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Top Gear Philippines

What are the important things to do before I leave my car for a month-long vacation? No one will look after my car. I'm working in the Middle East. I just want my car to be in good condition when I return after a month.

Thanks and regards,
Eric Abella

 

Hi, Eric. I would do the following:

1. Clean the car inside and out. Cleanliness is next to godliness, and I'm sure you don't want to come home to a dirty car. Get a good car cover while you're at it to lessen the dust buildup on your car's exterior.

2. Leave an odor and moisture absorber inside the passenger compartment. This will keep the interior from smelling stale. Don't forget to close the fresh-air vent of the air-conditioning system.

3. Inflate the tires to proper pressure. Then, put the car up on stands to avoid getting flat spots on the tires. I normally put the stands on the suspension arms, at the points where they won't slip. The idea here is to keep the tires off the ground but not have the suspension fully extended to avoid incurring possible damage internally to the shock absorbers or dampers because of prolonged extension.

4. Disconnect the battery from the car if you don't want to use a battery tender. It prevents the battery from being slowly discharged by the car's electrical accessories. Be aware, though, that some higher-end cars might need a trip to the dealership to have service and warning lights reset when you disconnect the battery.

5. Get the car's oil changed, if I haven't done so within the past six months. Check on the moving parts that need lubricating, and lube them.

I hope this helps you out.

 

Hi, Ferman! My family has been a loyal Shell fuel customer. I guess it's because there's one near our house. I've been combining the fuel of my car with a ratio of one-third Shell FuelSave Unleaded and two-thirds V-Power Nitro+ Racing. I've noticed that the acceleration is the same as when I load up a full tank of pure V-Power Nitro+ Racing. However, I did notice my engine would exert more effort when it's only loaded with pure unleaded.

I did the mixing only to save a little bit on gas money since racing fuels cost more than the regular unleaded. Is this a practical way to get the savings and benefits of higher-octane fuels? Are there negative effects if I mix fuels with different octane ratings?

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Your insight would be truly appreciated. Thanks!

Raymund John Ramas

 

Hi Raymund,

I don't think there is any real disadvantage in using a lower-octane fuel over a higher-octane fuel other than possibly less power and, as you've encountered, a little less fun driving experience.

To know the practical way to go about it, compute for the fuel consumption of the vehicle you have with both the FuelSave Unleaded and the V-Power Nitro+/FuelSave combo:

1. Zero your trip meter when you fill up with your benchmark fuel (whatever it is).

2. Take note of the total kilometers traveled the next time you fill up.

3. Divide the total distance traveled by the number of liters of fuel you filled up with. This will get you your fuel consumption figures expressed in kilometers per liter.

4. Then get the cost per liter of fuel and divide it by the number of kilometers per liter. This will get you yourpeso-per-kilometer cost.

You should compare the peso-per-kilometer cost of the FuelSave, the V-Power/FuelSave combo, and possibly just the V-Power, too. The one that gives you the least cost per kilometer is the one you want to stick with.

My own comparison with a different brand shows that the cost per kilometer will be about the same between its lower-cost fuel and its premium fuel. The premium fuel just makes the vehicle a little more fun to drive should the urge arise.

It's up to you to decide which fuel you want to stick with. Whatever works for you might be completely different from what works for someone else.

 

Best regards,

Ferman Lao
Technical Editor

Do car problems keep you awake at night? Send questions to topgear@summitmedia.com.ph.

Ferman Lao
Technical Editor
Wearing the hats of a race car driver, driving instructor, grease monkey, tuner, dyno operator, auto shop owner, motoring journalist and CAGI president at one time or another, or all at once, deep down he's just another guy who loves cars.
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