Being interested in high Performance cars, I endeavour to have all engine settings and mechanical adjustments as near as possible to the manufacturer’s specifications and to use the recommended fuel to ensure I get the best from my vehicles.
The purpose of this letter is to convey the frustration I feel in not being able to purchase real four-star petrol anymore; that is, minimum 98 octane four-star.
In the handbook for my Jaguar XJ12 it states if you cannot obtain 98 octane fuel you should drive at a more sedate pace until you can again fill-up with the correct grade. I believe four-star is now rated, if you’re lucky, at 96 octane because of the decreased amount of lead being added by the petrol companies. I have not noticed any problem with my XJ12, but I would like to be able to fill up with minimum 98 octane because I think the engine would prefer it. l am now hearing many stories from my colleagues at work of the problems being caused by this low-lead fuel — tales of severe pinking or the alternative of much-retarded and gutless engines.
I feel that if low-lead petrol had to come, we should have been given five to ten years warning before the octane rating of four-star was lowered, to enable those of us with vehicles having engines that require this fuel a chance to wear them out in peace and not to suddenly make 98 octance four-star unavailable.
John E Foreman, Malvern Wells, Worcs