The petrol price issue is here again. And many people are not happy with the raise in petrol price. now our dear Domestic Trade Minister has upgraded RON97 as a premium fuel and RON95 as "standard". He also assured that RON95 is just as good as RON97. If it was just as good, do they have to differentiate it from RON97 in the first place? That's just one of of the many questions that his assurances give seed to. But...that's a story for another day.
Now, it's pretty clear that the UMNO/BN govt has again duped people about the price/quality ratio of petrol in Malaysia. By introducing the dubious RON95 into the market at the old RON97 rates and raising the price of RON97, Malaysian vehicle owners could be in for frequent visits to their mechanics.
Now, I'm not a petrochemist or scientist of any type. But i do have eyes to see and a brain to think with. And what my eyes saw was a BHP ad in the Sun yesterday, and what my brain processed were these words in the ad's FAQ section:
1) What is RON?
RON is Research Octane Number....it measures the resistance of fuel to engine knocking...
2) What is engine knocking?
...(technical bla bla bla)...thereby causing loss of power. Heavy and prolonged knocking can cause vibration and may damage the engine.
3) What is RON95?
RON95 is a fuel that posseses the same anti-knock rating of a mixture of 95% iso-octane and 5% heptane. If a vehicle is filled with a lower octane fuel than is required by an engine, engine knocking may result.
4) Can my car use RON95?
Most cars can use RON95. Please refer to your car manual or fuel cap which will specify the type of fuel required.
Well, my car recommends RON97 and above, and I believe most cars on the road today also have this rating. At least I'm sure that all Proton Wiras recommend RON97.
If my car engine is tuned for RON97, should I follow the Minister's sales pitch of "any car also can use RON95", or should I follow my car manufacturer's recommendation? Because according to this very educational FAQ by a major energy company in Malaysia "if a vehicle is filled with a lower octane fuel than is required by an engine, engine knocking may result." and "heavy and prolonged knocking can cause vibration and may damage the engine."
The FAQ also tells me to "refer to your car manual or fuel cap which will specify the type of fuel required" so that I don't use the wrong fuel and damage my engine.
Do I really have a choice in the "just as good" RON95 petrol yang macam terasa tak naik harga? Or am I sneakily being forced to accept harga petrol naik mendadak again cos if I don't use RON97, I'll be overhauling engines like nobody's business?