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Types Of Gas A Nissan Titan Takes (Explained)

Types Of Gas A Nissan Titan Takes (Explained)

We’ve written extensively about the Nissan Titan and the various questions you might have about this car and its various features, Nissan Titan’s best year, as well as certain problems you might face with this model.

Today we’re going to take a thorough look at the gas specifications of this car.

So, what types of gas does a Nissan Titan require to run properly?

2004-2021 Nissan Titans take regular, unleaded 87 octane gasoline. From 2022 onwards, Nissan Titan takes premium, unleaded 91 octane gasoline. 2016-2019 Nissan Titan XD take diesel, with a minimum of 42 cetane when temperatures are above freezing and a minimum of 45 cetane when temperatures are below freezing. Biodiesel is allowed up to 10% (B10).

However, that certainly doesn’t tell the whole story. Below we’ll talk about the different kinds of fuels on the market, what sort of specifications they have and whether or not Nissan recommends them for the Titan.

Furthermore, we’ll also talk about gas mileage, tank size, and the cost of a full tank for the Titan. Read on!

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Gasoline Specifications

First, we need to talk about the octane specifications in more detail. As specified, almost all generations of the Nissan Titan take 87 octane. However, many people wonder if it isn’t a better idea to opt for 91 octane whenever they can.

Let it be clear that using premium gasoline in an engine that isn’t designed for premium gasoline won’t harm the vehicle. However, it also won’t improve the performance of the vehicle or the durability of its components in any way.

The 2004 – 2021 Titan requires 87 octane, and we advise you to stick with that. You can use a higher octane rating whenever 87 is unavailable, but don’t make it a habit since it’s more expensive.

From 2022 onwards, the Titan requires 91 octane for optimum performance. However, Nissan has stated in the owner’s manual that 87 octane can be used temporarily if 91 octane is not available. However, be advised that using a lower than recommended octane rating will result in reduced performance and possible misfiring of the engine (more on that later).

Reformulated Gasoline

Reformulated gasoline is the gasoline that’s designed to burn cleaner and therefore produce less air pollution. In some areas of the United States, this fuel is mandatory by state law because the air quality in these regions is questionable.

The engines of all Titans are designed to use reformulated gasoline whenever this is available, and Nissan recommends you use this fuel when you can.

Oxygenated Blends

Furthermore, we have to discuss the use of oxygenates in gasoline for the different generations of the Nissan Titan. Oxygenated blends of gasoline typically contain a form of ethanol, methanol, or MTBE.

Ethanol and methanol are made from biosources, whereas MTBE combines methanol and isobutylene. All of this means these gasses typically burn cleaner than regular gasoline, and that’s why their use is encouraged in the United States.

However, using higher than recommended percentages of these oxygenates in your gasoline will damage the engine and the fuel system. Therefore, Nissan has the following guidelines for the use of these chemicals:


  • All generations of the Nissan Titan can take gasoline with a maximum percentage of 10% ethanol (also referred to as E10). Using E15, also commonly sold, is therefore forbidden in most Nissan Titans. The only exception to this are the FlexFuel vehicles we’ll talk more about in a minute.
  • All generations of the Nissan Titan can take gasoline with a maximum of 5% methanol. Furthermore, the gasoline should also contain a suitable amount of appropriate cosolvents and corrosion inhibitors. Little data is available about the compatibility of methanol with the Nissan Titan, and it’s recommended to stay away from it whenever you can.
  • All generations of the Nissan Titan can take gasoline with a maximum of 15% MTBE.

FlexFuel (E85)

If you have a Nissan Titan manufactured between 2005 – 2015, there’s a change the vehicle is a FlexFuel vehicle. This means the Titan can take gasoline with a much higher ethanol percentage than non-FlexFuel vehicles. In detail, FlexFuel means the vehicle can take E10 up to E85 (51 – 83% ethanol). This also means the vehicle can use the popular E15 (15% ethanol).

You’ll know if your Nissan Titan is a FlexFuel vehicle by looking at the car’s rear (the car will have a FlexFuel badge) or by opening the gas door. On the inside of the gas door, there should be a sticker that states ‘regular gasoline or FlexFuel‘ or something similar.

