Dear Terry,

I bought a Lincoln Navigator about eight months ago and drove off with a quarter-tank of gas, as happy as ever. I got a great deal with very low mileage.

However, when I drove in to get gas, I found out my car needed premium gas only. What happens if I use regular? I’ve heard too many stories out there and I don’t know who to believe. Gas prices keep on rising and so do my expenses.



Sylvia Guillen

Dear Sylvia,

Check your owner’s manual. Most manuals state that while premium is recommended, you can run the vehicle on regular. You may notice a slight drop in performance, but the vehicle’s engine management system should be able to compensate for the lower-octane fuel without damaging the engine.

Here are this week’s reader questions:
Tips for unloading a gas-guzzling SUV
What should I do with ‘tricked out’ Acura?
Why won’t the finance company pick up my car?
Do I need to use premium gas?

If you have a question for Terry, e-mail him at

Driving for Dollars. Save money on your car — sign up for Bankrate’s new weekend

Car & Money newsletter.

Promoted Stories