Types of Gas a Ford Mustang Can Take

Types of Gas a Ford Mustang Can Take

Types of Gas a Ford Mustang Can Take

As the most well-known vehicle model to popularize the “pony car”, the Ford Mustang is a household name that has amassed a cult following in the automotive world.

However, first-time buyers of the Mustang may be unfamiliar with the type of gas or fuel that it can actually take, which is what we’re going to be mainly focusing on in this article.

As with other Ford models like the F-150 truck, the Bronco offroader, or the Explorer SUV, the Ford Mustang will also have its own set of fuel requirements that are important to take note of.

Thus, if you don’t want to end up putting in the wrong type of fuel on your Mustang, make sure to read this guide all the way through!  

What type of gas does a Ford Mustang take?

Almost all Ford Mustangs made from 1994 until now (2023) can take regular 87-octane gasoline. However, Mustangs equipped with either a 5.2-liter V8, 5.4-liter V8, or 5.8-liter V8 require 91 to 93-octane gasoline.

What type of gas does a Ford Mustang take

The Ford Mustang generations that we have included in this article only cover 4th to 6th-gen models, as data for the fuel requirements of older-gen Mustangs are either incomplete or inconsistent due to the vehicles’ age.

Otherwise, the majority of 4th to 6th-gen Mustang models can actually run on regular 87-octane fuel, which means you don’t necessarily have to spend extra on premium gas just to get them moving.

However, there are specific Ford Mustang models that make it absolutely necessary to fill up with premium fuel, such as those equipped with 5.2, 5.4, and 5.8-liter V8 engines.

Compared to the rest of the base tier to midtier Mustang engines, these three specific powertrains offer more performance and have higher compression ratios.

Thus, running higher-octane premium fuel on such high-compression engines reduces the chances of pre-ignition and engine knock. 

Ford Mustang Fuel Requirements by Generation and Engine Option

Most 4th to 6th-gen Ford Mustangs require a minimum of 87-octane gasoline, though 91-octane gasoline is needed for the 4th-gen Mustang’s 5.8-liter V8.

Furthermore, Mustangs with 5.2-liter V8s, 5.4-liter V8s, and the 5th gen’s 5.8-liter V8 require premium 93-octane gasoline.

Since the Ford Mustang has had a ton of engine options over the years, we’re going to be further discussing the differences in fuel requirements and even fuel compatibility for each of them below.

4th-Generation Ford Mustang (SN-95) (1994 to 2004)

4th-Generation Ford Mustang (SN-95) (1994 to 2004)
Engine OptionMinimum Fuel Requirement
3.8L OHV Essex V6 (1994 to 2004)87-Octane Gasoline (Regular)
3.9L OHV Essex V6 (Mid-2004)87-Octane Gasoline (Regular)
4.6L 2V SOHC Modular V887-Octane Gasoline (Regular) or Higher
4.6L 4V DOHC Modular V887-Octane Gasoline (Regular) or Higher
5.0L (302 cid) OHV Small Block V887-Octane Gasoline (Regular) or Higher
5.4L 4V DOHC Modular V8 (2000 Cobra R)93-Octane Gasoline (Premium)
5.8L OHV Windsor V8 (1995 Cobra R)91-Octane Gasoline (Mid-Grade/Premium)

Ford Mustang models made between 1994 and 2004 are part of the 4th-generation “SN-95” designation for the popular American car, and with it came an array of different engine options depending on the trim of your choice.

The 4th-gen Mustang’s engine lineup starts off with the 3.8-liter “Essex” V6, which was actually offered until the 1st half of the generation’s final model year (2004).

By the 2nd half of 2004, it was replaced by a slightly upgraded 3.9-liter version that was offered until the eventual transition to the 5th-gen model.

Both of these Essex V6 engines require at least 87-octane gasoline and cannot run on any sort of ethanol-blended fuel from the factory.

The mid-tier 4.6-liter V8 option came in either a single overhead camshaft version (SOHC) or a dual overhead camshaft version (DOHC), both of which require 87-octane gasoline at a minimum but could benefit from more power by using higher-octane fuels.

This kind of fuel requirement and compatibility is pretty much the same for the bigger 5-liter V8 option, in which its actual displacement is 4.9 liters or “302 cid” yet still advertised as such.

4th-Generation Ford Mustang (SN-95) (1994 to 2004)

The high-performance SVT Cobra R model received two powerful V8 options, the first of which was the 5.8-liter Windsor V8 for the 1995 model year that requires 91-octane fuel. 

The other Cobra R engine came later for the 2000 model year in the form of the 5.4-liter Modular V8, which bumped up the top-tier model’s fuel requirement to premium 93-octane gas.

