The outgoing government’s announcements for gasoline and ACPM consumers are not looking good. According to the Ministry of Finance, there will be gradual increases of 200 pesos per month in June and July and 250 pesos per month in August in the coming months. From September there will be gradual increases of 400 and 250 pesos per month.
With this measure, the Government aims to gradually reduce the financial pressures created by the Fuel Price Stabilization Fund.14.1 billion pesos deficit .
This news comes just as the brands brought turbocharged vehicles with low displacement engines (1,000 – 1,300 cm³) to the country in the past months. These engines are part of ‘downsizing’ technology that was started to be developed in Europe about 15 years ago due to the requirement of pollutant emission control regulations.
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The technique is simple, the size and displacement of the engines are reduced to achieve lighter, less polluting, more efficient and lower consumption blocks, but without sacrificing power.
All of this is achieved with elements such as turbo, direct injection, variable distribution, metered lubrication and cooling, but yes or yes, it must run on gasoline with a minimum octane rating of 91; that is, the extra, whose price per gallon goes through the roof in Colombia today, which in some stations is very close to 19,000 pesos, twice the price of a gallon of electricity.
Since this is a subject of interest to users, we went to the brands to clear the doubts by examining the technical data sheets of Renault Duster models; Chevrolet Onix and Volkswagen T-Cross, none of them specify what type of petrol they should use, and it is common for dealers to tell their customers that they can ‘fill up’ with regular petrol so as not to scare them away.. This is not true, but there are solutions to reduce costs. Let’s see.
After a mandatory regulation by the Ministries of Mines and Environment in April 2021, Colombian gasoline meets the international standard, meaning they are both normal and extra good. In addition, the standard delivers the required reduction sulfur 300 to 100 parts per million (PPM) and extra and 50 to 80 PPM current.
According to Ecopetrol, regular gasoline comes out with an octane rating of 84 and goes up to 85 or 85.5 with 10 percent ethanol. Extra leaves refineries with 93 and go up to 95/96. This is what the public gets across all networks. Depending on the current quality of the crude oil and other variables such as the additives that brands like Terpel add on their own, it reaches an extra 98 octane.
Offering the 114 horsepower 1.0-liter Turbo three-cylinder T-Cross model in the same position, Volkswagen recommends using gasoline with an octane rating higher than 91. This requirement is equal or higher than what is written in the owner’s manual for all types of vehicles.
The reason why turbo engines work better with high octane or extra gasoline as we know here is because with it there is a significant increase in pressure inside the engine.
The higher the pressure, the higher the temperature, says thermodynamics, and therefore, gasoline in a mixture with air tends to ignite spontaneously before it is suitable in these conditions, that is, as soon as the spark jumps at the spark plug.
This wave shock creates a strong abnormal blockage in the chamber and is so large that it is heard outside as the well-known “rattle” or “rattle”.‘. This always affects the integrity of the pistons, in addition to overheating, which is equally dangerous.
As is well known, at higher altitudes, as in Bogota, the air is less dense due to the effects of atmospheric pressure, but turbocharged engines compensate for this factor and provide a very significant increase in power by “overfilling” the chambers. with a much more compressed mix. This produces much more reaction in combustion.
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Today’s engines have “voice phones” that detect this phenomenon and instantly apply palliatives such as a different mix and ignition timing, or inform the computer that depressurizes the turbocharger, all of which causes the engine to run at lower power.
The question is: how to raise the octane and at the same time take care of the pocket? In the words of José Clopatofsky, director of motor magazine, “the best additive for regular gasoline is extra gasoline.” This is no more or less than going back to the old formula of mixing both gasolines, colloquially known as ‘refajo’.
External additives may include tetraethyl lead to give more octane, but they also prematurely damage very expensive catalysts.
The ‘Refajo’ formula is simple, consisting of mixing two gasolines to obtain an octane rating of 91, the international level for so-called premium gasoline.
You can mix it up so that when you add the octane of the extra and the current and divide by two, you get a number. If it’s a 50/50 mix, add the 85 and 95 octane averages and divide by two. This gives it an effective octane rating of 90.
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To have a 91 you have to go for 60 percent extra and the remaining current to a constant one so you can manage the ratios in the order of your motor. Believe what the factory says rather than the seller’s argument.
The same octane requirement can have non-turbo engines when at high performance, as with some hybrid vehicles sold.
Before the “turbo era”, an engine’s required octane rating was estimated by its compression ratio. This is the difference of the mixing volumes when the piston is down and when it reaches top dead center.
I was told that a naturally aspirated engine with a ratio above 10 to 1 should use higher octane gasoline.
This reading does not apply when referring to a turbocharged or supercharged engine because the ratio does not change while these compressors increase the pressure significantly, since this is of course an arithmetic measure of unchanging machine parts.
Turbo engines usually start at a low rate, sometimes 8.5 to 1, but when the compressor is loaded the internal pressure is very high and they require more temperature resistant gasoline. This feature of resistance means that high-octane gasoline in an engine that doesn’t need it doesn’t produce as much power, or in some cases there can be a loss of performance with the wallet.
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