For some time now, I have been using Total fuels; before that, I was using Shell Racing Nitro. The Shell Racing Nitro was good for my engine as it was running only on four cylinders. My engine is a 6-cylinder (1Gfe). The No. 1 injector is not working. The No. 2 injector works but has no combustion. The spark plugs are all good. So that meant there was a possibility that there was a compression leak in cylinder No. 2. The engine runs fine but a bit low on power, so going up a ramp is a bit of a challenge. I tried Petron Blaze and XCS also. I stopped using Blaze because the engine was performing the same as when using the Shell Racing Nitro. I couldn’t reap the benefits on Blaze. The XCS was okay… slight difference compared to Shell Racing.
Last April, I got a chance to try the new Denso TT spark plug. But a few weeks later, the plugs started to falter. I was able to trace the problem to the batch of fuel that I last loaded. No, I am not saying that Shell fuels are bad. The fuel is good, but the tank where it is stored may have some sediments already. Even the tanker used for delivery maybe the culprit. It happens. I switched to Total because the gas station selling that brand was closer to my home. The downside, however, is the octane rating was lower. Since I switched fuel brands, the No. 2 cylinder started to show signs of life. Before, if you disconnected the high-tension cable, there would be no difference while the engine was running. Now, there is a difference. The engine pulls better, idling is better and gas consumption is better. Is this a fluke? I’m not sure. But I think the everyday highway run did some good. Before it was a struggle to hit 100 kph; now 130 to 140 kph is possible.
Now, would it be safe to say that it was the brand of fuel that did the trick? Hard to say… because since last year, I have been using at least a bottle of injector cleaner every month. It is possible that the use of the chemicals slowly cleaned the inside of the cylinders, loosened things up and when I was doing my high way runs, slowly removed them.
If you guys have noticed I have not mentioned Caltex. Why? Because in my area the Caltex station is a bit out of the way. But about three years ago, I made an effort to load Caltex Gold because I was asked if it was any good. At the time, they were saying they were using Techron. This I will tell you; if I use a fuel system cleaner in a car that I know has a lot of carbon build up, after awhile of letting the chemicals mix with fuel and running the engine for a while, you start to see carbon coming out of the exhaust. With Caltex Gold, it was the same with my other car. A bit scary at first because all along I thought my engine was fine. It was short of having your engine hooked to a machine and having it decarbonized. So the question is, should I maintain using my present brand of fuel? Yes and no… yes for convenience and the quality has been consistent; and no, because the other brands are constantly upgrading their fuel formulation. They all have different fuel brews and each one targets a specific criteria. It can also save the hassle of pouring in a bottle of additive once in a while. When I decide to switch brands, I usually use it for about three months to really let the fuel additives do their thing.
Should you do the same? Just my opinion; I think you should… it gives you a chance to compare what brand really suits your engine. You would be surprised sometimes that the most expensive fuel doesn’t always happen to be the best.