Our vehicles are perhaps the costliest single item we purchase next to our home, so keeping them in good shape makes sense to ensure they serve their purpose for many years. Regular maintenance of our vehicles helps keep them going, but there is a surprisingly easy way to also help protect your vehicle – fill it with the right fuel.

Not all fuels are created equal. In Canada, there are regulations regarding the basic standards for fuel, but these are basic minimum requirements. Many of the Auto Manufacturers have agreed on a higher standard called “Top Tier” fuel that has a higher level of additives in it to help keep emissions systems working properly on your vehicle. In Canada, many of the name brand fuels meet these Top Tier standards, but again this is a minimum standard. Shell has been very vocal about being better than even the Top Tier standard by increasing their additive content to make the fuel even better. I have seen the results for myself.

Shell V-Power cleans deposits

Shell V-Power cleans deposits

With Shell V-Power gasoline, the engine is much cleaner inside. During normal engine operation, deposits form on critical parts. Carbon deposits start to form on the back side of intake valves and this disrupts the fuel flow into the cylinders which increases fuel consumption and decreases power. Direct fuel injection has reduced some of this carbon buildup but there is still some caused by oils in the engine. Deposits that also form in the combustion chamber, creating uneven combustion are reduced. Finally, deposits are prevented from forming on the tips of fuel injectors, creating uneven fuel spray patterns which significantly affect engine performance. I have inspected many engines and seen these deposits, and also seen how Shell V-Power gasoline will remove them even when already formed. Even one tank of V-Power fuel will start to make a difference.

To do this, Shell Scientists found a way of adding nitrogen molecules to the fuel additive package, which is part of what helps clean the deposits. This fuel is called V-Power Nitro. Now Shell has improved the fuel even further to help protect your vehicle investment and the fuel is now called V-Power Nitro+.  That small + sign means a lot.

Joe Russo, Shell Fuel Scientist

Joe Russo, Shell Fuel Scientist

Joe Russo, a Shell Fuel Scientist responsible for developing fuel additive packages for North America explained to me the new additive package. While the actual chemicals and formula remain a highly guarded secret, Joe’s team has succeeded in making an additive package that reduces engine wear while at the same time keeping all the cleaning properties the fuel already had. Most of the engine wear occurs in the top part of the engine’s combustion chamber and on the tips of direct fuel injectors. This is the area subjected to the greatest heat, highest pressures and the least amount of lubrication. Piston rings and valve seals are designed to keep the engine oil out of the combustion chamber. Combine this with the effect of fuel washing away any lubrication that remains and you get wear in the combustion chamber. This is especially noticeable during cold starts, when extra fuel is injected into the cylinders and not all the fuel burns because it can’t atomize quick enough. I have worked on older vehicles from California that had very little engine wear due to always starting in warm weather, while a Canadian vehicle with similar mileage would have significant wear due to cold starts. The additive package in Shell’s V-Power Nitro+ fuel provides protection against wear in these critical areas. As the fuel enters the engine, the additive, package temporarily coats engine parts to decrease metal to metal contact and this reduces the wear. Continued use of the fuel will help keep those parts protected.

Part of Shell’s fuel research includes their partnership with Scuderia Ferrari and Formula 1 racing.  Working with Ferrari since 1950, Shell has over 50 technical staff and 21,000 hours of work invested each year in developing fuels and oil for the Formula 1 team. The fuel used during a race is 99 percent the same as what you buy at the local Shell filling station and engine longevity is important on the race track as it is to your vehicle. You may not be aware that Formula 1 regulations limit each race team to only 4 engines for the complete 20 race season. Any item that will help protect those engines and deliver the most performance is highly sought after and Shell V-Power Nitro+ is helping to do that. It can help protect your engine too, especially during cold starts when engine wear occurs the most.

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About The Author

Jim Kerr

Driving and crewing for race teams at the drag strip, the stock car track and road race courses helps fuel Jim’s enthusiasm but the real joy is experiencing our vast country on road trips around North America.

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