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Petrol which is the best for your car


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Greetings everyone,

With all the marketing, as well as old truths it may be hard to know which Petrol (gasoline for any non Australians reading this) is best for your car.

(Also for non Australians reading this, our Petrol Octane uses the RON system not the MON system https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Octane_rating)

Don't get me wrong generally speaking the higher the grade, the higher the quality of the fuel.

However is there such thing as too much octane?

The answer I believe is yes.

The way higher octane benefits your engine, is that it allows the spark plug to fire sooner. This leads to more efficient combustion, which leads to more power in the power stroke,

Which ultimately leads to needing to use less fuel to produce the same amount of force, and an increase in range for the same volume of petrol.

However there is only so much advancing that can be done before it becomes detrimental leading to back firing etc (which is why modern cars have limits on how much the spark plug timing can be advanced).

And if the engine can't take advantage of it, it may in face lead to worse performance in the lower REV range,

(for example my MY17 RZ Camry, 98 Octane won't yield anything positive until about 4500 RPM, and it performs inferior to 95 octane fuel below that engine RPM), and as a result gives worse fuel economy.

So can using a higher octane fuel than the minimum your car is rated for lead to benefits, yes of course.

But only to a certain point.

I believe that the best rule of thumb (based on my own real world experience) is:

If your car has 91 (RON) octane as the minimum, unless you are towing than 95 Octane will yield the best results

If you car has 95 (RON) Octane as the minimum, than 98 will yield a better result than 95

If your car has 98 (RON) as the minimum, well you can't go any higher without using an additive. 

I'm interested to know what your own real world experience has shown :-)

Steve

Edited by Novicebutnice
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What fuel do you use for your car is very simple...you use the fuel recommended by Toyota, after all they designed and built the engine. :smile:

My car runs on 91 octane which is recommended by Toyota, I can use 95 or 98 octane but wont make any difference to performance or any thing else expect waste money, the only fuel I wont put in my car is that E10 ethanol crap. :happy:

If Toyota recommend Premium ULP, that's what you must use, otherwise you risk damage to your engine.  Take for example the C-HR 1.2L turbo, tiny engine but Premium ULP must be used and we all know how expensive Premium ULP is.  :wacko:  

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4 hours ago, bob007 said:

What fuel do you use for your car is very simple...you use the fuel recommended by Toyota, after all they designed and built the engine. :smile:

My car runs on 91 octane which is recommended by Toyota, I can use 95 or 98 octane but wont make any difference to performance or any thing else expect waste money, the only fuel I wont put in my car is that E10 ethanol crap. :happy:

If Toyota recommend Premium ULP, that's what you must use, otherwise you risk damage to your engine.  Take for example the C-HR 1.2L turbo, tiny engine but Premium ULP must be used and we all know how expensive Premium ULP is.  :wacko:  


The fuel recommended is the minimum that is required to prevent engine damage :-)

Using a higher octane fuel will allow the engine ignition timing to be advanced further than a lower octane fuel.

The car is constantly trying to advance the timing, and will do so until either it detects engine knock (at which point it retards the ignition timing, before starting to advance it again), or it reaches it's maximum programmed limit.

The reason it does this is because advancing the ignition timing allows for a more efficient fuel burn, leading to a more efficient power stroke.

So whilst a car that is designed to run on min 91 Octane fuel will not be damaged using regular unleaded, it is not running at it's more efficient.

For some the addition cost may not be offset by the increase in range (city only driving), and that may play a part in the decision to just use 91.

If you haven't tried a higher octane fuel (95), I would recommend it (if for nothing else a fun experiment) next time your tank is near empty :-)  



 

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Petrol is the one thing I always try to do right, I only use the same service station when in my home area, I always put nothing less than 91 in the tank and if the price is low for the 95 I use that, lately the prices jumped 30 plus cents per litre so 91 is it. Many here only use 95 in their cars and that is fine it is a personal choice, some use E10 as well and as the cars are built to handle the E10 I choose not to use it unless I was traveling and had no choice but to use it.

It is like most things to do with cars, personal choice always comes into it as well as money, as She Who Must Be Obeyed and I are both on the pension now money is always tight, but I always try to keep the Aurion topped up and barely ever does it get below 3/4 or 1/2 a tank, that way it isn't a huge hit when fuelling up.

KAA

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, bob007 said:


My real world experience reflects https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rf1uTdvNWhI starting at 4:20

So not only do I experience a tangible benefit, here in Australia (and probably world wide) the higher octane fuels have less sulfur allowed,

But I have experienced a limit to higher=better, which is why I wrote my original comment.

From my own real world experience using a slightly higher octane fuel yielded a benefit.

But unless you are towing,  using the highest grade (98) if your car has 91 as the minimum, will not yield to any benefit over 95, and I personally found it to yield poorer fuel economy.  

However if you are only city driving, it may not be as noticeable.

Have you noticed any difference trying different octane fuels (filling up from empty so that it can be as close as possible to being "undiluted")?

