Nissan Maxima Owners Manual: Fuel recommendation
NISSAN recommends the use of unleaded premium gasoline with an octane rating of at least 91 AKI (Anti-Knock Index) number (Research octane number 96). If unleaded premium gasoline is not available, you may use unleaded regular gasoline with an octane rating of at least 87 AKI number (Research octane number 91), but you may notice a decrease in performance.
- Using a fuel other than that specified could adversely affect the emission control system, and may also affect the warranty coverage.
- Under no circumstances should a leaded gasoline be used, because this will damage the three-way catalyst.
- Do not use E-15 or E-85 fuel in your
vehicle. Your vehicle is not designed to
run on E-15 E-85 fuel. Using E-15 or E-85
fuel in a vehicle not specifically designed
for E-15 or E-85 fuel can adversely
affect the emission control devices
and systems of the vehicle.
Damage caused by such fuel is not covered by the NISSAN New Vehicle Limited Warranty.
- Do not use fuel that contains the octane
booster methylcyclopentadienyl manganese
tricarbonyl (MMT). Using fuel
containing MMT may adversely affect
vehicle performance and vehicle emissions.
Not all fuel dispensers are labeled to indicate MMT content, so you may have to consult your gasoline retailer for more details. Note that Federal and California laws prohibit the use of MMT in reformulated gasoline.
- U.S. government regulations require ethanol dispensing pumps to be identified by a small, square, orange and black label with the common abbreviation or the appropriate percentage for that region.
NISSAN recommends using gasoline that meets the World-Wide Fuel Charter (WWFC) specifications where it is available. Many of the automobile manufacturers developed this specification to improve emission control system and vehicle performance. Ask your service station manager if the gasoline meets the WWFC specifications.
Some fuel suppliers are now producing reformulated gasolines. These gasolines are specially designed to reduce vehicle emissions. NISSAN supports efforts towards cleaner air and suggests that you use reformulated gasoline when available.
Gasoline containing oxygenates
Some fuel suppliers sell gasoline containing oxygenates such as ethanol, Methyl Tert-butyl Ether (MTBE) and methanol with or without advertising their presence. NISSAN does not recommend the use of fuels of which the oxygenate content and the fuel compatibility for your NISSAN cannot be readily determined. If in doubt, ask your service station manager.
If you use oxygenate-blend gasoline, please take the following precautions as the usage of such fuels may cause vehicle performance problems and/or fuel system damage.
- The fuel should be unleaded and have an octane rating no lower than that recommended for unleaded gasoline.
- If an oxygenate-blend other than
methanol blend is used, it should contain
no more than 10% oxygenate.
(MTBE may, however, be added up to 15%.)
- E-15 fuel contains more than 10% oxygenate.
E-15 fuel will adversely affect the emission control devices and systems of the vehicle and should not be used. Damage caused by such fuel is not covered by the NISSAN New Vehicle Limited Warranty.
- If a methanol blend is used, it should
contain no more than 5% methanol
(methyl alcohol, wood alcohol). It
should also contain a suitable amount
of appropriate cosolvents and corrosion
inhibitors. If not properly formulated
with appropriate cosolvents and
corrosion inhibitors, such methanol
blends may cause fuel system damage
and/or vehicle performance problems.
At this time, sufficient data is not available to ensure that all methanol blends are suitable for use in NISSAN vehicles.
If any driveability problems such as engine stalling and difficult hot-starting are experienced after using oxygenate-blend fuels, immediately change to a non-oxygenate fuel or a fuel with a low blend of MTBE.
Take care not to spill gasoline during refueling.
Gasoline containing oxygenates can cause paint damage.
E-15 fuel is a mixture of approximately 15% fuel ethanol and 85% unleaded gasoline. E-15 can only be used in vehicles designed to run on E-15 fuel. Do not use E-15 in your vehicle. U.S. government regulations require fuel ethanol dispensing pumps to be identified with small, square, orange and black label with the common abbreviation or the appropriate percentage for that region.
E-85 fuel is a mixture of approximately 85% fuel ethanol and 15% unleaded gasoline. E-85 can only be used in a Flexible Fuel Vehicle (FFV). Do not use E-85 in your vehicle. U.S. government regulations require fuel ethanol dispensing pumps to be identified by a small, square, orange and black label with the common abbreviation or the appropriate percentage for that region.
Fuel containing MMT
MMT, or methylcyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl, is an octane boosting additive. NISSAN does not recommend the use of fuel containing MMT. Such fuel may adversely affect vehicle performance, including the emissions control system.
Note that while some fuel pumps label MMT content, not all do, so you may have to consult your gasoline retailer for more details.
Aftermarket fuel additives
NISSAN does not recommend the use of any aftermarket fuel additives (for example, fuel injector cleaner, octane booster, intake valve deposit removers, etc.) which are sold commercially.
Many of these additives intended for gum, varnish or deposit removal may contain active solvents or similar ingredients that can be harmful to the fuel system and engine.
Octane rating tips
Using unleaded gasoline with an octane rating lower than recommended can cause persistent, heavy "spark knock." ("Spark knock" is a metallic rapping noise.) If severe, this can lead to engine damage. If you detect a persistent heavy spark knock even when using gasoline of the stated octane rating, or if you hear steady spark knock while holding a steady speed on level roads, it is recommended that you have a NISSAN dealer correct the condition. Failure to correct the condition is misuse of the vehicle, for which NISSAN is not responsible.
Incorrect ignition timing may result in spark knock, after-run and/or overheating, which may cause excessive fuel consumption or engine damage. If any of the above symptoms are encountered, have your vehicle checked. It is recommended that you visit a NISSAN dealer for servicing.
However, now and then you may notice light spark knock for a short time while accelerating or driving up hills. This is not a cause for concern, because you get the greatest fuel benefit when there is light spark knock for a short time under heavy engine load.