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Do I need to use premium unleaded

I am looking to buy a used 2001 lexus es300 for my son, will he still need to use premium unleaded gas it says is required? With gas at the prices they are not sure if he should have this car.
Are there any other concerns I should have with purchasing this?

You’ll find this topic has been discussed many times on this forum. Search is your friend.

With premium fuel costing about 5% more than regular, if the Lexus currently averages 20mpg, and a switch to regular drops the mileage by more than 1mpg, then using regular will cost you more money. Is that what you want?

If premium is required, yes, you must use it or risk serious engine damage. If premium is recommended, you don’t have to use it, but you may get better gas mileage with premium, which can actually lower operating costs.

Look for a Camry instead (same car as ES300). The 2.2 liter 4 is a much more reliable engine than the V-6 in the Lexus and uses regular gas. I get about 29mpg in combined city/highway driving. The Lexus might get about 22.

“will he still need to use premium unleaded gas it says is required?”

The premium gas requirement for this engine did not expire because of the age of the car.

Seriously–Did you really think that you can begin changing the rules for maintenance and care of the vehicle just because it is now over 10 years old? If you want this car to last for several more years with minimal repair bills, you need to use premium gas, and you need to continue to follow the factory maintenance schedule.

Yes. A “requirement” is non-negotiable.

Yes, use premium fuel as required. The cost differential is insignificant if you do the math–probably less than 2 Starbucks coffees per month.

If you can afford to even consider a LEXUS for a kid,
you most certainly will know , going in, that you must in fact be able to afford it’s feeding and maintainence…
or don’t go there.

The owners manual states that 87 or 91 octane can be used.

Octane rating
Select Octane Rating 87 (Research Octane Number
91) or higher. For improved vehicle performance,
the use of premium unleaded gasoline with an
Octane Rating of 91 (Research Octane Number 96)
or higher is recommended.

Sounds like it will run fine on 87 octane regular…If an engine, any engine, is fueled with inadequate octane, it will let you about it in terms you can understand…(You will HEAR the resulting detonation and or spark knock) If you can not detect any complaints from the engine, then you are not hurting it…Most “Premium Fuel Only” cars will run FINE on 87 octane regular. A few high-performance, turbocharged/supercharged engines will complain if fed regular…

First stop looking at the cost per gallon. Look at the cost per mile. Do your math.

Remember that if you are using low octane fuel in a car that is designed to preform best with the higher octane fuel the manufacturer recommends, it is very possible that using a low octane fuel will result in fewer miles per gallon and higher cost per mile than using the recommended higher octane.

My Mercedes calls for 91 octane, but I’ve been driving it for 16 years on 89 octane with no problem.

I’d buy a Toyota with the 2.2 liter 4 cylinder engine rather than a V6.