Wednesday, November 25, 2009

RON 95- Shell vs Petronas vs Caltex vs BHP

What's the deal with RON95? Technically speaking, if your car was designed for RON95, there shouldn't be ANY difference between running your car on RON95 or RON97 other than the damage to your wallet. Technically it should make NO DIFFERENCE AT ALL!

Why then has there been so much debate and discussion about the different brands of RON95 since it was released a couple of months ago? Isn't RON95, RON95? Whether its Shell, Petronas, Caltex or BHP, RON95 is RON95.

Or is it?

I have no idea why but I have been a Shell user all of my motoring life. (Maybe I like seafood and shells, maybe the red and yellow logo reminds me of a Big Mac or maybe Ayrton Senna drove a McLaren-Honda power by Shell when I was young and impressionable). Whatever the reason it has ALWAYS been Shell. The only other petrol I had EVER used was Petronas and that was because I was running out of fuel while trying to drive a Honda City from KL to JB back to KL on one tank of fuel (but that's another story).

Why then have I tried four different types of RON95 during the past few weeks? Could it be a sudden allergy to seafood or maybe its due to Shell now feeding a horse instead of a Big Mac. OR could it be that THERE IS A DIFFERENCE?

It all started when I read an article in CBT in the Sunday Times. The reviewer tested the Exora fueled with Shell RON95 and he made a comment that the car seemed more responsive and that there was no loss in power. (Which is logical since it was designed to run on RON95). So after such a fantastic review I decided to try it out on the Exora. Can't say I really noticed any difference (which is good) but after some time we (as in myself and the boss who drives the car daily) started to notice that the engine seemed a little rough at higher RPM's. Could it be the fuel? In my blind devotion to McShell, I continued to use it even though the engine was a little rough as I could not believe it could have been the fuel.

BUT there was more and more debate on the local car forums on the various types of RON95 available and the general consensus was that the fuel from good to bad was: BHP/Caltex/Esso-Mobil/Petronas/Shell. What? How the mighty Shell has fallen. Some time later, Shell released a newer version of both its RON95 and 97 with improved fuel economy, possibly due to the poor feedback but the damage had been done. I didn't really see a difference between the old RON95 and the new and improved RON95. So..... I decided to try Petronas.

WOW!!! What a big difference!!! The Exora seemed more powerful and was most definitely a lot SMOOTHER and even the boss noticed it when she drove the car. HOW CAN THIS BE? It doesn't make any sense at all.

Since the Petronas was such a big improvement over Shell, I decided to fuel up with Caltex since it was supposed to be one of the better RON95's but after one tank the boss commented that she preferred the Petronas. Was going to try BHP on the Exora but there wasn't a BHP station near my house so it was back to Petronas.

I did manage to try out the BHP on another car and I found it to be LESS powerful than Shell but the fuel economy seemed to be a LOT better. Again, HOW CAN THIS BE? Will be on the look out for a BHP station to try out the fuel on the Exora.

Unfortunately, this probably marks the end of my long and faithful relationship with Shell.....

Now, where did I put my Bonuslink card? I'll probably redeem a crustacean eating horse.

Disclaimer: From all of my previous posts, it is clear that I am talking nonsense so if you are a lawyer from Shell or Caltex please note that these are my personal opinions and results may vary. Please consult your fuel doctor or better yet, try out the fuels and judge for yourself.

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