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Author: Subject: supermarket fuel
cliftyhanger

posted on 13/8/12 at 09:02 AM Reply With Quote
supermarket fuel

Is there any evidence that supermarket fuel is inferior or more importantly causes running issues.
I have found lots of forum talk elsewhere about how engines explode, mpg is reduced by 25% and all that, but nothing that I an take without a large pinch of salt.

So, anybody point me towards some decent study/hard evidence?

I ask as a mate recently got a bad fill up at his local tesco's, but the first time in maybe 500 fillups. So just a bad batch, not an inherent problem. But some keep insisting supermarket fuel is crap.

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tegwin

posted on 13/8/12 at 09:09 AM Reply With Quote
I have wondered this for years.... My thoughts are that the fuel is the same, you just pay more for the "brand" which makes you feel like you are getting more for your money....

Sureley all fuel has to go through the same quality control and comply to whatever BS (or ISO) standard?





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mcerd1

posted on 13/8/12 at 09:14 AM Reply With Quote
in this part of the world I know for a fact that it all comes out of the same tank at grangemouth refinery (got mates who worked in tesco's filling stations and others who worked at the refinery)

the only difference is the additives (added when they fill the lorry)


besides as tegwin says if they sell it to that same BS / EN / ISO standard then it legally needs to be to the same minimum quality

[Edited on 13/8/2012 by mcerd1]





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chillis

posted on 13/8/12 at 09:16 AM Reply With Quote
The fuel is the same where ever you get it from as there are only a few refineries in the UK, so all petrol for all filling stations comes frome those. The supermarket tanker driver cues up at the nearest depot next to the branded tanker drivers - they all get the same stuff. Some supermarkets use different additive packs to the branded outlets so there may be small differences but it really is small. You'll see bigger differences in MPG if you tyre pressures are wrong. As for exploding engines thats got to be a fault with the engine not the fuel. So much fuel is consumed every day there would be thousands of engines exloding every day if it was a fuel fault.
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cliftyhanger

posted on 13/8/12 at 09:18 AM Reply With Quote
the exploding engines was an exaggeration, but it seems a lot of people blame supermarket fuel for all sorts of running problems.
I am in the camp of "it is the same"

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Agriv8

posted on 13/8/12 at 09:21 AM Reply With Quote
I Know Derv at morisons can have up to 8 % bio IIRC and my Audi A6 does not tick over as well in about 1 fill up in 10 ( i also get the same when filling in europe ) yet if i use Branded I dont recolect having this issue. On the move it is fine and do not notice any difference.

If i use Supermaket fuel i tend to stick some redex in before a long run or fill up with braded every 5th tank or so.

ATB Agriv8





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jimmyjoebob

posted on 13/8/12 at 09:21 AM Reply With Quote
The fuel from supermarkets is a lower grade - fine if you use it quickly but degrades if stretched out. The specs for fuels are available online and are quite shocking. I haven't seen them for a while but they contain liquids of the correct RON rating - this includes recycled and refined paints/oils etc that can make up something like 40% by volume. LPG can be pumped into it to correct the final fuel rating and it is this that evaporates off quite quickly. This is why shelf life of fuel is only about 12 weeks nowadays.

I used to work for Delphi Diesel Systems and when using a pool car we were banned from filling up at supermarket fuel stations. Supermarket fuel wasn't even allowed in the fuel rigs.





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Pdlewis

posted on 13/8/12 at 09:27 AM Reply With Quote
It caused no end of problems (asda fuel) in my Alfa Brera 2.4 Diesel it would missfire have problems starting I tried all sorts before i changed to BP fuel only as a last resort after half a tank all the problems went away like magic








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MikeFellows

posted on 13/8/12 at 10:05 AM Reply With Quote
when I had my VX220 Thorney Motorsport did a comparison of all the 98ron fuels

If I remember correctly they ran the car for 2 weeks on a specific fuel and then did a rolling road. again it was a while back but I remember there being a reasonable (10bhp?) difference between some. at the time Tesco had just launched 98ron and it was the most superior

im sure the article was linked on pistonheads too. will have a look


eta: took some searching but I found it...

Pis tonheads link

[Edited on 13/8/12 by MikeFellows]

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MikeRJ

posted on 13/8/12 at 10:07 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jimmyjoebob
The fuel from supermarkets is a lower grade - fine if you use it quickly but degrades if stretched out. The specs for fuels are available online and are quite shocking. I haven't seen them for a while but they contain liquids of the correct RON rating - this includes recycled and refined paints/oils etc that can make up something like 40% by volume. LPG can be pumped into it to correct the final fuel rating and it is this that evaporates off quite quickly. This is why shelf life of fuel is only about 12 weeks nowadays.


