What Type of Gas Does My Car Take?

December 4, 2023

When you pull up to the gas pump, you see several different types of fuel and grades. What does all that mean, and which is best for your car?

The most important thing to know is that you should always use the type of fuel that your car manufacturer recommends. This is typically found in the owner’s manual, and it may also be indicated on or near the gas cap or by the fuel gauge. Using fuel with an octane rating lower than what’s recommended can damage the engine and emissions control system over time.

Gasoline is usually sold with a minimum octane rating of 87, with premium gasoline having a higher octane rating (typically 91 or 93). The difference in octane ratings ensures that the fuel will burn evenly and prevent engine knock. This is particularly important for high-horsepower and high-compression engines like those found in exotic sports cars.

It’s also important to note that you will often see "winter" gasoline at the gas station, which is different from the summer gas. This is because winter gas has been formulated to help the fuel evaporate more slowly in cold weather, which helps reduce emissions and pollution.

Despite what you might think, premium gas won’t provide any additional performance benefits or make your engine run better than regular fuel will. However, it will be more expensive than the lower-octane options.


Traffic Dave is on a mission to help traffic engineers, transportation planners, and other transportation professionals improve our world.
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram