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Types Of Gas A Chevy Equinox Uses (All Generations)

Types Of Gas A Chevy Equinox Uses (All Generations)

We put in a lot of effort here on these blogs to answer all of your queries related to the automotive world, let it be how many miles they last, how they drive on snow, their everyday problems, etc. Today we will look into all kinds of fuels available in the market and determine which one is the best suited for the Chevy Equinox.

There are four generations of Chevy Equinox available in the US, and we will go through each one and answer which fuel would be the best for each generation. Chevy Equinox has one of the most diverse lineups regarding fuel requirements. First, let’s give you a summary:

The first generation of Chevy Equinox requires a minimum of 87 octane. The second-generation models with a 2.4L can have both regular 87 octane and E85. The 3.0L V6 requires 87 octane. All the third and fourth-generation engines require 87 octane except for the 2.0L turbo that has premium recommended with 93 octane.

This doesn’t tell us the whole story of the fuel requirement. In this article, you will find details on why some fuels are required, some others are advised against, why some additives can harm your engine, void the warranty, etc. So fasten your seat belts, and enjoy the ride.

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Also read: How Many Miles Can A Chevy Equinox Last? (Answered)

Infographic explaining the different fuel types for a chevrolet equinox.

Fuel Requirements Based On Engine Type

First-generation 2004-2009

It started production in 2004 and was available for sale in the 2005 model year. Both engine options were available with Front and All Wheel Drive variants.

EngineFuel Requirement
3.4L V6Regular 87 Octane (pump gas) or higher
3.6L V6Regular 87 Octane (pump gas) or higher

Second Generation 2009-2017

This is one of those few vehicles that is made to handle flex-fuel. We have covered everything you need to know about flex-fuel and how to tell if your vehicle is flex-fuel appropriate or not. You need to take several measures to successfully run your vehicle on flex-fuel, which we have covered in this article.

EngineFuel Requirement
2.4L Gas+Ethanol Regular 87 Octane (pump gas) or higher Or Ethanol (Flex-Fuel)
3.0L V6Regular 87 Octane (pump gas) or higher

Third Generation 2017-2020

This generation had a diesel engine in its lineup, just like the Chevy Express. It was the year 2018 when the diesel version Chevy Equinox hit the market. It was only available until the beginning of the year 2020. In the 4th generation of Chevy Equinox, we didn’t get the diesel engine option.

EngineFuel Requirement
1.5L TurboRegular 87 Octane (pump gas) or higher
2.4L (Premier)Regular 87 Octane (pump gas) or higher
2.0L TurboPremium 93 Octane recommended, mid-grade required
1.6L Turbo DieselUltra-Low Sulfur Diesel (15ppm, max.)
3.6L inline-6Regular 87 Octane (pump gas) required, higher recommended

Fourth Generation 2020 – Present

EngineFuel Requirement
1.5L TurboRegular 87 Octane (pump gas) or higher
2.0L TurboPremium 93 Octane required

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

Chevy’s Recommendations

As with many of its other models, Chevy recommends using the regular pump gas with 87 of octane or higher unless your particular model has a higher output engine. This is true not only for the Equinox but also other Chevy vehicles like the Tahoe which has several generations that can benefit from premium gasoline.

It suggests using the TOP TIER Detergent Gasoline additive to ensure the internals remain clean, and the carbon debris is not formed. There are several other additives available in the market. We will go through each of those additives and see which ones are okay to use and which ones are not.

Reformulated Gasoline

This is the newer type of fuel available these days and is said to reduce carbon emissions. These fuels will not harm your engine in any way and are widely used in those areas that have poor air quality and thus have to have strict emissions standards.

Gasoline/Oxygenated Blends Or E-85

E85 is 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. Only the second generation (2009-2017) can have this type of fuel. And to know for sure if your particular model is capable of running on this fuel, follow the instructions below:

  • First, you have to make sure whether or not your vehicle is flex-fuel-appropriate. To know that, you can look at the gas cap. If your gas cap is yellow or has the above-shown writings, then you are allowed to put E85. Sometimes this label might be seen on the inside of the gas tank door.
  • You can not constantly switch between E85 and regular gasoline
  • A minimum of 5 gallons is required every time you refuel.
  • Do not park your vehicle after refueling, drive it at least for 5 minutes.

