Are you buying the correct fuel for your car? Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Petrojam Limited is set to launch its “Drive Smart: Fuel Your Vehicle Right” campaign today, which aims to empower motorists to make informed choices at the pump by fuelling their vehicles with the recommended gasoline grades. 

The one–year campaign is expected to educate consumers on the significance of selecting the correct octane fuel for their vehicles, with a focus on achieving substantial cost savings while maintaining optimal performance and fuel efficiency.

According to Petrojam, octane rating is a measure of the performance or anti-knock properties of a fuel, typically used in internal combustion engines. It indicates how much compression the fuel can withstand before igniting spontaneously, which may cause knocking or pinging in the engine.

Highlighting the significance of this campaign, the oil refinery’s General Manager Telroy Morgan stated that, though most gasoline vehicles in Jamaica are designed to run on 87 octane, many motorists are opting for 90. 

“A survey conducted by Petrojam in 2018 to assess the fuel preference among Jamaica’s registered vehicle owners revealed that approximately 70 per cent of the gasoline market was consistently purchasing the incorrect fuel grade.

“Most drivers were opting for E10 90, the higher octane gasoline instead of the E10 87 grade that most of the vehicle population requires, and this practice continues,” Morgan explained. 

The survey, which used the 2017 vehicle populations figures from Tax Administration Jamaica, showed that of the total petrol vehicle population of 245,092, a total of 123,461 (approximately 50 per cent) of the vehicle owner’s manuals of the top 10 car makes and models were recovered. Of this selection 82 per cent of 123,461 vehicles required E1O 87 motor gasoline and only 18 per cent required E10 90.

“The campaign promises to provide insights into why some manufacturers require or recommend higher-octane gasoline, which is often essential for engines with higher compression ratios or forced induction systems,” Morgan stated, noting that vehicles such as the Toyota Corolla, Nissan Sentra, and Honda Civic, for example, are engineered to run on E10 87, while models such as the BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz C200 require E10 90 or higher.”

The Petrojam general manager highlighted that motorists who choose to use the octane rating that is actually required by their vehicle manufacturer can reap significant cost savings. 

“On average, the typical price gap between the retail prices of E10 87 and E10 90 ranges between $8 and $15 per litre. This means that some motorists are spending this more on every litre of E10 90 purchased,” Morgan said. “A single vehicle consumer could be spending thousands more annually by using E10 90 rather than E10 87”.

This public education campaign is, therefore, designed to invert this practice by empowering motorists with the knowledge to make informed fuel purchasing decisions, while emphasising the potential cost savings.

Petrojam said the “Drive Smart: Fuel Your Vehicle Right” campaign forms part of its overall strategy of maximising consumer value while providing superior quality petroleum products to the market at competitive prices.