Power/Speed Vs Regular Petrol – This is the biggest scam of petrol pumps!

POSTED BY Jagoinvestor ON August 15, 2018 COMMENTS (38)

When you go for fill up petrol or diesel in your car/bike, you have an option to fill the normal fuel or high-performance fuel often termed as Speed, Power, Xtra mile, Turbojet or Hi-speed etc in the Indian Petrol pumps.

Today, I will share with you a kind of fraud/scam which is going on in petrol pumps on the name of these high-performance fuels and you will also learn if it’s really useful to use this high-cost version of petrol/diesel in your vehicle or not!

high performance vs normal petrol

Because I educate you on the topic, I want to start with the cheating part first, which happens on the petrol pump!. The reason I am calling it a scam is because it is done with the intention of cheating the customer to make higher profits.

Petrol pumps give you “High-performance fuel” without asking you

Some days back I went to a petrol pump to fill petrol in my car. I kept my eyes wide open and made sure that the meter shows ZERO (read about zero meter scam on petrol pumps here), and no distraction is there and no one scams me.

As I was about to leave, I realized that the nozzle used to fill petrol was kept in the section which said “Speed”. When I enquired if they have filled the high-performance fuel in my car, the answer was YES.

When did I ask WHY? , they said that I should have mentioned that I wanted normal petrol.

So now you know the scam here..

Its common sense that by default petrol pumps should be giving us normal petrol and only if the customer wants/agrees, they should fill high performance/cost fuel. But here, they had made the costly fuel as the default choice and without even telling you they fill costly petrol/diesel in your car/bike.

A customer never pays much attention to which fuel was given to them and assumes that its normal/cheapest version of fuel.

There are many other scams which happen at petrol pumps, but I think is a much bigger scam, because this is so subtle, that almost everyone falls for it (without even knowing about it). Just think about it, even if 5% of people are scammed into buying high-performance fuels, it’s millions of litres and millions of extra revenue/profits for petrol pumps/companies.

What is High-performance fuel?

It’s very important to understand what exactly is high-performance petrol or diesel, to understand the whole game.

Branded high-performance fuels like SPEED and POWER are normal petrol with an extra additive/detergents added into it. These additives enhance theoOctane ratings for petrol.

The Octane rating is the petrol’s capacity to burn at higher compression ratios without knocking. Every engine has a unique compression rating and hence based on the compression rating, the manufacturers suggest the exact type of fuel to be used for the car.

99.99% cars/bikes in India have engines which only and only require normal petrol/diesel because its octane value is the same which is required by the engine of these cars.

In fact, you will be surprised to know that car manufacturer such as Maruti, Hyundai, Tata, Toyota, Ford, Skoda, Mercedes, BMW etc. strongly discourage the use of premium fuels in their cars and in fact its also written clearly in the car manual book too. This thread discusses everything about high octane and fuel performance if you want to learn about the topic.

If you also talk to qualified service engineers at the service stations, they also recommend using the normal fuel instead of these high performance versions.

Problems of using high performance fuel in normal car

Can you believe that use of high octane petrol (the costly high performance fuel) actually cause problems in the engine, instead of helping the engine?

If you use petrol which is having a higher octane level than what is recommended, then because of extra additives in the petrol, it is only going to cause unwanted settlement of these additives in the engine – no added benefits in terms of mileage/performance.

If you use petrol having lesser octane than recommended, the petrol will knock and cause damage to engine. Further, the anti-knock sensor will cause the engine to slow-down and the timing of the engine will be wrong causing decreased mileage.

The normal petrol which is available in the market is actually fit for the engines in most of the cars sold in India.

Here is an excerpt from Team-BHP regarding this topic

Some car owners have reported excessive exhaust smoke after using premium diesel. A few others have complained of damage to components in the fuel delivery system, including the fuel injection pump and fuel injectors. Modern common-rail diesel engines operate within fine tolerances.

Your motor was engineered to consume regular diesel only. In the worst case scenario, you might end up with damaged mechanicals due to premium diesel. In the best case, you won’t gain anything. With premium diesel, you have a lot to lose, and nothing to gain.

Video about High-Performance Fuel vs Normal fuel

I want to especially see this video by Mr Amit Khare of fame Ask Carguru Channel, which is an excellent source of all kind of information and knowledge about automobiles in India. A few months back, when I was watching this video, it was new learning for me and I decided that I will write an article about this soon on this blog.

