The Chevrolet Traverse is a mid-size SUV. The Chevrolet has been selling in the North American region for quite some time. With the first-ever unit sold in September of 2008 according to Good Car Bad Car sales numbers, the Traverse has been a decently successful vehicle for Chevrolet.
Traverse was introduced with a 3.6-liter V6 engine cranking out a 281 HP for which Chevrolet recommends an octane rating of 87 as a minimum. The LTZ version came with a dual exhaust system producing 288 HP, for which Chevrolet recommends the same octane rating of 87. 2018 saw Chevrolet introduce 2 engines. One with a 3.6 liter V6 at 310 HP and a 2.0 liter 4-cylinder turbo engine producing 257 HP. Chevy suggests premium 93 octane for the 2.0-liter variant, while for the 3.6-liter engine, they suggest 87 octane grade.
This tells only some portion of the entire tale related to the fuel behavior of the Chevrolet Traverse. Let’s dive into the best and worst fuel types for all the generations of the Chevrolet Traverse and see which one is the best choice for Traverse owners.
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Fuel Requirements Based On Engine Type
2018 – present
The current generation of Chevrolet Traverse on sale is offered with a 3.6-liter V6 engine for which the minimum recommended octane grade is 87 as per Chevrolet Traverse’s owner’s manual. For the 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo engine, Chevrolet recommends premium 93 octane grade fuel due to higher engine output. That’s true not only for the Traverse but just about any other Chevy model with a higher performance engine.
Furthermore, a standard formula uses a slightly higher grade of octane than the one recommended by the manufacturer for optimal performance.
2009 – 2017
For the 2009 – 2017 model years, the Chevrolet Traverse was sold with a 3.6 liter V6. Chevrolet suggests using regular fuel with an octane rating of 87 or higher for the Chevrolet Traverse.
There are various types of gasoline and diesel variants available in the market today. Whether they can be used in the engines that the Chevrolet Traverse comes with or not is what we are going to find out in the coming passages. It is important to note that the Chevrolet Traverse never came with a diesel engine, so most of the discussion will be non-diesel.
Reformulated gasoline burns cleaner and greener. It is a relatively newer type of gasoline that minimizes smog-forming, and the emissions are not as toxic as some of the other gasoline types. US regions with air quality issues have more drivers who opt for RFG than regions with lesser adversity in terms of air quality.
According to the owner’s manual for the Chevrolet Traverse, and other Chevy models like the Suburban, Impala, and Chevy Cruze it is recommended that if one has RFG available, it can be used for the Chevrolet Traverse first-generation 2009-2017.
We have tried to determine whether it holds for the current-gen 3.6 liter and 2.0-liter engines, but Chevrolet doesn’t state this anywhere.
Many oxygenated blends of gasoline are available in the market today. These are mainly mixtures of ethanol and gasoline in various proportions. In their owner’s manual for the current generation of the Traverse, Chevrolet advises not to use any oxygenated blends containing more than 15% ethanol.
ChevroletdoeE-85E-85 gas has a mixture of 85% ethanol with 15% gasoline. This is particularly used for higher performance engines. Such vehicles can achieve high horsepower and torque numbers but achieve lower MPG numbers on the flip side. So we may safely conclude that Chevrolet does not advise E-85.
For the first generation of the Chevrolet Traverse from 2009 till 2017 with its 3.6 L engine, Chevrolet makes it very particular that no fuel with a mixture of more than 10% ethanol should be used for this type of engine. Therefore, E-85 is certainly not to be used if you own the 2009-2017 Chevrolet Traverse.
A quick check for your vehicle’s E-85 compatibility is to look for some signs that manufacturers place at various vehicle points to tell the owners that E-85 is safe to use in your engine. For instance, the fuel cap might say E-85 compatible or other signs showing that your vehicle might be E-85 ready.
Even with such signs, there is a likelihood of running into some issue where proper precautions are not taken. Some of these precautions are:
- To add at least 5 gallons of fuel at the time of refueling
- To keep the vehicle operational for a minimum of 5 minutes after refueling
There could be some symptomatic problems that are associated with E-85 usage, for example:
- In more than 90° F temperatures the engine may become subject to hard starting and rough idling even when the above measures are taken
- While using E-85 in addition to some additives might result in deposit-formation inside the engine, hence making the engine gather residue
There are some variants of gasoline that come blended with added materials such as anti-corrosion agents, detergents, and stability additives. These enhance the overall life of the engine and lead to better fuel economy sometimes. To maintain the fuel system, health Chevrolet advocates using such types of gasoline with added materials for optimal engine performance and life.
They advise every engine oil change as the ideal interval for using such engine cleaning and cleaning chemicals. This has clearly been mentioned in the owner’s manual for the current generation of the Chevrolet Traverse for both the 3.6 Liter V-6 and the 2.0-liter turbo 4.
