Premium vs. Regular unleaded gas - Mercedes-Benz Forum

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-30-2009, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
BenzWorld Junior Member
Date registered: Aug 2009
Posts: 6
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
Premium vs. Regular unleaded gas

Can anyone tell me what exactly the consequences of using regular rather than the recommended premium gasoline would be in my 1997 SL500?
alexkocs is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-31-2009, 01:13 AM
BenzWorld Elite
Check Codes's Avatar
Date registered: Mar 2005
Vehicle: '01-E320 & 02-ST2
Location: John 15:18-19
Posts: 31,634
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 35 Post(s)
First, welcome to the forum.

Second, this is probably the most common issue brought up on the forum and it's usually tied to a rise in fuel prices. That said, generally speaking when you join pretty much any forum, rather than just posting a new thread on a topic, it's useful to see if there is a search function. This site has two, the built-in one as well as the google one (up by the ebay one). If you use that search function (the google one works better for this particular search) you'll find there are literally thousands of posts in hundreds of threads...on this exact topic.

Your engine was designed, engineered and built with a premium fuel requirement and that should be pretty clearly stated in your owner's manual. No one can tell you "exactly" what will happen if you choose to ignore the premium fuel requirement because there are lots of factors that go into it. (You will find lots of opinions on the topic, however...but you won't find any dealer that will suggest it is okay.) Negative consequences of using regular fuel for normal driving include (among other things) higher combustion temperatures, pre-ignition, higher emissions, reduced performance, reduced economy, carbon buildup, shortened life of O2 sensors and catalytic converters.

Even were you to take the time to read through all of the posts on this topic, you'd still end up having to make up your own mind which fuel you will use. But the general suggestion is to use what the designers intended, just as with oil, coolant and other such things, assuming, of course, that you want your car to last as long as possible with as few problems as possible.

Lastly, there is a forum that is specific to your classic roadster, if you slide down the main page you'll find lots of useful information and enthusiasts in the R129 forum.

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)
Check Codes is offline  
post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-31-2009, 08:30 AM Thread Starter
BenzWorld Junior Member
Date registered: Aug 2009
Posts: 6
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
Thanks gregs210 for the response. You're right, in the end I will have to decide on which fuel to use but it is helpful to have as much info as possible to make the right choice. I am new to forums in general and as you say there are many posts regarding this topic. Is there a way to delete this thread?


alexkocs is offline  
post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-31-2009, 10:00 AM
BenzWorld Elite
leapyfish's Avatar
Date registered: Apr 2008
Vehicle: 1998 SLK230 210,xxx Miles
Posts: 7,685
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
leapyfish is offline  
post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-31-2009, 10:15 AM
BenzWorld Elite
Date registered: May 2005
Vehicle: '07 GL320CDI
Location: Albuquerque
Posts: 5,070
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Here's a consequence: please post your VIN number here so everyone on the forum can avoid your car when it comes time for you to sell it.

Kent Christensen
'07 GL320CDI
lkchris is offline  
post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-31-2009, 12:53 PM
Lifetime Premium Member
MB-SV's Avatar
Date registered: Nov 2007
Location: overlooking Silicon Valley
Posts: 7,261
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 77 Post(s)
Lifetime Premium Member
Recommended fuel is recommended for good reasons.


2013 Mercedes C250 Sport package PLUS steel gray metallic/black
2007 Lexus IS350 Sport package smoky granite mica/gray (+F-Sport, etc.)
2010 Honda Civic GX (CNG) white/tan
MB-SV is offline  
post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-31-2009, 05:27 PM
BenzWorld Elite
Date registered: Aug 2008
Vehicle: 2008 E320 Bluetec, 1988 560SL totalled unto death). 1997 Dodge Ram 1500, 1983 300CD
Location: Greater Metropolitan Beaverdam, Virginia
Posts: 1,304
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Quoted: 178 Post(s)
Fuel cost

This may not be an answer fully responsive to your question but ......

