Texaco Inc. on Tuesday laid claim to a long-sought gasoline additive--one that reduces engine deposits in a car's combustion chamber that can cause rough idling, poor acceleration and power loss.
The company said its new ingredient, to be incorporated in all grades of Texaco gas beginning March 1, also improves mileage and performance while lowering emissions of nitrogen oxides, a smog-forming air pollutant, by an average of 15%.
Since the 1950s, most major oil refiners have relied for much of their marketing punch on detergents and other additives that improve engine performance. Each brand adds its own mix to various octane grades that otherwise are largely interchangeable. Even industry critics agree that most of them do some good.
But the new Texaco additive "can really only be termed a breakthrough," said David Cole, director of the Office for the Study of Automotive Transportation at the University of Michigan. "I'm not saying that this is a perfect product, but we have seen nothing like it in the marketplace," said Cole, at a press conference in New York Tuesday.