You bought your new Acura for the way it feels when you drive, its gorgeous looks, the technology it brings to the table, and its performance. It’s so much fun that you’d just loop the block! But the first time you went to the gas station and opened the fuel door, you noticed a little sticker: “UNLEADED FUEL ONLY – Premium fuel is recommended for maximum performance”. It’s at that moment you ask yourself, “Does my Acura need premium gas all the time?!?”
It Does…Sort Of
In the owner’s manual for all Acura models, there’s a description that states the “use of lower-octane gasoline can cause occasional metallic knocking noise in the engine and will result in decreased engine performance”. It sounds ominous. You don’t want to hurt your engine, especially on a performance sedan like the Acura TLX or your brand new Acura MDX.
There’s a difference you need to be aware of, though. The recommendation for premium fuel and the requirement for premium gas are two different things.
Why is Premium Gas Recommended on My Acura?
If premium fuel is recommended – and it is on the Acura ILX, TLX, RLX, RDX, and MDX – what happens if you use regular gas? It’s a chemistry thing.
Regular-grade gas has a lower octane rating. Octane is an additive in fuel that stabilizes it to prevent pre-detonation inside the engine. High-performance engines need fuel with a higher octane rating to get the best performance. Will your Acura run on regular gas? It will, but there are a couple things you should note. You might experience a drop in fuel economy with regular gas because it isn’t as efficient. There’s a chance you’ll hear that occasional metallic knocking noise from the engine that the owner’s manual mentions. And your car may not perform quite as well as you’re used to. Here’s the best idea: use premium gas whenever it’s possible. If you need to use regular gas from time to time, it’s not a big deal. And if you notice symptoms related to low octane, simply fill up the next time with premium fuel again.
A Side Note!
If you drive an Acura NSX, premium fuel is not a recommendation. It’s REQUIRED!