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Fuel Additives - Again!!!

Subject: Fuel Additives - Again!!!
From: (Bert Palte)
Date: Sat, 6 Apr 96 21:44:35 +0200
Hi fellow MG Enthousiasts,

I've been off this list for about two weeks - and don't know why.
A technical error? Did I offend anyone and was I kicked off?
Anyone else who has not received any mail from this list since
about March 18th?  
I subscribed again and now it works fine.

Just returned from a 3400 km / 2100 miles trip, by car, to Germany and 
Northern Italy (visiting some companies there).   
The Dolomite mountains in the North of Italy are really fun to drive. 
I came through ski resorts still in full operation. Long and windy mountain 
roads - and  not very crowded at this time of the year.

I really wished I'd had an inflatable MG in the back of my car! 

In Germany I found that gas stations from (at least) two major oil companies,
ARAL and BP, now sell a lead-substitute additive for those older cars that 
(like most  MGs) still require leaded fuel.
I've seen myself that leaded fuel is no longer available in Austria, it is my
understanding that it is also difficult to obtain in Switzerland now.
In Germany it is still available now but the attendant  at the gas station 
where I bought a bottle of this stuff told me that leaded fuel is to be
phased out 
there by the end of 1996.

The idea is, of course, that you can fill up with unleaded, add a metered
quantity of the stuff to the fuel and still won't have any damage to your
valves etc. 

Now I remember having read about a similar product having been marketed 
in Britain in 1990 or so (Carbonflo?).
One of the British car magazines (Practical Classics ?) ran a long-term test
and found that it simply didn't work (i.e. after only 5000 miles or so, severe 
damage to the valves of their test car's engine occurred. They aborted the
I still have the article somewhere.

Both oil companies mentioned above have a reasonable market share in
Germany, however. IMHO they can NEVER afford to sell a product that leads to
engine damage, so I assume it will have been thoroughly tested now.

How do you sell a product like this lead-subsitute additive at a time when
both leaded and unleaded fuel are readily available?

Interestingly enough, over the price!
Unlike from what I remember how it was in the USA, unleaded fuel is cheaper
than leaded (by means of different taxation). By using this additive, you save 
money, both ARAL and BP claim in their little brochure on the stuff.

Any chemical engineers around who know what this stuff is, 
whether it works  and how it works?

This section for the math lovers and the cost conscious only!
All has been converted to US dollars and US gallons.

1 gallon of unleaded fuel (95 octane) costs $ 4.55  (*)
1 gallon of     leaded fuel (98 octane,
   the only available type)                      costs $ 4.96  (*)

The additive sells in small (250 ml) bottles with a small quantity
metering device. Price per US gallon is about $ 107.
0.1 % of the additive should be added. 
(i.e. a 250 ml bottle is enough for adding to 250 liters of fuel).

(*) These are the prices we have to pay here in Holland.
About 15 % less expensive in Germany due to slightly lower
fuel taxes there.

(As you can see, you folks in the USA and elsewhere, car fuels are a 
gold mine for European governments!)

(end of math section)

Usual disclaimers apply. I have no interest whatsoever in any of the companies 
mentioned above.

Happy Eastern

Bert Palte
Holland, Europe

Bert Palte                                       "Elysium" Alumnivereniging
Roggeveld 25                                Universiteit Twente
3764 ZB Soest                              Faculteit Elektrotechniek 
tel.  035 602 3949 (thuis)             EL/TN 8223 
tel.  035 601 3816 (werk)             Postbus 217
                                                        7500 AE Enschede   

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