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Supermarket or branded fuel? The age old discussion!

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Supermarket or branded fuel? The age old discussion!

Post by decipherxx » Sun Jun 19, 2016 8:13 pm

I'm of the opinion that supermarket fuel (diesel in particular) is the same as branded fuel. I've never had any reason to think otherwise but i'm looking for opinions. I'm not talking about 95RON vs. 98RON or anything, i'm just comparing bog standard petrol/diesel from say, Morrisons, to Shell.

What are your thoughts?

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Re: Supermarket or branded fuel? The age old discussion!

Post by alexperkins » Sun Jun 19, 2016 10:00 pm

The main argument boils down to the blend of additives in the different fuels from different places. Supermarket fuel normally has more additive in it vs that of branded fuel but it doesn't necessarily make any difference to performance or economy.

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Re: Supermarket or branded fuel? The age old discussion!

Post by bvs » Thu Jun 30, 2016 10:30 am

I uaually buy branded fuel - not necessarily because I expect better mpg but more for fuel quality/pureness/quality control.
I sometimes use supermarket stuff if I get stuck.
Supermarket diesel may have more 'biodiesel' content (%) which is another reason I am cautious.

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Re: Supermarket or branded fuel? The age old discussion!

Post by bvs » Thu Jun 30, 2016 11:55 am

I have been trying to find percentages of 'biodiesel' in different brands of Diesel fuel - No luck with that - but found this BP info..
.
Normal Diesel sold in the UK

Composition/information on ingredients
Ingredient name
Petroleum distillates- % by weight 99
Contains: naphthalene- % by weight >1
May also contain small quantities of proprietary performance additives.


Ultra Low Sulphur Diesel sold in the UK:

Composition/information on ingredients
Ingredient name
Petroleum distillates- % by weight 90
Contains one or more of the following biodiesels: soybean oil, me ester
Fatty acids, sunflower-oil, Me esters >1%
Fatty acids methyl esters >1%
Fatty acids, vegetable-oil, Methyl esters rape oil, me ester >5%
Fatty acids, canola-oil, Me esters fatty acids, tallow, me esters >2%
Contains one or more of the following renewable diesel: Fuels, diesel, C9-18-alkane branched and linear >1%
May also contain small quantities of proprietary performance additives. >1%


So even with BP low sulphur diesel you are getting up to 10% 'biodiesel - I have seen posts by people with their own fuel testers who claim to have seen up to 18% biodiesel in some unbranded fuels (no names)

Edit - this info may be a little out of date but branded fuel should have less than 5% biodiesel in 'normal. diesel.

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Re: Supermarket or branded fuel? The age old discussion!

Post by wafflingsumo » Tue Jul 12, 2016 10:36 am

Branded. Purely due to the fact I've seen soo many cars with running problems due to water in the fuel from supermarkets :shock:

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Re: Supermarket or branded fuel? The age old discussion!

Post by 937carrera » Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:17 pm

All fuels are the same until the point they are put into road tankers. That's where the cocktail of additives is blended in to make the branded version. Tesco Momentum has higher levels of ethanol which gives a higher octane rating. Blending rates of biodiesel are I believe generally higher in supermarket fuels.

An RAC man was once recovering diesel Ford Focus in my street. Blocked fuel filter was the diagnosis, regular problem on cars run on supermarket fuel he said. Ford garages always busy with replacing the filters......

I generally use Shell V-Power, but the price premium is bigger than it used to be :(

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Re: Supermarket or branded fuel? The age old discussion!

Post by PoloBlueGT » Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:42 pm

Just to add my two cents on this discussion I have used Tesco Momentum, Shell Premium and Costco Premium.
I have found that for a full tank I recieve more mpg from Costco and also the engine seems smoother especially in idle, I did over a 1000 mile in a week a fortnight ago and this was all on Costco fuel and did involve some “spirited” driving.

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Re: Supermarket or branded fuel? The age old discussion!

Post by Teutonic_Tamer » Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:50 pm

There is a HUGE difference in quality between branded and supermarket fuels, for both petrol and diesel. And the very real damage caused by shyte supermarket fuels is pure false economy.

It would help to separate legal standards, and then any 'fluffy' optional add-ons. By law, all fuel for road vehicles (petrol and diesel) must be
  • 1= 'Ultra Low Sulphur' - so Ultra Low Sulphur Petrol (ULSP) and Ultra Low Sulphur Diesel (ULSD)
    2= the declared grade - RON for petrol, Cetane for diesel
    3= contain a minimum 5% bio-ethanol content, and up to a recommended 10% bio-ethanol.
The biggest areas of flexibility are the widely ranging additives packages. It is the lack of quality additives in supermarket brews which leads to problems such as water contamination, excess internal deposits, reduced performance (due to clogging of valves, combustion chambers, spark plugs, injectors, glowplugs, etc), accelerated engine wear, prematurely degraded engine oil, worse fuel economy, and so on.

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Re: Supermarket or branded fuel? The age old discussion!

Post by 937carrera » Sun Nov 26, 2017 11:24 pm

I agree with just about everything you said TT, people generally don't appreciate the importance of the "fluffy" optional add ons as you call them. :)

Bullet point 4 would be that fuels have to meet BS EN 228 for petrol or BS EN 590 for diesel. These standard have been updated to allow up to 7% biodiesel by volume and 10% ethanol by volume. (used to be 5% only)

Fuel suppliers under the RTFO have to blend to achieve their legal obligations. It gets (very) complicated when you start allowing for the different weightings for different biomass feedstocks and different blends for summer and winter, but I think the overall minimum blend rate for 2016-17 for ethanol is 4.94% by volume, but it will be rising to 9.75% by 2020.

