Are Premium Fuels worth it?

There are all sorts of souped-up fuels on the market that cost more that the standard petrol offerings, but are they really worth the extra? That’s the same question our Automologist, MAC, had and he thrashes it out here…

Apparently, lucky motorists in the UK will be able to avail themselves of the new “Super Fuel” from BP, which is claimed to have taken more than five years to develop and contains ACTIVE technology, whatever that may be. Priced at some 15 US Cents per litre more than the standard fuels, BP claims that the product will deliver approximately 21 miles (33 kilometres) more per tank than regular fuels, although this saving will not be felt until you have used the fuel for approximately 10,000 kilometres, which seems like a very long way to me. According to the BP website, the fuel works by fighting the dirt built-up inside the engine and fuel injectors.

BP Ultimate petrol, with a price to match.

Engine cleaning fuels are not new. Shell V-Power has been out there for years and in Malaysia, we are lucky to have Petron’s 100 Blaze, a top name for a fuel if ever I heard one. This got me thinking, though – are premium fuels worth it? Let’s face it, if they cost about 15 to 20 cents more per litre, they could end up costing you US$14 or more per tank, and that is every tank, which seems a bit pricey to me.

To put it simply, with the new BP fuel, you have to travel a long way before you experience the difference and a 33-kilometre saving over the average tank of some 600-plus kilometres could well be missed due to differing driving conditions. But most fuel companies offer at least one premium fuel that has a claimed higher Octane Number (RON), and some sort of additional detergency package.

The higher RON should burn more efficiently, thus delivering more power with less fuel. However, in survey after survey that I have read, I find that most drivers feel or experience very little difference between the fuels. Allegedly, Super Fuels will improve the performance of your car as well, but this is very dependent on the type of car you drive. Higher Octane Fuels work well in high-performance engines – no surprise there – and will generally make the car go faster. Regular engines have lower compression ratios, which means that they will get a lot less out of the more expensive fuels. So, generally speaking, if you race, use high octane, but if all you do is take your car down to the shops, save your money and buy the lower octane offerings.

If you want to get long-term fuel efficiency with your car whilst guarding against any damage, there is the alternative of using a high-grade fuel additive, such as the X-1R Petrol Treatment or the brand’s great range of Fuel Conditioners. X-1R has formulated its Fuel Treatments to effectively clean out all of the carbon deposits and other junk that accumulate within the combustion side of your engine, with just the one treatment every time you service your vehicle, and at a cost that is lower than the additional cost of just the one tank of ‘Super Fuel’.

But better than being just a detergent, X-1R’s fuel products are formulated to protect the moving parts in the combustion side of your engine from corrosion, leaving your injectors and spark plugs in near-new conditions for much longer. The X-1R Corporation is famous for lubricants, of course, which have been used by NASA for some 21 years now, and so it is not surprising that the X-1R fuel products also contain lubricants that significantly reduce friction in the combustion chamber, leading to lowered fuel consumption.

Independent tests have proven that with the use of X-1R’s products, fuel savings are in the range of 7 to 10% and emissions are reduced significantly. What this means is that in the same sort of test that BP ran, you could easily run 60 kilometres more per tank, and all at a fraction of the price. I know which product I will be choosing.

Well, that’s one way to clean your engine.
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