On this blog, we’ve written extensively about Pontiacs and their abilities. However, today we will discuss the types of fuel that can and cannot be used by several different Pontiac models. Let’s start with a quick answer:
All models of Pontiac that were manufactured after 2000 generally make use of regular unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 87. Some supercharged V6 engines and V8 engines use premium gasoline with an octane rating of 91 or higher. Some select models use 89 octane gasoline when maximum performance is required.
However, that certainly doesn’t answer the question entirely. Below we’ll discuss seven different models of Pontiac, and we’ll go into detail about the fuel that should be used and what fuel will cause problems. Finally, we’ll discuss the use of reformulated gasoline, the use of additives, and what should be done when engine knock is heard. Read on!
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All Pontiac G6’s manufactured between 2005 – 2010 with a 2.4, 3.5, 3.6, or 3.9L engine can take regular unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 87. G6’s manufactured between 2008 – 2010 that have a 2.4 or 3.5L engine can also make use of E-85, which is a fuel that contains a maximum of 85% ethanol. All other G6’s can only use a maximum of 10% ethanol.
Gasoline with an octane of 89 is only recommended for the 2008 – 2010 Pontiac G6 with a 3.6L when maximum performance is required. One such instance is when the G6 is used for trailer towing.
Premium gasoline is not recommended for any model year of the G6. Premium gasoline has an octane of 91 or higher. Using this fuel in the Pontiac G6 will not give the car any performance benefits.
Pontiac Vibes manufactured between 2003 – 2008 with a 1.8L DOHC engine make use of premium unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 91 or higher. Regular gasoline with an octane of 87 can be used occasionally if spark knock does not occur. Vibes manufactured between 2008 – 2010 with a 1.8L or 2.4L engine make use of regular gasoline with an octane of 87.
Pontiac Vibes are not designed to make use of fuel with an ethanol percentage higher than 10%. This means Vibes cannot use E-15 or E-85, which have 15% and 85% ethanol, respectively.
Pontiac Grand Am
All Pontiac Grand Am’s manufactured between 1998 – 2005 with a 2.2L or 3.4L engine make use of regular unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 87 or higher. The use of premium fuel with an octane rating of 91 is not recommended since this has no benefits for the Grand Am. Furthermore, the car can only take fuel with a maximum percentage of 10% ethanol. E-15 and E-85 fuels can therefore not be used.
Pontiac Grand Prix
Pontiac Grand Prix manufactured between 2003 – 2008 with a regular 3.8L V6 engine take regular unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 87 or higher. The 3.8L V6 engines that are supercharged and the 5.3L V8’s take premium gasoline with an octane rating of 91 or higher. However, both these engines can use 87 octane fuel as long as spark knock does not occur.
Furthermore, Pontiac Grand Prix cannot take fuel with an ethanol level of more than 10%. E-10 is, therefore, safe to use, but E-15 and E-85 will cause severe damage to the engine.
Pontiac G8 manufactured between 2007 – 2009 with the 6.0L V8 take regular unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 87% or higher. The 3.6L V6 also takes regular unleaded gasoline with an octane of 87 or higher. However, this engine should use 89 octane when maximum performance is required (such as when towing a trailer).
Fuels containing more than 10% ethanol cannot be used for the G8 and E-15, and E-85 can not be used.
Pontiac Solstice, manufactured between 2005 – 2009, uses premium unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 91 or higher. This vehicle can also use regular unleaded gasoline with an octane of 87. However, engine performance may be reduced, and you may hear a slight knocking noise from the engine.
Fuels containing more than 10% ethanol cannot be used for the Solstice, and E-15 and E-85 can not be used.
The Use Of Reformulated Gasoline In Pontiacs
Reformulated gasoline is gasoline that’s designed to burn cleaner. It, therefore, reduces emissions of the engine of the Pontiacs and other cars. In the owners’ manuals of Pontiacs, reformulated gasoline is referred to as “California Fuel” because California was the only state in which this fuel was mandatory when Pontiacs were manufactured.
These days, several states and regions have made reformulated gasoline mandatory. Therefore, it’s good to know that Pontiac advises using reformulated gasoline for all models of the Pontiac brand whenever it’s available.
Pontiacs And Fuel Containing Methanol
Pontiacs are generally not designed to use fuel that contains methanol. The reason for this is that methanol can corrode metal parts of the engine and the fuel system. This will decrease the lifespan of these parts and cause problems that may be expensive to fix.
Can A Pontiac Use Fuel WIth Additives?
Like most car manufacturers, GM generally advises against using additives to increase the performance of your engine. The reason for this is that some additives will cause extra corrosion or damage to the engine. To keep parts such as the fuel injectors and intake valves clean, GM (the owner of Pontiac) advises you to use fuel that certified TOP TIER retailers sell. You can find a TOP TIER retailer via toptiergas.com. These fuels contain all the additives that you should need.
What To Do If I Hear A Knocking Noise In My Pontiac After Refilling?
As stated before, you must use fuel with the right octane level. Using fuel with an octane rating lower than 87 will cause problems for all models of Pontiac. Furthermore, some engines require 89 or 91 octane but may also take 87 octane. This is a situation that may cause problems.
If, after refilling, you hear a loud knocking noise, that is a reason to stop the car and contact your dealer. It’s very likely the engine isn’t capable of dealing with the octane level in the fuel you’ve used.
However, please keep in mind that a slight knocking noise that doesn’t increase in volume is nothing to worry about and utterly normal from time to time.