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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I think we all generally accept that,
while the basic fuel comes from the same refinery, the likes of BP, Esso and Shell will usually add a wide range of special additives to their own fuels in order to improve efficiency and performance. Exactly what these additives contain are, of course, closely-guarded trade secrets. However, they often include things like detergents and lubricants to make the engine run smoother.
Given this it seems fairly straightforward to decide between Shell/BP or the local supermarket. Do you believe the extra pence is justified by the "possible" additives. However there are also a number of suppliers that I would refer to as middle range such as Esso, Texaco and Jet and there the decision gets more difficult.

Here in Scunthorpe we do not have either Shell or BP and at present I use Esso purely because I remember it as a quality name from the past whereas I think of Jet as belonging in the "cheap" bracket not much better than the supermarkets. However I am not sure my logic is valid and given the Jet forecourt is much closer than the Esso forecourt should I be considering changing?

I would welcome comments or opinions on the different middle of the road brands. The quote above was taken from an article discussing this issue which did nothing but sit on the fence while plugging the use of their range of fuelcards
 

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948 Spider LE
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I never use anything but supermarket fuel - used to be Asda, but now Sainsbury's as Asda don't sell E5.
I tell a lie - I had to use Shell as a one-off when the fuel crisis was on a few months agp. The car struggled to start when I used that stuff, never again. Back to normal and perfectly fine once I'd switched back. Go figure...

Never had any issues whatsoever with supermarket fuel, only massive savings in my pocket over time.
 

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2010 Alfa Romeo Mito 1.4, 2003 Alfa Romeo GTV Phase 3 JTS
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We have a local cheap station, If the tank is empty and I fill up there after running on my usual Esso 95, it can throw up engine codes on my Mito, same on a petrol X5 we used to have. Reset and it's fine fir the rest of the tank, but I'm not sure what causes it. Esso is my personal favourite as they have 99RON, Shell second as they sponsor Ferrari
 

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Our local Supermarket stations are Tesco but Esso at one and BP at the other.... Never had a problem at any of them and i always use them due to this rather long cautionary tale -

In 2006/7, when I had a BMW Z4M coupe, the forum members of Zregister, were all very paranoid about fuel and only using 99ron to get the best out of the M engine.. one poor chap recounted a tale of driving back in from a running event in his nearly new, and rare coloured, Z4M coupe and stopping for fuel at a small rural franchised, but major refiner supplied petrol station. He only stopped as he was on the red (in a z4m that means you are not getting very far at all), so he only put a couple of gallons in as he wanted to fill up at his normal place. He set off, enthusiastically, as was his particular driving preference, got less than a mile and it stopped dead after making a loud clunking then chugging noise. He called BMW rescue who sent out a BMW on call mechanic to either sort or recover him. They rocked up, looked at it and summarised it was a fuel issue. He advised he had only just thrown a couple of gallons in from a local station they then immediately towed him back to the station in question and bought a gallon of fuel as a control sample to compare to his tank, The BMW chap's words were that if this turned out to be a warrant issue, no problem, but if it turned out to be a fuel quality issue this was going to be expensive and if stations fault likely to turn into an insurance p155ing contest. The BMW chap informed the manager what had just happened and he duly closed the 99ron pump, exchanged various details including exact time car fuelled, volume, amount of fuel in car at fuel up, amount added and exact time call made to BMW etc. The car was then recovered to his local BMW dealer who said engine was seriously damaged due to contaminated fuel which they had also sent a sample from his car and the BMW mechanic's test fill out to a lab to be tested, i can't remember exact damage but I recall it ended up needing at least a top end rebuild + some seals, injectors and a right good tank flush.. ..long story but after much wrangling and evidence that the station in question had to have it's 99ron tank dug up and repaired the franchise's insurer paid the repair bill. It turned out, according to the lab test that the fuel was indeed badly contaminated, in fact the fuel in the car tank was marginally better than the control sample taken by the BMW mechanic as it must have still had some retained fuel pre 2 gal splash n dash.. Fuel was determined to be extremely low ron due to a mix of age and contaminants.

Since then, I have only fuelled at large known chain garages that are busy.....
 

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Stelvio QV my20
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I recall a test by a car mag a dozen or so years ago and they found Tesco99 had the most poke with v-power second (think it was for an Audi turbo engine) and they also said bp ultimate was worth using every few tanks for the cleaning power. I don’t remember how they could tell - I doubt they ran 100 tanks in a lab on same engines and took them apart. For 95 they said it was no difference where from. BUT the biggest difference no matter what fuel you choose was fuelling from the pump the was regularly used vs getting smth from a stale pump. That had more impact than anything else.
I don’t remember their methods and I was a lot more likely to believe the journalists back then I just remembered the conclusions.
Assuming that’s true I’d just use busy petrol station or supermarket if you don’t need 99. If you want 99 I would go to shell as most fancy cars get it from there and it is less likely to be stale. It also makes sense to pay attention to know which ones are frequented by track or supercar crowd.
 

