Wednesday, July 8, 2009

RON95 is coming soon, are you prepared?

So, has anyone tried out the RON95 fuel with their cars at the stations in Putrajaya yet? I have yet to try it out on my cars. I know some of you who have been happily using RON92 perfectly all this while must be a little miffed by having to pay a little more money unnecessarily for a better octane grade that you don’t require.

But the introduction of RON95 replacing RON92 will be beneficial for those who have cars that support RON95 and have so far been paying a small premium for the jump between 95 and 97.

First of all I think it’s necessarily to clear some misconceptions between the levels of fuel grades available in Malaysia. First of all, all petrol sold at consumer pumps in Malaysia are unleaded. This includes the current RON92, and the upcoming RON95. There are only a few stations that sell RON92 in Malaysia due to low demand. Some petrol stations like Shell sell Shell Regular RON92 at some stations which are usually stations that used to be Projet stations in the past. These stations do not sell V-Power. Only some Petronas stations sell a “red” Prima 92 alongside their Primax 3 which is RON97. The problem is with the usage of a red instead of green colour for RON92 fuel, which leads consumers to believe RON92 is leaded fuel. Stations like BHPetrol and Caltex sell RON92 and RON97 consistently at every station.

Secondly, fuel octane does not necessarily represent fuel quality. All petrol come from the same if not similiar base supply. Most of the time it is the additive package that is mixed together with the fuel that determines whether fuel performs better than another. Shell Super and Shell V-Power Racing are both RON97, but V-Power Racing uses a different additive mix. Companies like BHPetrol and Caltex use identical additive packages for both their RON92 and RON97 products, and furthermore BHPetrol actually mixes 800ppm which is double the recommended amount of additives of 400ppm by their supplier into their fuel.

These additive packages can contain ingredients such as detergents to clean your engine, or friction modifiers to help reduce friction between the various engine components that are being flung around at such high speeds and temperatures.

What you need to do is find out whether your car can run on RON95 or not. This information should be available in your car’s manual or on a sticker near your fuel flap. I wrote to Proton and they claim that all Proton cars should be able to run fine on RON95 except some older carburetor cars, which need an ignition timing adjustment fix. You may want to contact your Proton service center to see if they can do this adjustment for you before you start to fill up with RON95. This is so that you can avoid any damage no matter how little or significant caused by knocking due to insufficient fuel octane.

And then of course there will be some of you who will decide to continue to use the more expensive RON97. In fact some companies which offer both a regular and premium RON97 product now may decide to discontinue the regular RON97. Which brings us to another matter…

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