Regular vs premium gas - Is it a myth? - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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#1 (permalink) Old 06-08-2006, 03:37 PM
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Regular vs premium gas - Is it a myth?

Folks,

I'd like to know your opinions about using regular unleaded gas vs. premium as (recommended by MB). I toggle between regular and premium, but the ratio is in favor of regular.

I saw a TV news magazine show a couple of months back and they profile the myth surrounding the use of regular and premium....NASCAR cars uses regular and they need their performance more than anyone else IMO

Am I doing damage to my ML320 (2002) by using mostly regular gas as oppose to premium?

BTW, I get about 18.8 MPG all city driving with AC on; on average, and about 20 MPG on the freeway using regular unleaded gas......
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#2 (permalink) Old 06-08-2006, 04:38 PM
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#3 (permalink) Old 06-08-2006, 04:46 PM
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I started burning premium exclusively in my 99 ML430, but over the last couple of years I have used mid-grade with no appreciable difference in performance or mileage. The ML engines' advanced electronics with knock detectors adjust the timing to prevent adverse effects to the engine and that is directly determined by the quality of fuel.

Not sure where you are located, but here in the U.S. we generally have access to regular, mid-grade and premium; each approx 10 cents more per gallon for the higher octane rating. I would NOT use regular, but I have no qualms about using the midgrade.

Note.......my results are in the Atlanta area......Denver might be a different story. Also, if you pull a trailer the premium would be the best choice.

Just my two cents..........
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#4 (permalink) Old 06-08-2006, 06:42 PM
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Good question?

I have been using Reg Gas for over a year and don't see or feel any differance.
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#5 (permalink) Old 06-08-2006, 07:11 PM
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gees, good question. I can tell you about my 2001 ML430....

I needed to fill her up before driving the 2 hours home from the dealership I bought it from...I never even bothered to ask what kind of gas....and was so used to grabbing the regular pump..thats what I put in. As soon as I got on the freeway the check engine ligth came and it started to run funny. I called the sales person and he said I should haev used premium...so from then on premium it was.

BUT, a few times I out in 92 octane....and the check engine light came on again, and rough engine running....so we took it to Auto Zone and the hooked it up to the computer and it said Piston #5 was sticking...probably from the gas?? and that we should use 93 octane.

So, I've been putting in 93 octane....the price is killing me, its $3.19 right now...

do you think if we replaced the piston #5 I could go down in fuel grade?
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#6 (permalink) Old 06-08-2006, 07:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lorryfan
Folks,

I'd like to know your opinions about using regular unleaded gas vs. premium as (recommended by MB). I toggle between regular and premium, but the ratio is in favor of regular.

I saw a TV news magazine show a couple of months back and they profile the myth surrounding the use of regular and premium....NASCAR cars uses regular and they need their performance more than anyone else IMO

Am I doing damage to my ML320 (2002) by using mostly regular gas as oppose to premium?

BTW, I get about 18.8 MPG all city driving with AC on; on average, and about 20 MPG on the freeway using regular unleaded gas......
I don't know where you get your information about NASCAR, but it's wrong. They currently use Sunoco Racing Gasoline which is still leaded and 108 octane on average. Non-leaded is being studied for future use there!

Mercedes 113 and 112 engines have 10:1 compression ratio, which is higher than most if not all American engines produced today. That is why MB wants you to use premium if possible. Due to different driving conditions and temperatures your engine needs an extra measure of protection. Even though the spark can be retarded by the engine control system, there are times when that isn't enough to prevent overheating a piston and possibly sticking the rings. My MB operators manual says use premium, and that's what I do. Seems like every time the price of gas goes up this subject hits the forum. A .20 cent a gallon savings on 19 gallons is $3.80 cents. But then the same person will buy a pack of smokes or a 6 pack for the same price and think nothing of it. You're driving a Benz man---take care of it!
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#7 (permalink) Old 06-08-2006, 08:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jetmal
gees, good question. I can tell you about my 2001 ML430....

BUT, a few times I out in 92 octane....and the check engine light came on again, and rough engine running....so we took it to Auto Zone and the hooked it up to the computer and it said Piston #5 was sticking...probably from the gas?? and that we should use 93 octane.
...
It must be the 2001's, as my ML430 will set the light if it even reads my mind after I even gave thought to putting in anything but Premium...well thats a slight exaggeration... haha but it will turn on the CEL if I use midgrade or regular or even anything but Shell, BP, or Phillips 66. As long as I run those 3 in premium, its as happy as can be, and I keep my babies well tuned so its just their nature. Run premium for an extra $4 and save yourself lots of dollars in the future with prematurely worn pistons. Thats how high performance engines are engineered, not just because MB just wants you to spend the extra money.

'96 C220
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'05 Lexus RX-330
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#8 (permalink) Old 06-08-2006, 11:21 PM
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Low octane doesn't matter on flat, steady driving and slow accelerations.
You want to see where premium is needed? Hook up 5000 lb trailer and go to the mountains, or even without load, try to floor it going up the hill.
In those occasion you might be surprised how much more regular it takes, due to premature downshifting.
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#9 (permalink) Old 06-09-2006, 01:14 AM
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If you were driving in a flat cool environment and did not accelerate hard then regular would be ok.
In my world it has been over 100 degrees and I have been running the air, There are hills and I drive hard.
I used regular one time and could hear pre-ignition ( pinging) in the engine. I cringed until I could fill it up with premium again.
If you read the manual it says something like if you have to use regular you must drive no more than 50 mph or you will cause damage to the engine.
The compression in these engines is high therefore you need to use premium. Ford, Honda, Toyota and Chevy etc... have about 8 to 8.5 to one compression we have 9.5 to 10 to one compression. It's a Benz treat it like one...

True success is being the master of your own time.
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#10 (permalink) Old 06-09-2006, 07:16 AM
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We don't have the elevation here that you have in the US but the thing I love about MB Vs VW, BMW etc is that they make cars that run happiily on low octane fuel.

98 RON etc are 10 cents a litre more and it is all about profit margin not the environment.
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