BP Ultimate/Shell Optimax - bbc123

Hello - this is my first time posting in the back room!

A friend of mine has been using BP Ultimate unleaded in his 2003 Honda Civic 1.6. He reckons that since using Ultimate, the fuel economy has improved by a few mpg, the engine feels and sounds more refined and the car pulls away better from a standstill. Having travelled in his car quite a lot, I too have noticed these differences. However, I have tried using BP Ultimate in my 1999 Saab 9-3 2.0, but after a few tankfuls didn't really notice a great deal of difference in performance, economy or general refinement.

I wondered if any of the Back Roomers have any thoughts from their experience of using BP Ultimate or Shell Optimax-type fuels, and whether certain engines seem to benefit from using these fuels more than others?

BP Ultimate/Shell Optimax - skittles

I have been told that unless you have a very high performance car it is unlikly that you would feel any performance/ecconomy improvments.

However these fuels do contain additional cleaning agents that are good for injectors and so on, so now and then you should fill up with a tank of super unleaded

I have a Ford Probe 2.0 that in my opinion runs better with the super fuel in its tank

BP Ultimate/Shell Optimax - Avant

Welcome to the Backroom, Robjamac.

I use super unleaded in my old Z3 because it pinks a little on ordinary 95-octane cooking stuff - but SWMBO's Mini is fine on 95 and my Octavia shows no difference using Ultimate / V-Power diesel.

Probably of most benefit in high-performance or older engines, but even then it may vary from model to model. If you've tried and don't notice any difference, you can save money with no worries.

BP Ultimate/Shell Optimax - bbc123

Thanks for the welcome! (I've been following the threads in the back room for a while and liked what I read)

It's good to know that people are having similar experiences to me, as I was wondering if I was missing something!

Edited by robjamac on 29/04/2010 at 00:34

BP Ultimate/Shell Optimax - mattbod

Use Shell V power Diesel occasionally: A little less smoke and slightly better economy but don't feel any difference in engine performance. With the cost of fuel as it is I use a good standard Diesel like Esso, Total or Jet.

BP Ultimate/Shell Optimax - oilrag

Hi Robjamac, Welcome ;-)

Can`t answer your question on petrol - but I used Shell Derv virtually exclusively on two Punto`s over many years.

Shell diesel - a market leader - with high pressure pump protection in mind.

The fuel pump failed on the 1.9D at 60,000 with a price of £1,200 for the repair.

I was dwelling on that (whether it`s worth bothering)and was on the Shell forecourt filling our other diesel when my wife went in to use the toilet.

No! She could not! " Not for the public" The guy actually told her "there is a toilet in Mc Donalds" (which is three miles away on the edge of the city)

She came out and with me pouring £40 of Shell diesel into the tank - walked across a busy four lane road to get to the Jet station at the other side, where there was no problem.

The Shell place is local - only half a mile away and we have spent thousands there over the last 14 yrs or so we have been in this area. I`m assuming these filling stations are allegedly `little empires` where it`s a franchise or something?

Anyway, the `Emperor` now sits on his control throne and looks out as we refuel both cars across the road at the Jet place.

I`m under instruction to do this and the high pressure pump on the van has to gag and take it. ;-)

Although wnen you top off the tank with Jet - it`s crystal clear without a hint of foaming.

Edited by oilrag on 29/04/2010 at 07:01

BP Ultimate/Shell Optimax - jc2

Presumably because you're getting more anti-foaming agent and less diesel.

BP Ultimate/Shell Optimax - madf

I could not quantify any change in consumption or noise when using Optimax or V diesel in my cars - petrol or diesel.

I use Shell expensive diesel once a year to help clean engine - together with a long hard motorway run.

I cleaned EGR valve recntly (easily accessible on Yaris) and there were deposits but not so many as to obstruct airflow).

An expensive luxury in my view for 99% of motorists...

