As from Jan 1st, the country switches over to unleaded petrol so don’t forget to check your vehicle’s compatibility.
From Jan 1st, only 3 grades of petrol will be available – 91, 93 & 95 unleaded octane.
Vehicle owners on the coast will convert from 97 octane leaded fuels to 95 unleaded octane fuels. Owners of pre-1996 model vehicles have until the end of Dec to prepare their vehicles to take the unleaded petrol. However, most affected vehicles will run normally on the 95 octane lead replacement fuel while a few will not be able to and will need a minor adjustment. (For more info & where to get vehicle compatibility info, read the gist of the NAAMSA media release of 24/11/2005 below).
NAAMSA (National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa) MEDIA RELEASE – 24/11/2005
CLEANER FUELS FOR A CLEANER ENVIRONMENT: DISCONTINUATION OF 97 RON LEADED PETROL IN COASTAL AREAS FROM JANUARY, 2006 AND ADVICE TO OWNERS OF CERTAIN PRE 1996 VEHICLES
1. Background : The Cleaner Fuels for a Cleaner Environment Initiative
From the beginning of 2006, cleaner fuels will be introduced throughout South Africa. This important development is part of a process of aligning South African fuel standards with international fuel specifications and vehicle technology requirements. It will also, over time, promote improved air quality and a healthier environment in South Africa.
2. The implications for certain pre-1996 vehicles in the context of the new fuels structure:
From January, 2006, leaded petrol will be phased out in South Africa and new octane grades introduced. From that time, the current 97 RON leaded petrol available in coastal regions will be replaced by a 95 RON lead replacement petrol.
This 95 octane petrol should satisfy the needs of the vast majority of vehicles, however, a limited number of older, pre 1996 vehicles – in South Africa’s coastal regions – may require an engine adjustment to ensure problem free and efficient operation.
Owners of affected vehicles, in coastal areas, should seek advice regarding compatibility with the new 95 octane lead replacement petrol and the possible need for an engine adjustment preferably prior to the January, 2006 fuel change. Owners of such vehicles may consult their relevant franchise dealer service department or their servicing workshops. Additionally, owners can check whether their vehicle is affected by the fuel change by checking the Vehicle Fuel Compatibility Charts at www.naamsa.co.za/unleaded/. Vehicle manufacturers’ call centres and oil company call centres may also be consulted. (Apparently these lists/charts will be available from every petrol station in the country from Jan 1st)
It is important to note that the size of the coastal vehicle population which may require some engine adjustment is fairly small and that most affected vehicles would probably operate quite normally on the 95 octane lead replacement fuel.
The need to adjust the timing on some of the older, pre 1996 motor cars in South Africa’s coastal regions can be addressed relatively easily and effectively as part of a standard service or separately, if desired. (Editor’s note: Jeff Osborne, MD of the Retail Motor Industry, says that “it’s a minor adjustment, which can be done within 5 – 10 mins”.)
3. The role of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI) and independent service workshops in assisting with engine adjustment of pre-1996 vehicles in coastal areas
Owners of affected vehicles, may visit participating RMI accredited workshops to receive a FREE (see note below) ignition timing adjustment or in the event that their particular car does not make provision for mechanical ignition correction, then the RMI member shall willingly advise the motorists regarding alternative measures.
4. Procedure to be followed –
Establish whether your vehicle in fact requires a timing adjustment by consulting the NAAMSA website – www.naamsa.co.za/unleaded/ and consulting the relevant notes in the right hand column.
If an adjustment is recommended, contact the appropriate Regional Office of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI) as per the contact details reflected on the attached schedule or consult the RMI website at – www.rmi.org.za .
From the Herald (15/12/2005):
“THE Retail Motor Industry organisation says none of its members in Nelson Mandela Bay have volunteered to help owners of cars made before 1996 change their engines to take unleaded fuel, without charging them.
This is despite RMI chief executive Jeff Osborne’s proclaiming last week that 100 accredited workshops in the Eastern Cape had volunteered to do this service at no charge.”
So, be prepared to pay up to R300 to have this adjustment done!
Happy motoring from MyPE!
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