UAE fuel types explained: Which should you choose for your car?

Experts advise motorists to follow guidelines specified by car manufacturers

File photo
File photo

SM Ayaz Zakir

Published: Fri 2 Sep 2022, 4:27 PM

Last updated: Fri 2 Sep 2022, 4:58 PM

The difference in the rate of special 95 and Super 98 petrol in the UAE for September is just 11 fils, and many residents may be tempted to opt for higher octane fuel for their vehicles. However, industry experts strictly advise motorists to follow use fuel as specified in the car owner’s manual. Super 98 petrol costs Dh 3.41 while special 95 petrol is priced at Dh 3.30 this month.

The fuel price for the month was slashed by 62 fils per litre, in line with global rates. This is the second consecutive month that the UAE has decreased retail fuel prices. In August, the prices were slashed by 60 fils per litre.

Sujumon Sujathan, technical training manager at Galadari Automobiles, said that the main difference between the two grades of fuel is the knock resistance in the engine, the pinging sound one can experience when the petrol inside is not able to resist the high pressures and burns unexpectedly.

“We have three types of fuel available in the UAE, E plus, Super 95, and Special 98, and the user should strictly adhere to the grade specified in the owner’s manual as the engine is designed for that grade,” said Sujathan.

“Using higher octane content of fuel will have no benefit, but using a petrol of lower octane content specified by the maker may have a complication in the longer run,” added Sujathan.

Experts say that if knocking happens repeatedly, the engine can suffer some serious damage over time.

It is a common belief that petrol with higher octane will give the car high power, “but not for the cars which are designed for 95 octane content fuel,” Sujathan explained.

High performance cars that are built for speed, normally use 98 octane content fuel or higher. “Premium petrol will not give greater power because power depends on the engine,” he added.

Sony Rajappan, senior service advisor at Star Auto Garage in Al Quoz said that super 98 fuel is for performance vehicles with high power. It also keeps the injectors clean. “The special 98 fuel is denser and has additives in it. It is designed for high-performance engines. The sprayers and injectors work perfectly for the engine as specified by the maker,” said Rajappan.

“Premium fuel is produced for higher segment or luxury cars and vehicles that incorporate the latest technologies. Commercial vehicles such as pickups and buses are designed for e-plus or 91 octanes content fuel,” said Rajappan.

Using the incorrect fuel grade can result in the following issues:

  • Overheating of the engine
  • A rise in pressure of the engine
  • Mechanical damage
  • Pollution
  • No increase in fuel economy
  • Environmental hazards
  • High repair cost


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