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Which diesel fuel?


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Judging from previous posts I think it's probably understood that supermarket fuel is substandard.  But has anyone actually - and factually - established that higher grade diesel (eg. Shell V-power / Esso Supreme) either (a) serves to better maintain/protect/clean or (2) gives better economy despite the extra pump cost?  Or both?!?


I might be opening a huge can of worms here but on the recommendation of Forums I now leave supermarket diesel well alone.  I tend to alternate standard diesel with higher grade when I'm at the pump ... but just wonder whether the extra cost of higher grade diesel actually works.


I've also been recommended Normfest CT60 as a periodic additive.


I'm after facts here fellas ... anybody done the math?


Happy motoring ... Rowley

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Hi Rowley,


I was advised by a mechanic to use the forecourt standard fuel and periodically the best grade fuel , -- I use Shell V power as the Shell station is 500 yards away.


The best mpg I have had is 53 mpg on the M1 with a 50 mph limit all the way on a 95 mile drive to Sheffield form Birmingham.  Using supermarket fuel as Idid for a fe months I never got better than 42.


Today I did a check driving quite quickly on a mixture of country lanes and dual carriageway and found I got 39.1 on a 30 miles journey.


Mostly I do have short trips which puts down the average somewhat  but after a year of using the best/standard alternately I reckon I am getting a better mpg by circa 5 mph plus the acceleration  is better and the engine quieter.





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Peter, thanks for that input.


My X-type is not a model that is blessed with digital mpg display so all my calculations are on the brim/mileage/refill basis of calculus - the most accurate of course!  I drive a fair mileage per annum (circa 15,000 - mainly motorways) so I really ought do the calculus more often and prove it to myself one way or t'other.


I'm also curious how others are finding whether they match up to the advertised 'autotrader' mpg for the X-type 2.0 diesel which seems to range from 36 (urban) to 60 (extra urban) with a stated combined 'average' of 48mpg.  I'd be happy ... no, very happy ... with 48mpg, but I do wonder whether quality of fuel has any say in the matter.


Upwards and onwards ... Rowley

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Used to run my mondeo ST TDCi basically the same car apart from mine was the 2.2 rather than the 2.0 on any old fuel and averaged 47 mpg I'm not convinced by the benefits of premium fuel in a diesel

But when I had my Nissan Skyline there was a difference between ordinary petrol and shell v power which was noticeable :-)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Steve,


Servicing is the key.  Looking after the engine is a very important part of owning a car.  Some car owners think that filling it up with fuel and having water in the screen wash is all that is needed.



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  • 4 weeks later...

I Have a Jaguar 2ltr 2006 SE manual. and have used nothing else but Tesco diesel for the last 4 yrs, I average 44mls urban, and 59 long distance, so I don't know what all the problems are, I am quite happy with my lot, and I am not a slow driver.

recon its the boffins jibber jab again, just get it serviced annually and look after it and it will serve you well.

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Years ago I worked at the Conoco base on Humberside. They had a gantry set from which the tankers filled up prior to delivering to the petrol stations.

Tesco, Shell, Esso ... you name it, all tankers filled up at the same gantries with the same stuff from the same storage tanks.

I can't vouch for practices nowadays, but while I've heard of refineries like Grangemouth ... I don't remember seeing a Tesco or Shell etc refinery, so I suspect little has changed. Go to whichever garage you like, pay as much as you like ... then prove you've just bought something 'special'

I do believe the 'super' petrols have additives that might justify their claims and price, but then again, if you've just paid an extra 10p a litre you might be forgiven for thinking the engine is running better than before.

All fuels have a minimum spec, which is generally what the manufacturers work to.

As a motorcyclist though with a plastic tank I can tell you that the problems being experienced from increasing amounts of ethanol in petrol aren't appreciated.

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As I thought, this topic does seem to be taking on the appearance of a can-o'-worms.  However, there are some interesting comments, especially those that refer to regular maintenance being the key ... with which I cannot help but agree.  But there is also the suggestion that mpg is greatly variable, even taking into account natural influences such as road-state, speed, journey distance, perhaps even fuel origin (?) etc.


But even assuming like-for-like driving styles there is also the probability of differing consumption figures when comparing 'same model' 'same spec' vehicles.  Odd that!


So, given my 55-plate 2.0d saloon (regularly serviced) I would be interested to learn what mileage you guys expect to get from a full tank of diesel (supermarket/V-power/whatever) with same (factory) spec vehicle.  To my knowledge mine hasn't been re-mapped ... (yet!).

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I agree with deadloud, I have been using supermarket fuels both perol &devils fluids for years and no problems wats so ever. if you the person wants to pay over the odds to please yourself then its down to personal choice

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The type of fuel, while being a personal choice, often comes down to the suitability of that fuel for the engine in your car.  Some drivers use supermarket fuel and add some well known additives and some, like myself, find that I do get a better mpg from Shell v power. The nearest supermarket selling fuel is a 5 miles round trip, and there is a Shell Petrol Station 400 yards away.  And it is the cheapest in the area, rivalling the supermarkets in price, only a penny a litre cheaper.


The engine in the X Type 2.0 litre diesel is a well tested Ford engine and does not have a DPF as its emissions met the Euro 4 criteria. It will happily run on supermarket fuel.


The engine in the S Type 2.7 diesel [also in the XJ and the early XF] is an engine developed by Ford and Peugeot and used from 2004 onwards with the later engine having two EGR valves plus a Diesel Particulate filter, plus twin turbochargers.  This engine does perform better with premium fuel.


I used Sainsburys Diesel for about 6 months and was quite pleased with mid 30's mpg.  The first time I used Shell V Power after advice from a mechanic was on a trip to Sheffield, mostly on a Motorway with roadworks and a 50 mph restriction. I got 53 mpg! On the return Journey I I went on slightly different route with less restrictions and mostly at 70 mph, and the average for the round trip was 48mpg.


Currently the price at the local petrol station is 117.9 p a litre [petrol 116.9] and v power between 6 & 8 p a litre dearer.



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