Tech Stuff

Tech Stuff

Why you should avoid using "Premium" Diesel


It’s natural for most car lovers to get tempted in choosing premium diesel. After all, we love our car, so why not feed it with a diet of premium fuel like Xtra mile, Turbojet or Hi-speed? It’s human tendency to be swayed by deceptive marketing claims and the belief that a higher price usually means a superior product. Oil companies keep harping on their claims of better fuel efficiency & an increase in power from their premium range of fuels. 

Do these fuels deliver on their promise? In one word, NO. Premium diesel is basically regular diesel with some cleaning additives thrown in. They do nothing to enhance the power or fuel economy of your car. Fact is, when the oil companies were pulled up by the MRTPC (Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission), they were unable to prove that premium fuels make good on any of their claims. Oil companies don’t even share the exact chemicals that are used to formulate premium diesel. It is noteworthy to mention that all of them source detergent-based additives manufactured by Afton Chemical (part of the NewMarket Corp). 

Car manufacturers such as Maruti, Hyundai, Tata, Toyota, Ford, Skoda, Mercedes, BMW etc. strongly discourage the use of premium diesel in their cars. Makers of the national engines of India (Fiat 1.3L MJD & Nissan 1.5L DCi) do NOT recommend using premium diesel either. 

Some car owners have reported excessive exhaust smoke after using premium diesel. A few others have complained of damage to components in the fuel delivery system, including the fuel injection pump and fuel injectors. Modern common-rail diesel engines operate within fine tolerances. Your motor was engineered to consume regular diesel only. In the worst case scenario, you might end up with damaged mechanicals due to premium diesel. In the best case, you won’t gain anything. With premium diesel, you have a lot to lose, and nothing to gain. 

What should I do then? 

This is one of those situations where cheaper is actually better!

It’s very simple: Pure, regular diesel is what goes into your car. Purity of fuel is of utmost importance here. It’s generally recommended to fill up at company-owned & company-operated pumps. Once you find a reliable petrol pump selling unadulterated diesel, stick to it. 

Premium Petrol?

The same logic applies to most petrol cars as well. Pure, regular petrol is the best choice. However, some high performance high-compression engines may require higher octane petrol. Therefore, if you have a BMW M5 or a 1 liter Superbike in your garage, they might run better on 97-octane petrol. Choose according to the guidelines in your owner’s manual. 

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