Premium Fuels - Trend Towards

Submitted: Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 14:41
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Has the declining fuel price encouraged you to use premium fuel?

Caltex, in its half-year results announcement today, noted that it has seen a favourable product mix shift towards premium fuels.

It appears more people are using premium fuels, which come at a premium price, as the price of fuel falls at the bowser due to the declining oil price.

It noted premium / differentiated diesel sales volumes up 49%, which includes Vortex retail diesel) now represents 33% of total diesel sales.



Cheers, Baz – The Landy
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Reply By: Robin Miller - Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 14:55

Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 14:55
Woops , I went the wrong way.

After the usual heavy analysis I could determine no practical difference in the fuels used so I often use E10 , and the only time I use preimum(petrol) is when no other available like at Mt Dare.

Gotta watch the prices though as many stations only give a cent or 2 difference but United typicaly have a 4 c difference which makes in worthwhlie.

Preimum is worse - its that bad its often dearer than diesel.
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Reply By: Ron N - Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 15:22

Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 15:22
Premium fuels are a total rort and the massive price difference over ULP rarely makes up for the extra energy content.

However, I must confess, I sold off the Missus' old 4 cyl Camry (2001 model) - and I filled it up with a dose of injector cleaner and a full tank of 98 octane - and it turned that old slug into something resembling a sports car! [;-)

Well, not quite .. but the difference in performance was very noticeable after "the treatment".

If I'm going to pull my tandem car trailer loaded, with the Hilux, I'll fill up on PULP.

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 13:39

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 13:39
Ron,
The nephew had an XR6 falcon and calculated he got an extra 40K out of a tank full and the vehicle ran much better anyway.

After discovering that, he would not use 91, always 98 as he reasoned the price difference came out about equal, $/K.

I only ever use 95 around town (V8 Petrol 100 series) and 98 when towing the van. I've never run 91 RON in it so I cannot make a comparison there, but, working on the nephews findings, I have no complaints using premium.

Cheers, Bruce.
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Reply By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 15:51

Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 15:51
Interesting post indeed! Whilst our 4WD is diesel and we've got no choice there, our family sedan is a late model that suggests premium ULP only. I therefore never put 91 into it, but when prices were high I did try it a few times and didn't break it, but it certainly was noticeably a bit odd, so now with price drops I definitely do look at the price of 98 and occasionally give it a tank of that. It does make a difference over 95 so if I can fill up under $100 I'll do it.

I'm baffled when I see people buy drinking water (rather than use the tap) yet fuss over fuel prices ;)!!
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 07:47

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 07:47
Adf not to mention the price of a beer these days. I could drive the new Jimny for a week on the price of one schooner!

Cheer,s Baz
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Reply By: disco driver - Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 16:22

Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 16:22
Admittedly it's only a test over a short period but my bike (98 Yamaha V Star 650) enjoys 98 rated fuels rather than the lower rated stuff.

Fuel consumption on 98 rated is around 4.7l/100km but on lower rated fuels it increases by around 1ltr/100km (21kpl against 18kpl), an improvement of around 16%.

So for the bike it is definitely worth it, not so for either her car or my ute.

It looks like it may be a case of "Horses for courses"

My advice; Try it and see.

Disco.
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Follow Up By: SDG - Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 22:03

Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 22:03
Yet Yamaha told me that because my cruiser is a lower revving bike compared to a sports bike, not to bother with the higher rated fuel.
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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 16:50

Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 16:50
Baz,

Have definitely used premium fuel more frequently since the price drop, but have still been paying for the priviledge here in Winton, PULP 98 has a 17c/L slug over ULP 91!!!!!!

A number of trips to Townsville recently has given me more of a choice, and was filling with 95 over there, as that's what Ford suggest for my XR6T. About $1.30 for 95 over there, from memory.

As for economy, I consistently get 8.5L/100 @ 110, or slightly above ("I must have set the cruise a bit high, Officer?") and with 91 RON, it increases to 9L/100, or worse. :-(. As for performance, it matters little as this model Falcon is nearly as fast as a phone call. :-)

We don't have the luxury of Vortex diesel here.

Bob

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Follow Up By: Stu & "Bob" - Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 22:20

Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 22:20
Hmm, Winton eh? I spent a few years around Corfield in the '80's, on Malboona.
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 11:31

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 11:31
Had to check where Malboona was, Stu. Don't know that area too well, though did load a mob of cows out of Harwood a few years ago. You know the pub is shut now.........only opens for special occasions. :-(

We had an '80's type day yesterday. 44 deg, new record max temp for February for Winton, and topped it off with a 4 hr blackout, about 9pm. Lot of cars driving around last night, no doubt keeping young children, and their parents, cool. :-)

Bob

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Reply By: Stu & "Bob" - Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 16:57

Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 16:57
I would love to use BP Ultimate diesel up here, but BP don't sell it north of roughly Childers.

