Which Fuel for Which VW Engine?

February 07 2018, Hunt Club Volkswagen

Which Fuel for Which VW Engine?

In Canada, we can choose from 3 fuel types at the pump: gasoline, ethanol blend and diesel. Gasoline is rated by octane level (87, 89, 91 and 94), Ethanol, and diesel fuel is all ULSD (ultra low sulfur diesel). You should always choose the fuel which is recommended by Volkswagen for your VW Model.

The octane rating for the gasoline fuels is a standard used to measure the performance of the engine fuel. Gasoline engines use a spark from spark plugs to ignite a compressed mixture of air and fuel. The octane rating relates to the gasoline’s ability to resist pre-ignition, which causes engine pinging or knocking. Pinging is an uncontrolled explosion of fuel in the cylinder. The higher octane fuels offer a more efficient, controlled burn since they are able to tolerate greater compression before igniting, which does not produce engine pinging. Generally, higher octane rated fuel is used in performance gasoline engines. Lower octane and diesel fuel can produce more engine pings. Diesel engines by comparison compress air, which becomes hot and is ignited when the fuel is injected.

In new vehicles the high octane fuels result in better engine performance and fuel consumption. In addition, these higher octane fuels keep engine components cleaner which in turn helps it last longer. Using high octane fuel in an older car may not produce any noticeable improvement in performance, although it may improve fuel efficiency Ethanol fuel became part of Canada’s Renewable Fuel Regulations back in 2010. It is a non-fossil fuel produced from a combination of sugarcane, corn and wheat. Most fuel pumps will indicate that there may be up to 10% ethanol in their gasoline, regardless of octane rating (which acts as an excellent gas line anti-freeze). Ethanol blend fuel contains from 51% to 83% ethanol by volume.

NOTE: Ethanol blend fuel is NOT recommended for any VW model as it does not meet the octane requirements of our vehicles. Be careful at the pumps:


Gasoline Black Handle
Ethanol Green Handle
Diesel Yellow Handle

As an added safety precaution you generally cannot put a diesel nozzle into a gas vehicle since the diesel nozzle is larger.

Which VW Engine Uses Which Fuel?

Premium fuel with an octane rating of 91 or higher is required in the 3.6L V6 engine (which is in the Passat and the Touareg) and all the 2.0T turbo engines (found in the GTI, GLI, Passat CC, Golf R and Tiguan models). Regular fuel, with an octane rating of 87, is recommended for all other models.

Should I Use Premium Fuel if My VW Only Requires Regular Fuel?

Using premium fuel in a Volkswagen that only requires regular fuel may lead to an Engine Warning light on your dashboard, as the computer chip in the car could detect that the wrong fuel is being used. It will not be harmful to your engine. However, you should not use regular fuel in a VW that requires premium fuel as this can cause clogging of injectors, carbon deposits on pistons and valves, etc.

How Do I Know What Type of Fuel is Recommended for My VW?

The type of fuel recommended for your Volkswagen is printed on the inside of the gas cap flap. If it is not there you can refer to your owner’s manual or call us here at Hunt Club VW (613-822-6565) and we will be happy to provide you with the information.

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