that is proven to work well on DI engines.

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On 10/27/2020 at 7:24 PM, Herbie said:

Worms, Can, Opened :laughing:

 

On 10/27/2020 at 7:57 PM, is200 Newbie said:

Getting the popcorn out for this one ... :yes:

Well you two, you weren't wrong! 😆

And I was right too, there are clearly arguments on all sides ... still! ☺️

So put the lid back on the can and finish your popcorn, I've several other things to chew on ... thanks all. 😊

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  • 1 month later...

I only use BP Ultimate. Shell V Power gives the car a more aggressive acceleration BP Ultimate is more smooth I find. 

I would never use supermarket fuel or standard 97 petrol either. 

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Bring of a certain age I remember Formula Shell in the mid-1980s which damaged - it was claimed - engines in some cars. From memory Vauxhall was badly affected, but my Mother’s BL Mini seemed to thrive on the stuff! It was removed from sale following lots of consumer programmes - probably Lynn Faulds-Wood and Watchdog at the time.

I use standard supermarket petrol in my NX, but only ever the Esso Premium in my MINI. I’ve only done 12k miles in that since new in 2004 so it doesn’t cost much more. Not sure about benefits, but I did run a previous Honda CR-V on BP Ultimate for a while and seemed to get slightly improved mpg...but not enough to continue with the experiment and additional expense.

Honda had sent a letter to new owners in about 2015 when I bought that CR-V as part of the ‘welcome pack’ advising against cheaper fuels (I always assumed they meant supermarket fuel) but it wasn’t a mandate. Can’t remember what the justification was.
 

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here we are, 231k miles and all I believe probably on cheapest 97 wherever it can be bought

with as much power and oomph as any driver could need ......  or maybe that's just the quality of the car ...........  little nuances in kickdown etc I don't think I would ever notice ........ she pulls like a train and zips past almost everything else on the road when the need arises

fuel economy, blah blah blah ...  who worries with a 4ltr V8 anyway :yahoo:

Malc

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10 minutes ago, Malc said:

here we are, 231k miles and all I believe probably on cheapest 97 wherever it can be bought

with as much power and oomph as any driver could need ......  or maybe that's just the quality of the car ...........  little nuances in kickdown etc I don't think I would ever notice ........ she pulls like a train and zips past almost everything else on the road when the need arises

fuel economy, blah blah blah ...  who worries with a 4ltr V8 anyway :yahoo:

Malc

Me too, Asda petrol, goes like a rocket! 

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Just make sure to steer clear ( see what I done there!) of fuel labelled E10 ( 10% Ethanol) at the pumps as it is Not compatible with the IS250 engine!

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This is from a post by Stupot in November last year:

 

Worth reading as if they phase out E5 Petrol and you can only get E10... Lexus say the following...

From this site https://www.acea.be/uploads/publications/ACEA_E10_compatibility.pdf

Lexus: E10 petrol is cleared for use in all Lexus European petrol models made from January 1998, excluding:
• IS250 2.5 litre V6 with engine 4GR-FSE made between August 2005 and September 2007.
• GS300 3.0 litre V6 with engine 3GR-FSE made between January 2005 and September 2007.
• LS460 4.6 litre V8 with engine 1UR-FSE made between August 2006 and September 2007.

 

Might be of interest to some.

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