Fuel FAQs Back

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Are some gasolines better than others? What is "Top Tier Detergent Gasoline"?

In general, Honda recommends that you buy gasoline from high-volume, major name-brand stations.

To prevent the build up of deposits inside your engine and fuel system, it is important to choose fuels that contain effective detergent additives. The detergency of some US gasoline is insufficient to provide protection from such deposits. Honda recommends the use of "Top Tier Detergent Gasoline," where available. Gasoline brands with this designation meet new, voluntary standards and have demonstrated their ability to keep engines clean through a series of demanding tests. Significantly, Top Tier Detergent Gasoline does not contain MMT, a metallic additive that creates deposits in your engine and exhaust system; (see the MMT explanation below). Fuel brands that have achieved the Top Tier Detergent Gasoline designation can be identified through their marketing campaigns, and/or by fueling station signage.

What's that sulfur smell coming from my vehicle?

All gasoline contain trace amounts of sulfur. The human sense of smell can detect sulfur odor in concentrations as low as 3 to 5 parts per million in air.

The exhaust on today's catalyst-equipped Honda vehicles will emit varying degrees of sulfur odor depending on operating temperatures and conditions. On normally operating vehicles, the odor is usually noticeable when the engine is cold, right after deceleration, or after wide-open throttle acceleration.

It may not be possible to eliminate sulfur odor completely due to the various operating conditions. If the sulfur odor is overly bothersome, please contact Honda Customer Relations or your dealer for further guidance or assistance.

Sometimes my Honda seems to idle poorly, hesitate on acceleration or experience hard starting. Why is that?
  • All parts of the U.S. have winter/summer blended fuel, which is needed to prevent cold or hot start problems. Winter fuels have higher volatility to compensate for cold dense air. Conversely, summer fuels have lower volatility and are less prone to "percolate."
  • If winter blended fuel is used in warm or hot weather, the higher temperature may cause the fuel to "percolate" within the fuel system.
  • Summer fuel may not vaporize adequately in cool weather.
  • These situations are normally localized and last only during a brief period of severe changes in climatic conditions. Normally, no vehicle repairs are needed for these situations.
  • Buy fuel from high-volume, major name-brand stations.
Can I use E85 fuel in my Honda vehicle?

No. E85 is a fuel being promoted by some other vehicle manufacturers. No current Honda products are compatible with E85. Refer to the owner's manual for gasoline requirements.

Does it help to use a fuel with a higher octane rating than required in my Owner's Manual?

Refer to your Owner's Manual for the pump octane number recommended for your Honda. Use of a lower-octane gasoline than recommended can cause a persistent, heavy metallic rapping noise in the engine that can lead to mechanical damage.

There is no advantage in using a fuel with a pump octane greater than that recommended in your Owner's Manual.

I've noticed various warning signs posted near the pump areas at my fueling station. What precautions should I follow when refueling my vehicle?
  • Turn off your vehicle.
  • Do not smoke, light matches, or use lighters.
  • Leave cell phones and other electronic devices turned off and in the vehicle.
  • Do not get back into your vehicle during refueling. Remain at the vehicle's fueling point even when using the nozzle's hold-open latch. It is important to avoid any activity that might result in static electricity build-up and discharge.
  • Do not attempt to "top off" your vehicle's fuel tank.
  • Ensure that the gas cap is securely tightened after refueling, as per the instructions in your Owner's Manual. An improperly tightened gas cap might illuminate the Malfunction Indicator Light on your instrument panel.
  • Never fill a portable gasoline container or refuel a gasoline-powered device anywhere inside or on your vehicle.