You might experience some issues with E85 that we have mentioned below:

  • If the temperature outside is above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, you will be experiencing starting issues and rough idle.
  • Fuel additives are not recommended nor required in the E85 mix. Adding additives can cause issues. The warranty will not cover the damages caused by inappropriate additives.

Gasoline With Added Materials

There are tons of additives available in the market to increase engine performance, reduce emissions, clean the internals, etc. But not all of them are good for your engine. Any damage that is caused by using additives not recommended by the manufacturer can void the warranty.

So what does Chevy recommend the additives? Chevy recommends the TOP TIER Detergent Gasoline for the gas engines and TOP TIER Detergent Diesel for the Diesel engines.

Fuels with methanol, more than 15% ethanol, MMT, methylal, ferrocene, and aniline are prohibited in your Chevy Equinox.

Gasoline With MMT

MMT stands for Methylcyclopentadienyl Manganese Tricarbonyl. It is mainly used to increase the fuel octane. These additives particularly damage the emissions control system and spark plugs. The manufacturer strictly prohibits gasoline with MMT. Chevy will not cover any damage to the engine caused by this additive.


Biodiesel can be mixed with regular diesel up to 20% by volume. Anything above 20% is not recommended – doing so will cause severe carbon buildup in the engine, and you would have to frequently the filter to keep the engine running. Lower volumes of biodiesel, however, can reduce emissions and increase fuel economy.

Also read: What Is The Oil Type, Capacity, And Weight Of A Chevy Equinox?

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

A slight knock is nothing to worry about, but if you hear a loud knocking sound coming from the engine, make sure that the fuel quality is not the culprit here. Most often, these low-quality fuels are the cause of knocking. If you hear a loud knocking despite having high-quality fuel, then your engine needs service.

Does the Chevy Equinox Have Good Gas Mileage?

First Generation 2004-2009

EngineLowest Combined MPGHighest Combined MPG
3.4L V61724
3.6L V61624

Second Generation 2009-2017

EngineLowest Combined MPGHighest Combined MPG
2.4L Gas+Ethanol 2232
3.0L V61724


Third Generation 2017-2020

EngineLowest Combined MPGHighest Combined MPG
1.5L Turbo2632
2.4L (Premier)2028
2.0L Turbo2229
3.6L inline-61623
1.6L Turbo Diesel2838

Fourth Generation 2020-Present

EngineLowest Combined MPGHighest Combined MPG
1.5L Turbo2530
2.0L Turbo2228

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

The fourth-generation 2020 onwards has a 14.8-gallon tank across all the FWD variants, while the AWD gets the bigger 15.6-gallon tank.

The third generation 2017-2020 similarly has the 14.8-gallon tank for the FWD and the 15.6-gallon tank for the AWD variants.

The second generation, however, is different from the third and fourth generations. For the 2.4L engine, the fuel tank has a capacity of 18.8 gallons, while for the 3.0L V6, we get the capacity of 20.9 gallons.

The first-generation Chevy Equinox has a gas tank of 20.5 gallons across all the FWD variants. The AWD variants, on the other hand, get a smaller 16.6-gallon tank.

How Much Does It Cost To Fill Up A Chevy Equinox

Gas prices vary depending on which state you are getting your refill in. If you live in California, you would be paying the highest price per gallon, $4.388, while if you are in Mississippi or Texas, you will be paying the lease price per gallon, $2.816.

If you have the fourth-gen Chevy Equinox model, then you would be approximately $67 in California and roughly $43 in Mississippi and Texas – for a full tank. The third-gen Chevy Equinox having the same fuel tank capacities will give you the exact price tag.

The first-gen FWD variants will give you a price tag of $87* in California and $56* in Mississippi and Texas. The second-gen model of the Chevy Equinox would have you pay approximately $87 in California. If you are getting your gas from either Mississippi or Texas, you will spend roughly $56.

The first-gen AWD variants will have you pay approx. $72 in California and $46 in Mississippi and Texas. In the end, wherever you are, no matter which state you are in, you will be paying somewhere between $43-$72 for a full tank of gasoline.


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