May 9, 2006
Many motorists using premium fuel unnecessarily, Ford says
Dearborn, Michigan – Premium fuel continues to make up 15 to 20 per cent of U.S. sales, even though less than five per cent of today’s vehicles require it, according to a report released by the Ford Motor Company. This means that 10 to 15 per cent of consumers may be unnecessarily pumping premium fuel into vehicles that don’t need it.
“It’s a feel-good thing,” says Pete Misangyi, Ford’s Fuels and Lubricants Engineering Supervisor. “People feel that they’re getting better fuel economy or a cleaner fuel by using premium. But unless you’re having a knock issue, then premium usually has no added value.”
According to Ford’s 2006 Model Year Fuel Recommendation Guides, if a vehicle is experiencing rough idle, or starting or hesitation problems, premium unleaded fuel may cause the problems to become more pronounced, as some premium fuels are less volatile and don’t vapourize as well in a cold engine during start-up.
Misangyi also says that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires that all gasolines be certified with a minimum detergent level, but there are “loopholes in the process.” Oil companies submit test results on generic gasoline to the EPA for certification, but Ford’s report says that “while the pump gas is supposed to perform at least as well as what was certified, there’s no assurance that the fuel does.”
Ford further states that it should not be necessary to add any aftermarket cleaning products to the fuel take, as long as the fuel and octane rating recommended by the manufacturer is used. The vehicle’s owner manual will show proper fuel information, such as octane recommendations.