Reader Question: Premium for Mustang GT? (May 16, 2018)

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!

Marcella asks: I heard you on with D.Knight just now and came to your site – great info! Do  I need to be buying premium fuel like I’ve been for years – wanting to take care of my car –  2001 Ford Mustang GT Bullitt? I heard you say if your car does not benefit from premium fuel, it can use more premium fuel than it would have used of regular unleaded fuel. Is the premium fuel not any better for my engine?

My reply: I’d go with what the factory recommends; if premium (high octane) is “recommended” or “required,” then that’s what I’d use. There should be a sticker/placard on the inside of your car’s fuel door and if not, check the owner’s manual. I’m pretty sure your GT’s V8 was made to run best on high-octane premium fuel.

If you use regular (lower octane) fuel, you won’t damage anything; your car has knock sensors and the computer which controls the engine will adjust various parameters (such as ignition timing) to compensate for the lower octane fuel. But you will probably notice a decrease in power/performance as well as mileage.

The same applies, incidentally, in reverse. If you use premium (high octane) fuel in an engine designed to burb regular, it won’t hurt the engine but you’ll probably notice a decrease in mileage, etc.

It’s all about using the right fuel for your particular engine!

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Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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