Why Does Colorado Have 85 Octane

By Sharon R. Lee

Colorado has 85 octane because it is one of the few states that have a higher altitude. The air is thinner at high altitudes, so the fuel needs to be less volatile. That’s why most gas stations in Colorado offer 87 and 89 octane options, as well as diesel fuel.

Why Does Colorado Have 85 Octane? The answer may surprise you. It all has to do with the history of oil production in the state.

Colorado used to be a major producer of crude oil. In fact, at one point it was the second largest producer in the country behind only California. But as production declined, the state gradually switched over to importing oil from other states and countries.

And that’s where the octane issue comes in. See, most of the imported oil is of a lower quality than what was being produced locally. So in order for cars to run properly on this lower quality fuel, they need a higher octane rating.

So if you’re ever driving through Colorado and see signs for 85 octane gas, now you know why!

Can I Use 85 Octane Instead of 87

If you’re like most people, you’ve probably wondered if it’s okay to use a lower octane fuel in your car. After all, 87 octane is the standard and it’s usually the cheapest option at the pump. So what happens if you use 85 octane instead?

The answer isn’t as simple as yes or no. It depends on a few factors, including your car’s engine and what type of driving you do. If you have a high-performance car with a powerful engine, using a lower octane fuel can actually damage your engine.

That’s because higher octane fuels are designed to resist “knocking” or “pinging” during combustion, which can cause serious engine damage. However, if you have a more modest car with a less powerful engine, using 85 octane fuel probably won’t make much difference one way or another. In fact, it may even improve your mileage slightly since lower octane fuels tend to be cheaper than higher grades.

Of course, the best way to know for sure is to consult your owner’s manual. It will tell you what grade of fuel is recommended for your particular car model. And that’s always the safest bet when it comes to keeping your car running smoothly and efficiently.

Why Does Colorado Have 85 Octane

Credit: www.enginelabs.com

Can I Put 85 in My Car in Colorado?

Yes, you can put 85 in your car in Colorado. However, it is not recommended as it may void your warranty and could potentially damage your engine.

Does Colorado Use 85 Octane?

Yes, Colorado uses 85 octane gasoline. This is the minimum octane rating required by law in the state of Colorado.

Why Do Some States Sell 85 Octane Gas?

Different states have different gas laws and octane ratings. The most common rating in the United States is 87 octane. However, some states sell 85 octane gas.

The main reason for this is that 85 octane gas is less expensive than higher-octane fuels. The octane rating of a fuel is a measure of its ability to resist “knocking” or “pinging” during combustion, caused by the air/fuel mixture detonating prematurely in the engine. In the U.S., unleaded gasoline typically has octane ratings of 87.

Detonation knock is a knocking noise that you’ll hear when the air-fuel mixture in the cylinders starts to detonate in more than once place at a time. When this happens, it causes a knocking noise and can damage engine parts over time if left unchecked. Parts of your car’s ignition system can also be damaged from this problem as well as from pre-ignition (when the air/fuel mixture ignites too soon).

Detonation knock can occur when using lower quality or lower grade gasoline with an unsuitable compression ratio for that particular fuel, if there’s too much carbon build up on piston crowns and cylinder head valves, or if timing is set too advanced for the fuel being used. All these factors contribute to higher temperatures inside cylinders which can cause knocking. So why do some states sell 85 octane gas?

It all comes down to cost savings for both drivers and retailers alike. Because 85 octane fuel costs less per gallon than premium fuels like 87 or 89 octane, states where lower quality gasoline is more commonly used decided to allow retailers to offer it for sale instead of just having premium available.

Is 85 Octane Good for Your Car?

As most people know, there are different grades of gasoline. The three most common in the United States are 87 octane regular, 89 octane mid-grade, and 93 octane premium. But what difference does the octane rating make?

The octane rating is a measure of how much compression the fuel can withstand before detonating. The higher the number, the greater the fuel’s ability to resist “knocking” or “pinging” during combustion, caused by the air/fuel mixture detonating prematurely in the engine. In other words, higher-octane gasoline won’t self-ignite as easily as lower-octane gas.

Detonation knock is more than just an annoyance; it can damage your engine over time. When you hear knocking, that’s actually mini explosions happening inside your engine that are created by pockets of air/fuel mixture igniting too early. These mini explosions push on the piston as it’s trying to move up on its compression stroke and cause a vibration that you hear as knocking noise.

If you use a lower grade of gasoline than what is recommended for your car, you may notice a slight decrease in performance and fuel economy. Your car’s engine is designed to run on a specific grade of gasoline (and sometimes even a specific brand). So if you fill up with 87 octane regular when your car requires 89 octane mid-grade or above, you could see decreased performance in terms of acceleration and horsepower.

You might also see slightly reduced fuel economy because lower-octane gas doesn’t burn as cleanly or efficiently as higher grades do. Depending on your car and how sensitive it is to knocks, using a lower grade of gasoline than what is recommended can potentially damage your engine over time. If you continuously use 87 octane gas in an engine that requires premium 93 octane gas, for example, carbon deposits can build up on intake valves and pistons due to incomplete combustion.


Colorado has 85 octane because of the high altitude. The air is thinner and there is less oxygen, so the engine needs higher octane to run properly.

Sharon R. Lee

About the author

Hi There! I'm Lee. Welcome to A Pretty Fix, a home DIY blog about making your home colorful, decorating, and helping colors ideas and fun. Here you'll find ideas, tips, and inspiration to live life more colorfully and beautifully. Hope you stick around!

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