Shell Diesel Observations

Submitted: Monday, Apr 20, 2009 at 19:19
ThreadID: 68051 Views:4263 Replies:11 FollowUps:9
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G'Day all,

For some time now I have been a fan of Shell diesel, as some previous research revealed that their minimum 'cetane' rating, which is the equivelant diesel rating of octane, was higher than the minimum australian standard.

Wow a company selling us higher standard diesel than they have to... gotta be good.

I've always noted my ute ran sweeter on it, but I dont always get to buy it as i need to go across town, and if I do its usually mixed with the present tank contents so its a blend of Shell n others.

However, this weekend I was flat out on fumes, n was right side of town n filled to brim with shell.

On other diesel I run about 100km and I'm at 3/4 tank, towing the same 100km on other diesel and I'm down approaching half, to be expected.

What grabbed me was the fact I was towing a 1.75tonne trailer, and full of totally shell, and at my 100km stop point, I'm at 3/4. Return trip verified this and arrived home with half tank left, still towing.

So from my observations it would appear, (no scientific proof of course,) that I am getting, or not getting, such a big increase in fuel consumption when towing on shell.

So I put it to the forumites, try towing on PURE shell, not a mix, ie fill up from empty, n see how you go, I've noticed this several times now so its not co-incidence or the feel good factor.

Interested to hear others experiences here, and experiences would be the operative word as oppossed to opinions.


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Reply By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Monday, Apr 20, 2009 at 19:33

Monday, Apr 20, 2009 at 19:33
I've had the same good results with shell diesel at certain times of the year, and put it down to the winter version being used. i don't know much about how this works, just that it coincided with the start of cooler climates.

This was noticed at one shell servo in Brisbane, which change considerably at this time of year.

Just my guess....

AnswerID: 360582

Follow Up By: Saharaman (aka Geepeem) - Monday, Apr 20, 2009 at 20:14

Monday, Apr 20, 2009 at 20:14
Wouldnt it depend on whether its genuine Shell diesel or not. As there is no Shell refinery in Brisbane, presumably they have an agreement to get their diesel from the Caltex refinery. Is this how it works. Not every brand obviously has a refinery in each State - so how do the service stations get on in States where they do not have a refinery. Or do they just add a secret additive to other brands refinery products so they can claim its better or has a special additive (like Caltex petrol used to contain CX3 years ago - so it was better than other petrol..... or so the ads said.
FollowupID: 628373

Follow Up By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Monday, Apr 20, 2009 at 20:27

Monday, Apr 20, 2009 at 20:27
Good point GPM :-)

I just know that the quality changed at certain times of the year. I would always buy from the one shell servo when possible, so i'm not sure of the real reason.

FollowupID: 628374

Reply By: oldpop - Monday, Apr 20, 2009 at 20:01

Monday, Apr 20, 2009 at 20:01

Nothing to do with diesel but just did a 3000k trip salt lake races at lake Gairdner 4.5 Lt 100 series LPG/petrol all other brands 4.3k/Lt except 3 fills on BP 4.9k/Lt not much extra but did make difference fully loaded not towing using cruise control to the max


AnswerID: 360587

Reply By: Eric Experience - Monday, Apr 20, 2009 at 20:50

Monday, Apr 20, 2009 at 20:50
As I understand it there is no Shell sold in Brisbane, just a marketing franchise called Shell. Try finding a Shell refinery in QLD. Eric.
AnswerID: 360602

Follow Up By: Ron173 - Friday, Apr 24, 2009 at 10:32

Friday, Apr 24, 2009 at 10:32

shouldve said , I'm in NSW.

FollowupID: 628945

Reply By: rocco2010 - Monday, Apr 20, 2009 at 21:01

Monday, Apr 20, 2009 at 21:01

I am in perth and when I bought my Ford Ranger the salesman oiffered the view that Caltex diesel was better. I have used a mix of both Caltex and Shell (depends which way I am heading when i need a fill as they are on different sides of a busy road) and the consumption varies by only decimal places with the different fuel. Best of 8.1l/100km, worst of 8.6.

