Motorists often think that all gasoline is created equal. This explains why most drivers opt for cheaper gas when refueling their cars. But if you own a diesel-powered vehicle, you’ll know this is not true. And if you own a gasoline-powered car, you need to understand different fuel grades. It’ll help your ride run smoother and save you money in the long run.
Here, Rx Mechanic vetted service writer hopes you already know there are different types of gas and wondering, what kind of gas does my car take? We’ll also explain the types of gasoline at the pump, what cars take premium gas, and other concerning matters.
Vehicle gas explained
Internal combustion engines use diesel or gasoline fuel. In this context, we’re referring to gasoline-powered internal combustion engines. Gasoline engines use spark plugs to ignite the air-fuel mixture ratio in the combustion chamber.
When wondering what kind of gas does my car take, Toyota Corolla or any car model, you need to understand that all gasoline is the same. The only difference is the amount of ethanol in them. Ethanol is a renewal fuel extracted from various plant materials.
They are collectively called biomass. The sole aim of adding ethanol is to oxygenate the fuel, which helps in air pollution reduction. Whether ethanol is used in a low-blend, like E10 gas (10% ethanol and 90% gasoline), E15 (10.5 to 15% ethanol), or flex-fuel (51 to 83% of ethanol), it helps to minimize emissions.
Each car fuel manufacturer recommends fuel types for their vehicles. However, using the wrong fuel will not prevent your car from moving. But depending on your geographical region and season, it’ll reduce performance. Hence, it is essential to stick with the manufacturer’s recommendation.
Ethanol in gasoline changes the octane rating of that fuel. Here, octane refers to a measure of a fuel’s ability to withstand compression in the combustion chamber in order to prevent knocking. In other words, octane rating is a measure of fuel stability in an internal combustion engine.
Octane ratings are one of the most common things motorists undermine at safe-serve gas stations. They are typically inscribed on the gas station pump handle. The three common ratings are 87, 89, and 91. As explained earlier, these inscriptions describe the stability of the gas under compression.
In general, gasoline with higher octane ratings is high-performance fuel. 91 to 94 octane gasoline is premium gas due to the quantity of ethanol in them. You’ll be wondering, what octane does my car take?
What kind of gas does my car take?
Please, do not be misguided. Disregard any information that says using higher octane gas will guarantee an increase in engine performance. Always stick to the recommended gasoline for your vehicle. High-performance cars typically run on high-octane gas, while entry-level rides use low-blend ethanol gas.
Filling premium gas in entry-level vehicles is like filling distilled water in your wiper fluid reservoir and expects better cleaning results. So if you’re wondering what kind of gas does a 6-cylinder car use or what kind of gas does my car take, Honda Civic, or your respective car model, contact your owner’s manual.
Every car owner’s manual is the manufacturer in print. The manual explains the suitable gas for your car. And if your car requires premium gas, the manufacturers will likely indicate it near the dash or the gas tank.
However, there’s an exception to every role. Even if your manufacturer did not specify you should use premium gas, consider using it after installing a turbocharger or supercharger.
This is because installing a turbo or supercharger will increase the engine performance to a certain ratio. Also, installing a turbo means you have introduced a forced induction, and the engine is cranking much faster than predefined by the manufacturer.
If you were asking, what cars take premium gas, you now know the answer. Basically, high-performance cars take premium gas. In any case, some manufacturers recommend you use premium gas on some regular cars. Some example of regular cars that uses premium gas includes:
- Nissan Maxima (all models)
- Mini Countryman (all models)
- Mini Clubman (all models)
- Mini Corper (all models)
- Volkswagen Arteon (all models)
- Fiat 500L (all models)
- Buick Regal TourX (all models)
- Buick Regal (all models)
- Kia Stinger (all models)
- Honda Civic (with 1.5L turbo)
- Buick envision (with 2.0L turbo)
- GMC Terrain (with 2.0L turbo)
- Chevrolet Malibu (with 2.0L turbo)
- Chevrolet Equinox (with 2.0L turbo)
- Mitsubishi Outlander (with 3.0L V6).
Read Also: How Much Ethanol Is In 93 Octane Gas?
Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs
Q: Is 87 regular gas?
In most states in the US and other countries, gasoline labelled 87 is considered a regular gas. As reiterated above, the difference between regular, mid-grade, and premium gas is the amount of octane they contain. It is important to note that your country or state may not consider 87 as regular.
Q: Does it matter what gas I put in my car?
Most manufacturers design their newer cars to utilize economy grade. Regardless, choosing the right gasoline octane level matters a lot. For instance, high-performance vehicles need more ethanol in the fuel for higher compression to generate more power. Using low-blend fuel in these vehicles will not give the engine room for higher compression, invariably affecting the engine power output.
Q: Does my car need premium or regular gas?
Most cars take regular while others take premium gas. It is best to stick to the manufacturer’s recommendation. However, there’s a catch to this. If the fuel sticker on your baby ride says premium gas recommended, you can use regular gas without causing performance issues. But if it says premium gas only or required, you need to stick with premium gas. And if the vehicle states regular or midgrade, stick to the recommendation.
Q: Do all cars take 87 gas?
No, all cars do not use 87 regular gas. Some cars use regular gas, some mid-grade, and others use premium gas. This is because manufacturers do not design all cars to perform equally. But most entry-level cars are designed to run with 87 gas. Even at that, you can still use midgrade or premium gas on a car that requires regular gas. But you should note that it won’t improve the performance.
Q: What happens if you mix 87 and 93 gas?
Mixing two types of gasoline will not cause damage to the vehicle. For instance, if you mix 87 and 93 gas, the octane rating will fall in the middle, depending on the percentages. The mixture will likely turn the gasoline to midgrade (between 88 and 90) or premium gas (91 to 92 in this case).
Q: What happens if I put regular gas instead of premium?
Since regular gas has low-blend ethanol, it cannot withstand detonation in the long term. Therefore, using regular gas for engines that require premium gas when towing heavy loads or for the long term will lead to engine knocking, which will damage the spark plugs, pistons, and valves.
Watch ChrisFix YouTube Video for a better understanding
If you have been reading to this point, you’ll no longer ask what kind of gas does my car take? We have explained what vehicle gasoline means in relation to its ethanol percentage and how to identify the recommended gas for your car.
In summary, you can safely use premium gas on entry-level cars without any issues, but you should not expect an increase in engine performance. In contrast, using regular gas on high-performance cars that require premium gas will expose the engine to knocking.