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Types Of Gas A Nissan Maxima Takes (Explained)

Types Of Gas A Nissan Maxima Takes (Explained)

We’ve written extensively about the Nissan Maxima, its capabilities, and various features on this blog. Today, we will talk about what fuel this sedan needs and what fuels are strictly prohibited. Let’s start with a quick answer:

Nissan Maximas manufactured between 2000 – 2004 take regular unleaded gasoline with an octane of 87. Nissan Maximas manufactured between 2004 – Present-day all use premium unleaded gasoline with an octane of 91, although 87 octane can still be used temporarily if 91 octane is unavailable.

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 Maxima with oxygenated blends. Furthermore, we discuss the tank size of these generations. Read on!

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Also read: How Many Miles Can A Nissan Maxima Last? (Answered)

Infographic explaining the fuel types for a Nissan maxima

Premium Gasoline

First, let’s talk about the use of premium gasoline in the Maxima. As you can see in the statement above, premium gasoline is generally recommended for this car. Except for the 2000 – 2004 generation for which regular gasoline will do just fine.

It’s important to clarify that using a higher octane fuel (such as 91 where 87 is recommended, or 93 where 91 octane is recommended) will not help your vehicle in any way. Higher octane fuels do not give the car any performance or durability benefits if the manufacturer does not explicitly state that you should use these fuels.

Instead, you’ll spend more money on the fuel, of which you’re engine has no way to get any benefits out of it. Therefore, it’s recommended you stick with the fuels that are recommended in the owner manuals.

Also read: The Exact Bolt Pattern Of A Nissan Maxima

Reformulated Gasoline

Some fuel suppliers are manufacturing reformulated gasoline. Reformulated gasoline was first adopted in California, where the authorities decided something needed to be done about the poor air quality at the time. Reformulated gasoline was made mandatory because it burns more cleanly than non-reformulated gasoline and therefore has less of a negative effect on air quality.

These days reformulated gasoline is mandatory in more than 19 areas of the United States. However, it’s good to know that all generations of the Maxima are designed to use reformulated gasoline. It will not affect the durability, performance, or fuel economy of your car in any way, and Nissan strongly recommends you use this kind of fuel whenever it’s available.

Oxygenated Blends Such As Ethanol

Just like reformulated gasoline, oxygenated blends are designed to burn more cleanly. These blends generally contain a certain percentage of methanol, ethanol, or MTBE. However, it’s essential to know that you’ll have to watch the specific percentages to make sure these fuels are safe to use with your Maxima. These rules are as follows:

  • All generations of the Nissan Maxima can take fuel with a maximum of 5% methanol. It should also contain a suitable amount of appropriate cosolvents and corrosion inhibitors. If not properly formulated with appropriate cosolvents and corrosion inhibitors, such methanol blends may cause fuel system damage and/or vehicle performance problems.
  • All generations of the Nissan Maxima can use gasoline with a maximum of 15% MTBE.
  • Nissan Maximas manufactured between 2000 – 2018 can take gasoline with a maximum of 10% ethanol which is also indicated as E-10. Maximas manufactured after 2018 can take gasoline with a maximum of 15% ethanol which means both E-10 and E-15 are safe to use. E-85, which contains 85% ethanol, should never be used for the Maxima.

Gasoline With Additives

These days there are many fuel additives available on the market. Some of these additives claim to clean your engine and fuel system more thoroughly, while others promise increased performance by boosting your fuel’s octane level. Although these claims may sound appealing, Nissan strongly advises against the use of fuel additives in your Maxima.

This is because some of these additives will contain silicon or metallics, which will damage the engine and fuel system. Also, these additives may increase the amount of deposits in your engine.

Instead, it’s advised you use fuel that has all the suitable additives already mixed into it. TOP TIER gas retailers sell these fuels. TOP TIER retailers can be found via Gas that these retailers sell will always be safe to use with the Maxima, and they will provide you with a clean and optimally functioning engine and fuel system.

Engine Knock After Refilling

Sometimes you may hear a knocking sound coming from the engine. Hearing a slight knocking sound from the engine is normal and nothing to be concerned about. The knocking sound can be heard, mainly when the Maxima performs at peak level (such as when towing or going up a hill).

However, if the knocking becomes very loud, especially after refilling, you likely have a more significant problem. In this case, you’ve probably used fuel with a lower than recommended octane rating. In this case, you should stop the vehicle immediately and contact your dealer.

Using fuel with a lower than recommended octane rating will result in severe engine and fuel system damage. Your vehicle will need to be drained of its fuel, the fuel filter will need to be replaced, and the car’s memory will need to be reset by disconnecting and reconnecting the battery of the car.

Again, most Maximas can use 87 octane fuel temporarily even though 91 octane is recommended. However, if you hear a loud knocking noise, it’s essential to take these steps immediately before you do severe damage to your car that’s not covered under warranty.

Fuel Tank Size Per Generation

  • Nissan Maxima manufactured between 2000 – 2004 have a fuel tank capacity of 18.5 gallons or 70 liters.
  • Nissan Maxima manufactured between 2004 – 2016 have a fuel tank capacity of 20 gallons or 75.6 liters.
  • Nissan Maxima manufactured from 2016 onwards have a fuel tank capacity of 18 gallons or 68 liters.


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