Low sulphur fuel & wear

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Jun 19, 2002
Upper Midwest
A local gasoline distributor is highlighting their "earth friendly" fuels, stating all their grades of gasoline have 75% less sulphur than competing brands. I know sulphur in general is a bad thing, especially regarding acids in the crankcase. But I also seem to remember that sulphur can act as a lubricant. My question is if that is true, what is the relationship between sulphur in fuel and engine wear? Is low sulphur fuel overall a good thing for engines, or is it only an environmental thing?
For high-pressure diesel fuel pumps, sulphur was relied upon to act as a lubricant. It is not so good in gas engines, especially since the additive package in gas engine oils do not contain the same concentration of anti-acid or acid fighting ingredients as do diesel engine oils. It's probably better for the environment and the engine. Less acid build up in the engine.
I was under the impression that sulfur had been eliminated from gasoline, but reviewing gasoline datasheets has shown me that was wrong. My car averages 17 MPG overall or about 1500 lbs of fuel per 4000 miles, this would allow about a full pound of sulfur to pass through my engine(based on max allowable .05% by weight for RFG and .1% for conventional of which I use both) in one oil change. Hmm, no wonder I saw 33% allowable sulfur in my oil. I did notice on some analysises that it states that sulfur is not meaningful in gasoline engines, just for comparison.
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