You can hardly ignore the “Check engine light” on your dashboard. 

Especially when you have just accidentally filled your tank with premium gas. 

So, you are wondering whether premium gas causes check engines light to come on?

Can Premium Gas Cause The Check Engine Light to Come On?

When you fill-up your tank with a higher-octane gas, your check engine light is likely to come on. But this should not worry you so much. The CEL will remain on as the computer is trying to adapt to the higher-octane gas present in the tank. Once it is set, the light should go off. 

However, ensure you drive around to ensure all the gas is used up and fill up the tank with the proper gas on your next pit stop. 

If the light persists even after the new refill of regular gas, you should have it checked by a mechanic to determine if there are any other problems. 

Once the vehicle’s computer system registers gas of varying octane numbers, it will generate a code. 

Consider going to the next auto services station to interpret the code. This will confirm whether the problem is only the type of gas used. 

Can the wrong gas cause the check engine light to come on?

Yes. Wrong gas is one of the many reasons why your check engine light may come on.

For example, if your vehicle is used to regular gas of octane levels 81 – 89, and then you accidentally fill your tank with premium gas of a high octane level of 91, this is likely to cause your CEL to come on. 

The light will remain on as the system tries to adjust to the new gas. 

Almost all modern systems come standard with a sensor that will identify the octane level and adapt accordingly. 

The light will go off, but ensure you use the right gas in your next fueling stop. 

Code P0022 will sometimes be generated by your computer to indicate over-retarded engine timing. 

This is the system’s way of indicating that it is trying to adapt to the new fuel that has been added to the tank. 

Once set, the code will disappear and so will the light. 

Other Reasons for CEL Illumination

There are very many other reasons why your check engine light may come on. 

These are mostly related to engine issues of potential failure in the engine. 

One of the most common reasons for CEL turning on is leakage of engine oil

If this goes unnoticed, it can cost expensive repairs and an eventual engine knock. 

Another common trigger for the check engine light is a loose gas cap on the engine. 

Modern vehicles have sensors that will indicate when the gas cap doesn’t fit well. 

This should be addressed immediately because it is a potential hazard due to the high pressure in the engine. 

What Next If Your Check Engine Light is on?

Can Premium Gas Cause Check Engine Light to Come On 1 Can Premium Gas Cause The Check Engine Light to Come On?

You should never ignore any warning signal from your vehicle. Whether it is the engine or any other part of the vehicle. 

Check engine light is among the most serious signals that your vehicle can present and should be handled immediately they happen. 

You can use the specific error code generated by your vehicle’s computer system to decipher the actual problem. 

Take your vehicle to a reputable auto services station where they have the right equipment to decode the message. 

This will help reduce guesswork and ensure that you get the most accurate diagnosis. 

In the case of using lower or higher than recommended octane gas, the check engine light should turn off once the engine adapts to the new fuel type. 

However, you should ensure you use all the fuel in the tank before you top up with the correct fuel. 

If the light remains on after fueling, it means that the fuel affected the entire system and may require cleaning. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Will premium gas mess up my engine?

No. Using premium gas on your regular engine will not mess up your engine. Neither will it improve the efficiency or performance of your vehicle. Therefore, it is important to stick to the manufacturer’s recommended gas as stipulated in the owner’s manual. 

Premium gas is more expensive than regular gas because of its high-octane level. It is commonly used for high-performance and heavy-duty vehicles. 

Using premium gas on your regular engine will be an unnecessary expense. 

Does premium gas help check engine light?

When you use premium gas on your vehicle that uses regular gas, there are chances that the CEL will come on. But this will not happen for all vehicles. 

Modern cars have an internal mechanism of re-adjusting to accommodate high-octane gas. When this happens, the check engine light may turn on to indicate that the engine is adjusting to the new gas. 

What does it mean if the check engine light comes on after you put gas in your car?

There are many reasons why the Check Engine Light (CEL) may come on after putting gas.

The most common reason is when you put gas with the wrong octane level (either lower or higher octane).

This will trigger the CEL as the engine is trying to adapt to the new fuel used. 

Another reason for the check engine light to come off immediately after putting gas could be traces of water or debris in the gas.

Modern cars come with sensors in the gas tank that will check for any impurities in the gas. If this happens, consider taking your vehicle to a specialist for interpreting the specific code registered on the dashboard of your vehicle. 

Additionally, loose fittings or gas caps can also trigger the check engine light to come on. 

When you notice the light, stop the vehicle, and confirm that the gas cap was replaced correctly after putting gas in your vehicle. 

This is a common mistake done by the fuel attendants. 

Lastly, if you don’t realize any performance issues with your vehicle, then chances are that it is a coincidence. 

Something unrelated could have happened to the engine after you had left the gas station. 

Oil leakage or loose-fitting are among the most likely sources of errors. 

Is it necessary to take my vehicle to a mechanic every time the CEL comes on?

The check engine light is an important warning mechanism for your vehicle, letting you know that anything is wrong when it comes on. 

Since the CEL can indicate various issues, having your car evaluated by a specialist is highly recommended. 

Never ignore the CEL because it may cause expensive damage to other components. 

When you have your vehicle checked by a specialist, you will have the peace of mind that all the problems have been diagnosed. 

Your vehicle will be connected to a system that will decode all the error codes and will likely bring out all the problems that you could not have been aware of. 

The potential mechanical problem will be easily addressed this way without causing more damage to the vehicle and other components. 

How will I know when I have used bad gas in my vehicle?

One of the indicators of using bad gas will be the check engine light (CEL). 

Depending on the make and model of your vehicle, this light may come on to alert you of potential problems with your engine.

Additionally, you may have trouble starting your engine (hard start), especially in the morning. 

Also, when you use the wrong gas, emissions from your vehicle will increase. This is mostly due to unburnt gas.

When this happens, it means you used fuel with the wrong octane number (either higher or lower). 

Another clear indicator of bad gas is when your vehicle keeps stalling.

Poor lubrication and bad gas are among the most common reasons for your vehicle to stall. If left unchecked, it may eventually cause your engine to knock. 

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