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Unleaded fuel in Alice Springs

Do you use 91 octane unleaded in your car? And not just your rally car, what about in your service vehicles or road car?

opalYou need to be aware that the 91 octane unleaded fuel available around Alice Springs is non-aromatic fuel called Opal. This is a special fuel that was developed by BP Australia to combat the rising use of petrol as an inhalant in remote Indigenous communities.

Opal is the only 91 octane fuel sold in and around Alice Springs.

While Opal has been sold for a number of years, there is an ongoing discussion about possible negative impacts of using Opal on engines and fuel systems.

Fuel vendors and the government advise that Opal is fine and that it has no negative impacts in modern vehicles. Others, including people in the motor trade, suggest Opal can cause problems, especially in fuel system components.

We’re certainly not qualified to join this discussion – the purpose of this post is to bring the matter to your attention. It’s not obvious at the pumps around Alice Springs that the 91 octane fuel is in fact different to what you might be expecting.

Should you use Opal in your vehicle while visiting Alice Springs? That’s your call. But, keep in mind that 95 and 98 octane unleaded is widely available in Alice Springs – and it’s exactly the same as what is sold in other states.

Maybe avoid the question altogether – give your car a treat and use 95 or 98?