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The fuel industry plans to phase out leaded fuel and lead replacement petrol (LRP) within the next five years, after a steady reduction of cars that needed it was recorded.
Most vehicles that require these types of fuel were built before 1996, and their biggest issue would be valve seat recession.
When LRP is no longer available, owners of these vehicles can use anti-wear additives, available at most major spares retailers, to protect the engine’s valve seats.
Alternatively, the vehicle’s cylinder head could be removed and hardened valve seats fitted.
Stuart Rayner, chairman of the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa’s fuels and emissions committee, said both petrol and diesel vehicles could emit significant quantities of nitrogen oxides, sulphur oxides, particles, carbon monoxide, and hydrocarbons.
“The pollutants can be reduced by adopting lower sulphur and metal-free fuels, while at the same time integrating this with new vehicle technology and emission control devices,” he said.
He said the decision was part of a process that would see newly formulated fuels being introduced, which would contribute to improved urban air quality and the environment in general.
“Cleaner fuels will also enable more sophisticated vehicle engine technology,” he said.
* To check if your vehicle will be affected, go to www.naamsa.co.za and click on Vehicle Fuel Compatibility.