Chevrolet recommends using TOP TIER detergent gasoline for Chevrolet Traverse in the owner’s manuals for both the first generation 3.6 liter engine and the second generation 3.6 liter and 2.0-liter engines.
Methylcyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl (MMT) is used with gasoline as an octane enhancer. Gasoline with MMT has been known to cause the emissions system to perform less than optimally. Furthermore, the spark plug is also reduced with the use of gasoline with MMT.
According to the owner’s manuals for both the first and second generations of the Chevrolet Traverse, as well as other models, Chevrolet strictly advises against using gasoline with MMT.
The knocking sound is something pretty much every driver from novice to pro is familiar with. The usual cause of knocking sound from the engine is a result of using low-quality gasoline. Fuel types with an octane rating of less than 87 are highly likely to cause the 3.6-liter V-6 engine of the Chevrolet Traverse to produce a knocking sound.
Also known as spark knock, this knocking sound is mainly caused by using fuels with lower octane ratings. According to Chevrolet, if you are using fuel with an 87 and above octane rating but still hear the knocking sound, it is time to get the engine serviced.
For the first generation of Chevrolet Traverse, a very decisive factor of depreciation can sometimes go as high as 55%, which will help you land a great deal. In case you hear knocking sounds from the older engines, it’s not to panic since all you need is a fuel better than 87-grade octane to manage this issue in most cases.
Chevrolet Traverse is an SUV meaning the engine has a greater weight to carry around than most cars. This is something that transparently reflects in the MPG numbers for both generations of the Chevrolet Traverse.
|Lowest Combined MPG
|Highest Combined MPG
|3.6 Liter V6 (single exhaust tip)
|3.6 Liter V6 (dual exhaust tips)
The first generation of Chevrolet Traverse sold between 2008 and 2017 had a 3.6 liter V-6. The two versions came with 1 and 2 exhaust tips for better airflow. This impacted the MPG but not by much of a margin. The single exhaust tip variant had a 15.1 MPG number on its worst day, while on its best, it could go as high as 23 MPG.
|Lowest Combined MPG
|Highest Combined MPG
|2.0 Liter 4 cylinder turbo
|3.6 Liter V6
The current generation of the Chevrolet Traverse was sold with 2 engine configurations. One with a 2.0 liter 4 cylinder turbo and a 3.6 liter V6. For the 2.0 liter 4 cylinder turbo engine, the worst MPG number comes to only 20 while the best is 26. And for the 3.6 liters 6 cylinder engine, the lowest number recorded was 18 MPG while the best is 27 MPG.
Given the above number of miles the Chevrolet Traverse achieves, it was obvious that Chevrolet had to put in some big fuel tanks. Now let’s look at those.
The current model of Chevrolet Traverse on sale from 2018 onwards comes in either a Front-wheel drive or an All-Wheel-Drive system. The fuel tank for the FWD variant is sized at 19.4 gallons, and the AWD has a 21.7 gallons capacity. Given the MPG numbers having a bigger fuel tank is always a better option.
|Fuel Tank (Gallons)
|3.6 Liter V6 FWD
|3.6 Liter V6 AWD
The first-generation Chevrolet Traverse from 2008-2017 had a 22 gallons fuel tank capacity that allowed for less worry to the driver.
|Fuel Tank (Gallons)
|3.6 Liter V6
|2.0 Liter 4 cylinder
The fuel cost varies according to your state, and you will end up paying different amounts of money for fuel for different states. We will give you a range so that you can have a better idea of what the fuel might cost you if you own a Chevrolet Traverse.
In the state of Texas, where the fuel is the cheapest, it will cost you $62.92 to fill up the tank of the first-generation Chevrolet Traverse and will go as high as $96.80 in case you are a California resident where the fuel prices are the highest.
For the 2.0 liter and 3.6 liters AWD Chevrolet Traverse second generation. It will cost you $62.06 in Texas to $95.48 in California. If you own the FWD version, the cost will be $55.48 in Texas to $85.36 in California.
- Owners Manual 2009 Chevrolet Traverse
- Owners Manual 2010 Chevrolet Traverse
- Owners Manual 2011 Chevrolet Traverse
- Owners Manual 2012 Chevrolet Traverse
- Owners Manual 2013 Chevrolet Traverse
- Owners Manual 2014 Chevrolet Traverse
- Owners Manual 2015 Chevrolet Traverse
- Owners Manual 2017 Chevrolet Traverse
- Owners Manual 2018 Chevrolet Traverse
- Owners Manual 2019 Chevrolet Traverse
- Owners Manual 2020 Chevrolet Traverse
- Owners Manual 2021 Chevrolet Traverse
- Fueleconomy.gov Chevrolet Traverse
Hi! My name is Stefan; I’m the owner and lead writer at TheDriverAdviser.com.
I’m an active writer on this blog myself, as well as a novice car mechanic. For the really technical stuff, I find writers with experience as a mechanic or who have studied mechanical engineering.
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