Butane is added to control the volatility of petrol, but I'm pretty sure that's not specific to supermarket fuels.

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mcerd1

posted on 13/8/12 at 10:25 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by cliftyhanger
but it seems a lot of people blame supermarket fuel for all sorts of running problems.

some modern(ish) diesel's can have issues with the water content in the fuel, and bio diesel tends to have more water in it - but arn't they ment to stick warrning stickers on the pumps if its a higher biofuel content ?


but in my experience your more likley to get a doggy tank of fuel from a little local garage that takes 6 months to sell a tanker load of fuel as opposed to a supermarket that sells 4 tanker loads a week....


I seem to remember a few years back some supermarkets tried buying cheap fuel from abroad (tankers ships ?) that was contaminated with something that had been in the tanks previously, so I don't think they tried that again....

[Edited on 13/8/2012 by mcerd1]





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steve m

posted on 13/8/12 at 10:26 AM Reply With Quote
A few years ago, someone at work mentioned this, as his MGF would only run well on branded fuel BP/Shell etc
I and others scoffed at this flipant remark,
However, i did some googgling, and sure enough, different car forums suggested that the supermarket fuel is watered down with something, obviousley profit driven, and as such was inferior

From my own findings on a Rover 45 1.6 and my last petrol road car Rover 75 1.8, that if i used supermarket fuel, my car ran,
but poor, compared to branded fuel, i also noticed a difference in performance, as the car felt more responsive
This also coupled with the engine sound dropped, the engine was definatly quieter, and MPG was up

With my current diesel, i have not noticed any performance or sound difference, with any fuel, but then diesels are the most agricultural form of an engine,

there was a forum question on supermarket fuel some years ago


regards

steve

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Slimy38

posted on 13/8/12 at 10:32 AM Reply With Quote
I seem to remember reading in a kit car magazine that supermarket fuels tend to have a higher percentage of ethanol, 15-20% is being considered. So it might start out as the same fuel from the depot, but it may not be the same stuff by the time it gets to your car.

Personally I think it's more to do with the petrol station. I will not fill any of my vehicles at the local petrol station, as they ALL have had issues with it. In one case I didn't think I'd get my car home. I doubt it's anything to do with the fuel source as it was a BP for a time. It must be either the throughput of the fuel, or even the fact that their tanks need cleaning out.

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wilkingj

posted on 13/8/12 at 10:43 AM Reply With Quote
As a minimum, It should all meet the BS specs.

However, I agree the differences is in the Addatives.
I know someone who worked in a Lab developing newer and better and greener fuels addatives.
Different companies have their own formulas, and specs.

Some companies even have their own labs, and like most commercial products the actual formula / process is a well guarded secret.
A bit like Coca Cola! (not that you should use Coca Cola as a fuel addative )

From my own experience and with over 140k miles of meticulous records over a period of 13 years (yep... Sad B'Stard record keeping), I can confirm that I got between 1.1 and 2.6 MPG more on Shell Std diesel than I did with Supermarket (Tesco) diesel depending on how and where I drove.

Now whilst that doesnt sound much, BUT at 14p per mile, it represented a 15-36 pence per gallon saving.
If you saw 15p or more per gallon off fuel you would top up there imediately.
This was on a 2.5 Litre Land Rover giving on average 26mpg over 140k miles.
OK its old data now, but it definately shows that certain diesels are better than others.

In my record keeping, I also noticed that the fuel companies that had their own wells and refineries, ie Shell, BP, Esso, etc, seemed to give almost similar results, and mostly the supermarket fuels gave lesser but similar results.

With the price of fuel, and looking at it on a yearly basis, I recon its worth finding what your car works well with and stick to it.

Currently:
In my 2.2 Mondeo Diesel I usually get 44mpg average on Shell, and about 49/50 on a good steady run.
I recently went to the isle of Mull, and got 58mpg over a 400 mile stretch. This was using Shell V-Power Diesel.
on the way back I used std Shell diesel, and only got 52. That was over about 500 miles each way.

So I am fairly confident with my claims.
I will stick with Shell, it works for me.
I have no connection with anyone or any company in the fuel trade. (I was in Comms for 41 years)
These are just my experiences.







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Agriv8

posted on 13/8/12 at 11:00 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mcerd1
quote:
Originally posted by cliftyhanger
but it seems a lot of people blame supermarket fuel for all sorts of running problems.

some modern(ish) diesel's can have issues with the water content in the fuel, and bio diesel tends to have more water in it - but arn't they ment to stick warrning stickers on the pumps if its a higher biofuel content ?




thats where I noticed Morison Sticker quite well hidden on the Pump but it definatly metioned there was Bio diesel in their. when you have a 70 litre tank you tend to do a bit of reading as the Pounds climb towards the 100 mark.

