Date registered: Mar 2005
Vehicle: '01-E320 & 02-ST2
Location: John 15:18-19
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 35 Post(s)
I'm always amused that these threads start or are resurrected as fuel prices go up. For the cost difference most people would save money if they pump the specified gas for their vehicle...but then also check the air in their tires. Studies show that underinflated tires can rob you of as much as 15-20% of your fuel economy, which is a whole lot more than the cost difference in a gallon of gas. Studies also show that in any given parking lot, something around 2/3 of the tires will be underinflated by more than a couple of pounds.
Also, I'll bet $100 that the quote that launched this thread was taken out of context and posed by someone who owned a generic car who was wondering if pumping premium would gain them any benefit. That's why the other quote from the same source -- about using the octane specified -- is so dead on point.
Cheapness is different from frugality. The cheap person will consider price alone. That's why you see people putting non-MB spec oil in their cars, too. It's "cheaper".
The frugal person, by contrast, will search out the least expensive way to do what needs to be done. They might find a cheaper oil alternative that meets the MB spec for their car, or they might pump their own gas at an independent station instead of letting the man with the star pump it for them (Oregonians, you're exempted...). But they will take the long view: is this less expensive alternative going to potentially cost more money in the long run? If so, then it's *cheaper*, but not less expensive.
In the fuel context some engines are designed to run on a range of octanes, with the systems adjusting for the best performance based on sensor feedback resulting from the fuel being consumed. However, other engines are designed from their inception for a certain minimum octane rating...and if you ignore that, you do so at your engine's peril. MBZ designs their engines for a minimum octane spec; if you want to drive a generic car on generic fuel, then go ahead and buy a generic car. But don't treat your premium car like a generic one. Even if you don't notice a difference, you're doing long-term damage to your engine through carbon buildup, valve train degredation, combustion chamber damage, etc.
That said, my perspective on this remains the same: one of the beauties of owning your own car is getting to decide how best to maintain it. If you want to shortchange your car, go ahead. Buy your brake pads at Autozone, put in the cheapest oil you can find, ignore flushing other fluids, rotating tires, CELs, etc. But don't complain when things wear more quickly or break because of improper maintenance. After all, you have only yourself to blame.
Take care and enjoy the ride,
Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy; its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery. (Winston Churchill)
Last edited by Check Codes; 07-21-2007 at 04:21 PM.