Suddenly, without warning, jmc exclaimed (03-Apr-07 6:06 PM):
> My truck recently had a massive MPG drop - from almost 17MPG down to
just a tad over 13mpg, and I was noticing today that it's lacking in
power too - used to practically create g-forces when I accelerate, now
it's decidedly sluggish.
> I'd written off the mpg change to the Opal gas we're forced to use in
our vehicles here in central Australia (don't get me started -grr- but
in short Opal is unsniffable. It also destroys engines built before
about 1986 but is *supposed*
to be safe for newer vehicles)
Well, turns out it was *only*
the Opal. But got to that in a roundabout
way. Called an autoshop (one I wanted to try 'cause they're closer than
my regular one), gave symptoms, said I'd like to get my sparks/wires
checked. She asked if I was using Opal. Yes. She said that I'd need a
fuel system service (cost: AU$220) and switch to Premium and that'd put
all to rights.
After a quick convo with a clued coworker, called my usual service
center, gave the same spiel.
He immediately told me that *all*
I needed to do was switch to Premium -
that the symptoms are only because of the fuel. Didn't need ANY
service. Said something to the effect that you can't get high from
sniffing it, and neither can your vehicle (I didn't get that right, but
He did say my truck probably needs new sparks anyway, as the truck has
50k on it now and they've never been changed. Does that seem right?
End of story: Put Premium in my last fillup. Truck engine hasn't blown
up (as warned in my user manual. Yea I exaggerate a mite) and runs
much, much better. Still too early to see whether the gas mileage
returns to something reasonable...
Anyway, I had noticed that all the propaganda about Opal didn't mention
two things: performance, and mileage. Just kept saying how it's safe
for newer vehicles, meets whatever requirements, blahblahblah. Everyone
I've talked to who's used it is now reporting the same symptoms I
experienced. Every single one has noted reduced mpg (or kilometres/100
litres if they're Aussie). Most noticed a loss of power as well.
Hell, I even noticed loss of power in the *lawnmower*
Which reminds me. Gotta go mow that 1/4 acre I now have, before sunset.
Temp's probably dropped down to 90 by now...