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Yes, you can fill up with a lower grade if your car recommends premium

Can you fill up with a lower grade if your car manufacturer recommends premium?

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — With the price of gas at record-breaking highs, people are doing what they can to cut corners to save money when filling up.


Can you fill up with a lower grade if your car manufacturer recommends premium?



This is true.

Yes, you can fill up with a lower grade if your car recommends premium. However, you shouldn't skimp if your car requires it. 

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Wright tells us with summer travel just ahead, we could keep seeing these high gas prices for a while. 

"We are going to see demand go up, it already has crude oil prices are higher, and these are all factors pushing prices higher," Wright said. 

One of the ways to save money is by buying a lower fuel grade, like regular, but will it hurt your engine if your car recommends premium? 

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"If your vehicle recommends premium fuel, you will not hurt it using unleaded fuel," Wright said. 

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"So as long as your car recommends it or doesn't say anything at all, you're totally fine to use a lower grade," Undercoffler added. 

Undercoffler said with most newer models, the engine is designed to accommodate any octane level. 

"Today's modern cars have computers in them that can detect this is 87 octane gas," Undercoffler said. "Back in the day, it wasn't the gas, but today your engine is going to recognize it and adjust the engine accordingly." 

That works even if it's recommended that you use premium in your car. However, if your vehicle requires premium, that's different. Both Wright and Undercoffler tell us you have to stick with the expensive stuff. 

RELATED: Drivers bemoan high gasoline prices with no relief in sight

"If you don't and you go with that lower grade of fuel, you could experience some engine problems down the road," Wright said. 

So how can you tell which fuel you are supposed to use? Usually, you can find that information on the gas cap or inside of the gas door. You can also head to fueleconomy.gov, type in your make and model and click on the specs tab, there it will show you the fuel type and whether it's required or merely recommended.

Contact Meghan Bragg at mbragg@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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