If you use 20 gallons per week, then:
20 x 52 = 1040 gallons per year

If regular costs $2.35 per gallon and premium costs $2.75 then:
1040 x $2.35 = $2444.00 or
1040 x $2.75 = $2860.00

The difference is $416.00 per year or $8.00 per week

This does not include the cost of potential fuel-grade related repairs or denial of warranty work because the dealer finds you have been using regular instead of the factory-required premium.

You tell me if there is a significant difference.
rocky raccoon is offline  
post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-31-2009, 06:00 PM
Lifetime Premium Member
Musikmann's Avatar
Date registered: May 2006
Vehicle: 2001 E320 - Brilliant Silver/Ash: 107,000+
Location: West Virginia, USA
Posts: 17,193
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Lifetime Premium Member
The cost difference between 87 and 93 octane here is typically .20/gallon so that makes rocky's numbers look even better. It's simply not worth saving $3-4 per tank compared to use your words "the consequences".

Mercedes Benz - Das beste oder nichts!
Musikmann is offline  
post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-31-2009, 06:36 PM
Supporting Vendor
FCP Euro's Avatar
Date registered: Jul 2008
Posts: 741
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 23 Post(s)
I have a turbo volvo and yes, there are people that would run regular in it and not have an issue, but would you really like to chance it? I know I wouldn't which is why I always run V-Power in my car.

Quality & Service, Guaranteed for Life
FCP Euro - OEM & Genuine European Auto Parts Online
FCP Euro is online now  
post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-31-2009, 06:38 PM
Lifetime Premium Member
e-420's Avatar
Date registered: Sep 2008
Vehicle: 1997 E-420 (150K miles), 1997 SL500, (90K miles) 2015 GMC Sierra Denali 2500HD CC/SB/4x4 Duramax
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 3,599
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Quoted: 399 Post(s)
Lifetime Premium Member
Don't know about your SL, but my 97 E420 manual states it "requires" premium, and the fuel filler says premium unleaded only. there are lots of cars that "recomend" premium, and will run fine on regular with a slight decrease in perfomance and mileage. There are those, like my E420 and probably your SL that require premium, per the mfg, so that's what I run in my 420. to me there is a big difference between recomends and requires. My manual has about a page of precautions to take if you only have access to regular.


97 SL500 Imperial Red
/Parchment Leather/Black Top

Chromed OEM wheels, Akebono's, H1+90 fog, Burlwood/Leather shift knob, Rostra Lumbar support, Check seat heaters, Bilstein's, Parrot Bluetooth, GG Bailey Custom cargo mat, GG Bailey trunk mat, Real Burlwood Instrument Cluster w Chrome rings, Burlwood & Chrome shift surround, Euro headlights with Osram 70W/65W H-4's, clear corners, Silverstar corner lamps, Euro Trunk mount Warning triangle, SL600 Burlwood armrest trim & Burlwood cupholder sliding cover, Kahtec flashing third brake light (CHMSL)

97 E420 Royal Indigo/Grey Leather

Raintracker wiper, Rostra Lumbar support, Parrott Bluetooth, 17" chrome AMG replica wheels, Bilstein's, Akebono's, smoked marker lights, Osram 65W H7's, H1+90 fog, Rear Seat Child restraint Tether, Burlwood/Leather shift knob, OEM Mudflaps, DRL's, Becker Aux input
e-420 is online now  
Sponsored Links

  Mercedes-Benz Forum > General Mercedes-Benz Forums > General Mercedes-Benz

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mercedes-Benz Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Similar Threads
Topic Author Forum Replies Last Post
Regular vs premium gas - Is it a myth? lorryfan W163 M-Class 48 07-19-2011 12:47 PM
Premium vs Regular Gas BENZ REB W211 E-Class 109 04-05-2010 01:01 AM
Regular Gas insead of Premium Gas leetec W210 E-Class 46 08-11-2008 11:09 PM
regular/premium unleaded richri929 General Mercedes-Benz 11 03-03-2008 05:25 PM
Gas: Regular or Premium? offroadwarrior Off-Topic 18 04-17-2006 10:12 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Title goes here

video goes here
description goes here. Read Full Story
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome