Friday, January 29, 2016

Malta to introduce super unleaded fuel

Enemed, a Maltese Government owned company which will be taking operation of Enemalta's petroleum division, has yesterday informed the public that it will be distributing super fuel in 60 stations.

This is great news for all the petrol heads (including myself!). But before we get all excited, as it normally happens with all cool tech / science that penetrate the Maltese market, let me point out the common myths that need to be busted once and for all!

Myth 1: Premium gas gives you more MPG than regular gas

To increase gas' octane rating, companies add ethanol, when they're mixing up a batch of premium fuel. Interestingly, ethanol actually contains less energy than untreated gas, so the net result from the ethanol component is a reduction in your MPG. Other premium additives, however, have the reverse effect, and slightly increase your MPG. So okay, overall premium provides a very slight net increase in MPG, but it's so slight that I swear you won't notice the difference.

Myth 2: Premium has special or extra detergents in it that are worth the added cost.

Ignore any sales pitch about the super-special detergents that come in the premium-grade fuel.

These days, all of the gasoline from the major gas companies contain more than enough detergents to keep your engine clean. Period.

The only reason you might have a use for the extra detergents in premium, is if you have a noticeably dirty engine, and need to scrub carbon and other crud off engine components. (And, if you're doing that, I'd instead suggest that you toss in one of the many fine engine additives.)

Myth 3: I will void my warranty if my owner's manual calls for premium and I use regular unleaded.

You might, but I don't think so.

But, that's just my humble opinion. If you use regular instead of premium, and your car calls for premium, there's no way I can guarantee that your dealer won't try to sneak away from taking responsibility for repairs.

But, if I had a vehicle that called for premium, I'd take the risk. There's a big price difference between regular and premium. That adds up to quite a bit of money over the life of your car.

Myth 4: Using regular gas in a car designed for premium will definitely damage the engine.

I don't believe that any modern engine that claims to require premium will be damaged by using regular unleaded judiciously. Neither do any of the sources I've checked with - including the American Petroleum Institute and the American Engine Rebuilders Association.

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