supermarket fuel

  polish 19:11 10 Dec 2008

does anyone know if there is really much difference between supermarket fuel and branded just had a problem with the egr valve on my van and dont know wether its related to using sainsburys fuel for about 12 mths or just one of those things

  rdave13 19:24 10 Dec 2008

I'd imagine it's only one of those things. Fuel is fuel unless there is some problem with the underground tanks.

  MAT ALAN 19:33 10 Dec 2008

Generally supermarket petrol is of a lower grade to that of the major manufacturers, even though the octane ratings are the same.

To raise the octane rating of cheap petrol, the suppliers will "butanise" the fuel by literally blowing Butane through it. This raises the octane rating and allows it to be sold according to the British Standards.

Depending on the supplier / supermarket further additives are added to the mixture when it is loaded on to the distribution lorries. You may remember a while back Morrisions had a problem with Silicon contamination in its fuel. This would have occurred at this point.

It isn't just the supermarkets that use additives. Most of the manufacturers will have some sort of "cleaning detergent", or "performance increasing" chemical in them.

To muddy the water further, the quality also depends on the distribution depot in the area you are in. For instance fuel supplied from the Thurrock depot will be slightly different to that of the Liverpool depot.

  polish 19:53 10 Dec 2008

mat alan quite a thorough response thank you should have said my wife fills our car at sainsburys and has done so for alot longer without any problems but your response does now make me wonder sainsburys is also the same price as shell were i live 99.9p litre for diesel.

  g0nvs 20:02 10 Dec 2008

Supermarket fuel is no different to usual filling station fuel.

Incidentally can anyone remember the fiasco a few years ago with "Formula Shell" ? This did a lot of damage to cars by burning too hot & was quickly removed from sale after scores of complaints.

  MAT ALAN 20:12 10 Dec 2008

Supermarket fuel is no different to usual filling station fuel.

Its not much different now but it very much used to be...I think it was down to the detergents that where put in it...

ALL fuel sold in the UK meets the legal minimum specification. No-one is selling sub standard fuel.
The fuel should ideally clean the components as it flows through them. Over time, deposits from dirt in the air and impurities in the fuel can build up on key components and lead to poor performance, reduced mpg, difficult starting and various other problems. The major oil companies add a special type of detergent to the fuel to keep things clean, but it’s not a part of the specification for either petrol or diesel, so there’s no legal requirement to add it. A basic detergent additive can add 1p or so per litre to the cost of the fuel, and if you’re selling it for a rock bottom price, you may be tempted to leave anything out that’s not absolutely necessary. That’s just what many supermarkets did – and possibly still do.

It’s not substandard fuel, it just doesn’t have the extra cleaning ingredient to keep the engine performing efficiently over the long term. So, if you always use supermarket fuel because it’s cheap, but your car doesn’t seem to have the oomph it used to, your saving might have been a bit of a false economy.

  rdave13 20:18 10 Dec 2008

Can you substantiate your argument?

  Stuartli 21:11 10 Dec 2008

Supermarket fuel comes from exactly the same refineries as any other and, as with such products, has to meet clearly defined standards.

The big petrol companies might add extra additives but, even then, Tesco's 99RON fuel is accepted as having nearly double the engine cleaning properties of its rivals.

Its supplier's website is at:

click here

  TopCat® 22:09 10 Dec 2008

I still add a measure of Redex to each full tank of petrol, something I started when the car was about five years old. I have twin constant vacuum carburettors on my old Civic and apart from adjusting the tickover rpm a couple of times, and lubricating their cables and linkages, nothing else has been done to them. All exhaust emissions at MOT are well below those allowed and have never been adjusted from new.

It is certainly true that deposits slowly build up in fuel lines over time, so the Redex treatment stops them forming and full carburettor efficiency is maintained. The car is heading for its eighteenth year now. TC.

  birdface 22:42 10 Dec 2008

I will point out that a few supermarkets did sell contaminated fuel a few times last year causing a lot of damage to certain cars.

  rdave13 22:52 10 Dec 2008

They must have been selling Shell fuels then.

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