Technical Bulletin

Facts About Cleaner-Burning Gasoline

(California Reformulated Gasoline)

By June 1996, all gasoline sold in California will be cleaner-burning gasoline -- fuel that pollutes less yet performs as well as conventional gasoline. This bulletin gives automotive service technicians the facts they need to answer customer questions about cleaner-burning gasoline.

Why is California changing to cleaner-burning gasoline?

Over 90% of all Californians breathe polluted air some time every year. Cleaner-burning gasoline reduces emissions from the main source of air pollution -- gasoline-powered engines.

How much air pollution is reduced with cleaner-burning gasoline?

Compared to summertime conventional gasoline, cleaner-burning gasoline significantly reduces harmful air pollution -- smog-forming hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides (NOx) by 15%, carbon monoxide (CO) by 11%, and benzene by 50%. The reduction in smog-forming emissions is equivalent to removing 3.5 million vehicles from California roads.

Will cleaner-burning gasoline perform as well as conventional gasoline?

Yes. The California Air Resources Board (ARB) teamed up with auto manufacturers, gasoline producers, and other affiliated industries to test cleaner-burning gasoline in on-road vehicles and off-road equipment.

During 6 months in 1995, over 800 vehicles of varying makes, mileage and age were driven about 5 million miles on the new fuel. ARB and fleet service technicians regularly checked fuel hoses, pumps, tank, gaskets, and carburetors for fuel-related problems.

The test results
      No change in performance

     No new maintenance

     Small reduction in fuel economy

Cleaner-Burning Gasoline

Test Fleets

Bank of America

CSU, Fresno


Sacramento City Police

County of Sacramento


Pacific Bell

During a six-month testing

program, over 800 vehicles were

driven five million miles on

cleaner-burning gasoline.

Will cleaner-burning gasoline perform as well as conventional gasoline? (cont.)
Major auto manufacturers, other equipment manufacturers, and gasoline producers also tested cleaner-burning gasoline.

Will cleaner-burning gasoline be available in different grades?

Yes. It will be available in the same grades or octane ratings as conventional gasoline.

Is cleaner-burning gasoline different from wintertime oxygenated gasoline?

Yes. Cleaner-burning gasoline contains the same level of oxygenates as wintertime fuel, as well as other improvements to reduce smog-forming and toxic emissions. The year-round use of cleaner-burning gasoline eliminates the need for a different wintertime fuel.

What about the cost and price?

Cleaner-burning gasoline costs 5 to 15 cents more per gallon to make than conventional gasoline. It is impossible to predict how this will affect the retail prices at the pump. Other factors, including crude oil prices, product supply and demand, and weather also affect prices.

Printed on recycled paper 3/96                                                                                                          Technical Bulletin