On my figures I reckon there are too many variables ie how much freeway running v shopping trips v loaded v unloaded this tank compared to last week to say for sure whether one fuel is better. Maybe if you do a a lot more ks and over a set route with the same load each week you could get a better guide.


AnswerID: 360604

Reply By: Lenticular - Monday, Apr 20, 2009 at 21:13

Monday, Apr 20, 2009 at 21:13
Ron, If you have a look back at post 64416, I entered a pretty detailed explanation of who makes what fuel where. Save me typing it in again. Feel free to ask any questions re fuels manufacturing and quality.
Just to explain why diesel changes with the seasons, it is made to a specification called "cloud point". This is the temperature where the wax crystals start appearing in the diesel, on the way to turning into a semi solid slush. Location and time of year set the cloud point that is sold at each servo. eg. winter Tassie spec might be -5 degC cloud pt, while summer Darwin might be + 15 degC. Winter spec is dearer to make, since you have to leave out the heavier fraction which you would normally sell as diesel, and downgrade it to fuel oil or an intermediate feedstock. This stuff also has good cetane, although all grades meet the minimum cetane spec. Cetane giveaway ususlly occurs when you've got to meet another equally mandatory spec (like cloud).
Farmers used to get caught out- they'd fill their storage tanks with cheaper summer spec diesel, then on a cold winters morning, the stuff would turn to jelly and destroy their tractor injector pumps. Ouch.
As mentioned in 64416, he only real brand differences occur due to differign additives (more marketing than real technical differences), or if a company transports their own fuel from their interstate refinery for a special purpose (eg. super premium unleaded). I'm not aware of anyone transporting diesel for any special purposes.
AnswerID: 360607

Follow Up By: Ron173 - Friday, Apr 24, 2009 at 10:41

Friday, Apr 24, 2009 at 10:41
Thanks, had a look.

Interesting stuff
FollowupID: 628948

Reply By: kyle46 - Monday, Apr 20, 2009 at 21:28

Monday, Apr 20, 2009 at 21:28
i normally run caltex in the f series but filled up at shell at gilgandra on way to bathurst and again on return and noticed excessive soot build up which i don't get on caltex
AnswerID: 360610

Reply By: Ianw - Monday, Apr 20, 2009 at 23:02

Monday, Apr 20, 2009 at 23:02
A lot of research went into this subject a while back. (see thread 36568 ) It showed that Shell had a cetane rating of 49, Caltex 45, and BP was best at 51. These figures come from company websites.

AnswerID: 360630

Follow Up By: Ron173 - Friday, Apr 24, 2009 at 10:44

Friday, Apr 24, 2009 at 10:44
didnt know BP was higher, I have tried but didnt seem to notice the consistent better performance that shell seems to give, might try some more.
FollowupID: 628949

Reply By: trainslux - Tuesday, Apr 21, 2009 at 09:47

Tuesday, Apr 21, 2009 at 09:47
if you like shell, you will be wrapped with BP.
Early on I tried shell, caltex, mobil, and stuck with BP.
Father must have already worked this out as thats all we used on the property, and had deliverd by truck.

I made the mistake of filling up at dubbo caltex once, fuel burn was terrible, noisy motor, and loss of power.
I couldnt wait to burn thu that tank, and refilled with bp, and good to go again.

Only use bp, keep all reciepts, and if there is a fuel quality issue that may affect my filters/ pump etc, its all there, years of proof they are the only fuel I use.

AnswerID: 360667

Follow Up By: Honky - Tuesday, Apr 21, 2009 at 10:14

Tuesday, Apr 21, 2009 at 10:14
If you filled up at the caltex on Cobra street Dubbo it has 5%bio added.

