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Know your fuel: Choosing the right fuel for your car.

Know your fuel: Choosing the right fuel for your car.

If you own or drive a car, chances are, selecting your fuel is now second nature. A no-brainer. But do you really know how your choice of fuel affects your car? Is it the right choice to begin with?

Unless you’re an automotive enthusiast that understands the ins and outs of what keeps your car running at its best, you, just like many of us perhaps choose your fuel based on ‘price or premium’. But there’s more to fuel than meets the engine.

Ryan Rogers, Head of Operations at CAFU – the on-demand fuel delivery and car service, setting convenience in motion since 2018, tells us the important ways to choose from the most common types of fuel available in the UAE, and how it impacts our cars. So, read on and choose wisely!

What’s your (car) type?

Although this seems like the most obvious first criteria when selecting your fuel, it can often be overlooked. And here’s why it matters:

Petrol or Diesel

In some parts of the world, particularly Europe, Diesel vehicles are commonly found however here in the UAE, apart from trucks and busses, it is less commonly used in personal cars which tend to require petrol. The cost of Diesel per litre tends to be more expensive than petrol, however, it offers more mileage per litre which means fewer fill ups that last longer.

Performance & Octane Level

This is a really important factor when it comes to picking the right fuel. If your car is high-performance – think sports cars and convertibles which are defined by high speed and horsepower, then your preferred option is Super 98, which is the most premium. It provides the best engine protection in terms of a cleaner engine, but more importantly, it is geared for better performance through increased power making it the right choice.

Why is that you ask? Well, it all depends on the octane level. The numbers on the fuel are important – Super 98 implies fuel with an octane level of 98, and so on. Car manufacturers create engines that are designed for specific octane levels. Now, here’s the most important bit to understand. If your car is designed for a lower octane level – say 91, then it is okay if you use a higher-octane petrol such as Special 95 or Super 98. But using a lower octane fuel like E-PLUS 91 on a car designed for higher octane fuel can be detrimental to the engine’s performance.

At what cost… and value?

Here’s where the impact of the ‘price or premium’ method of selection can let you down. Often, we select the most premium fuel even though our cars may be designed for a lower octane fuel – but premium isn’t necessarily best. Ultimately, what we want out of the things we purchase is value for money. And, while I mentioned earlier that a premium fuel used in a car designed for lower octane fuel can improve engine performance, that’s very minimal. So, when you look at the big picture, you’re actually spending more for only a mild benefit when your engine can run at its optimal on the fuel level it’s actually designed for. So, if you have a car that runs well on Special 95, stick to Special 95 unless spending the few extra bucks doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket.

Ryan Rogers is the Head of Operations at CAFU – a Dubai-born start-up and technology-enabled car service designed entirely around the needs of the consumer, setting convenience in motion by transforming the way a car is run and operated

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