COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Sheetz has a deal on gas for Thanksgiving travelers hitting the road during the holiday week, but not all cars can use the type of fuel offered.
Similar to past Thanksgiving deals at Sheetz gas stations and restaurants, the company is lowering the price of unleaded 88 gas to $1.99 a gallon. This time around, the price cut went into effect on Monday and will end at 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 27.
Unleaded 87, 88 and E85 are just three of several common types of gasoline, with unleaded 89 through 94 all showing up in various other gas stations, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. The numbers stand for the octane rating of the gas. Most cars can use unleaded 87, but some luxury cars require higher-grade gas types to work with their high-performance engines.
While not as universally compatible as unleaded 87, unleaded 88, which is a blend of 15% ethanol and 85% gasoline, can be used with the majority of modern vehicles, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Compared to 87, 88 has a higher concentration of ethanol. The agency said this difference also allows the higher-grade fuel to emit less greenhouse gases.
While the EPA has approved unleaded 88 for any passenger car made in 2001 and on, some auto manufacturers have conflicting recommendations. For example, General Motors recommends only using unleaded 88 in its models from 2012 on. The earliest models Ford recommends using unleaded 88 gas in start with its 2013 line.
The best way to know what kind of gas is all right to use in a car, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, is to check the owner’s manual to see what octane rating the manufacturer recommends using. However, the government agency also said while gas rated lower than the manual requires can damage a car’s engine, it’s possible to use gas at a higher octane rating than what the manual says.
“For most vehicles, higher octane fuel may improve performance and gas mileage and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by a few percent during severe-duty operation, such as towing a trailer or carrying heavy loads, especially in hot weather,” the agency wrote. “However, under normal driving conditions, you may get little to no benefit.”
The deal on unleaded 88 won’t work for customers filling up gas canisters for use in other engines, however. The EPA warned not only could the fuel damage boats and other gasoline-powered equipment like lawnmowers, but it’s also prohibited by federal law.
Earlier in July, Sheetz cut the price of virtually all common consumer-grade fuels to $1.776 per gallon, as part of an Independence Day promotion. During the same period in June 2022 and amid deepening global inflation fears, Sheetz also offered unleaded 88 at $3.99 and ethanol 85 at $3.49. At the time, the national average for a gallon of gasoline was $4.90.
Sheetz said customers can check if a local store sells unleaded 88 on the company’s mobile app or website. View the map below to find a nearby Sheetz location in Columbus.