I have noticed around a 1-1.5 L per hundred Km difference between Ultimate diesel and normal BP diesel.
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 19:21

Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 19:21
What's the price difference between Ultimate and "standard" diesel, Stu?

Usually chasing petrol when am offered a choice in diesel.

Bob



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Follow Up By: Stu & "Bob" - Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 19:43

Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 19:43
G'day Bob,

I'm not sure that there is a difference in price.
I could be wrong though.
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Follow Up By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 20:11

Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 20:11
"Vortex" is 1-2c/L higher than "Truck diesel " at outlets selling both in Tamworth.
I don't know what the difference really is, but I'm paying the extra 1-2c/L

Mark
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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 21:48

Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 21:48
Vortex diesel just has cleaners in it.

From the horse's mouth.
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 07:45

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 07:45
I always use BP Ultimate when refueling (if available of course!)...

Cheers, Baz
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Follow Up By: Tony H15 - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 18:35

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 18:35
I always try to use BP, get better mileage, don't notice a difference power wise. Shell is my next choice, fuel consumption is slightly lower, but only very slightly. Years ago before the advent of CRD, fuels made a huge difference, Mobil for example was absolutely terrible stuff - no power and terrible consumption. I have been informed, by others on this forum, that there is no difference between BP, Shell, whatever, but figures over multiple tanks don't lie!
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Reply By: Idler Chris - Vic - Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 20:18

Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 20:18
I always use PULP in my chainsaw. The extra cost is neither here nor there but the performance is noticeably better with PULP. I would also use it in my generator on the odd occasion I take it.
What other people think of me is none of my business.
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Follow Up By: muzbry - Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 20:53

Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 20:53
Gday Chris
So if i put PULP in my mower, will it suck the grass out of the ground instead of just cutting it?
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Follow Up By: Stu & "Bob" - Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 22:23

Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 22:23
I always use PULP in my motorbikes and small engines. As Chris said, performance is a bit better, and the cost is negligable.
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Follow Up By: member - mazcan - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 13:09

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 13:09
hi idler chris
don't know if you are aware of this but if you use hi octane petrol in small motors that manufactures recommend std for the hi octane will cause the valves to over heat and waup
i have personely experienced this problem in briggs /robin /and honda auxilary motors and a honda and yamaha m/bikes particularly in the summer months
i dont deny that the performance is better and noticable
but there is a down side cheers
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Follow Up By: member - mazcan - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 13:11

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 13:11
the exhaust valves are the one that warp
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Follow Up By: 671 - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 23:56

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 23:56
mazcan posted:
don't know if you are aware of this but if you use hi octane petrol in small motors that manufactures recommend std for the hi octane will cause the valves to over heat and waup
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Over the last eight years I have dismantled many hundreds of mower engines that have been donated to a local church by mower shops. The church sells the metal along with aluminium cans etc to a scrap metal dealer. I have no idea what type of fuel they have been using but I can't remember finding burnt valves in any of them.

Octane rating by the way is just a measure of the fuel's resistance to detonation. It does not mean the fuel produces more power.

Detonation will occur if the pressure or temperature in the cylinder exceeds the level the fuel was designed for. All of the fuel ignites instantly resulting in a single hammer like blow to the piston.

When the octane rating is correct the fuel will explode. An explosion is a rapid but controlled burning on an expanding flame front. It builds up pressure and pushes the piston down the cylinder.
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Reply By: Bazooka - Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 20:36

Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 20:36
Still use 91 in my V6 petrol Jack. Haven't seen anything compelling regarding performance or consumption improvements to consider premium fuels for this vehicle.

On a different but somewhat related tack. I'm often bemused at the synthetic oil uptake but heard over the weekend that some newer vehicles actualy detect the oil type and supposedly send a message or won't operate without the "recommended" oil. Raised an eyebrow but with modern systems anything is possible. Sooo - can anyone confirm the above? Sounds awfully restrictive to me and certainly not a positive selling point.
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 22:21

Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 22:21
Bazooka - I don't know of any ECU that can sense the oil type - but there are engines (Ford and Chrysler to my knowledge, and probably a lot more) fitted with an oil viscosity sensor, that can sense the oil viscosity - and if it falls outside the parameters set in the ECU, then the engine will either throw a code or refuse to start.

The oil viscosity sensor on the Chryslers uses a miniature tuning fork which is vibrated via an electrical current. The amplitude of vibration is measured and the sensor determines the oil viscosity from this vibration.
The sensor then sends a "go" or "no go" signal to the ECU and the ECU reacts according to how it has been programmed.

