Will Unleaded 88 Damage My Car? Expert Opinion

Every fuel contains various components that contribute to the final output in the refinery process. These components in the refinery process are additives, and one of these additives is octane. The additives also affect the gas color.

However, gasoline is graded based on the percentage of octane in it. For instance, the octane percentage in 87 is different from 88. The same applies to 89 and 91. If your car uses 87 or 89 and you want to buy 88 gasoline, you may wonder, will unleaded 88 damage my car? What is unleaded 88, anyway?

This article will explain the meaning of unleaded 88 gasoline, what they are used for, and the pros and cons of unleaded 88 gasoline. Grab a seat and a cup of coffee as we progress along.

why is unleaded 88 cheaper

What is unleaded 88 gas?

Unleaded 88 gas, referred to as E15, is made of 85% gasoline and 15% octane. It is the same with the regular 87 gasoline – the only difference is the percentage of octane in the refinery process. It burns cleaner than the regular 87, offers an engine boost, reduces greenhouse emissions, and improves air quality.

It is also cheaper than the regular 87 gasoline. I know you’ll be asking, why is unleaded 88 cheaper? The 88 gas is cheaper than the regular 87 gasoline because of government ethanol subsidies. This means the higher the octane in a gas, the lower the price. So what is unleaded 88 gas used for? Let’s find out.

What is unleaded 88 gas used for?

According to the US Environmental protection Agency (EPA), every vehicle manufactured from 2001 upwards and flex-fuel compatible cars are safe to use 88 or E15 gasoline.

Before recommending this gasoline for all flex-fuel compatible cars and light-duty trucks, the EPA tested and certified them safe for use. However, kindly note that some automakers of high-end cars recommend using only premium gas and mid-grade fuels.

Will unleaded 88 damage my car?

In most gas stations, you’ll see different gas types like 87, 89, and 91, along with diesel options. Most people choose one gas type and stick to it throughout the life of the vehicle. So when they go to a full-service or self-service gas station, they feel confident to refuel their car with the right option. However, experts advise you not to step down to a lower-grade gasoline type if you usually use a higher grade.

Most forks have not heard of unleaded 88. So, most often, they ask what is unleaded 88 fuel and fall prey to the unleaded 88 vs. E85 debate. E85 gasoline is a high octane rating gasoline with 51% to 83% ethanol percentage. The most concerning question amongst these forks is, is unleaded 88 safe for my car?

The unleaded 88 gasoline is perfectly safe for your car. Although we started seeing this gasoline grade in the last couple of years, it is absolutely fine for any vehicle manufactured from 2001 upwards and any flex-fuel compatible car. So take it as another unleaded fuel for your gasoline-powered vehicles.

Before you use unleaded 88, check what your owner’s manual says about it. The owner’s manual is your manufacturer in print. Abstain from unleaded 88 if your owner’s booklet advises you not to use it. If not, it’s okay and will not cause any damage to your car. Not now, and not in the long run!

Advantages and disadvantages of unleaded 88 gas

When considering whether to migrate to unleaded 88 gas or not, you need to look at the pros and cons. You can determine if the unleaded 88 is right for your vehicle by weighing the pros and cons.

Pros of Unleaded 88

  • It has environmental benefits
  • It reduces tailpipe emission
  • It is cheaper than regular unleaded gasoline
  • It boasts engine power
  • It burns slower than regular unleaded 88

Cons of Unleaded 88

  • Limited availability (though they are growing gradually)
  • Not recommended for vehicles manufactured in the 1990s.

Unleaded 88 vs. unleaded differences

Unleaded 88 gasoline is the same regular unleaded gasoline as unleaded 87. The only difference between the 88 and 87 is their percentage of ethanol. The Unleaded 88 is also known as E15, while the 87 is known as E10. These names are coined from the ethanol percentage. The 88 has 15% ethanol, while the 87 has 10% ethanol.

The E15 burns cleaner boasts engine power, reduces emissions, and improves air quality due to the extra 5% ethanol.

what is unleaded 88

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ

Is unleaded 88 safe for all cars?

Unleaded 88 is a type of gasoline containing up to 15% ethanol. While it may be a cheaper and more sustainable option for some motorists, not all cars are designed to run on this type of fuel.

In fact, many vehicles manufactured before 2001 or featured with small engines may suffer performance issues or even damage if they use unleaded 88.

The high levels of ethanol can cause corrosion and wear on certain parts, particularly in older cars with metal fuel systems or carburetors.

But the safe way out for drivers is to consult their owner’s manual or check with their manufacturer before using unleaded 88 in their car.

Is unleaded 88 good for your engine?

While it is a more environment-friendly option than traditional gasoline blends, some car owners are concerned about its impact on their engine’s performance. There are mixed opinions on this topic among experts in the automotive industry.

