Is Premium Gasoline Necessary for Your 2-Stroke Outboard?

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Choosing the right gas or fuel for your motor or outdoor power equipment is always tricky. There are two main gasses: regular and premium. Both are the same except for the octane number. Premium gas has some pros and cons that confuse many when making the decision to use. But should you use premium gas in your 2-stroke outboard?

It’s not a big deal or concerning factor when it comes to deciding which gas you should use. Regular gas with 87, 88, and 89 octanes is recommended use for getting the results. But using premium gas is also a good practice if your 2-stroke outboard demand or manufacturer is recommended.

To remove the ultimate confusion regarding this term, go through this article. Here is a complete direction on whether you use premium gas in your 2-cycle outboard or not. In addition, some tips, and consideration factors will be discussed.

6 Benefits Of Using Premium Gas In Your 2-Stroke Outboard

Is Premium Gasoline Necessary for Your 2-Stroke Outboard

Though there are lots of arguments and Yes or No, there are some special benefits of using premium gas in your 2-stroke outboard instead of regular gas. In this section, I’ll highlight them with reasons why it is worth using.

Better For Storage

A higher octane number means long-term storage. Premium gas contains a high-number octane (between 92 and 93) whereas regular gas has 87 octane numbers. So the idea is cleaner that premium gas is better for almost 9 months of storage. On the other hand, you can store the standard gas for only 3 months.

Higher Octane Number

Struggling with poor combustion which creates a lengthy start? You may use normal gas (regular) with less octane. High octane-based fuel or gas (premium quality gas) with octane numbers between 92 and 93 provide proper balance and stability in high-performance engines.

Note that, sometimes, it creates continuous combustion that may damage the vehicle. Also, you’ll hear knocking sounds coming from the engine.

Withstands Detonations

Engine detonation is a typical yet concerning issue that might have a negative effect on the engine. Furthermore, detonation has a negative impact on the bearings and rubber bushings. That means it damages the bushings and bearings quickly. There are many ways to quiet denotation in the engine.

But the most effective way is to use premium gas (i.e. higher octane fuel). In addition to reducing the engine denotations, premium gas allows you to hit the HP smoothly (especially the vehicle with a high compression ratio and turbocharger).

Better Additives

A higher octane value means perfect additives. And better additives mean better clearance against dirt and other debris. By keeping the engine and other internal parts clean, premium gas intensifies fuel efficiency. Also, premium gas contains detergent contents that eliminate carbon build-up.

This doesn’t mean that regular gas has no detergent content. Both gases have detergent contents to break down carbon buildup. If you have older outboards, better additives gas is good for improving engine performance by reducing oxidation.

Help Run The Engine More Efficiently

There are controversial thoughts on whether premium gas increases outboard efficiency. Most marine-grade and mercury outboards run excellently with standard gas. Though 87 or 89 octane is good enough to run the engine efficiently, you can try the premium gas for additional benefits.

Indeed, 2-stroke higher compression and extreme performance engines work more efficiently after inserting the premium-branded fuel. As a result, you can go the extra mile without worrying about emissions.

Odor-free And Pure Class Burning

Premium-grade gas usually contains no additives or ingredients that create a messy smell. This is why this gas is considered an odor-free gas. Also, proper additives help to burn itself precisely whenever needed. It can resist the re-ignition tremendously as it has a higher octane level. Why does premium fuel burn so smoothly? The matter is simply because it contains a significant iso-octane percentage.

Factors To Consider When Deciding To Use Premium Gas

Using the right gas is required for better engine performance and efficiency. But any mistake could be dangerous for your equipment. Therefore, consider these factors before deciding to put the premium gas in your 2-cycle outboard. 

  1. Check the Manual or Manufacturer Guidance

Compatibility is all about when it comes to using gas or fuel for the engine. You put the premium gas only when the manufacturers will recommend it. For this, you must read the owner’s manual thoroughly. You can use it without worrying if the manufacturer recommends it.

  1. Is your Outboard Compatible to use higher octane?

Well, this is another crucial factor you must consider before putting the gas in your outboard. Note that premium gas has no significant effects with some exceptions. It works the same way regular gas does. If your outboard motor has a higher compression ratio and turbocharging, you can use it anyway. Luckily, you get better results in this case.

  1. Ethanol Levels

Outdoor-powered equipment engines require a specific amount of ethanol-based gas or fuel. Otherwise, it hurts the engine and fails to perform the way it should.

Disadvantages Of Using Premium Gas In Your 2-Stroke Outboard

Thinking of using premium gas? Then this note is for you. Don’t use the higher octane gas without knowing these cons. If you do, do it at your own risk.

  • Hard starting: It is a common thing when you use this fuel-incompatible outboard, you face hard starting in hot weather conditions.
  • Compatible Only With A Higher Compression Ratio Engine: The premium fuel is not appropriate for outboard engines with lower compression ratios.
  • Costly: Compared to the typical gas, premium quality fuel has a higher price. It is because of the higher octane value. According to the Camper Report, premium-grade gas costs you 0.7 cents more per gallon compared to regular gas.
  • Attack the lubrication factor.
  • Can be used only in high-performance vehicles.
  • The characteristics and working abilities of both regular and premium gas are almost the same. There are no significant differences in using premium instead of regular.

Risks Of Using Regular Gas In 2-Stroke Outboards

You may be thinking as there is no significant debate to use any of the regular and premium, I had better use the standard one, right? But have you ever thought about the risk factors of regular gasses? No, right? Let’s walk around the cons of using regular gasses.

  • Regular gas usually builds up carbon that easily damages the engine. This results in a shorter engine life.
  • As there is no oil pump and sump units in the 2-stroke motor, the engine will seize up and ruin after using the standard gas.
  • You will experience continuous fuel mix combustion prior to the spark plugs illuminating.

Maintenance Tips For 2-Stroke Outboards

The following tips will help to maintain the 2-stroke outboard and keep it in good condition for a long. Take a quick look to make this easier.

  • Servicing The Parts Routinely. 
  • Draining The Lower Section Oil When Required.
  • Ensure Good Water Flow.
  • Check The Fuel Line Periodically.
  • Check The Fuel Link Fittings.
  • Always Keep the entire parts Clean.


So what’s your opinion now? Should you use premium gas in your 2-stroke outboard? You can use the premium fuel only if the engine requires it. Admit it, both regular and premium gas has almost the same effect on the outboard. So you can use any of them. But if you don’t like to pay extra bucks, you can use standard gas.

Otherwise, use a premium one to get some additional benefits. Please note, that all the benefits discussed above are properly applicable to those vehicles with premium gas use recommendations. 

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