5th-Generation Ford Mustang (S-197) (2005 to 2014)

5th-Generation Ford Mustang (S-197) (2005 to 2014)
Engine OptionMinimum Fuel Requirement
4.0L Cologne V6 (2005 to 2010)87-Octane Gasoline (Regular)
4.6L Modular V8 (2005 to 2009)87-Octane Gasoline (Regular)
5.4L Modular Supercharged V8(2007 to 2012 Shelby GT500)93-Octane Gasoline (Premium)
3.7L Duratec V6 (2011 to 2014)87-Octane Gasoline (Regular)
5.0L Coyote V8 (2011 to 2014)87-Octane Gasoline (Regular) or Higher
5.8L Modular “Trinity” Supercharged V8(2013 to 2014 Shelby GT500)93-Octane Gasoline (Premium)

The 5th-generation Mustang first graced Ford’s showroom floors in 2004 for the 2005 model year with a vastly different design and more powerful engine options.

Under the hood of the base 5th-gen Mustang was a newer 4-liter Cologne V6 that easily beats the last-gen model’s Essex V6s in terms of power output. It did, however, keep the same 87-octane fuel requirement.

Another engine that can also run on regular 87-octane fuel just fine is the 4.6-liter Modular V8, which is just one step higher from the V6 and is equipped on the “Mustang GT” trim.

Should you crave more power out of a Mustang, you can opt for the supercharged 5.4-liter V8 that can only be found on the rather special and limited-edition Shelby GT500 model from 2007 to 2012.

And if even that’s not enough, there’s also a more powerful supercharged 5.8-liter “Trinity” V8 engine to be had in newer Shelby GT500 models from 2013 and 2014.

5th-Generation Ford Mustang (S-197) (2005 to 2014)

As you’d expect, these two Shelby GT500 engines require premium 93-octane gasoline to unlock their full potential while avoiding the dreaded engine knock.

6th-Generation Ford Mustang (S550) (2015 to 2023/Present)

6th-Generation Ford Mustang (S550) (2015 to 2023/Present)
Engine OptionMinimum Fuel Requirement
2.3L EcoBoost Inline-4 (I4) Turbo87-Octane Gasoline (Regular) or Higher
3.7L Cyclone V6 (2015 to 2017)87-Octane Gasoline (Regular) or Higher
5.0L Coyote V887-Octane Gasoline (Regular) or Higher
5.2L Voodoo V8(Shelby GT350/GT350R)93-Octane Gasoline (Premium)
5.2L Predator V8 (Shelby GT500)93-Octane Gasoline (Premium)

The 6th and current generation of the Ford Mustang first started its model year run way back in 2015 under the “S550” designation, but with constant tweaks and updates coming out for the car, it’s still here to stay.

One such update that’s brand-new for this generation and quite unheard of even for a pony car is the inclusion of a turbocharged 2.3-liter EcoBoost Inline-4 as the base engine.

The 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine is the first 4-banger engine to ever be fitted on a modern Mustang since the 2nd and 3rd-gen Mustang’s own 2.3-liter I4 taken from the Ford Pinto subcompact of the 70s.

Since it is, after all, a more fuel-efficient base engine, the EcoBoost I4 only requires 87-octane gasoline.

But while the Mustang EcoBoost does not require premium fuel, it still very much benefits from using 93-octane fuel to reach the advertised 310 ponies that its engine is capable of producing.

This is pretty much the same story when you go for either the 3.7-liter Cyclone V6 or the crowd-favorite 5-liter Coyote V8. 

Both of them can run on 87-octane fuel, yet Ford recommends switching to premium fuel so that it can give you all the beans.

Now, opting for the Shelby models is a completely different story, as both the Shelby GT350/GT350R’s 5.2-liter flat-plane Voodoo V8 and the Shelby GT500’s own 5.2-liter Predator V8 require premium 93-octane.

6th-Generation Ford Mustang (S550) (2015 to 2023/Present)

Types of Gasoline/Fuel That Can Be Used in a Ford Mustang

The Ford Mustang can be filled up with fuel such as TOP TIER detergent gasoline, reformulated gasoline, E-10 (2009 to 2012 models), and E-15 (2013 and newer models).

TOP TIER Detergent Gasoline

TOP TIER Detergent Gasoline

Ford recommends using TOP TIER gasoline for the Mustang and many of its other vehicle models, as this type of gasoline contains engine-cleaning detergent additives.

Such detergent additives have been found to work like a charm in preventing the accumulation of deposits or debris inside your vehicle’s engine bay.

Using TOP TIER detergent gasoline also means that you don’t need to go through the trouble of finding the right engine-cleaning additive and putting it in your gas tank yourself.

Currently, there are over 60 different fuel brands and several American, European, and Japanese car manufacturers that support the use of TOP TIER gasoline.

This further boosts its reputation as one of the best types of fuel for just about any vehicle, especially a high-performance car like the Ford Mustang.

To spot TOP TIER-branded fuel near you, simply look for the “TOP TIER” logo on the fuel pump machine itself, as illustrated below. 

