What kind of gas does a Chevy Traverse take

What kind of gas does a Chevy Traverse take? (Explained)

What kind of gas does a Chevy Traverse take

Amidst tough competition in the crossover SUV market, we’ve still been keeping tabs on the Chevy Traverse and getting behind the wheel of one at every chance we can get.

While it’s definitely no Camaro, the Traverse has enough oomph to make you forget about its stature while also not chugging down the fuel you feed it with, assuming that you’re even feeding it the right kind!

Thus, we’ve come up with this guide so that would-be Chevy Traverse owners feed this surprisingly athletic SUV with the right type of gas so it can properly stretch its legs!

What type of gas does a Chevy Traverse take?

Chevy Traverse models equipped with a 3.6-liter V6 take regular 87-octane gasoline. Those equipped with 2-liter I4 turbo engines also take 87-octane gas, though premium 93-octane gasoline is recommended for optimum performance.

What type of gas does a Chevy Traverse take

When the Chevy Traverse full-size crossover SUV first debuted in 2008, it only ever came with one engine option in the form of the 3.6-liter V6.

Though it’s a pretty sizeable engine even by today’s standards, Chevrolet still designed it to run on at least regular 87-octane gasoline.

87-octane gas is pretty much the standard fuel that is required for the majority of gasoline-powered vehicles on the road today, especially vehicles that are not really that focused on performance numbers.

Even when Chevrolet released a turbocharged 2-liter inline-4 (I4) for the 2nd-gen Traverse model, it still came with a minimum fuel requirement of regular 87-octane gasoline.

However, it doesn’t stop there, as the manufacturer also states that using premium 93-octane gasoline is recommended to get the most optimum performance out of the 2-liter engine.

While the owner’s manual doesn’t state exactly why the 2-liter engine benefits from using 93-octane fuel, it’s actually quite a common trend for most modern turbocharged engines to run the best on premium fuel instead of regular.

Aside from the minimum octane rating, it’s also worth talking about the actual types of fuel blends that you can and cannot use for each generation of the Chevy Traverse, which we’ll be doing so further down.

Chevy Traverse Fuel Requirements by Generation and Engine Option

The 1st-gen Chevy Traverse has a minimum fuel requirement of 87-octane gas for the 3.6L V6 engine.

The 2nd-gen Chevy Traverse requires at least 87-octane gas for both the 3.6L V6 and the 2.0L I4 turbo, though 93-octane gas is recommended to get the best performance out of the 2.0-liter option.

1st-Generation Chevy Traverse (2009 to 2017)

1st-Generation Chevy Traverse (2009 to 2017)
Engine OptionMinimum Fuel Requirement
3.6L LLT V6(281 hp/Single-Tip Exhaust)87-Octane Gasoline (Regular)

(E10-Capable until 2011)
3.6L LLT V6(281 hp/Single-Tip Exhaust)87-Octane Gasoline (Regular)

(E15-Capable for 2012 onwards)
3.6L LLT V6(288 hp/Dual-Tip Exhaust)87-Octane Gasoline (Regular)

(E10-Capable until 2011)
3.6L LLT V6(288 hp/Dual-Tip Exhaust)87-Octane Gasoline (Regular)

(E15-Capable for 2012 onwards)

The 1st generation of the Chevy Traverse was initially unveiled back in 2008 for the 2009 model year, and it was only fitted with one engine option for the entirety of its production run until 2017.

Whether customers went for the base LS trim or the top-spec LTZ trim, their 1st-gen Chevy Traverse came with a 3.6-liter V6 engine dubbed the “LLT”.

The 3.6-liter LLT V6 engine was specifically designed to run on regular 87-octane gasoline at the minimum, so there’s no need to spend a few more cents per gallon on any premium fuel to feed this power plant.

Interestingly enough, the 1st-gen Chevy Traverse’s 3.6-liter LLT V6 actually came with two different horsepower figures that you can tell apart by how many exhaust tips they had.

Those that only came with a single exhaust tip out the rear made 281 hp out of the 3.6-liter V6, while those that had the dual exhaust option actually made an extra 7 hp more (288 hp) with the exact same engine.

But obviously, the number of exhaust tips does not affect the minimum fuel requirement, so you should stick to 87-octane fuel for either of the two exhaust configurations for the 1st-gen Traverse.

