When filling up at the fuel pump for the first time, you’d be forgiven for being a little confused about which unleaded petrol type is best for your car. The range on offer is growing, with different price points and different listed benefits further making your decision harder.
In Australia, there are usually 4 different types of unleaded petrol to choose from. E10, 91, 95 and 98 are all variations of unleaded fuel, but not every type is necessarily suitable for your car.
E10 unleaded fuel is standard 91 unleaded fuel that has been supplemented with 10% Ethanol to create a 90/10 blend. The main motivation behind the formulation of this fuel is to be more environmentally friendly. This unleaded petrol type is created using sustainably sourced ethanol to offset some of the environmental effects of using unleaded petrol. It is also significantly cheaper than standard unleaded petrol.
E10 does however lower the energy output of your fuel by roughly 30%, meaning your fuel economy will suffer. It is also not compatible with all cars, with older cars often requiring purer types of unleaded petrol.
91, 95 and 98 are the three most common forms of unleaded petrol available at the fuel pump. Their numbers refer to their level of resistance to burning too early inside your engine, which can be harmful. Used most commonly out of these three is 91, which is often referred to as standard unleaded fuel.
95 and 98 are referred to as premium fuels and are formulated for high-performance cars. They are a more expensive type of unleaded fuel but will provide your car with either better economy or performance.
In general, you should always follow the recommendations of the manufacturer of your car. When the fuel flap is open, there should be a notice instructing on the minimum quality of unleaded fuel to fill your car with. You can also check your car’s manual for a more in-depth description of the recommended unleaded petrol type.
Buying a more premium fuel than is recommended for your car is not detrimental, but you will not likely see enough of an improvement in economy or power for it to make sense economically. This does, however, vary for every situation. Feel free to experiment and find what works best for you and your car.
In the case of E10, a general rule of thumb is that cars around 2005 and newer are compatible for use. If you are unsure, the Queensland Government have created a E10 compatibility checker for cars registered within the state to encourage the use of E10 where possible.
We all want our cars to run at their optimal level for as long as possible, and the fuel that we put into our cars can play a great deal of importance in that regard. After all, a car is a huge investment and it’s in your best interest to take good care of it. When getting your car ready to sell, the health of the car is a huge factor in how much you can get back.
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