The video is in Hindi and I am a fan of Mr Amit because of his simple language and engaging style of talking. Do listen to the following video for sure.

Why do petrol pumps sell high-performance fuel?

In one word – “High Profits”

Remember, that Petroleum companies and Petrol pumps both are “for-profit” businesses. They are there to make money and they will do all the things which increase their profitability. The petrol and diesel prices are regulated in India and no petroleum companies can decide the price of fuel on its own.

However, they can always decide the price of enhanced fuel because it’s their own formula and they are free to price it. Petrol pumps also get better margins when they sell high-performance fuels.

High-performance fuels can cost anywhere from 3-4% higher than normal fuels. In some cases, very high-performance fuels can be even 20% costly.

At the time of writing this article, the price of petrol/ltr in Mumbai was like this

Normal Petrol: ₹ 84.67

Speed : ₹ 87.48

Speed 97 : ₹ 105.01

Which means that by selling high-performance fuels, the profits which these companies profit margins can literally shoot up by a big percentage. No wonder why they never share the secret.

When should you fill high-performance fuels in your car?

Very simple, if you have a car/bike which has a high-performance high-compression engine such as BMW / AUDI and superbike’s, then you can use those costly fuels and they will actually perform better also, but otherwise you should just stick to normal fuel only.

Do let us know if you liked this article and if it helped you to break your myth about high-performance fuels. Also if you have anything to add into this article, do let us know in the comments section.

38 replies on this article “Power/Speed Vs Regular Petrol – This is the biggest scam of petrol pumps!”

  1. Karthik Gunasekaran says:

    Base less article. Typical example of the saying “ A little knowledge is too dangerous “. It’s better if one sticks to their domain for preaching…

    1. Jagoinvestor says:

      Hi Karthik

      The article was written based on the knowledge taken by famous and highly followed youtubers like CarGuru or DDS .. Here are the videos


      Incase these are not correct, I am open to changing the content of the article. Do share your perspective on this topic


  2. Deepak Umredkar says:

    Through my personal experience I can say that high performance fuel if filled at genuine outlets enhance performance of ur vehicle.
    I fill vpower from shell even in my w wheeler Suzuki access and the difference is very much visible.
    It improves not only my mileage but pickup and smoothness of the drive.

    1. Jagoinvestor says:

      Good if you are having personal experience.

  3. SAHIL BHATIA says:


  4. Srini says:

    Can you tell how much high margin they can get in premium fuels

    1. Jagoinvestor says:

      That I am not aware of

  5. Jalpan Trivedi says:

    Nice one

    1. Jagoinvestor Admin says:


  6. Saikat Das says:

    wow! this is very informative news for this generation, and thanks Srikanth for sharing your knowledge on this blog, I haven’t any idea regarding “high-performance petrol” but after reading this article I’m getting real fact about the petrol pumps. At least thank you, I will wait for your next blog.

    1. Jagoinvestor Admin says:

      Hey Saikat Das

      Glad to know that you liked the article.

      Please share it on your social media profile so that it can reach more and more people !


  7. raj singh says:

    Nice article with such a shocking information, but really helpful as a customer point of view. I also preferred the extra mile fuel, but after reading this article, I always use to get the normal fuel for my vehicles.

    1. Jagoinvestor Admin says:

      Thanks for your valuable comment raj singh. Share this post on social networks so that it can reach to more people.

  8. Vijay Anand says:

    Thanks for this enlightening article. Now I know I have wasted hundreds of rupees in this fraud. Will not do it again.

    1. Jagoinvestor Admin says:

      Hey Vijay Anand

      Glad to know that you liked the article.

      Please share it on your social media profile so that it can reach more and more people !


  9. kanna.srinivasa rao says:

    It’s an eye opener

    1. Jagoinvestor Admin says:

      Thanks kanna.srinivasa rao

  10. Sunaina Miglani Dudhalkar says:

    Very nice article Manish. I love reading your articles, very informative always.

    1. Jagoinvestor Admin says:

      Thanks for your comment Sunaina Miglani Dudhalkar .. Please keep sharing your views like this..


  11. Armaan Ahmed says:

    that’s a really great article

    1. Jagoinvestor Admin says:

      Thanks for your comment Armaan Ahmed .. Please keep sharing your views like this..


