Different Types of Gasoline - Subaru Service Information To Know in Salem, OR

Regular, Premium, Mid-grade, oh my! There are a lot of options when it comes to what fuel you can put in your car -- and with renewable sources of fuel being added to our existing fossil fuels, your options are still growing. From ethanol blends to premium fuels to alternative fuel options like diesel, it can be confusing to know what you can use in your car.

On this page, the team from Capitol Subaru will give you all the information you need to make an educated decision at the pump. So, are you one of the millions of Americans for whom regular unleaded does the trick every time? Or does your car benefit from one of the alternatives available at more gas stations everywhere? Read on to find out!

Fuel Gauge

5. Regular Fuel -- Can You Use It In Sports Cars?

For the vast majority of American drivers, regular unleaded gasoline is all they need to use. However, most gas pumps also have premium and/or mid-grade gasoline that cost a little bit more, and have a little bit higher octane rating. What's that for?

It's mostly for high-performance sports cars with sophisticated engines. Performance-tuned engines have higher compression ratios which are designed for high-octane gas. High octane gas is a bit more stable, meaning it can withstand more pressure and heat before combusting. If you put regular fuel in a car which requires premium gas, this could lead to engine knock, reducing performance and efficiency.

Gasoline Grades

4. Premium Fuel -- Does It Help My Daily Driver?

While there are some potential negatives to using regular fuel in a vehicle that requires premium, there are no added benefits to the reverse -- putting premium fuel in an ordinary car that only needs regular gas. Higher octane fuel doesn't help to clean the engine, improve performance or increase fuel economy. Some people like to give their car a tank of premium fuel from time to time, but all you're really doing is spending an extra 19 cents/gallon or so on premium fuel.

3. Diesel Fuel -- What Happens If I Put It Into A Gasoline Engine

Diesel is an entirely different fuel that only works in diesel engines. Adding diesel fuel to a gasoline engine can lead to serious damage! That's why diesel pumps are usually bright-green in color with a different size fuel pump nozzle -- so you don't accidentally add the wrong fuel to a gas-burning car. If diesel is put into a gasoline car, the engine will shut down as soon as diesel fuel flows to the engine. Gasoline cars can't burn diesel fuel. You'll need to have a technician evacuate the entire fuel system of any remaining traces of diesel fuel. To avoid this costly procedure, make sure not to put diesel fuel in a gasoline car (or vice-versa!).

Gas Station at Night 

2. E85 -- What Is Flex Fuel?

E85 is an exciting fuel that is just 15% real gasoline. The other 85% is plant-based, renewable ethanol. Ethanol has less chemical energy than gasoline, so you can experience reduced fuel economy compared to using pure gasoline. However, since ethanol comes from renewable resources like corn and soybeans grown right here in the U.S., it's often cheaper at the pump. Vehicles equipped to use E85 are called FlexFuel vehicles. Putting E85 gasoline in a non-FlexFuel car with an ordinary gasoline engine will cause reduced performance and efficiency, and can also cause the check engine light to turn on in the dashboard. Over time, E85 can also cause problems with some fuel lines in older vehicles.

1. E15 -- What Ethanol Blends Can I Use?

These days, you'll not only find gasoline, diesel and E85 at the pump -- you may now find yet another option! Pumps labeled E15, E20 and E30 will have 15%, 20% and 30% ethanol blends, respectively, that you can likely use in your car! As long as your car was built in 2002 or newer, you can safely use these lighter ethanol blends in your car. You might find them with a blue-colored fuel nozzles. They can help you save money and reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

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  1. Capitol Subaru

    3235 Cherry Ave Ne
    Salem, OR 97301

    • Sales: (888) 698-1973

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Capitol Subaru of Salem

920 Auto Group Ave NE
Directions Salem, OR 97301

  • Sales: 503-587-5500
  • Service: 503-496-7873
  • Parts: 503-587-5500