FollowupID: 628450

Follow Up By: Honky - Tuesday, Apr 21, 2009 at 13:39

Tuesday, Apr 21, 2009 at 13:39
I should say 2% bio
FollowupID: 628473

Reply By: Shaker - Tuesday, Apr 21, 2009 at 13:46

Tuesday, Apr 21, 2009 at 13:46
As both most Shell & Caltex outlets are supermarket controlled, I will only use them if there is no alternative.
Personally, I prefer the way the vehicle runs using Mobil.
AnswerID: 360689

Reply By: Brianthetech - Thursday, Apr 23, 2009 at 23:05

Thursday, Apr 23, 2009 at 23:05
G'day Ron
I've been driving my 2.8 Hilux for for 11 years now, just clicked over the 200k mark and still going strong. I'm ( should I dare say it ) a diesel fuel technician, and I only use Shell Diesel in my truck. I spent many years repairing diesel fuel pumps for customers and tried to refer them to Shell. I also notice a dramatic power loss when I have to use other brands of Diesel but as soon as I'm back on the Shell she chugs along like a rocket.( well as good as a 2.8l hilux can go anyway).
Normally when I do Injectors up, they are worn out by 100k/kms. I checked mine at 100k and they were still as good as new so I ran them for a further 40k/kms and this time I changed them assuming they would be had it. When I pulled mine apart to check them they had only just started the erosion on the injector needle that is the common problem relating to worn out injectors.
So, if you couple with the fact that Shell is probably the pick of the bunch of the fuel suppliers, and if you fill up at a servo with a high turn over of fuel, and don't fill up when the delivery truck is filling up the underground tanks, and make sure the bowser you fill from has a large filter attached to it, and try and keep your fuel tank on your vehicle as full as often as possible to stop condensation, and run a Delphi agglomerator in your fuel system, and last but not least, run a fuel additive such as Moreys etc, THEN, you'll probably have a trouble free fuel system that will give you heaps of reliabilty and save you thousands in the long run.( I'm going to go and catch my breath now, I'm feeling light headed)

cheers Brian
AnswerID: 361179

Follow Up By: Ron173 - Friday, Apr 24, 2009 at 10:51

Friday, Apr 24, 2009 at 10:51
Hi Brian,

sums it up nicely, being the choice of a diesel tech.

I do fill at a high turn over station. Whats the go with not doing so when truck filling? never knew any issues there?

I use a diesel conditioner, keep meaning to get injectors done, but at nearly 200,000km on original set, its all running great, last time I spoke at service they said because i use conditioner always and its not smoking, they prob be ok.

I also dont really have the money at moment, but prob should get done soon though.


FollowupID: 628950

Follow Up By: Brianthetech - Friday, Apr 24, 2009 at 19:39

Friday, Apr 24, 2009 at 19:39
G'day Ron

It is not advisable to fill up your tank while the resupply tanker is filling up the underground tanks because if a filter is not fitted to the bowser then you run the risk of filling your tank with contanimated fuel. Confused? When the tanker drops it's 50k litres or so of fuel, it stirs up any water, due to condensation, that may be lying at the bottom of the tank. Obviously if there's water, then eventually there'll be rust. And prior to the reduction of Sulphur from the Diesel, when the water absorbed the Sulphur it created Sulphuric Acid. Not good for internal components of fuel pumps and injectors.
So, if you see the Diesel tanker droppin it's load, wait a day or two till the stirred up fuel settles a bit. Now, you won't always know when the tanker has been so that's why I suggest the Agglomerator. It's a water seperator and filter in the one. Some people fit the Denco adaptor and that's fine but I have a seperate one and I still have the original filter under the bonnet. It means I can see any water in the glass bowl ( not that there's ever been any filling up at Shell ) but also the 296 filter which costs about $8.00 is heaps cheaper than the $60.00 Toyota one.
In regards to your injectors, don't fix what aint broken, when you notice your economy starting to drop, or that odd little build up of soot, on the rear tailgate, then, I would worry about your injectors. Till then happy trails.

cheers Brian

FollowupID: 629053

Reply By: Maîneÿ . . .- Thursday, Apr 23, 2009 at 23:59

Thursday, Apr 23, 2009 at 23:59
I'm a fan of GULL Bio Diesel (is about 20% Bio)

If I travel at night in cooler conditions, it will also run much better because of the lower temperature & denser air in the combustion chambers.

Mainey . . .
AnswerID: 361189

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