A common question I get asked all the time is, “what octane gas should I run in my ATV?”. I get asked this a lot, along with fuel treatment they should use too.
This answer is not so cut and dry. The biggest reason why its hard to answer this question is because of different areas of the world and country use different octanes. One place might only have 90 octane and up while others have 87 but with ethanol.
What I’m going to do is hit on the major points that I feel is the best to use and why.
What Octane Should I Use?
Where I’m from we have 87, 89, and 93 octane. The 87 usually has some ethanol in it which really can rob you of power and fuel economy on an ATV.
I try to avoid the 87 and only use it if I have to.
It’s important to note that every manufacture places a sticker on the machine to let you know what is the best octane to use for it. Each engine is design to run on a certain octane and its important to know what that octane is. If you ever wonder what the octane rating means or want to know more about it then click here.
Best Fuel Treatment For ATV
The next thing that gets brought when it comes to fuel is the gas treatment everyone uses. The most popular answer is Seafoam. I’m not a fan of Seafoam, yes it does work, but I found something does a bit better job.
I prefer Restore Fuel System Restorer over Seafoam. To understand why I have to tell a little story about my Eiger ATV. I got a Suzuki Eiger in on a trade for who know’s what, it was a while ago. I got the Carbs cleaned by a tech but the bike still did not run right and they told me flat-out that I just need to buy a new Carb.
Not wanting to do that I picked up some Seafoam that everyone loves so much to see if it can clean up the gas and see if it can knock lose the gunk in the carb. The Seafoam never got it to work and in last chance effort I saw this Restore Fuel System Restorer and decided to give it shot. I only pour half the bottle in and after running it for 15 minutes the machines started to run fine and didn’t want to cut off.
Thinking it was a fluke I let it sit overnight and in the next morning it started just fine and ran perfectly. Since then I’m a big believer of the Restore product, but it could have been the combination of the Seafoam and that but all I know is that it after using the Restore product the ATV ran fine.
I know many guys who will put STA-BIL in their gas so to keep the gas fresh as long as possible do to them not riding as much. This is a great idea for anyone who doesn’t ride much because gas does go bad so please add STA-BIL to your gas if you don’t ride often. By often I mean you go 1 to 6 months without turning your ATV engine on. If you keep your gas in cans go ahead and pour a bit of STA-BIL in to that since the cans can sit for a while too.
Avoid Too Much Octane Boosters
You want to avoid using too much octane boosters in ATV’s. Too much and you can burn a hole in the top of the piston.
When Should Use Fuel Treatment?
Carbureted engines are more affected by bad gas then fuel injected engines. Many of the lower cost fuels may have more contaminants it the gas which can clog the carb or even the fuel injectors. This is why I often run the higher octanes in my ATV.
Over time you’ll get a build up of contaminants in your fuel system and it needs to be cleaned out. Here are some signs that its time to use a fuel system cleaner.
- Hard to start. The engine takes a bit of time to get started then it uses to.
- The engine only runs with the choke fully pulled out. This could also lead to the Carb needing to be cleaned. But using the Restore Fuel System Restorer that I talked above to fix this issue for me. This will help to unclog the primary, starter, or even the enriching jet.
- The engine will just not rev up or is sluggish to rev up.
- The engine just seems to not want to idle or just shuts off when in idle.