Backgrounder 4

Off-Road Performance


      Gasoline is the primary fuel for a wide variety of motorized equipment, including all-terrain vehicles, boats, snowmobiles, lawn mowers, leaf blowers, chainsaws and some off-road construction and farm equipment.

      Cleaner-burning gasoline will reduce air pollution originating from those sources.  At the same time, it is vital that off-road equipment perform well when using cleaner-burning gasoline.

      This backgrounder presents information on the off-road test programs that found cleaner-burning gasoline to be compatible with off-road vehicles and equipment.  A companion backgrounder contains information on a similar on-road test program involving the use of cleaner-burning gasoline in motor vehicles.

1995 Test Program

      Between February and August 1995, California Air Resources Board (ARB) staff worked with several other state agencies to test cleaner-burning gasoline in off-road equipment.  Equipment operators used cleaner-burning gasoline under actual operating conditions for extended periods. They evaluated equipment performance and worked with ARB staff to determine the cause of any equipment failures.  Tested equipment included:

      In addition, a number of equipment manufacturers worked cooperatively with ARB staff in conducting their own test programs.  Tested equipment included:

Test Results

      All the companies and agencies performing the tests reported that the equipment did not experience any unusual performance problems when using cleaner-burning gasoline.  The number of mechanical and fuel-system problems did not exceed the amount that would be expected due to normal wear and tear.

      The test results indicate that gasoline-powered equipment will be able to utilize cleaner-burning gasoline without a reduction in performance.

Additional Information for Equipment Owners

      Users of gasoline-powered equipment should not notice any difference in the performance of their equipment following the introduction of cleaner-burning gasoline.  Equipment owners should remember that all mechanical parts have a finite lifetime, and that problems with the fuel system and other systems can develop in any piece of motorized equipment due to normal wear and tear and other reasons unrelated to fuel.

      If you have any questions about the use of cleaner-burning gasoline in motorized equipment, please call the Air Resources Board toll-free at 1-800-922-7349.  ARB representatives will be available during normal business hours to answer questions.