How do different brands of fuel vary?

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Shandu George Mamaila

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How do different brands of fuel vary?
« on: 04/06/2009 10:30:03 »
Shandu George Mamaila  asked the Naked Scientists:
Chris hi, great hearing you on Redi's show.

When I fill up the tank at various of our filling stations i.e. BP versus Shell versus SASOL, the same amount of money - say R100 - will give me a higher or lower total mileage from the tank of fuel.

So does petrol differ depending on petrol company? The other thing is that I read somewhere that if you fill up in early morning its more dense and you get more for the tank.
Shandu George Mamaila

What do you think?


Offline Don_1

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How do different brands of fuel vary?
« Reply #1 on: 04/06/2009 11:13:03 »
To answer the last part of your question first, since the fuel is stored in underground tanks, there is not going to be a great deal of difference in it's temperature whatever time of day you fill up.

I don't know about the situation in India (I assume that's where you are from your R100 price), but in the UK most fuel comes from the same stock, be it Shell, Esso or otherwise. Most of the big distributors have their own additives to help keep engines clean and therefore, running at their best efficiency. Smaller retailers and the supermarkets tend not to use these additives. All the big oil company's claim there 'super' fuels will give better mileage and will say they have been tested against 'regular' fuel. Putting this to the test under normal road conditions is virtually impossible, since differing conditions, terrain, traffic volumes, driving styles etc can make a difference between to identical journeys.

I think its a case of personal choice, if you perceive your car to perform better with a particular fuel, then stick with it.
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