Choosing the right fuel for your car

Am I wasting my money on Premium Fuel?

There is some high octane hype going around, which has led to the belief that premium fuel is better for your car than unleaded. Although the word ‘premium’ suggests something superior, it could also be a waste of money for some. The following looks at the importance using the right fuel for your car.

Choosing the right RON

If you’re an owner of one of Barton’s Hyundai or Mitsubishi vehicles, the fuel you should use for your car could be different than what you would use for a Holden or Subaru. You may have noticed a number somewhere between 91 and 100 at the end of the petrol products. This number relates to the Research Octane Number or RON. As the RON gets higher, so does the petrol’s price.

Octane in petrol is not an indication of energy or power. Rather, it’s the fuel’s resistance to ignite under high pressure. The timing of this ignition should be perfect. If pre-ignition occurs, it could affect the engine’s maximum power and the shock of the fuel detonating could damage the engine. Therefore higher octane fuels with a higher RON will have better resistance to pre-ignition.

What does your car manual say?

Your car manufacturer will specify what fuel you should be using in your car. Unleaded (ULP) is the most common type of fuel and is specified for most Japanese cars, including Subaru and Mitsubishi. Not all cars are optimised to take advantage of the high octane in premium fuel so there is no real benefit in spending the extra dollars. In saying that, cars optimised for unleaded can be filled with premium fuel without causing damage but don’t expect it to increase your car’s performance.

If the minimum RON for your car is specified as higher than RON 91, always fill with premium unleaded or match the minimum RON suggested by your car manufacturer. In some handbooks for new cars, it may say you have a choice between unleaded or premium petrol but indicate premium fuel is best for maximum performance.

Does Premium fuel clean your car?

Some premium unleaded petrol brands claim to have engine cleaning additives which help your engine to use fuel more economically, therefore saving you money. However, this isn’t the case for all so it is important to do little research.  You’ll find some companies, like Shell, offer a regular unleaded fuel that helps to clean your engine, so you don’t need to spend extra dollars buying premium fuel for that reason alone.

Choosing the right fuel for your car can save you a lot of money in the long run. If you’re still unsure of what fuel is right for your car, get in touch with one of Barton’s car experts today.