So I pulled into the nearest service station, a Shell. Despite what they’ve been up to over the years, I still have a soft spot for Shell; they were the petrol stations in the old Lego Town sets when I was growing up, before Octan took over.
I started filling up. Then I noticed I wasn’t pumping Unleaded, but something called Shell Unleaded 95.
Unleaded 95? What was it? 5% ethanol or something? No, that should have been cheaper, and this was actually 6 cents higher. Obviously it was still called Unleaded, so it couldn’t be too different, but what was I pumping into my car?
I pondered what to do. There was no normal Unleaded at this particular pump. And there was another car right behind me, so I couldn’t go back. I decided to try and play it safe and stop at $20 of fuel, then see how the engine reacted.
It seemed to drive okay, which was a relief. When I got home I Googled it. Turns out Unleaded 95 is also known as Shell Premium Unleaded, and is a high-octane version of conventional ULP, allegedly giving better performance.
Like I care. From reading the propaganda about it, I somehow doubt my old “bathtub on wheels” is getting any benefit out of it.
But hey, at least it didn’t screw-up my engine.