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2800 posts

Uber Geek

#83410 16-May-2011 13:56
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So, all these wonderful "engine cleaning" additives the petrol companies supposedly have in their petrol. Are they an actual thing or are they just fancy names for "benzene"?

Funnily enough, they don't seem to want to elaborate on anything beyond the fact that the additive is there. I've no doubt that the chemical composition is a closely guarded commercially sensitive top-secret thing, but has anyone done some investigation?

Sounds like BS, the last time I saw a clean running engine cracked open before the advent of these additives, it already looked pretty clean to me.

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2800 posts

Uber Geek

  #469761 16-May-2011 17:13
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Apparently, general upshot is that, as well as containing around 10% ethanol (which the greens should be up in arms about) most (all?) petrol from NZ pumps contain polyether amines as additives. Basically an alcohol-like solvent, the only primary benefit is that if you've got a carbon buildup on your injectors caused by a dodgy batch of gas or a worn engine, then it'll help clean them off and potentially improve performance.

Otherwise, if you've got a good clean engine then all it is, is paying a little (proportionally insignificant) bit more for an additive that you don't need, and the blow-by will also shorten the servicable time of the oil in your sump (again, proportionally insignificantly).

So the petrol still has to remain at the same octane rating regardless of additives (hence ethanol to boost it), so there's no power lost.

Not worth worrying about then. Looks like ethanol is the bigger issue, more for environmental reasons than cost/performance unless you're one of the few who own an oddball vehicle whose fuel lines get eaten by it.

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