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The Types Of Fuel A Chevy Colorado Uses (All Generations)

The Types Of Fuel A Chevy Colorado Uses (All Generations)

Today we will be looking at Chevrolet’s Colorado line of trucks to see how fuel-friendly these trucks are. There are various engine types, and we will look at what Chevrolet suggests as the best fuel type for their Colorado line of trucks.

Chevrolet recommends a minimum octane rating of 87 for all model years of the Colorado that have been made from 2003 onwards. For the 2.8-liter Turbo-Diesel, Chevrolet recommends 1-D for regions where temperatures fall below 0 degrees Fahrenheit and 2-D for others.

Since the Chevrolet Colorado was first offered in 2003, it has shown good sales numbers. In the article below, we’ll discuss everything you need to know regarding the fuel requirements of the different engines that have been offered in the Colorado. We’ll also look at fuel economy and gas tank sizes. Read on!

Infographic explaining the different fuel types for a chevrolet colorado.

What Kind Of Gas Does A Chevy Colorado Take?

2015 – present

The current generation of Chevrolet Colorado is offered three engines. There is a 2.5 liter 4 cylinder engine that produces 200 HP. The upper variant is a 3.6-liter gasoline engine that produces 308 HP.

And finally, a Duramax Diesel engine (which was first released in 2016) is a 2.8-liter turbo-diesel that puts out 181 HP but offers greater torque than the gasoline variants.

For the gasoline engines, as per the owner’s manuals for Chevrolet Colorado, a minimum octane rating of 87 is recommended by Chevrolet.

87 octane, 89 octane and 91 octane fuel levels explained

For the Duramax Turbo-diesel engine, and the transmission that comes with it, Chevrolet suggests Colorado owners opt for 2-D if they are in regions where the climate doesn’t reach 0 degrees F temperatures. For areas where 0 degrees Fahrenheit is a routine, using 1-D type diesel fuel for the Chevrolet Colorado is advisable. Usually, a low-sulfur diesel should be used, and it should not be more than 15 ppm sulfur in any use case.

EngineRecommended fuel type
2.5 liter 200 HP87-grade octane minimum
3.6 liter 308 HP87-grade octane minimum
Duramax 2.8 liter 181 HP (colder climates)1-D
Duramax 2.8 liter 181 HP (hotter climates)2-D


The Chevrolet Colorado from 2009 to 2012 was offered with three different engines. A base model 2.9 liter 185 HP engine, a 3.7 liter 241 HP engine, and a top-of-the-line 5.3 liter V8 that could produce 300 HP. All these engines take 87-octane.

EngineRecommended Fuel Type
2.9 liter 185 HP87-grade octane minimum
3.7 liter 241 HP87-grade octane minimum
5.3 liter 300 HP87-grade octane minimum


The first generation of Chevrolet Colorado went on sale from 2003 to 2008, after which it received a facelift. It was first offered with four engine configurations. A 2.8 liter 175 HP engine, a 2.9 liter 242 HP engine, a 3.5 liter 220 HP engine, and finally, a 3.7 liter 242 HP engine.

According to the owner’s manuals for these engine types, the recommended fuel type by Chevrolet was one with a minimum octane rating of 87 or above.

EngineRecommended Fuel Type
2.8 liter 175 HP87-grade octane minimum
2.9 Liter 242 HP87-grade octane minimum
3.5 liter 220 HP87-grade octane minimum
3.7 liter 242 HP87-grade octane minimum

What Types Of Gasoline Can And Can’t Be Used?

Other than regular or premium gasoline, there are various types of gasoline on sale today. We will now look at the suitability of such gasoline variants for the Chevrolet Colorado and determine whether Colorado owners should go for these or should refrain from these types of fuel.

Reformulated Gasoline

Reformulated gasoline has been formulated to burn cleaner and has a smaller carbon footprint. Compared to regular gasoline, it reduces smog formation, and its emissions have fewer toxic pollutants. This is mainly a popular choice in states with air-quality issues.

For all generations of the Chevrolet Colorado, as well as other models like the Chevy Suburban or Silverado, the owner’s manuals say that Chevrolet suggests using RFG since it is a cleaner and greener fuel with minimized effects on our environment.

Gasoline/Oxygenated Blends

Oxygenated gasoline blends are types of gasoline blended with a certain amount of ethanol or methanol. These chemicals are mainly helpful during winter when temperatures drop lower and lower. This provides a more difficult starting point for the engine. Ethanol and methanol help the engine start more quickly.

