Gasoline octane found to be lower than needed

Expats who noticed their vehicles struggling lately might wait awhile before taking it to a mechanic. The problem could be the gasoline.

The Autoridad Reguladora de los Servicios Públicos said Thursday that tests it authorized at the national gasoline monopoly showed serious differences in octane.

At the Moín facility of the Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo the regular gasoline had an octane rating of 72 when the normal is 88, the agency said. Tests were carried out by the Centro de Electroquímica y Energía Química at the Universidad de Costa Rica.

The agency said its inspectors also found problems with the temperatures in the petroleum distillation process. In addition there was sediment in both regular or plus gasoline and super, it said. That was obvious because the fluid had a different color, said the agency.

The Authoridad noted that lower octane as well as sediment can cause malfunctions and possible damage in vehicle motors.

The refinery was given 24 hours to correct the situation, said the Authoridad.

The regulating agency has been carrying out inspections at the refinery plants and at service stations for 12 years.

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