A vehicle is tipically the largest or second-largest purchase made during a lifetime. So it’s important to make informed decisions about car care, including what you buy at the pump. All gasoline brands contain the minimum level of detergents required by government standard, but that level is not enough to prevent the build-up of power-robbing carbon deposits in some engines.
Using a high-quality gasoline that means this Top Tier Detergent Gasoline strandard can help prevent deposit build-up on critical engine parts,like intake valves and fuel injectors.
All Shell gasoline meet this important standard to help keep your engine clean, but Shell V-Power premium gasoline goes further. It has five times the minimum detergency level required by government standars, so it can prevent and remove carbon deposits from intake valves and fuel injectors. Similar to an athlete with clear ligs, an engine free of deposits can breathe better.
Guide to the Pump Station
With gasoline stations on just about every corner these days, many Americans don’t give much thought to what they put in their car’s gas tank. Convenience and price often play a large part in determining where to fill up, but there is much more motorists should consider before pulling up to the gas pump.
To begin, not all gasolines are the same, and the level of detergency can mean the difference between clean or dirty engine parts.
In the mid 1990s, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established minimum standards for cleaning agents that must be added to auto fuel, and most gasolines today contain just that minimum amount. Unfortunately, for some vehicles, this minimum level of detergency can leave carbon deposits on important engine parts.
That’s why BMW, GM, Honda and Toyota created a new gasoline standard that surpasses the minimum requirements for gasoline detergent additives set by the EPA. Because gasoline can vary in quality from one brand to another, the four automakers created the “TOP TIER Detergent Gasoline” standard to help keep vehicle engines clean of deposits that can cause drivability problems.
To avoid the build-up of engine deposits, consumers should avoid low-detergent gasolines typically sold at discount gasoline stations, grocery stores and wholesale club stores.
“Using a quality fuel with additional cleaning agents or one that meets top automakers’ standards is an important part of proper vehicle maintenance. Choosing a TOP TIER gasoline, like Shell can help ensure the cleanliness of critical engine parts, such as intake valves and fuel injectors,” explained Mark Henry, manager of fuels for Shell Oil Products US. “You can think of carbon deposits on an engine similar to the “gunk” that can build up and coat your oven. But, like an oven cleaner, our premium gasoline, Shell V-Power, goes even further by removing deposits left behind by low quality gasoline.”
Different cars require different levels of octane, which is the measurement of a gasoline’s ability to resist engine knock – a rattling or pinging sound that results from uncontrolled combustion in the engine. The right level of octane will prevent engine knock and help ensure optimum performance. To determine the appropriate octane level, be sure to check your car’s owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommendation.
The most common levels of octane are 87 (regular), 89 (mid-grade) and 93 (premium), and these are indicated right on the pump at the station. Higher octane gasoline can be particularly helpful for car engines that are experiencing knocking or pinging. However, octane is only one component to consider when shopping for fuel. Consumers also should look for gasolines that provide added benefits.
There are a variety of options at the pump, and no single type of gasoline is right for everyone. Concerning octane, the American Petroleum Institute recommends consulting your owner’s manual first. Ordinarily, it provides the correct guidance. However, if your engine knocks or pings at the recommended level, you may need to try a higher octane level. The requirements for your vehicle can be influenced by your driving habits, your vehicle’s mileage, as well as by the climate and geography where you live.
In addition, look for ways to get improved value out of your gasoline purchases, such as paying with a credit card that provides a rebate of some kind with every purchase. The Shell MasterCard (877-MYSHELL) offers one of the best rebate programs in the industry with a 5 percent rebate on Shell quality gasoline and a 1 percent rebate on retail purchases anywhere the card is used.
For most consumers, a car, truck or SUV represents the second-largest purchase they will make after their homes, so it’s important to protect that investment. Selecting a high-quality fuel and servicing your car regularly are important steps to maintaining your vehicle properly.
How to compare the detergency performance of gasolines
Shell have identified a new way to compare the detergency performance of gasolines more directly, in fact, side-by-side. We call it Dual Fuel testing.
We take a vehicle and install an additional fuel tank and fuel supply lines to the engine, complete with pump and pressure regulator. We split the injector supply rail such that one bank of the engine is supplied from the factory tank and the other bank of the engine is supplied from the auxiliary tank.
This allows us to put Shell gasoline in one of the tanks and thus to one bank of the engine, while we can put the test gasoline, be it a competitor or an experimental gasoline, in the other tank and other bank of the engine. In this way, the two gasolines are compared under the exact same test conditions, vehicle conditions, ambient conditions, etc.
Now it is not unreasonable to expect one bank or for that matter individual cylinders to give slightly different results, due to many factors which include design tolerances, EGR distribution, oil consumption, etc. So we switch the fuels from side to side in order to make valid comparisons. We still have to run two tests, but this way the test conditions under which both fuels are compared are identical.
A 2000 Impala automobile with 3.8 V-6 engine was the test vehicle. The dual fuel test compared the deposit buildup performance on the intake valves using Shell V-Power’s additive package vs. an industry generic additive package for 5000 miles. The test started with new, clean intake valves.
The same premium octane conventional base gasoline was used for the test, only the additive packages differed. With the generic additive package, results demonstrated the average valve deposit weight increase was more than 200 milligrams while there was no increase in the deposit weight with the Shell V-Power additive package.