Correct oil viscosity is crucial for many modern engines, as there are often many small oilways and orifices in the latest engines where oil has to traverse, and thick oil affects the operation of many crucial engine components, such as injection pumps and variable valve timing mechanisms.
The "excessive oil viscosity" code can also be utilised to warn when an engine oil change is needed.

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Bazooka - Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 22:37

Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 22:37
Thanks Ron. Sounds more to the point.
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Reply By: Geoff N (NSW) - Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 21:36

Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 21:36
Round this way, for the last year we've only been able to get 91 and 98. Great way to increase the proportion of 'premium fuels" sold.
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Reply By: SDG - Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 22:06

Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 22:06
I'm just happy that diesel is now cheaper than petrol again. Almost just like the "old days"
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Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 23:58

Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 23:58
I saw diesel same price as ulp on a drive up the QLD coast last week, first time almost forever I have seen it the same, let alone like it used to be, cheaper.
Back in Adelaide, diesel is around 10c more, but at times can be 20c more or even 30c now and then when we are really getting gouged.
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 07:49

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 07:49
For the most part those days are well and truly gone with the requirements and specifications on diesel fues these days.

Also, it doesn't get the same level of marketing discounts that ULP does.

Cheers, Baz
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Reply By: gbc - Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 22:17

Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 22:17
Old school petrol motors like the big Nissan 6 won't notice too much difference. Close tolerance performance engines like subaru turbo motors etc., the difference is chalk and cheese. If you want to see you dodgy v6 turned into a fire breather give it a tank of e85. E85 ends up with a Ron rating of better than 105 and is the choice of drag racers running 'standard' engines.
Premium diesels, apart from detergents, also contain anti foaming agents so the last half of the tank is easier to fill.
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Follow Up By: CSeaJay - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 12:13

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 12:13
gbc
"Old school petrol motors like the big Nissan 6 won't notice too much difference".
This is consistent with advice I have received;
*) If your motor recommends a higher octane, it will deliver better economy that should make up for a reasonable $/litre increase in the fuel.
If you use lower octane, both performance and economy will drop
*) If your motor is older or recommends lower octane, then using higher octane will not quite give you benefit to the same extent as above
CJ
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Reply By: Alloy c/t - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 09:49

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 09:49
Oh yes ,Caltex would have to say that a favourable shift towards "premium" fuels has been noted ….Would of course have nothing to do with the fact that Caltex stations are slowly but surely deleting bowser branding of 91/95 ron and increasing bowser numbers of their premium 98ron at a premium price now would it ? If all you can buy is the higher priced premium of course there will be a 'favourable' shift to their bottom line ….forced upon us.
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 10:03

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 10:03
Ultimately many of the vehicles manufactured these days require or perform better with a fuel with a higher Ron rating – no use giving people apples if it is oranges they need, I guess?

Cheers, Baz – The Landy
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Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 10:22

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 10:22
Apples & Oranges indeed , yes some vehicles do require the premium BUT an increasing amount run perfectly well on fuels such as E95 or straight 95 or 91 .. EG the FJ cruiser in my driveway , absolutely no difference in performance or economy by using 98 which out our way attracts a premium of 20c per lt ,,,, what Caltex is doing is slowly but surely forcing us to buy 'apples' at a premium price by deleting the option of buying the 'oranges' …….
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Follow Up By: Slow one - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 11:01

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 11:01
I have never not been able to get unleaded at a Caltex. I guess your caltex is an independent so you might wish to take it up with them. Being a small outlet, I guess the supplier in Muttaburra just stocks one fuel as it then satisfies most of their customers. Longreach Caltex servos all have 91 unleaded.
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Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 16:08

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 16:08
Slow one , the problem is not Muttaburra or even the Caltex in Longreach , have look the next time you go for a trip to the Coast , and take note for the trip after that , you will find that Caltex in particular is changing bowsers that were 91 and 95 to their premium priced 98 ron , yes they still keep 1 or 2 bowsers out of the 10/12 as 91 but the rest are slowly getting changed to their premium fuels , or the ploy that was used in Noosa just before Xmas while fuel hit low low prices , pull into a Caltex and the 91 & 95 bowsers have the lovely sign "OUT of ORDER".
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Reply By: Sigmund - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 20:12

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 20:12
I have always thought that the point of higher octane fuel was to forestall pinging in higher compression engines. And so there would be no immediate performance advantage using it in normal engines. The added detergents might make a difference over time and only for a time.

Back to back testing would be the only way to be sure. See eg. http://www.caranddriver.com/features/regular-or-premium

The US uses a different octane rating system from our RON; it's some points lower and doesn't affect the results.
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