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Re: Supermarket or branded fuel? The age old discussion!

Post by Teutonic_Tamer » Mon Nov 27, 2017 12:06 am

Ironically, the pioneers of bio-ethanol content was not any of the major oil companies. It was actually a small independent UK oil company by the name of Greenergy. They were original suppliers to Tesco, and developed their original 98 RON Tesco juice (I think it was called Optimax). Tesco then bought a major stake in Greenergy, and they then went on to develop the first 99 RON fuel in the UK - Tesco Momentum. Greenergy had about an 8 year head-start with bio-ethanol content in fuel over the likes of Shell, BP, Esso, etc.

Sadly, Tesco tightened the purse strings on Greenergys R&D, and so whilst Tesco Momentum 99 still provides the highest power output in clean engines compared to Shell V-Power (the only other 99 RON brew in the UK), the additive packages in Greenergy/Tesco fuels have not kept up with the likes of the majors.

The other issue is that it is a simple fact that Momentum / V-Power are totally pointless, unless your engine specifically requires 98 RON 'super plus' unleaded. If you choose to use Momentum simply due to its 'better' additive package over standard Tesco 95 unleaded, you are misguided. The 'base' additive packs in branded 95 unleaded from Esso, Shell, BP, Gulf, Elf, etc are all better than Momentum.

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Re: Supermarket or branded fuel? The age old discussion!

Post by 937carrera » Mon Nov 27, 2017 12:35 am

I know Greenergy quite well, initially they simply blended fuels, and over time have moved into biofuel manufacture, sourcing the biodiesel and ethanol from other independent firms (as do all the "big oil" companies). Some are in the UK, others elsewhere in Europe and Brazil. Greenergy actually have around 35% of the UK fuel market these days.

Optimax was actually a Shell petrol product, rebranded a number of years ago as V-Power, the branding now extends to a diesel product. Here in the UK I believe that V-Power is only 98 octane, rather than 99 of Momentum, but on mainland Europe V-Power is a 100 RON product (or at least it used to be).

You are of course correct on the octane requirement, virtually every race car running a custom map in the UK is set up to run on V-Power rather than Momentum (excluding cars set up to run on race fuels where their use is permitted under MSA / FIA rules). When you have seen stripped engines you understand why.

My cars generally require 98 RON, prefer 98 RON, knock sensors adapting to poorer grade fuels or are classics where 4 star was the original specification - no knock sensors here :)

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Re: Supermarket or branded fuel? The age old discussion!

Post by 937carrera » Mon Nov 27, 2017 12:42 am

bvs wrote:
Thu Jun 30, 2016 11:55 am
I have been trying to find percentages of 'biodiesel' in different brands of Diesel fuel - No luck with that - but found this BP info..

<snip>

So even with BP low sulphur diesel you are getting up to 10% 'biodiesel - I have seen posts by people with their own fuel testers who claim to have seen up to 18% biodiesel in some unbranded fuels (no names)

Edit - this info may be a little out of date but branded fuel should have less than 5% biodiesel in 'normal. diesel.
Here's a link to the Greenergy spec

https://www.greenergy.com/uploads/VSmwD ... l_spec.pdf

Fatty Acid Methyl Ester = biodiesel, range 0% to 7%

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Re: Supermarket or branded fuel? The age old discussion!

Post by Teutonic_Tamer » Mon Nov 27, 2017 1:21 am

I realised my Optimax mistake shortly after posting! Before Tescos 99 brew was given the Momentum moniker, it was just called 'Tesco 99' - imaginative, eh? :P

Crucial aspect of ethanol supply and inclusion - it must be from a biological (plant) source, rather than the traditional fossil fuel distillate. It is the whole 'bio' shebang ethic which is mandated in UK and EU fuels.

Interesting Greenergy history linky - https://www.greenergy.com/about/history

V-Power in the UK is 99. Its older defunct Optimax was 98. Does BP still supply their Ultimate 106 RON??

In Germany, many of their super plus unleaded are 100 RON - Shell V-Power and Aral (who are owned by BP) are definitely 100. Can't remember much about other German brands. In Italy, V-Power is still 98 - if you can actually find it!

Do I guess you are a bulk tanker driver?

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Re: Supermarket or branded fuel? The age old discussion!

Post by bvs » Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:30 am

937carrera wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 12:42 am


Here's a link to the Greenergy spec

https://www.greenergy.com/uploads/VSmwD ... l_spec.pdf

Fatty Acid Methyl Ester = biodiesel, range 0% to 7%
Thanks for the link 937 -I would read that as being a nominal 7% bio (FAME),I doubt it would ever be zero !

rgds baz

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Re: Supermarket or branded fuel? The age old discussion!

Post by bvs » Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:37 am

937carrera wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 12:35 am

My cars generally require 98 RON, prefer 98 RON, knock sensors adapting to poorer grade fuels or are classics where 4 star was the original specification - no knock sensors here :)
Our Polo 1.4 16v was designed for 98 fuel,we can just about get away with good quality 95 but she does 'pink' on cheap 95 (I am going to replace the oil separator to reduce the pinking),nowadays we usually just put in tesco 99 whenever we are near a tesco station,the polo seems to run ok on it so far :mrgreen:

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