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The Types Of Gas A Buick Enclave Uses (Explained)

The Types Of Gas A Buick Enclave Uses (Explained)

On this blog, we do a lot of research regarding specific questions about different cars, including the Buick Enclave with all its pros and cons. In order to find out all the answers, we’ve gone through the owner’s manuals of the American-made Buick Enclave that were produced since 2008.

Today we’ll look at the Buick Enclave and answer what kind of gas this car requires. Before we go into details, here’s a quick answer:

All Buick Enclave made from 2008 onwards have a 3.6L V6 engine, requiring regular, unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 87 or higher. Enclave is compatible with reformulated gasoline and ethanol blends up to E15, but not E30, E50, and E85. Fuels containing MMT aren’t recommended and premium gas doesn’t enhance performance and longevity.

However, that doesn’t tell the whole story. Below we go into more detail about the kind of gas you should use for your specific type of Buick Enclave.

We’ll also discuss if different types of gas are better or worse for the durability of your engine and its performance. Finally, we will answer some other questions about the fuel requirements of the Enclave. Read on!

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Infographic explaining the different accepted fuel types for the Buick Enclave,

Does The Buick Enclave Require Premium Gas?

2018 – Present

With a 3.6L V6 engine, all the model years of the second generation Buick Enclave are designed to use regular unleaded gasoline with an 87 or higher octane rating.

87 octane, 89 octane and 91 octane fuel levels explained

We also want to clarify that the Buick Enclave doesn’t need premium gasoline (with an octane rating of 91 or higher), and this will not contribute to the performance or longevity of the vehicle. This is because this engine wasn’t designed to use this kind of gasoline and, therefore, won’t derive any benefit from it.

If you’re interested in the different gasoline requirements for all Buicks, please read the article we just linked.

2008 – 2017

The model years from 2008 – 2017 are the first generation of Buick Enclave’s lineup. All the models in this range also have a 3.6L V6 engine and hence recommend regular, unleaded gasoline with a posted octane rating of 87 or higher.

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

Besides regular/conventional gasoline, a wide variety of gasoline is available today. For many of these, we will look into whether the Buick Enclave can support this kind of gas or not. Let’s get into it!

Reformulated Gasoline

Reformulated gasoline is a cleaner and ethanol-based gasoline used primarily to reduce smog-producing toxic pollutants. It burns more pollutant-free than conventional gasoline and is widely used where air pollution needs to be minimized. The Buick Enclave is compatible with reformulated gasoline, and Buick recommends it whenever possible.

RFG also helps reduce toxic emissions, so if you are worried about passing the emissions test, it’s a good idea to use this type of fuel to ensure that emissions are as clean as possible.

Gasoline/Oxygenated Blends Or E-85

Secondly, we have to talk about using oxygenated blends of gasoline in the Buick Enclave. Oxygenated blends of gasoline consist of regular gasoline mixed with ethanol or methanol. Ethanol and methanol are both made from bio sources and, therefore, they burn cleaner. However, not every car is compatible with these kinds of oxygenates.

Ethanol levels for cars explained, E10, E15 and E85

All model years of the Enclave can take gasoline with a maximum of 15% ethanol. Therefore, the Enclave is compatible with E10 (10%) or E15 (15%). However, this also means that E30, E50, and E85 (with the latter known as flex-fuel) cannot be used, resulting in engine and fuel system damage.

Furthermore, using methanol is strictly forbidden, and doing so will also damage the engine and fuel system severely.

Gasoline With Added Materials

These days, aftermarket additives are widely available. These are added to improve and stabilize the fuel and its output. It also protects the car’s engine from corrosion and ensures optimal fuel economy, improved engine performance, and lower emissions.

Instead of using additives, Buick recommends using gasoline with all the proper additives mixed into it. Typically, this type of gasoline is sold by TOP TIER retailers, and it’s highly recommended that you use it to keep your engine in optimum condition. Find a TOP TIER retailer in your area at

Buick advises using ACDelco Fuel System Treatment Plug every 9.000 miles (15.000 kilometers) if TOP TIER gasoline is unavailable in your region. This is an additive you can buy from certified Buick and GM dealers.

Gasoline With MMT

Methylcyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl (MMT) is an octane amplifying additive. The use of MMT is detrimental in some vehicles as the prolonged use of this fuel may cause Mn-sedimentation in the engine, which as a result, generates several problems for the engine.

For the Buick Enclave, fuels containing metals such as MMT are not recommended as they can degrade and damage the control system and reduce the longevity of spark plugs in the engine.

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

Hearing a slight knocking coming from the engine is an entirely regular occurrence. Especially when the car is performing at peak levels, such as when you’re towing with your Buick Enclave, a slight knocking sound can be heard. However, if this knocking sound becomes very audible and happens right after refilling, you may have more significant problems.

First off, in this case, you’re likely using gasoline with a lower-than-recommended octane rating. For example, in the Buick Enclave, we would talk about gasoline with an octane rating lower than 87. This will almost always result in an engine knock.

This knocking noise tells you the engine is misfiring because it can’t handle the octane level used. This will be the case if you use lower-than-recommended octane-level gasoline.

It’s best to stop your car immediately and call your dealer or garage. Your car will need to be drained from its fuel, and the fuel filter will need to be replaced. Continuing to drive will result in severe engine damage.

Does the Buick Enclave Have Good Gas Mileage?

For an SUV, the fuel economy of the Enclave has never been great. One of the reasons for this is that Buick has always used V6 engines, and none of them has ever been a hybrid.

Below, we´ve outlined the MPGs you can expect for different engine configurations.

2018 – Present

Blue 2023 buick enclave parked on the side of the road
EngineCombined MPGLowest Combined MPGHighest Combined MPG
3.6L AWD201725
3.6L FWD211826

2008 – 2017

dark blue 2015 buick enclave driving down road
EngineCombined MPGLowest Combined MPGHighest Combined MPG
3.6L AWD171522
3.6L FWD181522

What’s The Gas Tank Size Of A Buick Enclave?

The 2018-2021 FWD (four-wheel drive) Buick Enclave has a standard tank size of 74.4 liters or 19.4 gallons, and for AWD (all-wheel drive), the typical tank size is 82.1 liters or 21.7 gallons.

2008-2017 Buick Enclave has a tank size of 83.3 liters or 22 gallons which is the same for both four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive.

Closing Thoughts

Ensuring that your Buick Enclave runs on the right fuel is essential for maintaining its optimal performance and extending the engine’s life. Sticking to reformulated gasoline is a wise choice, as it’s environmentally friendly and compatible with the Enclave’s engine.

For more insights into what it takes to maintain a Buick in top shape, check out our article on The Complete Cost Of Maintaining A Buick. And if you’re in the market for new wheels, be sure to consult our guide to The Exact Bolt Pattern Of A Buick Enclave for precise specs.

Remember to always align your choices with your car’s specifications to ensure a smooth and reliable journey. Safe and happy driving!


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