4 things to know about premium fuel before you purchase it

A car being refueleds

Premium fuel – the new trend?

There are many trends and new products that we buy into as consumers – whether it’s the latest phone or newest trainers. But there’s one new trend that we’re starting to buy into on a regular basis and that’s premium fuel. These fuels come in both unleaded and diesel versions and are regularly available from anywhere that sells petrol. The fuels claim to offer better fuel economy and keep your engine in good working order. Some car manufacturers have suggested that their vehicles should only use premium fuel, but it comes with a hefty price tag. So, we’ve decided to investigate and let you know about four things you should take into consideration before purchasing premium fuel.

Understanding what premium fuel is

Premium fuel has two distinctive differences from standard fuel, the first thing being the additives in the fuel. It’s thought that they can reduce friction and keep the engine clean, resulting in a better performance. The second difference is the official rating of the premium fuel. For premium unleaded fuel, its rating is referred to as the octane rating. This can show how well the fuel resists pressure and premature ignition as it is compressed by the piston. And where diesel is concerned it’s called the cetane rating which measures how quickly diesel fuel ignites under pressure.

Which vehicles actually NEED it

The only vehicles that need premium fuel to keep their car running are petrol engine with high compression ratios. This usually refers to high-performance vehicles that often need super unleaded fuel to run properly. When it comes to diesel, there are no car manufacturers that require diesel engines to run on premium diesel fuel. Deciding if premium diesel fuel is worth it is entirely up to you – if you think it will be more economical and give you a cleaner engine.

This is how to check if your petrol vehicle requires premium fuel

The first thing to do is look inside the fuel filler flap and find the sticker within it – this should say the names of the type of fuel (unleaded) and the minimum required octane (RON) rating. Standard petrol should be 95 RON whereas premium unleaded fuel can range from 97 to 100 RON. If you can’t find a sticker in the fuel filler flap we recommend referring to your vehicle handbook or calling your vehicle manufacturers.

There’s no proof that premium fuel is better for your vehicle

This may or may not be controversial but it’s certainly the truth as premium fuel is just like standard fuel. While fuel manufacturers continue to say that it’s more economical, there’s no physical proof. And if you want to find out for yourself you’ll quickly realise that there’s no accurate way to measure its benefit. You’ll also be pleased to hear that all fuels contain some sort of cleaning agent as it’s required by law. if fuels didn’t contain this all of our engines would be clogged up – some mechanics do suggest using premium fuel once or twice on older engines to keep them clean. But long-term use, we recommend saving your pennies and sticking with standard fuel if you can.

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