  12. Rahul says:

    Is it applicable for Diesel also

    1. Jagoinvestor Admin says:

      Hi Rahul
      Would you like to share any incident?

  13. Sandesh says:

    Thanks for this. I used to fill up Shell Petrol which gives me extra boost to the bike but now I understood, it is only damaging my bike engine by high combustion rate.

    1. Jagoinvestor says:

      Hey Sandesh

      Glad to know that you liked the article.

      Please share it on your social media profile so that it can reach more and more people !


    2. Seshadri Varadarajan says:

      I agree 100% with the article. If you are not alert, At the petrol bunks they cheat you by putting the high performance high cost fuel. Many occasions, they said they have high cost fuel stock only available. When I said ‘no’ and start moving, then they will guide me to the nozzle where normal petrol is available.
      I faced this with indian oil outlets specially.
      At Shell outlets, they will not force you. They will also not alert you that you are standing in the high cost fuel queue.
      Thank you so much to bring this alertness among the consumers. I read your weekly articles regularly and every article is useful for me

      1. Jagoinvestor Admin says:

        Hi Seshadri Varadarajan
        Thanks for sharing your views. I’m glad to know you like reading articles.

    3. Om Prakash C says:

      Shell provides both normal and V-Power. I do not think that normal petrol from Shell will cause any damage to your engine.

  14. Santosh Sinha says:

    Great article. An eye opener..

    1. Jagoinvestor says:

      Thanks for your comment Santosh Sinha .. Please keep sharing your views like this..


  15. Satyadev Verma says:

    Eye opening & informative article

    1. Jagoinvestor says:

      Thanks for your comment Satyadev Verma .. Please keep sharing your views like this..


  16. Srikanth says:

    Dear Manish,
    Iam a follower of your blog regarding personal finance for the last 10 years or so…While I appreciate your articles on Personal finance, It is regretted to note that the above article on Speed was done without any adequate research.It is not because Iam an employee of a Petroleum Company, Iam supporting premium fuels…but because of the pain, how badly they are being mis-represented… Speed has additives which acts as a cleansing agent and cleans the deposits from the Engine Internals etc thereby improving mileage and pick-up..It has nothing to do with increasing the Octane Number which is done in the Refinery while producing the product. Like in every other business there are a few blacksheep Dealers who does misselling…but one cannot paint the whole company as unscrupulous…For example try booking an airlines ticket in their website and see how many add-ins are automatically added unless you remove the tick marks…At least our organisation believes in educating the customer and let him make an informed choice of whether he wants to buy premium fuels after doing a cost-benefit analysis….Sorry I did not expect this sort of article in your blog, which seems to aim at sensalisation…Regards

    1. Jagoinvestor says:

      Hi Srikanth

      I tried my best to research the topics, and this article is the result of what I read at every place on internet, starting from knowledgeable automobile enthusiasts to the best websites which write on this topic.

      If I am wrong on my data, please high light those points and educate us. The intention was never to gather attention for the sake of it, but really educate people.

      Please share some reports or scientic proofs regarding the topic, so that we can see how we can write the article regarding it. Are there any studies or proofs that normal cars like Swift or i10 give more mileage of engine performance by using premium fuels?

      Also please share why most of the car manufacturers recommend using normal petrol?


    2. Adi says:

      Yes, this is true. Anyone can clearly see visible difference in driving and feel of car when they fill Shell V-Power instead of normal petrol. Also Maruti recommends Shell Engine oils. Shell has provided sufficient research data on Shell V-Power.

      Higher version of Shell V-Power gets used in Ferrari F1 car.

      The problem is Indian oil companies have not published sufficient information or educated Indians on premium fuels. For eg there is no comparison data, if I use normal vs Speed on Maruti Swift what will be the marked difference ?

      Information from Manish should reach BP, HP and Indian Oil so that they publish sufficient validation results.

      Until information is published from Petroleum companies Manish information is considered as true.

      It’s not just fuel !.Even Air is priced even-though it is marked as free by Oil companies.

      1. Jagoinvestor Admin says:

        Hi Adi
        Thanks for sharing your valuable comment on this topic. Keep sharing your views like this and also share this post to through social media so that it can reach to more people.

  17. Abhijeet says:

    Nice article. Should be shared on social media for awareness and betterment of society

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