What Kind of Gas Do ATVs Use?

I’ve been thinking about getting a new ATV and wanted to know what kind of gas ATVs use. So, I did some research, and here’s what I found.

In general, it varies by ATV and you should use the fuel type that it recommends in the user manual. There are both diesel and petrol ATVs. If you put petrol into a diesel ATV it will ruin the engine, and the same is true if you put diesel into a petrol ATV.

A typical fuel tank size for ATVs is around 4 gallons to 6 gallons (15 to 20 liters). So, to fill the tank with petrol it costs around $12 to $18.

In this article, I will explain what the best gas is for an ATV, what happens if you put 93 instead of 87, how many miles per gallon an ATV gets, and whether you should run premium gas in your ATV.

Filling a gas tank up on a quad

What is the best gas for ATV?

There are many different types of gas that ATVs can use. So, I was curious about which is the best. Based on the feedback of many experienced ATV riders here’s what I found.

On the whole, the best gas for an ATV depends on what gas is recommended for it in the user manual. There is no one size fits all in regards to the best gas overall. For example, the best gas for a diesel ATV is diesel. But, other ATVs run on petrol and will break down on diesel.

To know what gas is best to use for your particular ATV or an ATV you’re thinking about buying you should read the user manual for it. It will state a few different types of fuel that are good to use. Or, it may only recommend one in the case of a diesel ATV.

Certain people have mentioned creating a mix of petrol and oil as fuel for an ATV, as it is thought to have some benefits. However, it is not necessary to add oil to the fuel you’re using, and it’s best to follow the instructions in the user manual.

What happens if you put 93 instead of 87?

There are a bunch of different octanes, for example, there is 93 and 87. However, I was curious what happens if you put 93 instead of 87 in an ATV.

Nothing happens if you put 93 instead of 87 fuel. They burn up at a different rate. The higher the octane level the faster it burns. However, overall they release the same net amount of energy. Therefore, the higher the octane the more efficiently the fuel burns.

At the end of the day, it’s up to you what octane fuel you want to use as long as it’s recommended in the manual for your ATV.

I’ve experimented with using different octane fuels in my car, and the person at the gas station said premium burns cleaner and is, therefore, better for your engine. However, when I drove my car I didn’t notice any difference in performance.

I also noticed that both types of fuels lasted for around the same amount of time. For example, I would put in $60 of premium and it would last 1 week. And then I would put in $60 of 87 and it also lasted a week.

However, I got more petrol for the same price when I filled it with 87 because it was cheaper per liter.

Family on ATV

Should I run premium gas in my ATV?

For the most part, you can use either low octane or premium gas in your ATV and you won’t be able to notice a difference. Certain ATVs may recommend a specific octane of fuel, therefore, it’s best to always read the user manual to see what they recommend.

Most user manuals for ATVs are available online as a PDF document. For example, a popular ATV is the 2018 Alterra 300 ATV. And the operator’s manual, states that the recommended fuel is 87 Octane Regular Unleaded.

Garage corner with three red plastic fuel cans

How many miles per gallon does an ATV get?

Another interesting question is how long will a full tank of gas last, and how far can it go. Here’s what I found.

On average, an ATV with a full tank of gas will travel 60 miles (96.5 km). The average fuel capacity of an ATV is 4 gallons to 6 gallons (15 to 20 liters). Therefore, an ATV gets around 10 miles per gallon on average.

If you drive relatively gently and don’t accelerate off the mark really fast or rev the engine really high you will use less fuel than if you use it for racing. Or, if you need to work it really hard to tow something uphill.

How often should you oil change your ATV?

Another thing I need to do once or twice a year with my car is change the oil and the oil filter, and the same is true with my ATV. But, I’m curious how often I should change the oil for my ATV?

As a general rule, every 50 hours or 1000 miles (1600 km). At this time, the oil and the oil filter should be removed and replaced. The user manual for each individual ATV shows how often to change the oil. And some ATVs won’t have an hour counter and will instead only display miles or km.

The important thing to note is that oil won’t go bad just sitting in your ATV, so it’s best to base when you replace the oil on how much you use it rather than after a certain amount of time.

For example, you should not replace it every 6 months because 6 months have passed. But, rather replace the oil and the oil filter after a certain number of miles or hours. That way you won’t replace the oil and the oil filter when it doesn’t need it.


I’m Rob, the owner of RX Riders Place. My family and I have a long history of riding dirt bikes and ATVs and want to share what we have learned.

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