Lower octane

September 29, 1990

Crown Central Petroleum Corp. has reduced the octane of it premium unleaded gasoline to save a little money and add a little detergent.

Jo Bruen, spokeswoman for the Baltimore oil company, said the company has replaced an octane-increasing additive with a new cleaning agent that will enable the fuel to win endorsements from manufacturers of luxury cars.

She said Crown will submit the reformulated fuel to a testing laboratory soon.

Ms. Bruen said Crown's change lowers the octane level of its top-of-the line gasoline slightly more than 1 percent, from a rating of 93 to a rating of 92, at a time when sales of premium gasoline are falling anyway.

The rising price of gasoline has pushed consumers away from the most expensive type of gasoline, she said.

The premium grade accounted for nearly 22 percent of Crown's gasoline sales in July, but so far this month, premium has made up less than 15 percent of sales, she said.

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