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Do Tescos sell a lower grade fuel?

Discussion in 'Motors Archive' started by Doobdonk, 28 Dec 2002.

  1. Doobdonk

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 2,000

    Location: Everywhere

    Strange problem, it seems whenever i fill my car with fuel from Tescos it runs really badly, lower rpms, stalling occasionally, it's really strange, and yet it only seems to happen when i use Tescos fuel.

    I use BP as standard, and never suffer these problems when i fill up with them.

    Of course, Tescos is cheaper.

    Is this complete coincidence?
     
  2. LizardKing

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 7,688

    Location: The Land of Roundabouts

    Well a friend of mine just had to take his car into a garage with a cloged up injectors, and he's always filled up with Tesco's
    He sent a letter off and managed to get some vouchers !! so yes id say there fuel is a lower quality substance
     
  3. XXXL

    PermaBanned

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 480

    Location: The Fifth Dimension

    It's all about sticking to the same garage. If you use shell garage use it all the time, as the fuel differs, none of them is striclt 'better' just different, but the car does seems to get used to a certain brand.
     
  4. scratch

    Mobster

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 4,143

    Location: Southampton

    Well I had an arguement with a mate down the pub about this the other night.

    Both me and my mates girlfriend both noticed that our cars run considerably worse on Tescos fuel than any other brand. My Pug ran quite rough, with noticeably reduced power, and it used to do around 50 miles per tank less on Tescos, than Esso fuel.

    Now we live 5 miles down the road from Esso's refinery in Fawley, Southampton, and my mates arguement was that all the fuel trucks, ie Tescos, Sainsbury's, Esso, all come out of that refinery, so they must all use the same fuel.

    Luckily another mate of mine was down the pub that evening, whose dad works for Esso, and he confirmed that there are different grades of fuel that are made by the refinery, and funnily enough Tesco use a lower grade that places like Esso.

    Andy
     
  5. L Plate

    Mobster

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 2,695

    Location: Woolwich and Edinburgh

    i have it on good authority from a tanker driver that works for me when he is on TA duty that basically the supermarkets buy whatever is the cheapest at the time of buying, they i beleive buy on a weekly basis too.

    Also a little known fact is that your average tanker may well have sat there for a few weeks on the park waiting for the next time its needed, given the length of time they can sit there a considerable amount of moisture can build up in the tank itself due to the space required in it for ullage, unlike the Shell tanker that delivers Optimax or others that deliver higher RON fuel which get filled and delivered as is required.

    I tend to use Optimax as it doesnt work out much more but if i cant get to a Shell garage then i look for either BP or Esso and use their super unleaded :)
     
  6. Gibbo

    Commissario

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 32,681

    Location: OcUK HQ

    My car is definetely quieter and more eager to go with Shell Optimax.
     
  7. Minxy

    Soldato

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 5,249

    I think I'm going to start using Optimax, I tend to use Safeway Petrol as I work for them (No I dont get cheap fuel unfortunately)

    Anyway my car doesnt seem to be a happy bunny at the mo so maybe a tank of the good stuff is needed. I asked at work where our fuel came from and no one seemed to be able to tell me, the tankers it turns up in belong to some random company who are just contracted out to Safeway I believe and are not usually marked.
     
  8. I know a few people at shells thornton research centre,and I can confirm what Mr L plate has posted about super markets changing suppliers on a weekly and even daily basis! as they buy the cheapest stuff possible to win the low cost fuel wars against their rivals.

    the problems come when the fuels are mixed as the tanks are never run completely empty.

    I used to notice that tesco's fuel made the last 2 cars I owned a little flat,with an uneven tick over.

    Now I only EVER use optimax,as I have seen the results from engine tests where the combustion chambers and valves are noticeably cleaner, and the engine revs smoother and idles better. Shell will only ever fill the tank with optimax.

    i won't say the car pulls better,because i've never done a direct comparision against other brands of super unleaded. But i'm actually getting about 20 miles more per tank,so i'm guessing the engine power output is a little greater.
     
  9. wassap

    PermaBanned

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 12,337

    would this be the same for a diesel fuel? which is the premium diesel?
     
  10. diesel is a much different fuel, if i were looking for the best, i'd be checking the cetane ratings.

    and i'm almost sure you'll find that the best diesel isn't one of those enviro friendly ultra low sulphur jobbies that they want every one to use.

    diesel is also the cooling and lubricating medium for the injection system, so don't scrimp on a few P per Lt. i'd also only buy from garages with a large turn over of diesel fuel, as their tanks are less likely to become contaminated with water.
     
