We’ve written extensively about the Dodge Grand Caravan, its capabilities, and various features on this blog. Today, we will talk about what fuel this minivan needs and what kind of fuels are strictly prohibited. Let’s start with a quick answer:
All Dodge Grand Caravans manufactured between 2001 – 2020 use regular unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 87. Some of these vehicles are FlexFuel which means they can also use gasoline which consists of 15% regular gasoline and 85% ethanol. Premium gasoline with an octane of 91 or higher is not recommended since it has no benefits over regular gasoline.
However, that doesn’t tell the whole story. Below we’ve outlined recommendations and requirements for different kinds of fuels and fuel additives. We’ll also go into detail about the compatibility of the Grand Caravan with E-85 fuel. Furthermore, we discuss the tank size of these generations. Read on!
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Let’s start by talking about the use of reformulated gasoline in the Dodge Grand Caravan. Reformulated gasoline is gasoline that’s mandatory to use in some parts of the United States. It was first introduced in California and is now compulsory in other parts as well.
Reformulated gasoline is designed to burn more cleanly than regular non-reformulated gasoline. It, therefore, provides regions with fewer emissions which results in better air quality. It’s good to know that the engine of the Grand Caravan is designed to be used with both non-reformulated gasoline and reformulated gasoline.
However, Dodge does advise the use of reformulated gasoline whenever this is available because it contributes to better living conditions.
Oxygenated Blends Such As E-85
Furthermore, it’s essential to talk about oxygenated blends of gasoline. These oxygenated blends contain chemicals such as ethanol or methanol. There are different guidelines for different generations of the Grand Caravan when it comes to ethanol. However, methanol shouldn’t be used for any of the generations of the Grand Caravan.
Ethanol can be used for all generations of the Dodge Grand Caravan. However, only in limited percentages. For Grand Caravans manufactured between 2001 – 2014, a maximum of 10% ethanol can be used in the gasoline. For Grand Caravans manufactured between 2014 – 2020, a maximum of 15% ethanol can be used.
Recognizing And Using E-85 Grand Caravans
The only expectation here is that some Grand Caravans manufactured between 2007 – 2014 are FlexFuel vehicles. This means they can run on both regular unleaded gasoline and a mix of 15% regular gasoline and 85% ethanol (E-85). FlexFuel vehicles can be recognized by the following characteristics on the car:
It’s important to know that filling a non-FlexFuel vehicle with more than 10% or 15% ethanol will result in severe engine damage, the check engine light coming on, and the reduction of the car’s speed. The vehicle will need to be drained, the fuel filter will need to be replaced, and the battery will need to be disconnected and connected again to have a chance to make the car function properly again.
Also, if you do have a FlexFuel vehicle, it’s recommended that you do not alternate between regular unleaded gasoline and E-85. If you do switch between these fuels, it’s recommended you follow these steps:
- You do not add less than 5 gallons (19 Liters) when refueling.
- You drive the vehicle immediately after refueling for at least 5 miles (8 km).
If you do not follow these steps, the car will experience difficulty starting and potentially significant damage to the engine and fuel system.
Changing Engine Oils
Also, when you do decide to run your car on E-85, you’ll need to use different engine oil. Dodge advises you to use Mopar engine oil that meets Chrysler Specification MS-6395. This is the right engine oil for a Dodge Grand Caravan that runs on E-85.
E-85 And Cold Temperatures
The characteristics of E-85 fuel make it unsuitable for use when ambient temperatures fall below 0°F (-18°C). In the
range of 0°F (-18°C) to 32°F (0°C), you may experience an increase in the time it takes for your engine to start, and a deterioration in driveability (sags and/or hesitations) until the engine is fully warmed up. Using the engine block heater (if equipped) is beneficial for E-85 startability when the ambient temperature is less than 32°F (0°C).
Gasoline With Additives
Some aftermarket products allow you to add chemicals to the fuel you’re currently using. Some of these chemicals supposedly help you boost the octane in your fuel, or it has the goal to clean your engine from deposits. Although these additives sound like a good thing, it’s advised not to use them at all.
Some of these additives contain silicon or metallics that will damage the engine and the fuel system when they are used. Furthermore, if this damage results in repairs, these repairs are usually not covered by any form of warranty. Therefore, it’s best to stay away from additional additives to your fuel.
Instead, it’s advised you use certified fuel that already has all the proper additives mixed into it. This kind of fuel can be bought at gas stations that carry the TOP TIER badge. TOP TIER gasoline is designed to burn clearly, as well as to reduce the number of deposits that are in your engine and fuel system.
Knocking Sound After Refilling
In some cases, a knocking sound can be heard after refilling. Now, it’s good to know that a slight knocking sound from the engine is entirely typical and that this is no reason for concern. Furthermore, the knocking sound will most likely be prevalent when the car is performing at its peak (such as when towing or driving up a hill).
However, when the knocking noise becomes loud, especially after refilling, this is a clear sign something is wrong with the car. In this case, you’re likely using fuel that has a lower than recommended octane rating. If your car develops a loud knocking sound, it’s essential to stop the car immediately and contact your dealer.
Dodge Grand Caravan Tank Size
All generations of the Dodge Grand Caravan manufactured between 2001 – 2020 have a fuel tank size of 20 gallons or 76 liters.
Hi! My name is Stefan, I’m the owner and lead writer at TheDriverAdviser.com.
I’m an active writer on this blog myself, although I mainly focus on research-heavy articles. For the technical stuff, I find writers that have experience as a mechanic or have studied mechanical engineering.
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