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For the VW (a diesel) I don't care - mostly I just use Sainsbury's as it's round the corner from work and they have free air.

When I had the Gtv :love:, I generally used the Shell garage in Brighton
 

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99 Ron normally Tesco but it’s now a stupid price , the local sainsburys has premium fuel at the same cost as Tesco want for regular

over on the Audi forum they love Tesco super fuel and most people use it on there cars

I work in a franchised dealers and We are seeing a lot of cars in at the minute that are running crap, failing emissions or have seen a massive drop in mpg since using e10 fuel
 

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Typically I use Esso synergy or vpower I never touch supermarket fuel unless it’s the work van that I couldn’t care less about, had bad experiences in the past. Definitely don’t use that e10 rubbish I tried a tank of it and car just didn’t feel right mpg dropped and it wasn’t as perky. That’s in the giulietta MA.
 

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Tend to get Esso for the diesel as there is a noticeable lack of diesel knock compared to supermarket.
When we picked up the new Alphard family bus we had to use Morrisons E10 as it was the closest station. The VVTi seems to have run faultlessly on it but I don't have any comparison. Might try a tank of premium E5 next time to see if there's a difference.
 

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I buy the cheapest diesel I can find locally it is usually either Asda or Gulf.

I have tried the more expensive stuff but other than the cost no noticeable difference.
 

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I generally fill at Tesco because it's most convenient but I'm happy with Sainsbury, which the local rumour mill states is "the best of the supermarket fuels". Won't use ASDA even though it's always the cheapest locally. Around here Shell/BP/Esso are generally 5-8p more a litre, but when we went up to Chester in the summer, their local Shell was cheaper than Tesco here

Does anyone remember the Shell fuel from the late 80s? No idea what it was called now or what they added to it, but I liked it. Then the Shell garage was at the end of my road and I reckoned to get 10% extra mileage from it in an Mk 3 Escort 1600. But it knackered small engines......
 

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Alfa 159 2.0 JTDm Lusso 6sp.
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Car petrol is car petrol (octane variation accepted.).....there have been many tests comparing premium brands to supermarket fuel (google is your friend) and most of the time there is no measurable difference in performance, MPG or emissions. There might have been years ago but now even the cheapest fuels have additives and detergents.
 

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Any place that’s not sold fuel for a while and it’s separated should be avoided!
I’m sure I read on one of the many threads on this in the past that the petrol that may be delivered only gets a magic ingredient added when it’s put into the tank under the fuel station.
 

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948 Spider LE
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Car petrol is car petrol (octane variation accepted.).....there have been many tests comparing premium brands to supermarket fuel (google is your friend) and most of the time there is no measurable difference in performance, MPG or emissions. There might have been years ago but now even the cheapest fuels have additives and detergents.
(y)
But you'll never get that across to the 'fool and his money' type... :LOL:
 
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Fuel is fuel imo unless it's contaminated which can happen at any petrol station.

I've used all sorts on all sorts of cars but always noticed zero difference.

My 156 has eaten 40k of Supermarket 95 and runs with no issues.

Only used Esso in recent times because of the stupid fuel crisis so had to fill up at the closest place rather than the cheapest.
 

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Letting your fuel run out until you get sediment pumped into the engine is probably a big problem.
 

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Is that really a thing? I've heard of folk cutting open fuel filters after many years and miles but they've been clean...

Then again some guy at work busted his Audi A3 as he thought it was cool to drive around permanently with the fuel light on. Eventually suffered some sort of break down after a year of this but I never asked what exactly broke, I just laughed at them.
 

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I've always been hugely sceptical about claims that different brands give different performance, or that the wrong brand can "damage" your engine. I'm afraid I class them with claims that taking a car out for a high speed run "cleans up the engine" and makes it run better.

If it were true, I'd expect to be able to track down a research paper somewhere that provides evidence. The fact that I can't makes me even more sceptical.
 

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I'm with @Sterzo. I was under the impession, probably urban myth etc. that most Uk cars are easily tuned or re-mapped because they are in a 'lower' state of tune, because all cars are set up to cope with poorer quality fuels in other markets? So surely if your basic Phiat or Toyoda can cope with fuel in some developing country with different (trading) standards around fuel then surely UK cars can cope with the odd bit of E10 or a tank full of B&M 'fill-er-up'?
 
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