TOP TIER Detergent Gasoline

Reformulated Gasoline (RFG) (MTBE-Free)

Reformulated gasoline is a more modern and cleaner-burning type of gasoline that is compatible with many different vehicles, including the Ford Mustang.

Using reformulated gasoline (RFG) reduces the toxicity of your vehicle’s emissions, and this is thanks to RFG’s non-use of conventional toxic ingredients that are known to contribute to the formation of air toxins like ozone.

This makes reformulated gasoline highly recommended in areas with a lot of air pollution or smog, like big cities.

Up to 10 or 15% Ethanol Blends (E-10/E-15) (2009 to 2023/Present Models)

Up to 10 or 15% Ethanol Blends (E-10/E-15) (2009 to 2023/Present Models)

The use of ethanol-blended gasoline is possible for certain generations of the Ford Mustang, albeit only limited to a certain point in order to not corrode the engine’s internals.

Ford Mustang models created before 2009 are not compatible with gasoline containing any percentage of ethanol.
However, Ford Mustangs from 2009 to 2012 have been given compatibility with up to 10% ethanol in gasoline (E-10).
For 2013 and newer Mustangs, Ford has further raised their engines’ ethanol compatibility to 15%, meaning that they can now use “E-15” fuel.

In addition, Ford recommends staying under 15% of MTBE (methyl tertiary butyl ether) content, which is another commonly used oxygenate in gasoline like ethanol.

Types of Gasoline/Fuel to Avoid for the Ford Mustang

Avoid filling up the Ford Mustang with gasoline containing MMT, E-85/Flex-Fuel (unless converted), gasoline with any metallic or silicon-based additives, and diesel or biodiesel fuel.

Gasoline Containing MMT (Methylcyclopentadienyl Manganese Tricarbonyl)

Gasoline Containing MMT (Methylcyclopentadienyl Manganese Tricarbonyl)

MMT has been mainly used as an octane booster in gasoline over the past several decades, though Ford does not recommend using it for the Mustang due to its negatives we’ll be discussing.

The use of MMT in your everyday automobile is a rare sight to see nowadays, as it’s well-known to cause more toxic emissions out of your vehicle’s exhaust.

The fact that it can also damage your spark plugs and other emission system components is already enough of a reason to avoid it at all costs.

Downsides like these make MMT not worth the gamble, and many different fuel brands and automakers actually share the same sentiment.



If you own or are in the market for a Ford Mustang, then chances are that you’ve already seen or heard people talking about using E-85 or Flex-Fuel to get more power out of their Mustang.

But unlike Mustangs that you buy off the showroom floor, your friend of a friend’s Mustang is most likely already modified and equipped with an aftermarket Flex-Fuel system in order to take and actually benefit from E-85.


These sorts of Flex-Fuel kits are not something that any Ford Mustang model comes with from the factory.

So unless your Mustang is already modified to take E-85, you should stick to E-10, E-15, or no ethanol in your gasoline at all (for 2008 and older models).

Gasoline with Metallic or Silicon-Based Additives

Ford does not recommend filling up the Mustang with any gasoline that contains metallic or silicon-based additives, as its engine and emission system components are not designed for them.

One such metallic-based additive that we’ve actually already discussed is MMT (Methylcyclopentadienyl Manganese Tricarbonyl), which as its name suggests, contains the metal manganese.

Other materials used in gasoline that are incompatible with the Ford Mustang include methanol, kerosene, and paraffin.



Unless you manage to swap a Mustang’s stock engine out for a Ford Powerstroke diesel, there is obviously no reason for you to put diesel or biodiesel fuel in a Ford Mustang.

Every engine made for the Ford Mustang is a gasoline engine, and running diesel fuel on it for whatever reason is a surefire way to clog up the internals of your engine and fuel system.

This is due to the fact that diesel fuel is naturally thicker and denser than gasoline, so a gasoline engine’s fuel system will not be able to move it properly throughout the entire system.

If left for too long, the diesel fuel can clog up just about every nook and cranny of your fuel system, resulting in the engine eventually seizing.

Just in case you accidentally fill up a non-diesel vehicle with diesel fuel, do not attempt to drive it further and instead call for a towing service to have it towed to the nearest mechanic.

What will happen if I use the wrong gas type?

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

Why do I hear a knocking sound from the engine after refueling?

If an engine knocking sound occurs after refueling your car, you may have put in the wrong type of fuel or the fuel has been contaminated.

However, other issues like improper air-fuel ratio or incorrect timing can also cause engine knock, so be sure to have it properly diagnosed by a mechanic.

Does the Mustang EcoBoost need premium gas?

The Ford Mustang EcoBoost does not require premium gas for its turbocharged 2.3-liter I4 engine. However, it’s recommended to use 93-octane gas to achieve the engine’s optimal power output of 310hp.