BP Ultimate/Shell Optimax - turbo11

I ran my Mazda 6 2.0 TS petrol on Shell unleaded for 85,000 miles. Over half of which was on Optimax then V-power. I used to easily gain 2-3mpg over normal unleaded using V-power. My long daily commute(144 miles) at unsocial hours of the day was traffic free, so fairly accurate comparisons were easy.I tried BP ultimate a few times but the improvement was negligable. My new Mazda 5 has been running on a mix of V-power and Esso unleaded(now we have moved, Esso is our only petrol station). Strangely I am getting marginally better consumption from the 95 RON than the V-power, although the engine response is much better with the 99RON. I beleive that the two cars have the same engine,but the latter has variable valve timing.

BP Ultimate/Shell Optimax - bbc123

Ah, yes, I forgot it's not called Optimax anymore. There aren't many Shell garages around my way...

I don't think I've ever used fuel from Jet - all the garages that used to be in my area 10 years ago are now shut.

Ok, here's my next question - what do the back roomers think of regular use of supermarket fuel? Generally as a rule, I go for standard BP/Esso/Texaco/Shell fuels, but I do fill up at the supermarket if I'm nearby and the low fuel light is on. I'm aware that the fuel may not contain the detergents and additives that the branded fuels have, but I can't say that I've noticed a change in performance, economy or refinement either.

Any thoughts on this?

BP Ultimate/Shell Optimax - mattbod

Oilrag are you talking about V Power Shell Diesel or the standard stuff? What is so secial about Shell fuel protecting modern injectors and pumps better?

BP Ultimate/Shell Optimax - Muggy

I get more mpg with premium petrol in my car than without; it's a 1996 Suzuki Swift automatic 993cc and I can routinely get 50mpg or better. With ordinary petrol it's more like 35 - 40 mpg.

BP Ultimate/Shell Optimax - Lygonos

A drop from >50mpg to under 40mpg with different types of fuel.


BP Ultimate/Shell Optimax - oilrag

Ordinary Shell Mattbod.I seem to remember advertising claims about `ordinary` Shell before they came out with the V power.

I did use V Power at times and the combustion noise seemed softer after a cold start but also around 3 to 4 mpg less.

That was just an impression.

Biggest difference I ever noticed on diesel was taking a smoky Maestro Clubman D to France in 1994. First full tank (can`t remember the brand) and the smoke cleared shortly after pulling off the forecourt. It stayed that way until the next fill up of UK stuff.

I`m also cautious about `special brews` was it Shell or BP that got caught out with that around 25 yrs ago and some engines were damaged?

Apparently you were OK if you had sometimes filled up with something else.

Anyone remember that?

BP Ultimate/Shell Optimax - john farrar

I think it was Vauxhall engines that were mainly affected. I seem to remember valve trouble due to the petrol'sdetergent levels; vaguely recall valve sticking being a symptom.

BP Ultimate/Shell Optimax - MikeTorque

What about comparing BP Ultimate/Shell V-power and Tesco 99 petrol fuels ?

All of the above fuels have enhanced additive packages when compared with typical 95 fuel (see link below for details regarding Tesco 95 verses Tesco 99).

Tesco 99 : (comparing with Tesco 95)

An enhanced additive package;
To remove existing deposits and help the engine to run more smoothly, Tesco 99 Octane contains an enhanced additive package with twice the protective power of typical 95 octane fuel.

And cleaner inside;
Tesco 99 Octane contains low levels of olefinic compounds which can lead to the creation of deposits - typically less than 5%, compared with up to 18% in standard petrols. So it's less likely than standard petrols to create engine deposits in the first place.

BP Ultimate/Shell Optimax - omega2498
Has anyone done the sums for the energy content of of the `alcohol' additive fuels? Ethanol and methanol have a lower calorific value than petrol, so maybe a gallon of `green' fuel has less overall energy content than 100% petrol fuels. I would surmise that less energy content = less mpg. (Derv has more energy content than petrol, gallon for gallon)
BP Ultimate/Shell Optimax - Collos25

The only reason derv has more energy than petrol is that my mass it is of far greater weight than petrol.

BP Ultimate/Shell Optimax - Andy P

Better by volume, as you don't buy fuel by the kilo/pound/tonne (the difference is a litre of petrol weights around 720g, diesel 832g).

Energy by volume:

Diesel - 38.6 MJ/litre

Petrol - 34.6 MJ/litre

So even for the same volume, diesel is better.


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