When I picked up a new Audi A4 yesterday, the salesperson told me never to put BP fuel in the car. He said the ethanol that BP puts in its fuel will significantly reduce performance. Has anyone heard anything similar? Is it an issue specific to Audi’s, or to all high performance cars? Normally I’d discount something like this, but the sales guy was quite insistent.
While I can’t speak to the issue of Audis, and while I don’t know specifics about the ethanol allegedly used by BP, I can tell you that when I have used BP gasoline, I experienced driveability problems that I never experienced with other brands. At first, I thought that it was a fluke, but I found that every time that I used BP, I experienced hesitation and a drop-off in both power and gas mileage.
All gasoline uses ethanol to increase octane ratings. BP may use more than other manufacturers. That could account for lower mileage and decreased power.
I used to use it all the time especially on the road, but I began hearing bad bad things about BP fuel and never use it now unless I have to. Don’t know why or if true, but I just avoid it now.
I use BP fuel regularly. I’ve never noticed the slightest problem. Of course, I don’t have an Audi.
I have had some problems with BP gasoline, but frankly I don’t think they are any worse or better than any other.
Just make sure the fuel you use meets the specifications (usually just octane) listed in the owner’s manual. Don’t bother with higher octane than recommended.
Remember that any brand fuel with ethanol added will give lower mileage and maybe less power.
Wonder what would happen if you asked the salesman to explain exactly why you should not do this?
Ethanol should have a higher octane rating than regular gas. A few months back the guys at one of the auto performance magazines I get ran some dyno tests on several engines using varying grades of gas and ethanol.
Their peak performance figures were obtained when using ethanol.
Straight ethanol or ethanol-enriched gasoline? I believe that ethanol is the only legal way to raise octane level these days.
I’ll try to find the magazine as the details escape me.
It seems like it was ethanol enriched but I could be wrong.
BP where I buy gas has no ethanol. Many urban areas in the US have nothing but gasoline spiked with ethanol. It works. Your salesman should stick to selling cars, not providing fuel recommendations. That is in your owner’s manual.
I suspect that no one in the USA allows MBTE as an octane enhancer. Leaky storage tanks allow the MBTE to seep into the soil. This would be an issue everywhere, not just in urban areas. It seems to me that rural areas would be more concerned, since no one plants crops next to a gas station in the city.
BP has had its problems lately. Business analysts say that years of cost cutting have led to a number of production breakdowns over the past few years. Their Texas oil refinery explosion and fire being one of them, and the shutdowns (two) of their Prudhoe Bay pipeline being another.
When the pipeline gets going again, they will be running more pipeline anti-corrosive chemicals through the pipeline than normal. And that is not going to be good for your car. But read the entire article for complaints of BP’s tight-fisted ways over the past few years. (They have to keep their profits and dividends high to please their investors.)
BP’s stock has not been doing well on the market either: Its return is below the oil/gas industry average.
I’ll be buying BP gasoline the next time I shop for my cheap (and recommended by the experts on this forum) Fram oil filter! (Perhaps it’s made by a company owned by BP ? who knors?)
BTW, although adding ethanol to gasoline raises its octane, that is not ethanol’s principal purpose. Octane ratings have traditionally been adjusted by varying the proportion of the alkylates iso-pentane and iso-octane to the mix.
Yesterday I talked to a BMW service technician. He said that he had been told by a BP employee not to use BP gasoline in high performance engines. The reason he was given was not ethanol, but a higher rate of oxygenation that leave behind a residue. Maybe it is an urban (or rural) legend, but there are several reasons circulating for NOT using BP.