Let’s start by looking at the different types of fuel available. Now bare in mind we are only talking about unleaded petrol here, as it is obviously the only one that you can choose from a selection. From lowest to highest grade, we have:
E10 – E10 is a 10% ethanol mix of alcohol-based fuel which aims to reduce the environmental impacts of using fuel, compared to its standard unleaded counterparts. It is typically the cheapest type of fuel you can buy, but because of its alcohol base, it burns quicker, resulting in less efficiency or mileage.
91 – Next we have your regular unleaded 91 petrol. This is definitely the most popular fuel type in Australia, mostly due to the fact that he majority of cars accept this as the standard minimum and because of it cheaper price point.
95 – The first type of petrol available in the premium range is Unleaded 95, which is a much cleaner type of fuel than 91. It reduces the amount of carbon deposits in your engine, resulting in improved efficiency.
98 – Then finally, we have 98 premium unleaded, which is the highest grade fuel that typically only high performance or luxury cars, as well as direct injection engines require.
Now there is no way that we can clearly give you an answer as to what your car needs, but there are some pretty simple ways to be able to find out. On the inside of your fuel tank, it will have a label indicating the minimum grade or octant type of fuel that your car requires….or it can also be found in your owners manual.
Now let’s say that you have a Toyota Corolla and your car states that it requires 91 octane fuel….you can use 91, 95 & 98 fuel types in your car. However, studies have shown that using a higher grade fuel that your car does not require, provides negligible improvements, as the price of the higher grade fuel essentially nullifies the benefit.
But what you can’t do is use a lesser grade fuel than what your car requires. So let’s say you own a new Ferrari, this is probably going to require 98 octane fuel. If you use anything less than 98, you will quickly destroy your engine and do all sorts of other damage to your car.
So essentially, if your car says that is needs 91, it’s probably the best choice for your next fill up. After all, the cat manufacturer knows your car better than the fuel companies, right?