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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Anyone have experience?

Anyone try various fuels to see what works best for their car.

In theory a 91 octane with no additives will get you better mileage but not as much power as 94 octane (which typically includes up to 10% ethanol.)

I use Petrocan ultra 94 which has 10% ethanol. Anecdotally it feels sportier than with a 91 fuel.

Will the car adjust timing to benefit from even higher octane race fuels?
 

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I always use Shell V-Power Nitro +. It's rated 99 RON (UK calculations. Standard UK fuel is 95 octane) so wouldn't really know the difference between normal stuff and super unleaded!!!!
Yep I'm using V Power Nitro +. Definitely has a placebo effect! But honestly am sure it feels nippier. Anyway for the price it doesn't actually cost that much more to run. And supposedly better for engine life due to the additives. Around 6p per litre more expensive where I am, so only £2.40 ish extra for a full tank. Cost of a sandwich. Plus Shell do the driver's points now that Tesco have stopped their fuel save scheme, so might as well get something back for filling up.
 

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Only ever feed my cars V-Power. Unfortunately in Belgium, V-Power is 98 RON not 99, but I'm interested in the knock reduction rather than "power gains".

If you've ever used "track day"/mild race fuel (102-104 typically) on a turbo charged engine, you'll appreciate how increasing the RON makes EVERYTHING better :)

I did a calculation on here a while back. I think an "average mileage" user in the uk would spend about £80 extra over a whole year by choosing V-Power. Worth it if you ask me...
 

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People will argue until the end of time about which octane is better. However no ethonol is better than any ethonol. It's a MPG killer and absorbs moisture which is bad for the engine. Here (Canada) shell premium v power is 91 octane and 0 ethonol. My fuel of choice.
 

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...Will the car adjust timing to benefit from even higher octane race fuels?
In short, yes. MINI's have implemented such a strategy since 2002 with the Cooper S. The ECU uses a knock sensor that is sent through a DSP and that affects ignition, boost, and fueling on the F56's engines. This allows the engine to run at peak power and economy, yet is a brilliant safeguard when poor quality fuel is accidentally used. It is not an excuse, however, to run poor quality/low octane fuel.

For those that don't have access to OEM's test results, premium unleaded (93 octane [R+M]/2 on the east coast USA) actually results in better fuel economy versus 87 octane. The ethanol argument is largely irrelevant, given most customers don't have access to honest disclosure to anything but the federally allowed E10 in the USA. For the rest of you that have options, high octane unleaded G100 is what you want.

Given that we all have high compression turbocharged engines, we should be refueling exclusively with premium unleaded, no excuses.
 

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I miss the old days when I ran Sunoco 260 (something like 105 octane) in my '67 Chevelle SS396 (est. about 450hp)....WOW! Cheap high octane fuel has long since disappeared, but we still have cool cars thankfully! Technology has its advantages, but raw muscle in a big block V8 is something to be experienced if you've never felt that kind of power! :laugh:
 
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...Unfortunately in Belgium, V-Power is 98 RON not 99
Same as Australia, we cannot readily get the V-Power Nitro at 99 RON and this fuel is only available at very limited specialty garages or tracks. At a regular service station the highest RON is 98 and even then it's questionable whether the fuel quality is actually at 98.

The only ethanol fuel here is @ 91 /w 10% ethanol, seen as a budget alternative fuel. I would imagine it damages the mini's engine over time and there's no way I would put it in any of my cars.
 

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10% ethanol will not damage the engine. According to the Owners Manual the engine can handle up to 25% ethanol / 75% gasoline blends.

98 RON, or 91 AKI is recommended. 89 AKI is the minimum at the expense of power, economy, and possibly drivability. All in the Owners Manual :)


I miss the old days when I ran Sunoco 260 (something like 105 octane) in my '67 Chevelle SS396 (est. about 450hp)....WOW! Cheap high octane fuel has long since disappeared, but we still have cool cars thankfully! Technology has its advantages, but raw muscle in a big block V8 is something to be experienced if you've never felt that kind of power! :laugh:

You bring up a good point. Leaded fuel is a BAD idea in modern engines, as it shortens the life of the O2 sensors and catalytic converters by about 100:1. You can still find Sunoco 100 and 104 unleaded, and yes the engine will take advantage of the added octane to deliver more power. Some of the high-octane unleaded race fuels have a few percent more energy per unit volume, so there's some minor gains to be had just with the fuel and no ECU changes.


As for big muscle V8's; we're in a golden era for those! Hellcat's, Coyote's, and LT4's are nothing to sneeze at.
 

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Real world tests across a number of cars tells me that V-Power contributes to better MPG, Ethanol or not. It may be because you don't actually need as much fuel for the same performance, or it could be the cleaners & additives, but after using it for a number of years in a range of cars tells me it's better.

That range of cars includes:

Focus ST
R56 Cooper S
R56 JCW
M135i
F56JCW
(plus a range of sportsbikes...)
 

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Real world tests across a number of cars tells me that V-Power contributes to better MPG, Ethanol or not. It may be because you don't actually need as much fuel for the same performance, or it could be the cleaners & additives, but after using it for a number of years in a range of cars tells me it's better.

That range of cars includes:

Focus ST
R56 Cooper S
R56 JCW
M135i
F56JCW
(plus a range of sportsbikes...)
That's really interesting, when we are faced with so much conflicting information from the fuel companies and the supermarkets about the 'quality' of their fuels. This has been an on running debate for many years, but to hear that personal experience over such an extended time has demonstrated the benefits of V Power is valuable info (and probably good enough for me!)
 
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Real world tests across a number of cars tells me that V-Power contributes to better MPG, Ethanol or not. It may be because you don't actually need as much fuel for the same performance, or it could be the cleaners & additives, but after using it for a number of years in a range of cars tells me it's better.

