I have a '97 Mercedes E320 and have been told that I should only use premium, high quality (meaning very expensive) gas because of the additive that will protect against a future valve job. Are there any cheap gas brands that have that additive? Also, what if I use a lower grade Chevron (always, or every other time I fill up)? Does that also have the additive protection?
Any reasonable brand of gas contains all of the additives your car needs. This is true whether it is regular or premium. There is no need to buy premium unless your car needs the higher octane. Your owner’s manual should tell you which grade to buy. You could also ask a Mercedes dealer’s service department.
Maybe you misheard. It is not the additive you need, it is the octane. All brands of premium will provide proper fueling for your engine. Avoid lower grades of octane, Chevron or anyone else’s. When your car requires premium grade, get it and don’t cheap out.
Let’s make sure we understand. If you have been told to use premium* and you have any question about that, you need to check the owner’s manual to determine if your car has an engine requiring high octane fuel If it does not say you need high octane fuel, then there is nothing to be gained by using Premium*.
Premium is a very poor name for this stuff. It is nothing more than a marketing trick to get people to think it might be better quality when in fact the only thing premium about it is the cost. Premium does not indicate quality, only the octane rating. Using premium when a car does not need it will not help you at all.
Now about those additives. Premium does NOT mean more or better additives. There is some sort of deal going around about “Top Tier” fuel and it is suppose to have a “better” additive package and some manufacturers have recommended it for their cars. I don’t know how much they may or may not need it, but it sure helps the bottom line of the oil companies. I would not want to buy a car that can not run on the commonly available fuel.
Your owner’s manual will tell you what your fuel requirements are. Follow that with confidence.
You bought a high end car. Expect to use high end gas.