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The Mercury Cars Guide : October 10th 2009
4--- Classifieds 62 300 400 • carsguide.com.au Saturday, October 10, 2009 High-octane waste of cash STEADY DOES IT: Don't go over or under the fuel performance of recommended for your car. CAUTION: Check warranty before used ethanol fuel. AUSTRALIAN motorists are wasting millions of dollars a year pumping high-performance fuels into cars which gain no benefit from the high-priced products. NRMA vehicle specialist Jack Haley warns: ''The oil companies have for years encouraged the view that there is performance benefit in using a higher octane fuel because they sell the premium fuel as a premium product at a premium price. ''Run a Commodore or Falcon or any car designed to run on 91 fuel on anything higher and you are just wasting money on octane. There is no advantage of power output sim- ply by putting a higher octane fuel in unless the vehicle is designed to take advantage of it.'' Contrary to widely held belief, the Research Octane Number (RON) of a fuel is not an indication of power density and does not indicate greater performance potential says Haley. ''It is to do with the chemical make-up of the fuel,'' Haley said. ''There are over 100 different hydro- carbons in petrol and by changing the proportion of those different components [during refining] you can change the RON. That has nothing to do with power output, it is entirely the resistance of the fuel to knocking (rough engine running or pinging). ''Most of the vehicles coming out of Europe are designed for 95 because that is what they settled on as their standard octane,'' he said. ''Some of those will run on 91 with some loss of power, but some won't and those engines will 'ping'. If you keep putting too low an octane fuel in those cars for a long time it can lead to long-term engine damage. ''The rule of thumb is 1 per cent per octane number, so if you go from 98 to 95 in a vehicle designed to run on 98 you will lose about 3 per cent of your power output or increase your fuel consumption by 3 per cent. However, if you use 98 fuel in a car designed to run on 95 there will be no benefit in power output or fuel efficiency.'' The growing availability of E10 fuel (a 10 per cent ethanol blend with basic unleaded fuel) is adding to the confusion and threatening the war- ranties of many who regularly use the cheaper fuel in high-end engines. ''Ethanol just adds another level of complexity to the issue,'' Haley said. ''The E10 fuels do have a higher octane rating but it is generally around 93 or 94, which is perfectly suitable for most cars that run on regular unleaded but still not high enough for most European engines.'' The biggest danger is that the majority of those cars requiring the higher octane premium fuels carry a claim to be ''E10 compatible'' or ''E10 Suitable'', a claim supported by the fuel companies using a list of ''com- patible'' models issued by the Fed- eral Chamber of Automotive Indus- tries, the car industry's peak manufacturer body. The compatibility claim for those cars requiring 95 or 98 RON fuel appears to be based on the fact that the engines will indeed run on E10 fuel but not to an optimum level and not without risk of damage that may not be covered by warranty. VW's Karl Gheling says: ''The engines in our cars are E10 compat- ible in that they will run on the fuel but we do not recommend it. ''The owner's handbook recom- mends minimum 95 RON fuel and that is what the warranty is based on.Mercedes-Benz spokesman David McCarthy says the E10 compatibil- ity for engines rated at 95 and 98 RON should be regarded in the same light as a space-saver spare tyre. ''It will get you out of a hole in an emergency situation but you cannot run them long-term.'' KEVIN HEPWORTH Conditions: All cars must be ordered and delivered between 1st October and 31st December 2009. Offer valid at participating dealers on existing dealer stock while stocks last. Offers exclude fleet, rental and govt. buyers and vehicles used for commercial purposes. Hyundai reserves the right to change, supersede or extend these offers. The 5 Year/ unlimited kilometre warranty is only applicable to vehicles used for private and domestic use and is not applicable for vehicles used for certain high mileage commercial purposes i.e. courier, security and rental cars. 1. 2008 Australia's Best Mid Size Car under $28,000 awarded by Australia's Best Cars to i30 SX . 2. Most Economical Small Car to Own and Run 2009 awarded by RACT to i30 petrol. 3. 2009 RACT Operating Cost Survey for Getz 1.4 S. 4. 2009 RACT Operating Cost Survey for Tucson City. iPod® is a registered trademark of Apple Computer Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Bluetooth® is a registered trademark of Bluetooth SIG, Inc ^ADR 81/02 fuel consumption will vary depending on a combination of driving habits, road conditions and condition of vehicle. *2009 YTD. Source VFACTs. Current as at 1 October 2009. A) Cam paign price for i30 SX hatch petrol manual. B) Campaign price for Getz 1.4, 3 door manual. C) Campaign price for Tucson City SX manual. HMCA631/HPC/HM hyundai.com.au or call 1800 186 306 TUCSON FROM $22,990C DRIVE AWAY 2009 MOST ECONOMICAL COMPACT SUV TO OWN AND RUN4 >> 8.0L /100km^ >> ESP Stability Control >> Traction Control >> Bluetooth® >> Full size spare >> 16" alloys 990 C VE AWAY GETZ FROM $12,990B DRIVE AWAY T 2008 AUSTRALIA'S BEST MID SIZE CAR UNDER $28,0001 2009 MOST ECONOMICAL SMALL CAR TO OWN AND RUN2 >> 7.2L / 100km^ >> ESP Stability Control with Traction Control >> ABS with EBD >> Glovebox drinks cooler >> iPod® and USB connectivity >> Full size spare FROM $19,990a DRIVE AWAY LOW OPERATING COSTS AWARDS UNLIMITED 5 YEAR WARRANTY ESP STABILITY CONTROL JATO COMPARISON 2009 MOST ECONOMICAL LIGHT CAR TO OWN AND RUN3 >> 6.1L / 100km^ >> Bluetooth® >> Immobiliser and alarm >> Remote keyless entry >> Full size spare >> Air Con with pollen filter AUSTRALIA'S FAVOURITE LIGHT CAR!* MOTORS PT Y LTD HOBART CNR COLLINS AND BARRACK ST HOBART 6230 7220
September 26th 2009
October 17th 2009