If you want your body to work at its best, you need to eat nutritious foods. Similarly, if you want your vehicle to continue running at its optimal levels, you need to make sure you are giving it the right kind of fuel.
You might be tempted to save a few dollars at the gas pump by filling up with lower octane fuels. If you own a vehicle with a high-performance vehicle, like the Mercedes-AMG C 63, you might be doing more harm than good in the long run.
Most vehicles are equipped with four-stroke engines. They use internal combustion and pistons to turn a crankshaft. The turning of the crankshaft creates motion that turns the tires and makes your car move. Your vehicle moves, in part, through a process called compression.
During compression, a cylinder full of air and gas is pushed down into a tight space. The spark plugs send a jolt of electricity through the cylinder. This causes an explosion that is converted into energy that your engine uses to propel itself forward. The whole process is called the compression stroke.
A compression ratio is a number that represents how much gas a car’s cylinder can hold at the top of the stroke as opposed to how much it holds when fully compressed by a piston. A higher compression rating means the vehicle is able to get more energy out of fuel.
All Mercedes-Benz models are manufactured with a compression ratio between 10.5:1 and 15.5:1. This means that your engine puts between 10 and 15 pounds of pressure on the mixture of air and gas in the cylinders.
At the gas station, each type of fuel is given an octane rating which indicates how much compression the fuel can handle before it ignites. Higher octane numbers mean the fuel can ignite more quickly, and allow you to drive faster.
High-performance engines, like those found in Mercedes-Benz, Mercedes-AMG, Mercedes-Maybach and modified Mercedes-Benz models, are designed to use higher octane fuels. Using fuels with lower octane ratings can lead to engine knocking, which is a loud, repetitive popping noise that can be heard while driving.
This is caused by the fuel and air mixture exploding at the wrong time. Engine knock can destroy your engine, including pistons and cylinder heads, and decrease your vehicle’s performance over time. It may also lead to metal fragments and fuel in the car’s oil system, which can mean expensive repairs.
Octane numbers show how much your gasoline will protect your engine from potential engine knock. Fuels are rated on a scale of 0 to 100, with 100 being the most resistant. Fuels with lower ratings are often mixed with higher rated ones to produce more a more cost-effective product.
The Best Fuel for Your High-Performance Engine
Some engine models do not benefit from higher octane fuels. Older classic Mercedes-Benz vehicles, or those that are not designed for high-speed enjoyment, can safely use fuels that are rated 89 and under.
To keep your high-performance engine running smoothly without losing power, use the highest octane fuel available. To ensure long engine life and avoid costly repairs, you should never use anything below a 91 rating in your Mercedes-Benz engine.
Some Mercedes-Benz models use diesel engines. Diesel fuel is slightly different from regular gasoline. It is rated in cetane rather than octane. The cetane number measures how quickly the fuel ignites and how fast it burns. Higher numbers mean the fuel will ignite and burn quickly, producing a faster and more fuel-efficient energy source for your vehicle. As with gasoline, Mercedes-Benz owners should use the highest rated diesel fuel available. Your fuel should have a cetane rating of at least 55.
Diesel fuel comes in two grades. Grade #1, or 1-D, and Grade #2, or 2-D. Most non-commercial vehicles require 2-D for normal driving conditions. Grade #1 diesel burns faster and is used in professional race cars and other vehicles designed specifically for high speeds.
High-octane and high-cetane fuels help you get the most out of your engine. It also helps protect your investment, so that you can enjoy your high-performance luxury vehicle for many years.