Will Unleaded 88 Damage My Car? Find It Out

The unleaded 88 gasoline type is basically a new type of regular gasoline.  It can be used to power lightweight trucks, minivans, compact cars, and SUVs. However, many still have doubts concerning this new gasoline type. 

Unleaded 88, also E15, is only different from regular gas in that it has a higher octane percentage. This percentage works for its good as it makes it a cleaner option. This gas is perfectly safe for flex-fuel compatible vehicles and most of those that were manufactured after 2001. It is advisable to check with the owner’s manual if your car is approved for use. 

This article helps to clear any doubts regarding the unleaded 88 gasoline, highlighting which cars are compatible, and how it differs from the regular gases. 

Will Unleaded 88 Damage My Car?

will unleaded 88 damage my car

During the refinery process of fuel, there are different components out together to bring out the final output. A major component that is added is additives such as octane. However, when it comes to gasoline, it is often categorized according to the amount of octane in percentage.

For example, there are octane percentages of 87 and 88 which differ from each other, as with 89 and 91. So, it is no surprise if you are wondering whether using unleaded 88 will damage your car if it uses 87. 

The main and only difference between unleaded 88 and 87 is the octane percentage. Due to the high ethanol, unleaded 88 burns cleaner than regular gas, improves air quality, offers an engine boost, and reduces greenhouse emissions. Many car owners tend to stick to one fuel throughout the life of their vehicle, and rightly so.

Hence, they are not very open-minded about using 88 for their 87 cars. According to experts, it is not advised to use lower-grade gasoline if you are used to the higher-grade types. Still, not many are aware of the unleaded 88 gasoline. 

Firstly, unleaded 88 is safe for use with compatible cars. According to EPA, any car that was manufactured from 2001 upwards can safely use gas.

Moreover, it is important that you check with the owner’s manual to confirm whether your automakers approve of the use of the gas. Do not refill your car with unleaded 88 if the manual advises not to. 

What Is Unleaded 88 Gas Used For?

Unleaded 88 gas is also referred to as E15 and is made of 85% gasoline and 15% octane. This gas offers many advantages compared to the regular 87. The US Environmental Protection Agency EPA declared every vehicle that was manufactured in 2001 and subsequent years and other flex-fuel compatible cars safe to use unleaded 88.

Before approving the cars and recommending the E15 gasoline for use, the EPA tested and certified them for its use. However, it is important to note that some of the higher-end cars advise sticking to premium gas and mid-grade fuels. 

What Happens if You Use 88 Unleaded in a Car?

As earlier mentioned, as long as your car is compatible, the unleaded 88 gasoline will not damage it. Therefore, nothing will happen if you use it in your car. The only dissimilarity between the 87 and 88 is the octane rating.

Refilling your car with 88 will work more for its good as it offers more advantages of being more environment-friendly. However, if you use it in car models that were manufactured before 2001, offroad equipment, or vehicles with heavy-duty engines, it could result in some issues such as fluid leaks or overheating.

What Vehicles Can Use Unleaded 88?

You cannot blindly use unleaded 88 until you confirm your car is certified. The EPA has certified all the vehicles that were manufactured from 2001 as safe to use unleaded 88 gas. This includes all trucks, SUVs, as well as flex-fuel-compatible vehicles.

However, you are still advised to refer to the owner’s manual to confirm if your car model is recommended for use with an unleaded 88. Most high-end cars do not recommend using gas.

All other vehicles that were manufactured before 2001 have not been approved for use of gas or those with heavy-duty engines such as delivery trucks. 

What Are the Advantages of Unleaded 88?

If you are considering migrating to unleaded 88, here are some of the advantages that you will enjoy. This gas has environmental benefits as it burns cleaner and reduces tailpipe emissions. Also, it is cheaper than regular gas. You can count on it to boost engine power. 

What Are the Limitations of Unleaded 88?

The unleaded 88 gasoline type comes with a few drawbacks. For one, this gas should not be used for vehicles that were manufactured any later than 2001 and those with heavy-duty engines. It may cause irreparable damage. Moreover, it has limited availability, and being relatively new in the market—it is growing gradually. 

Also Read: How Much Charge Does a Car Battery Need to Start?

What Is the Difference Between Unleaded 88 and Regular Gas?

The regular 87 and unleaded 88 do not differ much. The only difference arises in the percentage of octane use in the refinery process. While unleaded 88, also E15, has a 15% octane content, unleaded 87, also E10, has a 10% octane content. 

Therefore, due to the higher octane content, 88 burns cleaner hence reducing greenhouse emissions. It also boasts boosting engine power and offers improved air quality.

Moreover, unleaded 88 is cheaper than its counterpart 87. This is because it has a higher ethanol rating, and there are ethanol subsidies offered by the government. Hence, the higher the octane content, the lower the price.


Unleaded 88 gas comprises 15% ethanol and 85% gasoline. It provides an octane boost compared to the regular 87 gas, hence it helps modern engines to reach peak performance at a lower cost. Typically, the modern engines that use unleaded 87 are likely to thrive on unleaded 88. 

Unleaded 88 and regular 87 gasoline are both of good quality. They are the same in many aspects except that they have different ethanol percentages. However, if you are torn between the two, unleaded 88 is a more environment-friendly and affordable option.

Final Thoughts

As long as your car was manufactured after 2001, and the owner’s manual approves, unleaded 88 will not damage your car. This gasoline type is a great choice for cars as it offers a greater engine boost, besides its environment-friendly advantages.

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