Edited by Novicebutnice
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Hi Stephen, I have only filled from near empty about 3 times in the ownership of our Presara, the first was when we bought it as it was near empty (Typical from dealerships grrr) and used the 95 octane, then started using 91 I can't say I noticed a big difference either in mileage or performance but then neither She Who Must Be Obeyed or I are lead footed, I must say however when on really long interstate drives I found acceleration and distance better on the 95. as it is now approaching 12 years old it still has that power and smoothness as it had brand new. We always treat the lady well, regular oil changes and baths and garaged. We don't do the long haul trips much now days, so will stick to 91 unless there is a price drop. I am sure others who do push harder on the right foot would say yes the 95 does show a difference, I have never tried the 98 in our lady so can't comment on that fuel, so again it is a personal thing. These days it is about money rather than performance for us.

KAA

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17 hours ago, KAA said:

I always put nothing less than 91 in the tank and if the price is low for the 95 I use that, lately the prices jumped 30 plus cents per litre so 91 is it. Many here only use 95 in their cars and that is fine it is a personal choice, some use E10 as well and as the cars are built to handle the E10 I choose not to use it unless I was traveling and had no choice but to use it.

My personal preference is 95 PULP. I more noticed the slight improvement in fuel economy on road trips after taking into account the lead foot and trying to tame it.

Now that prices are higher than earlier in the year, I have reverted back to 91 ULP.

Previously trialled 91 octane E10 and got very poor fuel economy results so back to ULP.

On previous road trips, I have used 94 octane E10 but more as a cost saver at that time.

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On 5/23/2021 at 11:26 AM, bob007 said:

the only fuel I wont put in my car is that E10 ethanol crap.

Actually, our cars are optimised to run on ethanol, so using it isn't going to damage anything. The problem that arises with ethanol based fuel is it's hygroscopic value. If you don't drive the car often and let it sit for prolonged periods, the chances of the moisture content can increase and can potentially foul up the fuel system. That's the absolute worst case scenario. You must drive the car regularly if you plan to use E10. It's only 10% ethanol anyway. Much worse if you're on E80 or whatever it is.

I have used E10 on occasions and I don't notice any difference really, but I do advise wifey to fill up using 91 or if it's cheap enough 95.

The problem with Australian fuel has always been the sulphur levels. Stephen was right in saying that the more premium you go, the less sulphur, which is better for the engine.

I can't remember when it was, but I was reading an article recently about how the Govt Plan to increase fuel processing here and have started re opening an extra refinery over at Caltex and start transitioning to lower sulphur fuels. If I find I'll post back. So good news on the horizon. They also plan to keep 91 RON too. 

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Yesterday where I live 91 octane was $169.9 P/L...95 $182.9 P/L and 98 $189.9 P/L  :surprise:  I can use 91 or higher which was another reason I chose this model as I wont buy a Hybrid for good reasons.  :smile:

Of cause I didn't buy any as I had 1/2 a tank left, so I'll wait till it comes down...when is anybody's guess.  Years ago when Petrol was 19c a litre I'd buy $2 worth which would last all week with a 6cyl engine, it's so sad those days are long gone...cheap petrol and 6cyl engines.  :sad:

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39 minutes ago, bob007 said:

Years ago when Petrol was 19c a litre I'd buy $2 worth which would last all week with a 6cyl engine, it's so sad those days are long gone...cheap petrol and 6cyl engines.  :sad:

I remember when I used to ride around in my Dad's XB Falcon and when we'd pull up to a servo, I did recall at the time when petrol was around 28 cents. Prices went up incrementally, so by the time I got to high school it was around 45 cents. By that time Dad had traded the Falcon and purchased a brand new Cortina Ghia station wagon 1980 model 2lt. He thought it would be better on fuel. Well, it was, but it was pretty gutless. We all learned to drive in that car and have very fond memories in it. Still have all the photos from a bygone era. Those were the best days I reckon. The world has gone down hill pretty fast since then.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Petrol consumption in my Camry Petrol is 11.3L per 100KM using 91 Octane, so last week I filled up with 95 Octane and guess what...fuel consumption and performance were exactly the same, the only difference was the big hole in my wallet.  :smile:

I found out last week that the Camry Ascent Hybrid must use 95 Octane or higher, I'm glad I didn't get a Hybrid. :laugh:

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7 hours ago, bob007 said:

Petrol consumption in my Camry Petrol is 11.3L per 100KM using 91 Octane, so last week I filled up with 95 Octane and guess what...fuel consumption and performance were exactly the same, the only difference was the big hole in my wallet.  :smile:

I found out last week that the Camry Ascent Hybrid must use 95 Octane or higher, I'm glad I didn't get a Hybrid. :laugh:

I tend to agree Michael. I think the upside of the higher octane, having less sulphur content, will burn cleaner than the 91 which means less carbon deposits in the engine and less oil contamination. It won't make me use premium fuel based on this anyway as I do regular oil changes and my oil doesn't look too bad even when i've done it at 10K. I am going to start doing the oil at every 8K from now on I think because oil is cheap when on special and I have plenty in stock.

