New Gas in Old Cars
When you are in the market for an old car, it is important to consider the type of gas you need to use to fill the tank. Many older cars ran on leaded gas, but leaded gas was deemed to be unsafe and was phased out in 1995. This means that older cars with engines designed for “old” gas have to be filled with the unleaded options of today.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, whether you drive a vintage Chevy Impala, a Pontiac Star Chief, a Ford Starliner, or any other car sold prior to 1971, all you need to do is fill your pre-1971 Chevy Impala or other vintage car with an unleaded gas with the same octane level as the leaded gas the car once required. In most cases, the unleaded gas will not create any performance issues or damage to the vehicle.
Many vintage car owners prefer to fill their vintage automobiles with the highest-octane gasoline they can find. They find that the lower octane fuel options (those under 87) often cause vintage engines to overheat. Many choose to use fuel with an octane rating of 93, which is usually the most expensive “super” option at the pump. Vintage car owners often add an octane booster to get an even better performance from their old cars even when they fill them with 93-octane gas.
There are benefits to running unleaded gas in the older engines. For example, the spark plugs would often develop a lead-based build up, but with unleaded gas this does not happen. The biggest benefit to running unleaded gas is the fact that the vintage engines produce less air pollution than they did when they ran on leaded fuel.
If you are worried about your car’s engine running on unleaded gasoline, you can also have a modern engine installed. This will not only improve the performance of your vintage car, but it will make the car safer to drive and in many cases it will increase the value of the car, too.