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Will using mid-grade gas stop the engine from pinging?

Hi Rob.

What gas is best for my 2001 Dodge Dakota, 4.7L, 2WD, Extended Cab?

The owner's manual recommends that I use regular gas, which is what I've been using since purchasing this truck used. What would happen if I use mid-grade – would it be worth the money?

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There is mild pinging sounds coming from the engine, I'm not sure if its gas related, or the aftermarket K&N air filter I installed.

Thanks, Jeff

Jeff, you've got a few things going on with your Dodge.

First, let's fix the pinging. According to my good friends at, your truck has a technical service bulletin that deals with this issue. I also found that this is a common problem with the 4.7 Dakotas. Yours will be one of the few out there that won't be pinging – soon.

Take your truck to your local Dodge/Chrysler dealership and have them apply the software upgrade to your on-board computer as laid out in TSB# 18-003-02. This is a simple fix.

Now then, to your fuel question. Don't do it.

Gasoline is already expensive enough. What I prefer to do is, reverse engineer. If premium fuel is recommended, try mid-grade. If mid-grade fuel is recommended, try regular fuel.

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I can understand your concern with the pinging, but Jeff, if the software upgrade will cure that pinging, there should be no need to pour good money after bad by filling your tank with liquid gold.

Give the software upgrade a shot.

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About the Author
Globe Drive columnist

As associate dean of Motive Power programs at the British Columbia Institute of Technology, Rob MacGregor has nearly three decades' experience in training the province's automotive technicians. He has written extensively on car mechanics, appears regularly on television and is a member of the Autotmobile Journalists Association of Canada. More

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