Do Subaru Turbos Need Premium Gas?

You have finally gotten a car that has a turbo engine, and it is a Subaru. 

However, the owner’s manual says you should use premium gas in the car. 

Do Subaru Turbos need premium gas, or is that just a recommendation?

Do Subaru Turbos Need Premium Gas?

Subaru turbos require premium gas. If the proper gas is not used, the car’s engine will be damaged over time because it is not made to use gas with an octane level lower than 91. It is best to spend the money on premium gas than spend money repairing or replacing the engine.

However, for those of you who are getting a car with a turbo engine for the first time, you may also ask: what does a turbo engine mean?

Below, I will explain what they are and why regular gas shouldn’t be used in turbo engines, along with the list of the Subarus that have turbo options.

What Does Turbo Mean?

Having a turbo engine, otherwise known as a turbocharged engine, means that the engine is going to produce a lot more power than a standard engine.

It works by being able to suck in almost 50% more air than a standard engine, which means that the engine can create bigger explosions.

All this put together means that it creates a much more powerful car engine.

Because of this, more cars are getting turbo engines because a smaller turbo engine can be just as effective and even more efficient than a large standard engine. 

And Subaru is just one of the many companies that are currently adding turbo options to many of their cars, seeing that they can be found in at least 4 different models. 

Premium Gas

The main difference between premium and regular gas is important to know, especially when you own a car that requires the more expensive gas, as it is hard to justify the extra cost if you don’t know why it needs to be used. 

The biggest difference is the octane value.

Premium gas has an octane of around 91 to 100, while regular has a level typically between 85 and 87. 

The higher the rating of the octane in gas, the less likely it is to knock or have a premature explosion.

This means that cars using regular gas can use premium without having any problems, but if a car that needs premium gas uses regular, the owner will eventually hear knocking from the engine. 

That knocking will harm your car’s engine.

However, it takes a while for knocking to start and it won’t damage your engine if you use regular instead of premium gas once or twice. 

What Models of Subaru have Turbo Engines?

There are four main models of Subaru that are currently offering a turbo option. 

But, when you are considering purchasing, make sure that the model you are getting has a turbo engine in it as some are offered with both turbo and standard engine options.

The first option is the Subaru Forester. The two engine options available for the Forester include a 2.5-liter four-cylinder Boxer engine that produces 170 horsepower. 

The second option is the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder Boxer engine that has 250 horsepower. 

A forester will costs around $25,195.

Next is the Subaru Ascent. The Ascent is the newest of any Subaru model, and because of this, it is only offered with a turbo engine. 

The Ascent has a 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder Boxer engine that has 260 horsepower. 

This model is also able to tow up to 5,000 pounds as well. An Ascent typically costs around $32,295.

Next is the Subaru WRX. This sports car is also only offered with a turbo engine as it was made to be a racing car.

Under its hood, they have a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that has up to 268 horsepower. A WRX typically costs around $27,495.

The last of the turbo engine options is the Subaru WRX STI. 

The WRX STI has a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder Boxer engine that had the highest horsepower of them all with up to 305 horsepower. 

However, for now, they are no longer going to be producing this option. However, talk of an eventual electric model of this car is going on. A WRX STI typically costs around $37,245.

What if I Use Standard Gas in my Turbo Subaru?

For those who are unsure about what gas they are needing to use for their car, the owner’s manual has all the information they need, including information on what will happen if they use the wrong type of gas. 

For the 2018 Subaru Forester, if it has a turbocharged engine, fuel with an octane rating of 91 or higher is recommended.

However, if you do decide to use regular fuel, it explains that “depending on your driving habits and conditions, you may notice a decrease in maximum engine performance, fuel economy or slight engine vibration or knocking.”

The owner’s manual has the rest of any safety information that you may need, and for ease of use, online versions are often available for free.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Premium Gas Increase Gas Mileage?

Using premium fuel will not make a regular car any more efficient. 

To improve the mileage of your car you will want to use the gas octane rating that your car recommends. 

Doing this will also help your car to be more fuel-efficient. 

Don’t justify that the cost will be worth it since your car was made to use a certain type of gas.

What Happens if I Mix Two Fuels in my Gas Tank?

Don’t worry, the fuels will balance out and be at an octane level between the listed levels.

Your car will adjust to this new level, however, you will want to eventually return to the recommended type of fuel.

What is the Best Fuel for Other Turbocharged Cars?

Just as with the Subaru’s, most turbocharged cars are going to need premium gas.

Some turbo cars can use regular fuel, so it’s best to check your owner’s manual after purchasing your car to best know what it needs

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