Do I Really HAVE to Put Highest Grade Gas in my Turbo Car?

When I bought my car, they told me it’s a Turbo. I didn’t know what Turbo meant! I thought they were saying something like “new and improved,” like that means anything, right? But now I understand better what Turbo means. And the dealership tells me I should use the highest grade of gasoline. Today in the break room, one of the guys told me that’s not true, that it doesn’t make any difference. I’m confused!

My best guess is that your car, like other Turbo-charged cars, DOES REQUIRE PREMIUM GAS in order to avoid engine damage. But, rather than taking the opinion of anyone in this forum, or at the dealership, or a co-worker, you need to follow the requirements established by the company that manufactured your car. The factual answer to your question is contained in your Owner’s Manual, so open up the glove compartment, take out that book, and begin to read it.

Even if you have never looked at your Owner’s Manual previously, this is the time to do so. In addition to the information regarding the proper grade of gas for your car, it will also contain information regarding maintenance, and I can tell you that cars with a Turbo-charged engine do require more maintenance than non-Turbo cars. Failure to maintain the engine properly will result in an early and expensive death for that engine, so it is vitally important to find out about the required maintenance procedures, as well as the proper grade of gasoline.

Like VDC said, your owner’s manual is the true authority. It was written by technical writers working with the design team and from specification documents from the designers.

Everyone else is just a well-meaning second-guesser.


dont listen to your friends(they are wrong)

they do not have a TURBO so they dont know,on the other hand if they do,I can make some serious cash when thier cars are throwing check engine lights,and yours is not.

hope that helps,as stated above the manual is correct,as usual.if it didnt need it they would not waste the cash on the ink to print it.

get what IM sayin?

Don’t let the high price of gas fool you. Over the life of the car, it will be CHEAPER to treat it right ( maintainace schedule, correct fuel, etc ) than to pay to get it fixed .

Please note that the glove compartment is located in front of the passenger seat(the seat next to you in the front of the car). It usually has some kind of latch you pull to open, either from the bottom, or from one of the sides.

Sorry, couldn’t resist poking fun. :stuck_out_tongue:

Not all turbos call for high octane.

Use the octane rating recommended by your owner’s manual. You cannot get better performance by using higher octance gasoline than what is recommended because that is what the engine is programmed for.

Hey, THANKS for these great answers. Yep, my owner’s manual says to use high octane gas, and that’s what I’ve used in it for 11 years. I’ve also changed the oil every 3,000 miles. Guess these are the reasons she’s still purring like a kitten. Thanks again! This really helped me to know for sure that I need to continue using that reeeely expensive gas!!


And, now you know to NOT take advice from your co-worker regarding car maintenance. He may be very much the expert on other topics, but if I were you, I would just nod politely when he gives car advice, and then proceed to erase his suggestions from your mind.

Incidentally, if he tells you that you can run your car on water, I can tell you right now that this is the latest scam being sold to people who are strained by the high price of gas.

You DO need higher octane gas with a turbo. The turbocharger pressurizes the air coming into the engine and in so doing stuffs more air/fuel mixture into the engine than it would get without it. This increases the amount of gas the engine can burn, and makes your engine act like a higher displacement (larger) engine. Under these extreme pressures, the already volatile gas/air mixture is more likely to ignite without needing a spark to kick it off, at the wrong time. The higher octane gas, contrary to popular belief, isn’t some super, energy-packed gas, it actually is more stable and less likely to detonate without a spark–in essence, somewhat less flammable. You do need this more stable fuel for the extreme conditions that your turbo creates. You can try a lower octane gas and see what happens. The computer controlled engine management system on most cars will detect ‘preignition’ or spark knock and retard the ignition timing to prevent damage to the engine. The net result of this is that you may experience lower performance and some drivability symptoms, such as: hesitation, surging, slower acceleration, etc. It also seems to vary from gas station to gas station in my experience. Try it and see if you wish, but it’s probably easier to just put in what’s recommended.

We can’t save you any money on fuel, but I believe the recommend oil change schedule is more than 3,000 miles. Few if any modern cars call for that any more. In the old days it was needed, but today with modern oils and engines, it is not needed. There is even some evidence that changing it more often may actually be bad for the engine. Of course the theoretical difference due to early changes is very small.

Check the owner’s manual and follow it for oil change and other maintenance schedules. Remember to check for severe use schedules as it may specify early changes for the kind of driving you do.

Finally don’t use the dealer for service other than that covered under warranty as the dealer will likely be more expensive and not be any better (or worse) than you local independent mechanic. NOTE: Never stop at a quick lube place, even to ask directions!

DO WHAT YOU THINK IS CORRECT,to hell with the people who built them.

move on.

re read.

check the manual.

holy crap man ,did you understand anything?.

or just read the OP and nothing else?

my god!

PLEASE.22yrs doing this I have a small clue.

the turbo calls for nothing,but the combustion process does.