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Old 02-17-2003, 07:32 AM
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Join Date: May 1999
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 190
Is it possible to run 87 octane in a 1998 C230?

My father has just purchased a 1998 C230, the year before it was supercharged. He asked me if it would be okay to run regular (87 octane) in it as opposed to premium (91 octane). It says on the gas door to use premium, but I was curious if it would harm anything if regular was used? In my 1988 300E, I have read on this site that it is fine to use regular. I understand that in some cases it is recommended to work better with old injectors etc. I also have a friend with a 1994 C220 that has only used regular for the past 5 years with no problems.

What are your opinions on this?


1997 E320
1990 Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo (Stage X+)
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Old 02-17-2003, 08:36 AM
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Tucker, Ga USA
Posts: 12,153
All the the newer MB engines have "knock" sensors that detect spark knock. IF the check engine lamp comes on for MAXIMUN retard on any cylinder then the engine requires higher octane fuel.
The engine has 10/1 compression & should have at least 90 octane for CORRECT performance.

Long term damage can be done by using low octane fuel.
However if the engine is never accelerated briskly I doubt if any damage would be done.
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Old 02-18-2003, 11:53 PM
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Posts: 412
I've done it with 87 octane. The car runs ok on regular unleaded. Don't jump on the throttle. If you really calculate it you do loose 1-2 mile per gallon over premium. You do the math. Check your gas milage with premium & midgrade. I settle for midgrade with premium ever few fill ups. I put my car through mid to heavy accelleration .
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Old 02-20-2003, 01:26 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Vernon, CT
Posts: 1,848
My VW Passat requires 91 oct or higher. I can put in lesser gas, but the engine computer will adjust the timing to prevent engine knock. The overall performance and fuel economy would go down. So, it's false economy to put in lesser gas.
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Old 02-20-2003, 01:34 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 30
I currently use 87 octane for a 1993 300E, and have never experienced any problems, but I accelerate very slowly, and do not tow any vehicles, nor load down the car with a lot of weight, etc....
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Old 02-20-2003, 05:04 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: St. Albert, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,492
Premium gas here is about 10 cents per litre more than regualr gas. Suppose you drive 20,000 kilometers per year, and average 9.5L/100km's in the C230 (my city driving mileage)

Over the course of the year, you'll burn 1900 litres of fuel. At a $0.10 premium for premium (get it...) you spend an additional $190.00 per year.

190 bucks? In the overall scheme of maintaining and owning a Mercedes, $190 per year is chump change. I wouldn't bother.

John Shellenberg
1998 C230 "Black Betty" 240K
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