Does the Ford Mustang get good gas mileage?

Ford Mustangs, especially the more modern models, actually get pretty respectable gas mileage for being performance cars.

However, those equipped with the 2.3-liter EcoBoost I4 will give you the best gas mileage out of any Mustang at 21/29 mpg (city/highway) on average.

Ford Mustang Gas Mileage Per Generation

4th-gen Ford Mustangs get gas mileage of 12 to 18 mpg (city) and 17 to 27 mpg (highway) depending on the engine option.

5th-gen Mustangs can achieve 14 to 19 mpg (city) and 20 to 30 mpg (highway). 6th-gen Mustangs can achieve 12 to 22 mpg (city) and 18 to 32 mpg (highway).

4th-Generation Ford Mustang Gas Mileage (SN-95) (1994 to 2004)

Engine OptionMPG (City)MPG (Highway)
3.8L OHV Essex V617 to 18 mpg25 to 27 mpg
3.9L OHV Essex V617 to 18 mpg24 to 27 mpg
4.6L Modular V815 to 16 mpg21 to 25 mpg
5.0L OHV Small Block V815 mpg22 to 23 mpg
5.4L 4V DOHC Modular V812 mpg17 mpg
5.8L OHV Windsor V812 mpg20 mpg

5th-Generation Ford Mustang Gas Mileage (S-197) (2005 to 2014)

Engine OptionMPG (City)MPG (Highway)
4.0L Cologne V6 (2005 to 2010)16 to 18 mpg 23 to 26 mpg
4.6L Modular V8 (2005 to 2009)15 to 17 mpg22 to 24 mpg
5.4L Modular Supercharged V8(2007 to 2012 Shelby GT500)14 to 15 mpg20 to 23 mpg
3.7L Duratec V6 (2011 to 2014)19 mpg28 to 30 mpg
5.0L Coyote V8 (2011 to 2014)16 to 18 mpg25 to 26 mpg
5.8L Modular Supercharged V8(2013 to 2014 Shelby GT500)15 mpg24 mpg

6th-Generation Ford Mustang Gas Mileage (S550) (2015 to 2023/Present)

Engine OptionMPG (City)MPG (Highway)
2.3L EcoBoost Inline-4 (I4) Turbo19 to 22 mpg25 to 32 mpg
3.7L Cyclone V6 (2015 to 2017)17 to 18 mpg27 to 28 mpg
5.0L Coyote V814 to 16 mpg22 to 25 mpg
5.2L Voodoo V8(Shelby GT350/GT350R)14 mpg21 mpg
5.2L Predator V8 (Shelby GT500)12 mpg18 mpg

What is the gas tank size/capacity of the Ford Mustang?

The Ford Mustang has a gas tank size of 15.4 to 15.7 gallons for 4th-gen models, 16 gallons for 5th and 6th-gen V6 and V8 models, and 15.5 gallons for 6th-gen EcoBoost I4 models.

Ford MustangGeneration/Model Years
Gas Tank Size/Capacity (US Gallon/Liter)

4th Generation (1994 to 2004) (SN-95)
All 1994 to 1997 Trims(3.8L V6/4.6L V8/5.0L V8)15.4 gal (58.3 l)
All 1998 to 2001 Trims)(3.8L V6/4.6L V8)15.7 gal (59.4 l)
All 2002 Trims(3.8L V6/4.6L V8)15.5 gal (58.7 l)
All 2003 to 2004 Trims(3.8L V6/4.6L V8/4.6L SC V8)15.7 gal (59.4 l)
3.9L V6 (Base)(Mid-2004)15.7 gal (59.4 l)

5th Generation (2005 to 2014) (S-197)
4.0L Cologne V6(Standard/Premium/Deluxe)16 gal (60.6 l)
4.6L Modular V8(GT Premium/GT Deluxe)16 gal (60.6 l)
3.7L Duratec V6(Base/Premium)16 gal (60.6 l)
5.0L Coyote V8(GT/GT Premium/Boss 302)16 gal (60.6 l)

6th Generation (2015 to 2023/Present) (S550)
2.3L EcoBoost I4 Turbo(Base/Premium)15.5 gal (58.7 l)
3.7L Cyclone V6(Coupe/Convertible)16 gal (60.6 l)
5.0L Coyote V8(GT/GT Premium/GT 50 Years Limited Edition)
16 gal (60.6 l)
5.0L Coyote V8(Bullitt/Bullitt Export/Mach 1)16 gal (60.6 l)

How much does it cost to fill up a Ford Mustang?

It will cost $53.4 to $55.5 to fill up a Ford Mustang equipped with a 15.4 to 16-gallon gas tank with regular gas at $3.466/gallon (US national average price). 

However, using premium gas on the Mustang will cost $65 to $67.4 at its current price of $4.215/gallon.