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We filled our Presara today, at one station I use a lot close by had their fuel at 125.5 where most were at 147.9 or more for U91, so topped up reset the 2 trip distance readers back to 0 and checked the fuel consumption mode which read 12.3L per 100Klm..so happy happy camper, and like Tony said if you do regular oil drops the use of the 95 and 98 Octane fuels really is mostly a hip pocket decision. Have not seen any 95 for under 150.cents per litre for ages so 91 it is for me for the foreseeable future.

Plus one day Tony will open his own Oil shop so we will all be in the money 😂😂😂🙄🙄🙄

KAA

Edited by KAA
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6 hours ago, KAA said:

We filled our Presara today, at one station I use a lot close by had their fuel at 125.5 where most were at 147.9 or more for U91, so topped up reset the 2 trip distance readers back to 0 and checked the fuel consumption mode which read 12.3L per 100Klm..so happy happy camper, and like Tony said if you do regular oil drops the use of the 95 and 98 Octane fuels really is mostly a hip pocket decision. Have not seen any 95 for under 150.cents per litre for ages so 91 it is for me for the foreseeable future.

Plus one day Tony will open his own Oil shop so we will all be in the money 😂😂😂🙄🙄🙄

KAA

Last week I noticed that a few petrol stations had increased their price to $171.9 This was enough incentive to refill the tank and the jerrycans with ULP 91 at my usual discount station at $127.9

Just had another look online and in local Brisbane suburbs it is a combination of $127.9 and $171.9 It is a crazy situation so will go for a drive and hopefully see those $171.9 stations looking vacant.

On a different note, I have been thinking that a Tyre Shop will keep you in the money. Those fast electric cars should wear out their tyres faster with all that torque getting applied from a standing or rolling start.

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Yes a tyre shop would be a good investment, also same here Ash the difference in stations can be as much as 20 - 40 cents a litre if not more. As always they are fast to raise the prices and damn slow to lower. When we filled ours I also had 2 jerry cans in the boot so topped them up and will add when required to tank so hopefully not needing to visit any stations in a month or so plus needed some for the whipper snipper and hedge trimmer. the mowing I leave for a guy we have used for about 6 years and I like to support good reliable tradesmen who do the job just as I would do it myself.

KAA

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2 hours ago, KAA said:

When we filled ours I also had 2 jerry cans in the boot so topped them up and will add when required to tank so hopefully not needing to visit any stations in a month or so

You have just provided another answer to the posted question. The best petrol for your car is what you have in the tank and also in reserve. My reserves are currently all filled up so can manage not to visit a petrol station for at least 2 months. Therefore, I can decide when I want to refuel and avoid most of the ill effects of the manipulated pricing cycle. 

Big assist is that I use public transport for the daily commute to work. 

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22 hours ago, campbeam said:

Last week I noticed that a few petrol stations had increased their price to $171.9 This was enough incentive to refill the tank and the jerrycans with ULP 91 at my usual discount station at $127.9

Just had another look online and in local Brisbane suburbs it is a combination of $127.9 and $171.9 It is a crazy situation so will go for a drive and hopefully see those $171.9 stations looking vacant.

On a different note, I have been thinking that a Tyre Shop will keep you in the money. Those fast electric cars should wear out their tyres faster with all that torque getting applied from a standing or rolling start.

I find it staggering how much of a price discrepancy exist between service stations and postcodes. A good example of this is my local 7 Elevens. I pass two on my way to work, one in Blacktown and one in Seven Hills (which borders Blacktown). Both these are identical which is a relief, but when I get to the Shell just around the corner from work it's almost 30 cents per litre difference and that's only 15 minutes from my house.  If we are governed by the Singapore oil index, how do you go from 143.7 cents a litre to 171.7 cents between two outlets only a few suburbs apart  ??? It's a poorly kept secret I know, that the petroleum criminals are gouging us, half of which again goes to consolidated revenue just waiting to be wasted by our fearless leaders. It never ends. The poor motorists are seen as proper cash cows and wait till they devise a scam to gouge those who drive electric cars. Don't worry, they haven't forgotten them lol.

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30 minutes ago, Tony Prodigy said:

wait till they devise a scam to gouge those who drive electric cars. Don't worry, they haven't forgotten them lol.

Based upon 1 post in Quora that I read, it looks like the electric cars are being charged an increased rate of registration in various USA states. It is something that I have not noticed being mentioned in YouTube videos, yet.

Victoria was considering a per km charge for road useage and there was a backlash. Seems to have gone quiet but no doubt it is on some future agenda. 

It will be interesting to see what petrol prices and registration costs are in 10 years time plus the debate about road funding. 

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18 minutes ago, campbeam said:

Based upon 1 post in Quora that I read, it looks like the electric cars are being charged an increased rate of registration in various USA states. It is something that I have not noticed being mentioned in YouTube videos, yet.

Victoria was considering a per km charge for road useage and there was a backlash. Seems to have gone quiet but no doubt it is on some future agenda. 

It will be interesting to see what petrol prices and registration costs are in 10 years time plus the debate about road funding. 

I'm sure the crafty nature of any Govt will figure a way to screw us every which way Ash. We never get off easy that's for sure.

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