Toyota Fuel Tips and Recommendations
Gasoline Selection and “Detergent Gasoline”
In general, Toyota recommends that you buy gasoline from high-volume, major name-brand stations.
To prevent the build up of deposits inside your engine and fuel system, it is important to choose fuels that contain effective detergent additives. The detergency of some US gasolines is insufficient to provide protection from such deposits. Toyota recommends the use of “Top Tier Detergent Gasolines,” where available. Gasoline brands with this designation meet new, voluntary standards and have demonstrated their ability to keep engines clean through a series of demanding tests. Significantly, Top Tier Detergent Gasoline does not contain MMT, a metallic additive that creates deposits in your engine and exhaust system; (see the MMT explanation below). Fuel brands that have achieved the Top Tier Detergent Gasoline designation can be identified through their marketing campaigns, and/or by fueling station signage.
All gasolines contain trace amounts of sulfur. The human sense of smell can detect sulfur odor in concentrations as low as 3 to 5 parts per million in air.
The exhaust on today’s catalyst-equipped Toyota vehicles will emit varying degrees of sulfur odor depending on operating temperatures and conditions. On normally operating vehicles, the odor is usually noticeable when the engine is cold, right after deceleration, or after wide-open throttle acceleration.
It may not be possible to eliminate sulfur odor completely due to the various operating conditions. If the sulfur odor is overly bothersome, please contact Toyota Customer Service or Victory Toyota of San Bruno for further guidance or assistance.
“Summer” and “Winter” Fuel
All parts of the U.S. have winter/summer blended fuel, which is needed to prevent cold or hot start problems. Winter fuels have higher volatility to compensate for cold dense air. Conversely, summer fuels have lower volatility and are less prone to “percolate.”
If winter blended fuel is used in warm or hot weather, the higher temperature may cause the fuel to “percolate” within the fuel system.
Summer fuel may not vaporize adequately in cool weather.
These situations are normally localized and last only during a brief period of severe changes in climatic conditions. Normally, no vehicle repairs are needed for these situations.
Buy fuel from high-volume, major name-brand stations.
Oxygenated Fuels and MMT
Do not use gasoline containing MMT (Methylcyclopentadienyl Manganese Tricarbonyl). MMT is a gasoline additive that is used by some refiners to boost octane. It contains the metal manganese. This additive contaminates your engine components and exhaust emission control system, and can lead to a significant increase in emissions and a loss in performance and fuel economy. Damage caused by the use of fuels containing MMT may not be covered under warranty. Gasoline containing MMT is not common in the United States. It is prohibited in federal reformulated gasoline and in all California gasoline. However, MMT has been found in some fuels in the Southwest, mountain states, and the northwest area of New York State. MMT is more prevalent in gasoline sold in Canada, but lately many MMT-free fuels have become available. Regardless of location, the presence of MMT in the fuel will not be indicated on the pump, so it is important to ask your fueling station if their gasoline contains this additive. Alternatively, you may contact the customer service department of your preferred fuel brand with this question.
Some conventional gasolines are being blended with alcohol or an ether compound. These gasolines are collectively referred to as “oxygenated fuels.” To meet clean air standards, some areas of the U.S. and Canada use these fuels to help reduce emissions. If you use an oxygenated fuel, be sure it is unleaded and meets the minimum octane rating requirement described in your Owner’s Manual
Before using an oxygenated fuel, try to confirm the fuel’s contents. Some states/provinces require this information to be posted on the pump.
Please refer to your Owner’s Manual for your vehicles EPA-approved percentages of oxygenates.
Fuels that exceed the EPA’s approved oxygenate percentages for conventional and reformulated gasolines must be clearly labeled on the pump. One example of such a fuel is “E85,” which contains 85% ethanol. Do not use such fuels in your vehicle. These fuels will cause performance problems, and may damage your vehicle’s engine, fuel system, and emission control system. This damage would not be covered under warranty.
If you notice any undesirable operating symptoms, try another service station or switch to another brand of gasoline.
Refer to your Owner’s Manual for the pump octane number recommended for your Toyota. Use of a lower-octane gasoline than recommended can cause a persistent, heavy metallic rapping noise in the engine that can lead to mechanical damage.
There is no advantage in using a fuel with a pump octane greater than that recommended in your Owner’s Manual.