ATB agriv8





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Oddified

posted on 13/8/12 at 11:23 AM Reply With Quote
Lpg from Asda is definitely not the same as anywhere else. I have a rover v8 on lpg and it just doesn't run right at all on it, and that's not just a one off experience. I can run for months on other brands and it's perfect, fill up at Asda and it's instantly not right (idles all over the place, less mpg, less power), then use that tank up and fill up any where else and it runs perfectly again!. Done it loads of times to check just in case it was just a one off....it's everytime.

I don't know what, where or how but something is different.

Ian

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MikeR

posted on 13/8/12 at 11:35 AM Reply With Quote
The misses had the misforunte to be on the jury of an arson trial. The expert witness could tell you where the fuel came from by its additivies as each company had a unique blend. He could therefore tell you what percentage of fuel came from what station which was quite impressive.

Unfortunately if you filled up with supermarket fuel he couldn't do any analysis as it contained no additives - which also had an impact on the trial so wasn't just (i hope) a random claim / get out for not bothering.

I now alternate between random branded and random supermarket working on the theory i'm getting some addititives and some cost saving.

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SeanStone

posted on 13/8/12 at 11:43 AM Reply With Quote
Just to add my 2 pence to this..

I had been using supermarket fuel in my golf gt tdi 115 since last november. Averaged between 41-43 mpg per month. I had a go with shell and over the last 2 months this has gone up to 46mpg minimum over 560 miles

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MikeRJ

posted on 13/8/12 at 12:17 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Slimy38
I seem to remember reading in a kit car magazine that supermarket fuels tend to have a higher percentage of ethanol, 15-20% is being considered.


Not quite. Currently most petrol contains a small amount of ethanol, and legislation is in place to ensure that pump petrol sold in the UK up to April 2013 will have a maximum of 5% ethanol (E5). E10 (10% ethanol) will be introduced in the UK after this.

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phelpsa

posted on 13/8/12 at 12:26 PM Reply With Quote
Here's my little bit of research....

I always run my MR2 on 95ron supermarket fuel, mostly sainsburys. About once a month I make a trip to the Lakes which is about 300miles each way, plus about 300 miles of driving when I'm up there. There is no supermarket, so I fill with shell 95ron.

So I do 300 miles on the supermarket fuel and it takes about 34 litres (when the fuel light comes on). Fill up with shell, flush it through for 300 miles, refill and drive home. However the drive home never takes more than 32 litres of fuel. Same speeds (70mph), same distance, same car, same luggage etc etc.

The destination in the lakes is at sea level, home is not.

From this I can conclude that either there is a heavily prevailing northerly wind or I am actually seeing some kind of difference in the shell fuel.






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silky16v

posted on 13/8/12 at 12:41 PM Reply With Quote
Shell diesel is the fuel of choice in my Audi 1.9 PD TDI failing that Texaco

if i have ever had to fill up at supermarket i get 60-100 less a tank and it very very sooty always leaves blacks marks over the back of car

i have now taken to adding 250ml of Mineral 2-stroke oil (the red stuff) into every 70litre fill up as it virtually eliminates the black smoke on acceleration & the car starts and runs better.

Just to point out the car is totally standard and in perfect running order

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steve m

posted on 13/8/12 at 03:55 PM Reply With Quote
Ive been putting 2 stoke oil in to the tank as well, into my 2.0 tdci mondeo

I think it runs better as well

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dray13dad

posted on 13/8/12 at 04:58 PM Reply With Quote
Had this conversations loads at work and really lights the touch paper,but yes there is a difference its all down to the addertives they put in the fuel at the refinery as is a lower grade of fuel so more addertives to up the grade.think about it how many supermarket chains own oil fields,so how can they sell it cheaper thre not using it as a loss leader. Some seem to know theres a differance in fuelas their car runs bettter or get better mpg.To which I will agree with both of my cars
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mad4x4

posted on 13/8/12 at 05:50 PM Reply With Quote
I agree with it the same barr the additives but what makes Sainsbury's City Diesel so poor on MPG compared to Asda. Noticeable about 5mpg in a skoda fabia that gets 48 mpg





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ReMan

posted on 13/8/12 at 07:05 PM Reply With Quote
I'm not a fan of Texaco, partly because the nearest is at the end of my road and routinely 5p more than elsewhere.
Yesterday, as I was running very low and needed to hit an appointment I put 20 of their diesel in the Terrano.
Within 5 miles it died, could not re-start properly, lots of grey smoke on trying and ended upcoming home on a recovery truck.
So therer definatly is a difference
I'll look for help on a seperate thread





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