  11. Slime101

    PermaBanned

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 12,841

    Location: Lost!

    and how do we check the cetane rating?

    the thing is all places sell clean diesel which is low sulphur - i havn't seen any others for years now :(
     
  12. pinkaardvark

    Soldato

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 6,705

    Location: Cambs

    I suppose I hold the opposite view. Supermarket tankers are unlikely to sit for longer than others as supermarkets have one of the highest turnovers in fuel sales, this also means that the fuel isn't likely to be sitting as long in the forecourt tanks and degrading while it does. As to cleaner engines etc and blocked injectors, Tesco's always supply fuel with cleaning additives at no extra cost, this would suggest that they have to be more selective with whom they buy their fuel from than others may suggest. the other thing to bear in mind is that the UK's fuel quality is much higher than many other countries in europe and the world at large, thus the car you drive is highly likely to have been built to run on fuel of much lower quality than is available form UK forecourts under any banner. For example canadians commonly get fuel as low as 89 ron which I found shocking when speaking to fellow TT owners who ran their cars happily on it even though the UK cars specify 98 ron but run perfectly on 95. I can't sa i've ever noticed much of a difference between the fuels I have used in my past and present cars, I did often use optimax in the TT but attributed any performance gains due to it's higher ron rating and the fac that the car had automatic knock sensing to remap the fueling to its presence, I didn't find optimax any better than sainsbury's 97ron SUL however.

    But none of us are fuel experts and this subject is ones that comes up time and time again and is often hotly debated with little result. Those that tend to notice the extra 1bhp improvement from waxing their car tend to think theres a huge difference others like myself are more cynical and find it hard to notice the difference made from ecotecs, different brands of fuel and performance filters.

    IMHO if you want to see an improvement, correctly gap yer plugs, clean or replace your filters, run some redex through yer fuel lines and injectors/carb and get a kyrpton tune done.

    Just my humble tuppence worth.. please don't flame. Everyone should do what makes them feel happy is what I say :)
     
  13. slime

    the best way to find the highest cetane number is to look at the decals on the pump. the higher the number (anywhere between 40 and 55 for a 2d fuel) the lower the delay in combustion.

    the ultra low stuff from shell isn't too bad actually as it has lubricity additives added during the blending
     
  14. Doobdonk

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 2,000

    Location: Everywhere

    As you say mr Pinkaadvark, it's probably a combination of a number of factors, but it just seemed a huge coincidence that my motor has a serious performance loss whenever i choose to fill up with Tescos fuel, which isn't that often, hence why i noticed the difference. The thing is it's almost an immediate effect. I'm not a motor person to be honest, my knowledge goes about as far as knowing how to check the oil and water :D

    I'll pay the extra 2p/litre and fill up at the BT garage for a while and see how it goes i think.

    Thanks for all the replies :)
     
  15. Event Horizon

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 2,169

    Location: Let me out!

    The biggest difference between supermarket fuel and main garage fuel is that cleaning / stabilising additives are not...err added to the supermarket fuel. I was informed of this by a friend who owns a Shell franchise.
     
  16. pinkaardvark

    Soldato

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 6,705

    Location: Cambs

    So I guess all the forecourt advertising stating additives are added at no extra cost is just lies then?

    Did a bit of googling and found this

    So maybe Tesco fuel is actually putting the tiger in your tank.
     
  17. scratch

    Mobster

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 4,143

    Location: Southampton

    Err did you actually read my post up above ??!! The one where I stated that both Tesco and Sainsbury's use Esso fuel ??

    The road I take to work is actually owned by Esso, and was built for the purpose of taking fuel up to the motorway for distribution. I sit behind both Esso, Tesco and Sainsbury's tankers every morning, doing 30mph in a 60 limit :)

    Tesco use Esso fuel, but it is of a lower grade to the stuff Esso put in their pumps. This is FACT..straight from one of the managers at the Fawley Esso Refinery (my mates dad, who I know quite well).
     
  18. [TW]Fox

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 155,913

    I always use Sainsburys CityDiesel.

    Would it be better to use another brand? If so, which one?
     
  19. Banish

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 2,378

    Location: Just Here, Right Now

    My mates a tanker driver for a few oil companies

    and his words are We fill the tanker up from which ever tank they need emptying first and there could be all different companies filling up from the same Tanks as it is too expensive for them all to have land and build a storage facility for each differing Brand Name !! so they share facilities Maybe Esso here do it Shell there and so on :)

    Even some oil refineries will supply other firms if needed

    As to Sainbury's they have been known before now to import their fuel from Holland and other Continental countries ;) as they have bought it cheaper even after shipping costs over to the UK

    Tell me how that works then ? !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :confused:
     
  20. Lowe

    Soldato

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 6,155

    Location: Newcastle Under Lyme

    Like with most things, you get what you pay for.

    Super markets are cheaper, but the fuel is lower quality. Fine if you've got a car you don't much care about imho. However, if you want the engine to run well and last a bit longer go for something like Optimax..