What's the real difference between RON95 and RON97 Petrol in Malaysia?
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You’ve probably heard many ‘lively’ debates on both RON 95 and 97 in terms of performance, quality and most importantly, fuel pricing, as well justifications and questions about it’s price versus real quality value. But why should you care? Well, an average car-owning/driving Malaysian pays at least RM300 up to a whooping RM1500 on fuel each month! With such numbers, you want to be sure that what you’re getting is really what your car needs as well as is value for money.

How will you know that? Well, knowledge is power essentially so let us equip you. We run through the two types of petrol in Malaysia for your reading pleasure.

What's the real difference between RON95 and RON97 Petrol in Malaysia?

Get to know your RON

In case, you may have thought RON is an abbreviation for the name Ronald or Ronny at the nearest Caltex or Petron; let me explain in three syllables- Research Octane Number. The number of these octanes measure the quality and performance of the type of fuels used in vehicle on the road or on air. And, these numbers are labeled based on different grades of fuel available but mind you, a higher grade doesn’t necessarily equate higher quality as most of you would have thought but rather its ability to delay auto ignition.

RON 97 or RON 95?

Now that you get to know the basics behind the two RONs. Here is how you decide between them.

Normally, the air and petrol mixture is injected into the chamber and the cylinder compresses it before ignition. Ignition is caused by a spark given out by the spark plug at the precise time for complete combustion. However, a ‘knocking’ sound will occur when there’s too much compression causing the mixture of air and fuel to combust before the
actual spark plug. This will wreck your engine and much worse, burn your wallet in the process!

Does it mean you need RON97 for your car? Not necessarily. Since every car has a minimum compression ratio, the best way to know is to check your service manual to see which fuel type is recommended by your car manufacturer. As every car’s performance has its limit, there’s no need to waste the extra 60 sen on every litre. It’s not going to bring your car to full throttle and make you look as good as Vin Diesel. You’re probably going to get more of a resemblance by shaving your head.

Fuel Prices

Most of us drive a petrol car, and we are absolutely dependent on fuel no matter how much it cost us. Through the years we’ve definitely gulped down more than our fair share of fuel prices changes . Check out how steadily fuel has been burning a hole in our pockets since 2010 in our comparison chart.

Fuel Pricing Through the Years

Date RON95 RON97
3rd Dec 2010 RM1.90/litre RM2.15/litre
5th May 2011 RM1.90/litre RM2.90/litre
5th July 2012 RM1.90/litre RM2.60/litre
4th Sept 2013 RM2.10/litre RM2.85/litre
8th Sept 2014 RM2.10/litre RM2.75/litre

Prices sourced from various news report: The Stars Online and Paultan.org.

Still think a higher RON is worth the money?

Drive efficiently

Unless you plan to convert to hybrid, there is really not much you can do about the price hike situation. But if your car really isn’t maximising the pumping of RON 97 then switch to save some dough! The way you drive will also do wonders to your fuel spending: Drive efficiently, plan your trips or car pool with a friend or a colleague who lives nearby.

Still can’t get your fuel spending under control? Why not get rewards and cashback through fuel credit cards to get more bang for buck?


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