Your Guide to Fueling Your Vehicle

In a typical week, you probably make a series of regular purchases including milk, eggs, bread… and gas. Fueling up your car is one of those mindless tasks, but choosing the wrong type of gas can be more serious than accidentally picking up 2% instead of skim milk. How do you know what kind to use, and what happens if you put the wrong type of gas into your car?

Knowing What Type of Gas To Use

There are a few places you can look to determine what type of fuel your vehicle needs. regular, premium or diesel.

  1. Look inside the door that covers the filler neck of your gas tank. There should be a sticker there that says what type of gas to use.
  2. Check near your fuel gauge. Especially if your vehicle requires something besides regular gas, there may be a label below the gauge that says which gas to use.
  3. Check your owner’s manual. There should be a section for fluids and specifications where you can find the type of fuel you should be using.

Customization to your engine may also affect the type of fuel your vehicle requires. If your engine is turbocharged or supercharged, you will need to use premium fuel. The same goes for engines with high horsepower and exotic sports cars. If your vehicle is a standard car, truck or SUV you will typically only need to use regular gasoline.

One other way to tell if you are using the right gas is to listen to your car when you are idling. Do you hear a strange pinging or knocking? You may need premium fuel rather than regular. Try adding an octane booster to your fuel. If it gets rid of the sounds, switch to premium fuel.

What If You Use the Wrong Type of Gas?

If You Added Regular, but You Need Premium

You should be fine. Chances are, your engine has advanced sensors that can detect your mistake. The engine will automatically change the ignition and rate of fuel injection. You may notice a slight change in how your car runs, but there should not be any permanent damage.

If You Added Premium, but You Need Regular

Nothing will happen. Don’t expect your car to break down, but don't expect it to have superpowers either! A higher-octane fuel will not cause any improvements or damage to a car needing regular fuel. It will just cost more to fill up.

If You Added Diesel, but You Need Regular or Premium

Your engine parts will not be getting the lubrication you need. Chances are, you will face some problems. You might still make it to your destination, but parts of your engine may need to be replaced soon after.

If You Added Regular or Premium, but You Need Diesel

Don’t expect to get very far. You will hear skipping and coughing, and your engine will die. A mechanic will have to clean the fuel lines and change the fuel filter.

If you realize that you put the wrong fuel in your car, and you are afraid the mistake is going to cost you, call a mechanic. They can safely empty and clean the tank, which will keep any more of the wrong fuel from entering your fuel line. It’s an honest mistake that could happen to anyone, so make sure you pay attention!

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