However, do know that using FlexFuel means you have to be conscious about how you fill up your car and what to expect from it. Below, we’ve stated the guidelines found in the owner’s manuals of all FlexFuel Titans:

  • Do not switch between regular gasoline and E85 when the fuel gauge indicates less than 1/4 full
  • Add more than 5 gallons of fuel when switching between different types of gasoline
  • Operate the vehicle immediately after refueling for at least 5 minutes
  • 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 drivability (sags and/or hesitations) until the engine is fully warmed up.
  • You’ll experience a 30% decrease in fuel economy when using E85 because this fuel stores less energy. However, E85 is typically 30% less expensive at the pump.

Diesel Requirements

We cannot discuss the Titan without discussing the Nissan Titan XD (2016 – 2019). This vehicle exclusively took diesel fuel and therefore had its own requirements.

Nissan recommends you use diesel fuel with a minimum cetane rating of 42 when temperatures are above 32°F (0°C) and a minimum of 45 cetane when temperatures are below 32°F (0°C). Furthermore, a minimum of 15 ppm sulfur must be used.

Using diesel with less than 42 cetane will result in poor starting and excessive white smoke, whereas a cetane number of 55 or higher will increase smoke at peak torque conditions.

Furthermore, it’s good to know that the Titan XD can take diesel with a maximum of 10% biodiesel and 90% petroleum diesel (also known as B10). A higher percentage of biodiesel will damage the engine.

Gasoline With Additives

Some gasoline has additives such as fuel injector cleaner, octane booster (MMT), intake valve deposit removers, etc. Nissan advises strongly against the use of additives as in all generations of the Nissan Titan. This is because some of these additives will contain solvents that will damage the engine’s fuel system.

Instead, it’s recommended you use gasoline that already has all the proper cleaning detergents in it. This type of gasoline can be bought at TOP TIER retailers. TOP TIER retailers are retailers that adhere to a strict minimum limit set by automotive cooperations. By doing so, you can be sure that the gasoline you’re buying is suitable for your engine and will minimize any damage.

Engine Knock After Refueling

From time to time, you may hear some phenomena referred to as ‘engine knock.’ This knocking sound occurs typically when the engine uses fuel with an octane rating lower than recommended. For example, some engines prefer 91 octane but can use 87 octane (like the 2022 Titan). Using 87 octane in these engines may cause a light engine knock, and that’s not a problem.

However, if the engine knock becomes very loud, you have a problem that needs to be addressed immediately. You may have put fuel in the car that has too low of an octane rating. Engine knock can also occur when you put E15 in Titans that aren’t made for this or when you switch from regular gasoline to E85 without adhering to the guidelines mentioned earlier.

Continuing to drive with a loud engine knock will most likely damage the car’s fuel system. Park the vehicle immediately if this happens, and contact your dealership. Your vehicle will need to be drained of its fuel, and the fuel filter will need to be replaced.

For more insight into engine knocking check this video:

Gas Mileage Of A Nissan Titan

Furthermore, we need to discuss the MPG you can expect to get with different generations of the Nissan Titan. We’ve gathered the information in the tables below, and one thing that we can conclude from this is that the Nissan Titan has never been a fuel-efficient machine. No generation of the Titan reaches an MPG of 20, and the FlexFuel variant is even stuck at a combined MPG of 10.

First-generation (2004 – 2015)

5.6 (Gas)141217
5.6 (E85)10912

Second-generation (2016 – Present)

5.0 (Diesel)171520

Tank Size Per Generation

  • 2004 – 2015 Nissan Titan have a fuel tank capacity of 28 gallons or 105.8 liters. The only exception is the 2008 Nissan Titan, which has a fuel tank capacity of 28 gallons or 105.8 liters with a short wheelbase and a fuel tank capacity of 37 gallons or 140 liters with a long wheelbase.
  • From 2016 onwards, the Nissan Titan, including the Titan XDs, have a fuel tank capacity of 26 gallons or 98.4 liters.

Closing Thoughts

Whether you’re cruising in an older Titan or you just rolled off the lot with a 2022 model, knowing what gas to put in your tank is crucial.

But hey, it’s not just about the type of gas. You gotta keep an eye on that gas mileage, know your tank size, and have a rough idea of what a full tank is gonna cost you.

And for those of you looking to switch up your wheels, we may want to check our in-depth article on “The Exact Bolt Pattern Of A Nissan Titan“.

So there you have it! Treat your Titan right with the proper gas, and it’ll treat you right on the road. Happy driving!


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