Auto Service World
Feature   March 1, 2000   by CARS Magazine

The Push To Clean Up Gasoline

EmissionsMotor vehicle emissions are a function of both vehicle technology and fuel formulation. The auto industry has spent billions to reduce emissions since the pre-control era.Hydrocarbons (HC) ha...


Motor vehicle emissions are a function of both vehicle technology and fuel formulation. The auto industry has spent billions to reduce emissions since the pre-control era.

Hydrocarbons (HC) have been reduced by 98%, oxides of nitrogen (NOx) reduced by 90%, and carbon monoxide (CO) reduced by 96% from uncontrolled levels.

The auto industry intends to voluntarily introduce low emission vehicles (LEVs) by 2001, which will reduce HC and NOx emissions to 99.3% and 95% respectively from uncontrolled levels.

Today’s advanced vehicle technologies operate best on fuels specially formulated to improve performance and to reduce smog-causing emissions.

Auto Industry Solution: ‘Auto Makers’ Choice’ Program

All auto manufacturers have developed a high quality gasoline specification called Auto Makers’ Choice gasoline.

Use of the Auto Makers’ Choice gasoline logo will be licensed by the auto industry to fuel providers, for use in pumps where gasoline that meets this specification is available.

Program Structure and Scope

This is a national Canadian program.

Its objectives are to encourage the availability of fuels specially formulated to optimize vehicle performance and minimize emissions, recognize oil industry leaders offering these specific fuels, and educate consumers about fuels.

To be eligible for Auto Makers’ Choice program, oil companies must provide fuels that meet a set of requirements. These requirements become more stringent in 2001.

The Auto Makers’ Choice logo will identify pumps which sell gasoline that complies with the auto industry fuel specifications.

Oil companies must provide documentation to certify compliance with program requirements. Independent audits may be conducted to protect the integrity of program.

Auto Participants

General Motors of Canada, DaimlerChrysler, Ford of Canada, Jaguar Canada, Mazda Canada Inc., Saab, Saturn, and Volvo Cars of Canada Ltd. are sponsors of the fuel endorsement program.

All auto manufacturers in Canada have been involved in developing the program over the past six months, including the Auto Makers’ Choice gasoline specification.

Oil Participants

All oil companies and independent fuel retailers are being invited to join the program.

The gasoline specification is based on key elements of the Worldwide Fuel Charter.

In addition to the items listed in the chart on this page, the specification also includes requirements for other contaminants.


Vehicles will perform better and emissions will be lower with Auto Makers’ Choice gasoline.

In fact, if all vehicles on the road in Canada today could access Auto Makers’ Choice gasoline, it would be the equivalent of removing almost two million vehicles from our roads in terms of reducing smog-causing emissions from automobiles.

Background on Sulphur in Gasoline

Sulphur reduces the effectiveness of catalyst technology and degrades emission performance.

The average concentration of sulphur in Canadian gasoline in 1998 was 350 ppm (Ontario was more than 500 ppm), compared to the United States at 310 ppm, Germany at 30 ppm (voluntarily), and Japan at 20 ppm or less.

Federal regulation will limit sulphur levels in gasoline to 150 ppm by 2002, and 30 ppm by 2005.

While applauding the Federal Government’s decision to reduce sulphur in gasoline, these automakers believe that Canadians should have the choice to access lower sulphur fuel sooner.

For more information, email or contact the Customer Communication Centre at 1-800-GM-DRIVE. SSGM

Fuel Specification
PropertyCurrent FuelSpec. 1999Spec. 2001
Sulphur (PPM)1000 max.200 max.80 max.
360 avg.150 avg.30 avg.
Deposit Control Additives *
– intake valveVariesDefined CriteriaEnhanced Criteria
– fuel injectorVaries<5% flow loss<5% flow loss
– combustion chamberNo requirementDefined CriteriaEnhanced Criteria
Heavy Metal Additives (mg/L)
– Pb5 max.not detectablenot detectable
– Mn18 max.not detectablenot detectable
Driveability Index **123812001200
** Deposit Control Additives reduce deposits in combustion chambers and intake valves and ensure fuel injector cleanliness.
** Driveability Index establishes, across a temperature range, a fuel distillation characteristic that has been shown to correlate well with vehicle driveability. This driveability index will ensure excellent vehicle cold start, warm-up driving and emission performance.

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