Do I Really Need to Use Premium Fuel?

You see it on the fuel door every time you stop at the pump: premium fuel only. Your salesperson probably reminded you, too, right before you brought your new car home.

When you pull up to the pump, the first thing you’ll notice is that premium fuel is quite a bit more expensive, usually around 50 cents per gallon.

So, the question remains: does your Mercedes-Benz really need premium gas? Read on to find out!

First, it’s important to understand what premium gas is – and what it isn’t.

All gasoline contains additives. Typically, these are detergents that help the gas perform better, like preventing engine build up or allowing easier starts during cold temperatures. One of these additives is called octane, and it helps prevent your gasoline from premature detonation. Higher octane content helps to prevent engine knocking. Engine knocking is usually a sign that some part of your engine isn’t working correctly. Over time, this can lead to costly and extensive repairs.  The numbers that you see on the pump refer to the octane rating. Regular gasoline is usually 87; premium is usually 91 or 93.
There’s no difference in the amount of energy between regular and premium gas. However, there is a difference in the way that they help your engine perform, particularly if it’s specifically required by your vehicle.

High performance or luxury cars typically have more power and run at higher compression rates. In other words, the gasoline won’t ignite until the spark plug fires. The knocking that we discussed earlier is most often caused by fuel igniting before the spark plug fires. If you put regular gasoline in a premium fuel engine, you’ll notice a reduction in power and performance – your vehicle will have a noticeable difference in its “get up and go”. Click play for an example of what the knocking sounds like. You can hear it best at about the 3 second mark, then again at 6 seconds until the end of the video. It sounds like a little bit like popcorn popping!

Using premium gasoline ensures that your engine runs are peak performance in terms of both power and efficiency. While a one-time accidental fill up with regular gasoline is unlikely to cause long-term issues, regularly using the wrong gasoline can lead to performance issues, and, eventually, costly repairs. Putting regular gasoline in a premium-only vehicle will also void the manufacturer’s warranty, meaning that not only will your engine need to be repaired, but you’ll be 100% responsible for paying them, too.

So, do you really need to put premium gas in your Mercedes-Benz? Short answer: yes!

Categories: Service