January 1st 1986 was an historic day in the motoring life of Australia. From that day onwards, all new cars had to be designed to run on Unleaded petrol. At the time, it probably didn't effect the average motorist all that much. We were interested to see how these new cars performed on the new fuel, but for those of us still keeping our existing cars, we weren't directly effected, as the usual Super petrol would continue to be sold alongside the new product. (Although those people involved with vintage vehicles were effected, as the lower-octane Standard petrol was to be quickly phased out with the introduction of Unleaded).
Fifteen years later, it was suddenly a very different story! In that time we have seen Super petrol have it's octane-rating reduced, which caused some adverse effect particularly with high-performance cars, and also seen the price increased to an average of 3 cents per litre above Unleaded. And then from the beginning of 2001, it was phased out altogether! (And note that, even if there is still a "Super" or "Leaded" label on the pump, it isn't the old Super; that has been taken off the market). In it's place we have Lead Replacement Petrol; a lead-free fuel developed to be a replacement for the old Super.
However there are some concerns with Lead Replacement Petrol. The first is that it is only an interim measure. It was intended that this fuel be available only for three or four years, after which time there will be no fuel suitable for use in older vehicles sold at service stations. From then on, those of us with older vehicles will basically have to mix our own fuel! The other concern with Lead Replacement Petrol is with the product itself. There have been reports of poor performance, plug-fouling, increased engine temperatures, and even possible health risks associated with this product.
This web site provides you with some personal observations from people using this product, as well as information that, if you own a vehicle designed to run on the old Super petrol, you should know!