Have you ever got to the petrol pump and had that moment of indecision – which petrol does my car need and what is the difference between them? Or perhaps you’re searching for a new car and the fuel type it takes is playing a part in the decision. A car is a complicated piece of machinery, and taking care of it is easier when you understand how and what makes it run. So here’s a run-down of the different fuel types.
- Unleaded Petrol (ULP). The most common petrol type, unleaded petrol was introduced in 1986, and since then the majority of passenger cars run on this fuel type. ULP was developed in the late 80s to enable new vehicles to operate with a catalytic converter – a device designed to reduce exhaust emissions.
- Premium Unleaded Petrol (PULP). PULP is a special blend of petrol designed to bring high octane, and hence higher engine power to unleaded cars. Usually cars of higher performance are recommended to run on PULP.
- Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG). LPG is mostly a mixture of propane and butane, and the most common alternative and cost saving fuel used for vehicles. It has also been suggested that LPG offers environmental benefits.
- Diesel. Diesel fuel is designed for cars with different engines to those that use petrol. Diesel is used for compression ignition diesel engines. Diesel engines have a higher compression ratio which means they use less fuel than equivalent petrol engines.
- E10 (Ethanol 10%). E10 is specially formulated regular unleaded petrol that is blended with up to 10% renewable ethanol. Ethanol is made from natural renewable sources and can be blended with petroleum based unleaded fuels to offer a more environmentally friendly fuel option. Those wishing to switch to E10, however, are advised to check with their manufacturer before use.
Whether your car is new or used, considering and understanding it’s fuel consumption is important in appreciating – and hence maintaining – the functionality of your vehicle. Smaller cars can be much more affordable for city driving (and easier to park!). If you’re unhappy with the fuel consumption of your vehicle, then decide which one suits your budget and environmental outlook and change accordingly. If you’re environmentally minded and driving a used Land Rover, for example, you may want to look at a used Honda or a used Peugeot that uses a lot of petrol, you can switch to a smaller vehicle that uses less fuel and is thus better for the environment. If you would like more information about emissions, please visit at http://www.odour.unsw.edu.au/odour-dispersion-model.html