That range of cars includes:

Focus ST
R56 Cooper S
R56 JCW
M135i
F56JCW
(plus a range of sportsbikes...)
That's really interesting, when we are faced with so much conflicting information from the fuel companies and the supermarkets about the 'quality' of their fuels. This has been an on running debate for many years, but to hear that personal experience over such an extended time has demonstrated the benefits of V Power is valuable info (and probably good enough for me!)
Just remember, it depends on where you live and what fuels are available. I'm sure V-Power is swell, but there are few Shell stations where I live and a fair amount of Sunoco stations. I would like to see a comparison of Sunoco Ultra vs Shell V-Power....bet they are close to the same! Sunoco is all I use in my BMW's and my MINI JCW..... heck, my dealer even gave me a Sunoco gift card when I picked up my new JCW, so Sunoco must be pretty darn good!
 

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Well here in the UK "premium" fuels are few & far between.

Shell V Power (obviously)
BP have one, can't remember what it's called though
Tesco's have their 99RON fuel which some say is good but you won't find me putting supermarket gas in my car....

Like I said above, I've used V Power extensively. The best example was when I had my Fireblade I could generally get around just over 200 miles to a tank. With Std fuel that would be around 135 miles. This was done over a period of weeks on my commute to work, so although not scientific, it was good enough to convince me !!
 

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Octane

Higher Octane is less explosive and packs less density / energy than lower Octane.

What!?!?!? You say...

Well, yes, lower octane is more explosive, but... Higher compression and higher boost cause detonation for regular or mid grade unleaded fuel on a high compression engine with high psi turbo pressures.
How to combat this? Add more Octane additives to raise the octane level to better control pre-ignition (remember the sound of the rattly diesel petrol engine sound going up a hill, thats the sound of the fuel igniting when the piston is not TDC) and you can run higher boosts and higher cylinder pressures hence generating the ability to create more power.

I am in Canada as well, and the fuel in our area is inferior imho to the fuel sold in the USA. I don't understand why, but, using the same grade of fuel (in Canada, Petro Canada sells a 94+ octane fuel that was previously sold by the SUNOCO Banner about 10 years ago) in Canada, and filling up in the USA (Sunoco 94+, I live an hour away from the USA), I easily get 15% more km's out of a tank of fuel regardless of vehicle.

Back on subject, if you plan on kicking your JCW, and it is a humid and warm period of the year, it would be wise to purchase the highest octane fuel available in your area. Word to the wise, never fill your vehicle if you see a fuel transport arriving or leaving a gas station.

Cheers
 

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Higher Octane is less explosive and packs less density / energy than lower Octane.

What!?!?!? You say...

Well, yes, lower octane is more explosive, but... Higher compression and higher boost cause detonation for regular or mid grade unleaded fuel on a high compression engine with high psi turbo pressures.
How to combat this? Add more Octane additives to raise the octane level to better control pre-ignition (remember the sound of the rattly diesel petrol engine sound going up a hill, thats the sound of the fuel igniting when the piston is not TDC) and you can run higher boosts and higher cylinder pressures hence generating the ability to create more power.

I am in Canada as well, and the fuel in our area is inferior imho to the fuel sold in the USA. I don't understand why, but, using the same grade of fuel (in Canada, Petro Canada sells a 94+ octane fuel that was previously sold by the SUNOCO Banner about 10 years ago) in Canada, and filling up in the USA (Sunoco 94+, I live an hour away from the USA), I easily get 15% more km's out of a tank of fuel regardless of vehicle.

Back on subject, if you plan on kicking your JCW, and it is a humid and warm period of the year, it would be wise to purchase the highest octane fuel available in your area. Word to the wise, never fill your vehicle if you see a fuel transport arriving or leaving a gas station.

Cheers
Yes, that is too true. I didn't notice the truck at a BP station when I fueled up and less than a few miles down the road the engine quit. I called the rollback and they took the car (MB SLK 350) to the dealer and they tore down the engine. Turns out it was toasted due to crud. The BP distributor paid for the replacement. But, it was a time consuming and agonizing process.
 

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Well here in the UK "premium" fuels are few & far between.

Shell V Power (obviously)
BP have one, can't remember what it's called though
Tesco's have their 99RON fuel which some say is good but you won't find me putting supermarket gas in my car....

Like I said above, I've used V Power extensively. The best example was when I had my Fireblade I could generally get around just over 200 miles to a tank. With Std fuel that would be around 135 miles. This was done over a period of weeks on my commute to work, so although not scientific, it was good enough to convince me !!
You took the mileage on a 'blade? :eek:

Wouldn't have a clue what my 'blade did when I had it - I'm sure it would have scared me to know how much it was costing to run!

Still miss it though.....
 

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Anyone have experience?

Anyone try various fuels to see what works best for their car.

In theory a 91 octane with no additives will get you better mileage but not as much power as 94 octane (which typically includes up to 10% ethanol.)

I use Petrocan ultra 94 which has 10% ethanol. Anecdotally it feels sportier than with a 91 fuel.

Will the car adjust timing to benefit from even higher octane race fuels?


The compression of the JCW needs a bit higher octane to run well, I believe the car will adjust the timing depending but best results you'll get from like 93-94 AKI (98-99 RON). Unless the car is tuned and the ECU is needing higher octane there shouldn't be any benefits of putting higher octane than what it says it the fuel door.

I have a ECU tune and quite a bit of other mods calling for a minimum of 93 AKI (98 RON) or higher, it runs best actually with 93 AKI than when I run straight 100 AKI or a 50/50 mix 100 and 93. Not sure what 100 AKI is in RON but it's the highest street legal fuel in the US.

Fuel mileage isn't so good running the high octane either :p


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