On one hand, proponents of unleaded 88 argue that it can actually benefit your engine by cleaning out deposits and reducing emissions. On the other hand, opponents caution that using it in older vehicles or those not specifically designed for it can lead to damage over time.

So, it’s always best to consult with a trusted mechanic before making any changes to your fuel type.

What vehicles can use unleaded 88?

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), unleaded 88 gasoline is safe to be used on all cars, trucks, and SUVs produced from 2001 and upwards. It is also safe for all flex-fuel-compatible vehicles.

However, I recommend you contact your owner’s booklet or your equipment/engine manufacturer to ensure your vehicle is compatible with the E15.

In any case, the EPA states that the unleaded 88 is not approved for older vehicles built before 2001, motorcycles, nonroad vehicles (boats and snowmobiles), engines in off-road applications/equipment (chainsaws and lawnmowers), or vehicles with heavy-duty engines (such as delivery trucks and buses).

What happens if you put 88 in the unleaded car?

If you use unleaded 88 gas instead of the regular 87 unleaded gasoline, nothing will happen to your car. The only difference is just the octane rating. In fact, it will help the car to burn cleaner, reduce greenhouse effects, reduce emissions, and save you extra cash at the gas station.

However, using unleaded 88 on vehicles manufactured before 2001, offroad equipment (chainsaws and lawnmowers), nonroad vehicles (boats and snowmobiles), or heavy-duty engines (such as delivery trucks and buses) may cause some problems. Using it on any of these vehicles may cause fluid leaks and potentially lead to overheating.

Can all cars run unleaded 88?

No. Unleaded 88 gasoline is not recommended for all cars. It is only recommended for cars manufactured from 2001 and upwards and flex-fuel compatible cars. However, if you have a high-end car, you need to check the manufacturer’s recommendation because most high-end cars use only mid-grade or premium gas.

Can I use unleaded 88 in my Honda CRV?

Honda engines are designed and certified to run with regular unleaded gasoline. By this, Honda CRVs manufactured from 2001 upwards are compatible with running on 88 unleaded gasoline. However, do not run any Honda CRV with more than 15% ethanol gasoline.

What’s better unleaded 87 or 88?

Both unleaded 87 and 88 are good quality gas. They are the same fuel with different ethanol percentages in them. However, if you’re asking, unleaded 88 vs. unleaded 87, which is better? The unleaded 88 burns cleaner, improves air quality, reduces tailpipe emissions, and is cheaper than the unleaded 87 gasoline.

What happens if you put unleaded 88 instead of 87?

Unleaded 88 is a type of gasoline with an octane rating of 88 with 15% of ethanol in it. It has become increasingly popular because it is cheaper than regular unleaded gas. Many drivers wonder whether using unleaded 88 instead of unleaded 87, dubbed also as E10 for 10% of ethanol in it, will harm their engines.

In general, the swapping should not cause any significant problems for most engines. However, it is not recommended to use a lower octane fuel than what your vehicle manufacturer recommends. This can lead to engine knocking and reduced performance over time.

The best answer to confusion like this is to follow the recommendations in your vehicle owner’s manual.

Final Words

Unleaded 88 is a new type of regular gasoline. It can power minivans, lightweight trucks, SUVs, and compact cars manufactured from 2001 upwards. It even improves air quality, reduces greenhouse effects, and reduces emissions.

At this juncture, you’ll no longer ask, will unleaded 88 damage my car? You only have to be sure your car is not manufactured before 2001. And if you own a high-end car, consult your owner’s manual to ensure it is recommended for your car.

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Osuagwu Solomon

Osuagwu Solomon is a certified mechanic with over a decade of experience in the mechanic garage, and he has over five years of experience in the writing industry. He started writing automotive articles to share his garage experience with car enthusiasts and armature mechanics. If he is not in the garage fixing challenging mechanical problems, he is writing automotive repair guides, buyer’s guides, and car and tools comparisons.

2 thoughts on “Will Unleaded 88 Damage My Car? Expert Opinion

  1. Hello Brian,

    Thanks for stopping by.

    Unleaded 87 has 10% ethanol and Unleaded 88 has 15% ethanol. The 5% increase in ethanol increases the octane rating to 88.

    If you saw 10% ethanol in Unleaded 88, that will be a mistake.

  2. I just stopped at a Florida Racetrac gas station and purchased their Unleaded88 because according to the pump is was 10% ethanol. They have their E85 sectioned off separately on the same pump with separate nozzles for diesel, E85, Unleaded88 and Regular Unleaded, and then their mid and high grades. I took a picture of the pump so I could record the prices. It shows how the Unleaded88 is 10% ethanol.
    So now you have me very curious. What do you folks think?

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