What Type of Fuel Should I Put In My Car? - NYCM Insurance Blog

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Sep 7, 2023

What Type of Fuel Should I Put In My Car?

Whether you’re new to driving or have just purchased a new vehicle, seeing the many fuel options that gas stations have to offer may leave you wondering which type of fuel you should choose. You may also be worried about what the consequences would be if you were to choose incorrectly. Continue reading to learn more about how to identify which type of fuel is best for your vehicle.


Check the Inside of Your Fuel Door

If you’re unsure about what type of gasoline your car takes, there are a few things you can do to find out. First, we recommend checking the inside of your car’s fuel door.

The fuel door is the protective cover that encloses a vehicle’s fuel filler cap and the entry to its fuel tank. In some cars, you may need to pull a lever that is often located on the interior of your car to release the door. This lever or button can typically be found on the driver’s side floor. In other cars, you may only need to pull, or push the door to pop it open. On the inside of the fuel door, you should find a sticker that either reads “Unleaded Fuel Only,” or “Diesel Fuel”. This will allow you to match the type of fuel on the sticker to the correct fuel pump. It’s important to note that these stickers can easily peel off or erode. If you are unable to locate the sticker or read it clearly, there are a few other ways to figure out which fuel to use in your vehicle.

Read Your Driver’s Manual

If you were unable to locate a sticker on the inside of your fuel door, the information should be available in the driver’s manual. The driver’s manual is an amazing resource when it comes to learning about the details and features of your specific vehicle. Typically, a car manual will have a section that outlines the best type of fuel to use in your car. You can check the manual’s index for a section titled “Fuel Recommendation.” If at this point you are unable to find the information in your car’s manual, there is one other method you can try.


Call Your Vehicle’s Manufacturer

When you call your vehicle manufacturer’s customer support line, you will likely be connected to a customer service representative who will then ask you some questions about your car in order to give you the correct information. To find your vehicle manufacturer’s customer service number, you can either check the driver’s manual or search online.


What Fuel Options Are There?

When using a gas pump, you may notice that there are several fuel options that gas stations typically provide. Most often these options will have names like “regular,” “plus,” and “premium.” Each option will be paired with a number, representing the fuel’s octane. Octane ratings are a measurement of the fuel’s performance and stability. The higher the octane, the less likely it is that a car’s engine will detonate the gasoline at the wrong time. For this reason, it is important to make sure you know which type of gas your car requires before selecting your fuel.


You may also notice a pump option for diesel fuel. While the diesel fuel pump is often kept separate from the unleaded fuel pumps, this is not always the case. Be sure to look carefully at the labels on the pump when selecting your fuel option. Diesel fuel in a vehicle that requires unleaded fuel can cause the vehicle’s system to become clogged, which will then keep it from starting and can damage the engine. The same notion applies to vehicles that require diesel fuel. A diesel engine is not designed to ignite fuel, which means that the fuel won’t light automatically. Diesel fuel also acts as a lubricant to a diesel engine’s components. Without it, the metal components will rub against each other can cause permanent damage.


For more auto-related information and tips, check out the link below.