Ford Aerostar 1986-1997 Repair Guide

Fuel Recommendations


See Figure 1

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Fig. Fig. 1: Location of emergency fuel filler door release

The Aerostar is equipped with a catalytic converter and must use unleaded fuel only. The use of leaded fuel or additives containing lead will result in damage to the catalytic converter, oxygen sensor and EGR valve. Both the 4 and 6 cylinder engines are designed to operate using gasoline with a minimum octane rating of 87. Use of gasoline with a rating lower than 87 can cause persistent, heavy spark knock which can lead to engine damage.

You may notice occasional, light spark knock when accelerating or driving up hills. This is normal and should not cause concern because the maximum fuel economy is obtained under conditions of occasional light spark knock. Gasoline with an octane rating higher than 87 may be used, but it is not necessary for proper operation.

Gasohol, a mixture of gasoline and ethanol (grain alcohol) is available in some areas. Your Aerostar should operate satisfactorily on gasohol blends containing no more than 10% ethanol by volume and having an octane rating of 87 or higher. In some cases, methanol (wood alcohol) or other alcohols may be added to gasoline. Again, your Aerostar should operate satisfactorily on blends containing up to 5% methanol by volume when co-solvents and other necessary additives are used. If not properly formulated with appropriate co-solvents and corrosion inhibitors, such blends may cause driveability problems or damage emission and fuel system materials. If you are uncertain as to the presence of alcohols in the gasoline you are purchasing, check the label on the pump or ask the attendant.

Discontinue use of any gasohol or alcohol/gasoline blend if driveability or fuel system problems occur. Do not use such fuels unless they are unleaded.

Some models are equipped with a remote fuel filler door release, located between the driver seat and the door. If the filler door cannot be opened by pulling the release lever, there is a manual over-ride cord located on the left side of the jack stowage compartment. The manual release is a cord attached to a handle marked "Fuel Filler Door Manual Release."