It’s also worth mentioning that the 1st-gen Traverse can also run on ethanol-blended gasoline to a certain degree. 

2011 and older models can take gasoline containing up to 10% ethanol (E-10), while 2012 and newer models have bumped this up to 15% ethanol (E-15).

2nd-Generation Chevy Traverse (2018 to 2023/Present)

2nd-Generation Chevy Traverse (2018 to 2023/Present)
Engine OptionMinimum Fuel Requirement

2.0L LTG Inline-4 (I4) Turbo
87-Octane Gasoline (Regular)

(93-Octane Recommended)

3.6L LFY V687-Octane Gasoline (Regular)


After the decently long production run of the first Chevy Traverse generation, a newer 2nd-gen model came into the picture right at the beginning of 2017 for the 2018 model year.

Apart from having a completely new design and even more trims to cater to your preferences, the 2018 Chevy Traverse introduced another addition to its engine lineup, a turbocharged 2-liter inline-4 (I4) engine.

A newer 3.6-liter “LFY” V6 that replaced the previous-gen V6 was also available, which was rated at 310 hp, making it significantly more powerful than its older 281 to 288-hp “LLT” counterpart.

However, this boost in power did nothing to change the 2018 Chevy Traverse’s gas type requirement, which still remains at 87-octane gasoline for the V6.

The 2-liter “LTG” I4 turbo engine can also run on 87-octane fuel at minimum, but even with its slightly lower power output of 257 hp, Chevrolet actually recommends filling it up with premium 93-octane gasoline for it to deliver that optimally.

Furthermore, the owner’s manual actually states that you’ll also be getting the best fuel economy from the 2-liter I4 engine by using 93-octane fuel, so you’ll definitely see benefits from spending more for premium fuel, in this case.

And just like last time, the ethanol compatibility trend still continues with the 2nd-gen Chevy Traverse, as you can fill it up with gasoline containing up to 15% ethanol content (E-15) for both engine options. 

Types of Gasoline/Fuel That Can Be Used in a Chevy Traverse

The Chevy Traverse can be filled up with TOP TIER detergent gasoline, gasoline with compatible additives, reformulated gasoline, and up to 10% or 15% ethanol blends (E-15).

All gas types compatible with the Chevy Traverse should have a minimum octane rating of at least 87.

TOP TIER Detergent Gasoline

TOP TIER Detergent Gasoline

If you could only use one brand of gasoline for the Chevy Traverse, then it should definitely be TOP TIER detergent gasoline.

In reality, our list contains several different types of fuel that are compatible with the Chevy Traverse, but TOP TIER gasoline is one that has been recommended the most by the manufacturer.

This is because TOP TIER gasoline has pretty high standards when it comes to using detergent additives, and such additives are responsible for keeping your engine internals clean both safely and effectively.

TOP TIER gasoline’s detergent additives make quick work of any kind of debris or gunk that can accumulate inside your engine, which is a good way to maintain your engine’s performance throughout the revs.

Thanks to its solid engine-cleaning benefits, we’ve actually come across the words “TOP TIER gasoline” so many times as the recommended choice of fuel in the owner’s manuals of countless car brands.

Since TOP TIER fuel is quite popular across the US, there’s a good chance that you just might find some at your local pump by looking for its label, as illustrated below.

TOP TIER Detergent Gasoline

Gasoline With Compatible Additives

Gasoline With Compatible Additives

Apart from TOP TIER fuel, the Chevy Traverse owner’s manual actually recommends using gasoline that has been blended with engine-cleaning additives.

To be more specific, Chevrolet (or General Motors itself) actually recommends the use of the “GM/ACDelco Fuel System Treatment Cleaner”.

The owner’s manual states that one bottle of this fuel treatment should be added to your fuel tank every time you go for an oil change.

It essentially works the same way as the additives in TOP TIER fuel, as the fuel treatment also does an effective job of preventing carbon deposits from accumulating inside your engine.

So whether you have the V6 or the 4-cylinder turbo variant, you can safely use GM’s fuel treatment as your main engine-cleaning additive to the gas that you fill up your Chevy Traverse with.

Reformulated Gasoline (1st-gen Chevy Traverse)

Another compatible gas type that you can use for the Chevy Traverse is reformulated gasoline, which is basically compatible with just about any gas-powered vehicle on the road.

