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Review: Shell V-Power vs SPC 98 Petrol / Prestone Octane Booster

Who says fuel doesn’t really make a difference? I’ve always been using V-Power as past experiences tell me that the car feels livelier and more torquey with that brand of fuel than any other brand in the market. In general, Shell V-Power is smoother, provides better linear acceleration, and definitely seems to provide the power when you need it (pedal to the metal).

Just a couple of days ago, as i was running out of gas, i went into SPC to pump their 98 octane fuel. And boy was i disappointed. Compared to Shell V-Power, SPC 98 is:

  • rougher and noisier – revs are much louder now
  • the car seems to be out of breath, especially in low to mid torque
  • exhaust emissions smell a little better though, V-Power smelled awful
  • cheaper

This then begs the question….why? Well, i think it boils down to additives in the fuel, and the amount of hydrocarbons packed per unit of fuel. Premium grades of petrol often contain more energy per litre due to the composition of the fuel as well as increased octane. A simple explanation is the carbon bonds contain more energy than hydrogen bonds. Hence a fuel with a greater number of carbon bonds will carry more energy regardless of the octane rating. A premium motor fuel will often be formulated to have both higher octane as well as more energy.

The power output of an engine depends on the energy content of its fuel, and this bears no simple relationship to the octane rating. A common myth amongst petrol consumers is that adding a higher octane fuel to a vehicle’s engine will increase its performance and/or lessen its fuel consumption; this is mostly false—engines perform best when using fuel with the octane rating they were designed for and any increase in performance by using a fuel with a different octane rating is minimal.

Using high octane fuel for an engine makes a difference when the engine is producing its maximum power. I’ll stick to V-Power

Review: Prestone 0 to 60 Octane Booster
Since we’re talking about fuels here, might as well do a short review of the Prestone 0-60 Octane Booster as well. One word of advice – NOT. The nice packaging and nifty artwork flames hides a completely useless and potentally cat-unfriendly product. The 10 points of octane increase is really only 1 real octane number as 1point = 0.1 octane rating. When i put this in, the car was slower – Gtech runs were about 0.5-0.8 slower in the century sprint. Now i know that this could have been an anomaly, but the coincidence and ‘butt test’ was compelling – the Prestone Octane Booster does NOTHING for performance, and in fact decreased performance. Also, i’m sure we all know how any fuel additive is potentially harmful to catalytic convertors. For those that really want a boost, mix in toulene/zylene or go raffles marina get ELF speedboat petrol


September 6, 2006 - Posted by | Others


  1. how can u tell your car got slower? did u “feel” it get slower? unless you have no test to prove this, your “6th sense” can not go into a factor. I mean don’t get me wrong I think additives like this one is a total rip off, but at the same time, do a real test.


    Comment by Jerrod | January 15, 2007 | Reply

  2. I will never use Shell V-power again. When I used it in my previous car (Honda s2000), it ran terrible. It acted like it wanted to stall every time I start off in first gear. Yesterday, I put this fuel in my Porsche 911 and it behaved the same exact way. You would think I would have learned the first time. I have better luck with BP and Sunoco.

    Comment by sso | November 11, 2007 | Reply

  3. “Octane booster” isn’t supposed to increase performance. It is to change the fuel’s burn characteristics in a such a way as to reduce the possibility of knocking, rattling, or detonating. A gallon of gas has more BTUs than 127 ounces of gas with an ounce ( or .8 of an ounce) of 0 to 60- It doesn’t have the same stored energy. It will slow you down slightly, but .5 to .8 seconds? Your doing something wrong there bud.

    Comment by gas pumper | June 18, 2008 | Reply

  4. Never mind. I was talking about a normally asperated, moderate compression American V8 engine on an American drag strip. I don’t know what a “century sprint” is. On a dragstrip, I can’t see any difference in times, and it don’t rattle. The difference between 92 and 93 octane is more than it sounds.

    Comment by gas pumper | June 19, 2008 | Reply

  5. Hi, My name is John and i use prestone 0to60 on my 4 cylynder normally aspirated engine and as far as I know, I can feel the performance gain by mixing it with regular fuel. Maybe it’s just my feeling, but i’m sure the result will be the same on dyno engine.

    Comment by John | August 28, 2009 | Reply

  6. I have been using the Syntek fuel additive in my 1999 Dodge D350 truck in the last three tanks of fuel. The fuel mileage has increased by 2 mpg and the performance has also improved. I would highly recommend this product to anyone who is fuel conscious and wants to increase performance of the vehicle.

    Comment by alternative fuel | February 24, 2010 | Reply

  7. Been using V-Power since I bought my first car… There’s a big difference on total engine performance compared to regular Unleaded gasoline…

    Comment by Von Rod Limpot | September 20, 2010 | Reply

  8. I’m riding a Subaru Gtb E tune . It boost 17 psi on primary and 20 on secondary stage. tried different fuel additives and prestone proved the best so far. I need two of those to a full tank though. Try that.

    Comment by Gary | November 1, 2010 | Reply

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    Comment by Maggie May | November 24, 2012 | Reply

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