Ethanol levels for cars explained, E10, E15 and E85

However, you can’t get just ethanol or methanol whenever you please. These chemicals are pretty dangerous for the engine and the fuel system, and using them should be done by following these rules:

  • No generation of the Chevy Colorado is compatible with methanol, therefore, do not use any percentage of methanol in Chevy Colorados that have been made in the past or that are currently produced.
  • Chevy Colorado, made in or before 2011, can take gasoline with a maximum of 10% ethanol. Colorado, made from 2012 onwards, can take gasoline with a maximum of 15% ethanol.

E85 / FlexFuel

No generation of the Chevy Colorado is compatible with FlexFuel. Therefore, It’s advised against using the E85. If you do so, you will be damaging your engine components,

Gasoline With Added Materials

Another gasoline-specific topic we will talk about is the use of additives that need to be mixed into your fuel. These additives are widely available on the market these days. Supposedly they do a whole range of different things, such as:

  • Boost the octane level in your fuel, thereby giving it better performance.
  • Help the engine clean itself more effectively.

However, it’s good to know that Chevy strongly advises against using additives in your Colorado. This is because these additives can contain materials such as silicon or metallics that will seriously damage the engine and the fuel system.

Therefore, it’s recommended that you buy fuel that already has all the proper additives mixed into it. This kind of fuel can be purchased at certified TOP TIER gasoline retailers. These retailers sell gasoline that will provide the optimal performance for your engine and clean it as well as possible without damaging it. You can find a retailer at

Gasoline With MMT

There are gasoline types that include a specific octane enhancer called MMT, which reduces spark-plug life. Methylcyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl (MMT) is also known for lowering emissions systems performance. Chevrolet does not recommend using gasoline with MMT for their gasoline engines.

To check if specific gasoline includes MMT, please ask the supplier or the gas station.


As stated before, for the 2.8-liter Turbo-Diesel, Chevrolet recommends 1-D for regions where temperatures fall below 0 degrees Fahrenheit and 2-D for others. Besides this, it’s also good to know how the Colorado handles biodiesel.

Biodiesels are obtained mainly from soybean oil, grease, or any other form of biomass. In the owner’s manual for the Duramax Diesel engine, Chevrolet states not to use diesel fuels with a blend of more than 20% biodiesel.

What If I Hear A Knocking Noise From The Engine After Refilling

Furthermore, using fuels with an octane rating lower than recommended will result in severe damage to the engine, which is indicated by a symptom referred to as engine knock.

Engine knock means that the fuel can’t be adequately burned, resulting in a heavy knocking sound of the engine. A slight knocking sound is never a problem, but heavy knocking should be dealt with immediately.

Please stop the vehicle and contact your dealers if this heavy knocking occurs. You’re likely using fuel with a lower-than-recommended octane rating. The car needs to be drained, the fuel filter will need to be replaced, and the battery will need to be disconnected and reconnected to reset the car’s memory.

Does the Chevy Colorado Have Good Gas Mileage?

Usually, SUVs and trucks are not known for excellent fuel economy. Let us see how the Chevrolet Colorado holds up when it comes to fuel economy expectations.


red 2022 chevrolet colorado trail boss driving down mountain road
EngineCity MPGHighway MPG
2.8 liter Duramax2230
2.5 liter 200 HP2026
3.6 liter 308 HP1825

2009 – 2012

silver 2010 chevy colorado parked on the side of the street
EngineCity MPGHighway MPG
2.9 liter 185 HP1824
3.7 liter 241 HP1723
5.3 liter 300 HP1520

2003 – 2008

black 2007 chevy colorado parked in parking lot
EngineCity MPGHighway MPG
2.8 liter 175 HP Auto1522
2.8 liter 175 HP Manual1825
2.9 liter 242 HP Auto1521
2.9 liter 242 HP Manual1622
3.5 liter 220 HP Auto1621
3.5 liter 200 HP Manual1722
3.7 liter 242 HP Auto1520
3.7 liter 242 HP Manual1621

What’s The Gas Tank Size Of A Chevy Colorado?

The fuel tank size for the Chevrolet Colorado is 19.5 gallons for the first generation, both for the pre-facelift and facelifted models. The fuel tank capacity for the second-generation Chevrolet Colorado trucks was increased to 21 gallons.


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