Premium vs. Regular unleaded gas - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-31-2009, 12:00 AM Thread Starter
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Premium vs. Regular unleaded gas

Hello,
Can anyone tell me what exactly the consequences of using regular rather than the recommended premium gasoline would be in my 1997 SL500?
Thanks
Alex
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-31-2009, 02:13 AM
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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,
Greg

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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-31-2009, 09:30 AM Thread Starter
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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?

Thanks

Alex
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-31-2009, 11:00 AM
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-31-2009, 11:15 AM
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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
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-31-2009, 01:53 PM
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Recommended fuel is recommended for good reasons.

S.


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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-31-2009, 06:27 PM
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Garage
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.
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-31-2009, 07:00 PM
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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".

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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-31-2009, 07:36 PM
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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.


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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-31-2009, 07:38 PM
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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.


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