But despite this, only the owner’s manual of the 1st-gen Chevy Traverse actually mentions the use of reformulated gasoline. Thus, to be on the safer side, we recommend only using it for 1st-gen models made from 2008 to 2017.

Reformulated gasoline, or RFG, is a more modern alternative type of fuel that is specifically blended to burn cleaner because of its less toxic ingredients.

Due to its environmental benefits, reformulated gasoline is highly recommended, and in some cases, even mandated to be sold in areas that have higher concentrations of air pollution and smog.

As of this writing, over 30% of gasoline sold in the US is reformulated gasoline, so it’s a relatively common type of fuel that’s been in circulation for the past several years.

However, it can be tricky to tell if a certain type of fuel is reformulated or not, which is why we recommend asking the retailers at your local pump if they sell reformulated gasoline.

Up to 10% or 15% Ethanol Blends (E-10/E-15)

Up to 10% or 15% Ethanol Blends (E-10/E-15)

At the start of the Chevy Traverse’s production run, its fuel system was already compatible with the use of ethanol-gasoline blends. Though, exactly how much ethanol you can safely use will depend on the model year of your vehicle.

After looking through the owner’s manual of different Chevy Traverse model years, we’ve found that 2008 to 2011 models can take gasoline with up to 10% ethanol (E-10).
On the other hand, 2012 and newer Chevy Traverse models can take gasoline that’s blended with up to 15% ethanol, otherwise known as E-15.

Use of any fuel containing more than 15% ethanol may potentially corrode and damage various engine and fuel system components due to ethanol’s tendency to absorb or attract water.

Furthermore, vehicles that are only limited to E-10 or E-15 fuel will come equipped with a regular black gas cap. This is contrary to flex-fuel vehicles (FFVs) that have yellow gas caps instead.

Up to 10% or 15% Ethanol Blends (E-10/E-15)

Types of Gasoline/Fuel to Avoid for the Chevy Traverse

Avoid filling up the Chevy Traverse with gasoline containing MMT, E-85/Flex-Fuel, fuel with over 15% ethanol, methanol, diesel/biodiesel fuel, and any gasoline with a lower octane rating than 87.

Gasoline Containing MMT (Methylcyclopentadienyl Manganese Tricarbonyl)

Gasoline Containing MMT (Methylcyclopentadienyl Manganese Tricarbonyl)

First on the list of fuel that you absolutely shouldn’t use for the Chevy Traverse is fuel or gasoline containing the additive MMT.

In the past, MMT has been commonly used as an octane-boosting additive for either leaded or unleaded gasoline, and while it may be effective in doing just that, it has other risks that make it not worth using.

When added to gasoline, MMT makes the emissions coming out of your exhaust pipe a lot more toxic, which is why it has already raised so many health concerns before.

Moreover, MMT is also quite notorious for fouling your vehicle’s spark plugs quickly. Other components of your fuel system and emission control system can also suffer as a result of using such an additive.

Because of these downsides, Chevrolet and most automakers do not recommend the use of MMT on any of their vehicle models, which includes the Chevy Traverse.

E-85/Flex-Fuel or Any Fuel With Over 15% Ethanol

E-85/Flex-Fuel or Any Fuel With Over 15% Ethanol

We’ve already discussed before that the Chevy Traverse can only take up to 10% or 15% ethanol depending on the model year, which means that any fuel containing more than that is completely off-limits, especially E-85.

E-85, also popularly known as “Flex-Fuel”, can contain up to 85% ethanol and only 15% gasoline, and this makes it a popular fuel that’s both renewable and performance-boosting in compatible engines.

However, since the Chevy Traverse never came with an FFV (Flex-Fuel Vehicle) version, the use of the E-85 should be avoided at all costs. 

Otherwise, E-85 will corrode and damage components of the engine and fuel system that were not designed for that much fuel.

One of the main ways to distinguish an FFV from a non-FFV is that the former will come with its own unique yellow fuel cap with “E-85” printed on it, something that the Chevy Traverse does not have from the factory.

E-85/Flex-Fuel or Any Fuel With Over 15% Ethanol



Apart from ethanol blends like E-85, the Chevy Traverse owner’s manual also advises against using gasoline containing methanol.

While methanol is also an oxygenate just like ethanol, the fuel system of the Chevy Traverse was not specifically designed to take it.

Using methanol on the Chevy Traverse will yield negative effects similar to using too much ethanol, which is that various metal parts of the fuel system can be corroded.

In addition, even rubber or plastic components in the fuel system can potentially get damaged by the use of methanol as well, which can lead to a fuel leak. 

Diesel/Biodiesel Fuel

Diesel/Biodiesel Fuel

The Chevy Traverse is not currently offered with any diesel engine options in any market, so it’s to nobody’s surprise that diesel or even biodiesel fuel should definitely not be used in the crossover SUV.

Though if you were to make the mistake of accidentally putting diesel in a gasoline engine, expect the vehicle’s performance to go down south at the least.

Diesel fuel is naturally thicker and denser than gasoline, so a gas/petrol engine will not be able to move it properly throughout the fuel system. If not drained right away, diesel can clog the fuel injectors and eventually cause the engine to seize.

So if you ever accidentally put diesel fuel in your gas-powered car, do not attempt to drive it any further. Instead, call a towing service to have it towed to the nearest mechanic for repairs.

What will happen if I use the wrong type of gas?

Using the wrong gas type, such as using fuel with too low of an octane rating than what’s recommended for your car, can potentially lead to engine knocking, reduced engine performance, and damage to the engine internals.

Chevy Traverse Gas Mileage by Generation

The 1st-gen Chevy Traverse has a combined gas mileage of 18 to 19 mpg for 3.6L V6 FWD models and 17 to 19 mpg for 3.6L V6 AWD models.

The 2nd-gen Chevy Traverse has a combined gas mileage of 22 mpg for 2.0L I4 turbo models and 20 to 21 mpg for 3.6L V6 models.

1st-Generation Chevy Traverse Gas Mileage (2009 to 2017)

Engine OptionMPG (City)MPG (Highway)MPG (Combined)
3.6L V6 (FWD)15 to 17 mpg22 to 24 mpg18 to 19 mpg
3.6L V6 (AWD)15 to 16 mpg22 to 23 mpg17 to 19 mpg

2nd-Generation Chevy Traverse Gas Mileage (2018 to 2023/Present)

Engine OptionMPG (City)MPG (Highway)MPG (Combined)
2.0L Inline-4 (I4) Turbo (FWD only)20 mpg26 mpg22 mpg
3.6L V6 (FWD)18 mpg27 mpg21 mpg
3.6L V6 (AWD)17 mpg25 mpg20 mpg

Chevy Traverse gas Tank Size/Capacity Per Generation

The Chevy Traverse has a gas tank size/capacity of 22 gallons (83.3 liters) for all 1st-gen models.

2nd-gen Chevy Traverse models, however, have a gas tank/size/capacity of 19 to 19.4 gallons (71.9 to 73.4 liters) for FWD models and 21 to 21.7 gallons (79.5 to 82.1 liters) for AWD models.

Chevy TraverseGeneration/Model Years
Engine/Trim Level
Gas Tank Size/Capacity (US Gallon/Liter)

1st Generation(2009 to 2017)
3.6L V6 (LS)22 gal (83.3 l)
3.6L V6(LS Base)22 gal (83.3 l)
3.6L V6(LS AWD)22 gal (83.3 l)
3.6L V6(LT1/1LT)22 gal (83.3 l)
3.6L V6(LT1/1LT AWD)22 gal (83.3 l)
3.6L V6(LT2/2LT)22 gal (83.3 l)
3.6L V6(LT2/2LT AWD)22 gal (83.3 l)
3.6L V6 (LTZ)22 gal (83.3 l)
3.6L V6(LTZ AWD)22 gal (83.3 l)

2nd Generation(2018 to 2023/Present)
3.6L V6 (L)19.4 gal (73.4 l)
3.6L V6(High Country)21.7 gal (82.1 l)
3.6L V6(High Country w/ 2LT)19.4 gal (73.4 l)
3.6L V6(High Country w/ 2LT AWD)21.7 gal (82.1 l)
2.0L Inline-4 (I4) Turbo
(RS Trim only)(2018 to 2019)

19.4 gal (73.4 l)
3.6L V6(High Country)(2021 onwards)
19 gal (71.9 l)
3.6L V6(High Country AWD)(2021 onwards)
21 gal (79.5 l)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)