Special or Super, which is better?


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One of the oldest debates among auto enthusiasts is on petrol types. If you are in the UAE, it is between Special at 95 octane and Super at 98 octane.

The octane number is the characteristic of a fuel’s performance. Typically, if the octane rating is higher, the fuel can last longer until combustion. Arguments about which grade gives a better performance, higher mileage and keeps the engine cleaner have gone on for a long time. The answer is written on the vehicle fuel tank.

Experts have proven that higher octane-rated fuel does not have augmented benefits in a car’s performance unless the manufacturer suggested more than one type. In this case, Super could give about 3% drop in fuel consumption than Special, provided the vehicle’s engine automatically tweaks its parameters to take advantage of the higher octane. Since Super trumps over Special in terms of density and viscosity, it is the logical choice for high-performance vehicles (cars with turbochargers). It also ejects lesser effluence and keeps the injectors cleaner.

A detrimental trend looms for the engine if you use a low-octane fuel when your car begs for a higher number and vice versa. When the combustion of an air-fuel mixture does not begin smoothly after the ignition of the spark plug and instead makes a “pinging” noise, it is called “knocking.”

Contact your nearest garage or service centre if this occurs as it could be fatal for the car.

Handy Hints
• Octane number/rating refers to fuel’s performance
• High-octane fuel does not make any difference
• ‘Knocking’ is a serious problem that’s fatal at times

Source: Nandakumar Ganesh, Special to Classifieds
The writer is a freelancer

Nandakumar Ganesh, Special to Classifieds