Monday, 3 January 2011

New Year, New Petrol

A tentative first trip out in the New Year today as the roads were dry and an errand needed to be run. A few pumps on the accelerator had me fired up after the first turn of the key and settled into a fast idle. First into Colchester then down the A12 to Ipswich before returning home via the back roads through Freston, Holbrook, Stutton and Brantham. A good mix of country and fast roads to break me in after lying idle since the BOCEA Christmas Lunch on 5 December.

While in Ipswich Neil filled me up with Shell Optimax  at the cheapest petrol station in the area, but it was still expensive at 129.9 a litre (standard unleaded was 121.9).  This brought to mind the posting Neil made on my blog on 15 August 2010 about Shell’s new Fuelsave petrol and associated publicity campaign.

You will recall that Neil took a cynical look at Shell’s claims that you could gain the equivalent of an extra litre per tank if you used their new fuel and the ‘coincidental’ timing of the launch with the school holidays when traffic is light. Neil’s Citroen XM, being equipped with some kind of device that records his fuel consumption, was measuring 28.6 miles per gallon before the school summer holidays.

2 months later in October Neil installed a new battery in the Citroen that made it forget all its calculations. It started measuring them again and has been calculating the average fuel consumption ever since, so we are now in the position of being able to make a direct comparison between fuel consumption before and after the introduction of FuelSave.

And the result of all these calculations, comparisons and cogitations? I can reveal that the difference Shell FuelSave unleaded petrol has made, in this admittedly unscientific but real-world study is … absolutely nothing. Fuel consumption is exactly the same. Whether the XM’s engine has been lubricated in parts it never knew needed lubrication before or not I’ll leave to Neil’s mechanic to decide, but as far as fuel consumption is concerned there is absolutely no difference.