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  QUESTION: Damage to Hyundai from using leaded fuel, 08 Nov 2003, Florida USA

I have a Hyundai and I am told to use unleaded fuel. I cannot get unleaded fuel. What damage will I do to the car if I use leaded fuel

Many thanks
Ken King

ANSWER: 08 Nov 2003

Dear Ken,

That question would best be answered by your Hyundai dealer but here is what I know.

The answer depends on whether the car is meant to run on unleaded fuel purely because of the octane requirement of the engine or to protect the catalytic converter. If the car has a catalytic converter to reduce harmful emissions then lead in the fuel will destroy the catalytic converter and make the emissions just as harmful as those of cars designed to run on leaded fuel. You would have payed hundreds of dollars for the catalytic converter only to destroy it!

Look in the owner's manual to find out the range of octane levels for the fuel that the car is recommended to run on. If there is no catalytic converter or fuel injection system and the octane level of your leaded fuel is in the correct range, then you may not notice any difference in performance between leaded and unleaded fuel. Did you import the car yourself? How on earth did the car-seller manage to sell you a car which can only run on fuel that is unavailable?

Yours sincerely
Elizabeth O'Brien

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