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The manual for the Smart Fortwo repeats the warning issued for other vehicles sold by Mercedes-Benz: “To maintain the engine’s durability and performance, premium unleaded gasoline must be used.”
But even those stern words may have some room for interpretation. Dave Schembri, president of Smart USA, told John Schwartz, a reporter who was writing for this section’s blog about his experiences in buying a Smart, that he should not worry.
“You could use regular gas — there’s no damage to the car,” Mr. Schembri said.


http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/03/automobiles/03OCTANE.html?no_interstitial



Suze
 

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Great News!

"“You could use regular gas — there’s no damage to the car,” Mr. Schembri said."

Great find, smart sister. :yelclap:

HULLO:smartje:..........................savingsavingsaving.....
 

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I used regular for years in my premium only BMW, but I can't tell the difference.....but premium is a bargain now compared to what it used to be, so I buy it more often now. An extra three bucks a tank is meaningless in this market. Extra 1.60 a tank in a smart.....why worry.
 

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“You could use regular gas — there’s no damage to the car,” Mr. Schembri said.
Suze
This doesn't mean that the car SHOULD have regular -- just that there's no damage. I've read repeatedly (here and on hypermiler fora) that regular gas won't deliver as many MPGs as the higher octane gas will. I'll keep paying the add'l $3/tank for the extra miles, tyvm.
 

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Word. Why risk it and get worse MPG.

I have never had any difference in mileage, and I have always tracked it. The mileage is the same whether I use premium or not. People have always said my mileage would go down with lower octane and that therefore it was a false economy, but I have experienced nothing of the sort. So...no worse mileage on the 325iT, and if there is no difference there, I would bet there is no difference in the smart either.
 

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Just to check if anyone knows, there's not a problem alternating between premium and regular is there? I tend to refill at about 2 bars left, so should be a bit of both swilling about, but do they mix or will the engine sensors have trouble with the mixing of fuels in the tank?
 

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Just to check if anyone knows, there's not a problem alternating between premium and regular is there? I tend to refill at about 2 bars left, so should be a bit of both swilling about, but do they mix or will the engine sensors have trouble with the mixing of fuels in the tank?
Different octane gases mix fine. A gas friend of mine said that under the ground at the gas stations are only 2 tanks. One with regular and one with premium. The mid-grade gas is made by mixing the regular and premium as it comes through the pump. That being said, I still put premium in my smart. I put regular in my Firebird and both motorcycles, because that's what the manual calls for.
 

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no worries on combining the fuels as the fuel itself is a mixture/blend. You'll be just fine. In my 1.8T I pretty much HAVE to run premium but on occasion have found myself about to run out of fuel with only a couple of dollars and a hundred miles left to go til home. I've put 87 in and been just fine even if my car did cut back the timing a bit and provide me a bit less power than usual. Not like I was going for power anyways under the circumstances. ;)
 

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This would be a great test: if someone could record their mileage while using Premium, then switch to regular and record the difference both in mpg's as well as performance.

QUESTION: will using regular unleaded regularly void the warranty since the owner's manual states premium ONLY?
 

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The articles I've read about this recently with all the car manufactures saying regular won't hurt your car say your mileage shouldn't be any different but you will have less power. The latest "big" Hondai(?) even quotes different horsepower numbers depending upon what grade of gas.
For those running regular can you tell power difference? I doubt it.
 

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Perhaps if Penske, the motor guy, rather than Schembri the corporate Pres had said this. I would jump right on it.

For now I will pay the three bucks extra and await further developments. :) A2Jack.
 

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shembri doesn't know crap. he's a bureaucrat. why would i be listening to his advise on fuel selection? it's in his best interest to downplay the importance of premium fuel because it removes a potential roadblock in the buyer's purchase decision. "see how it says 91 octane on the fuel door there? yeah, just ignore that. trust me"

i'll take an engineer's word over shembri every time.
 

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and we really don't know the context of the whole conversation- did Schembri just mean in a pinch "you could use regular gas....", or did the reporter specifically asked if Schembri if one could switch permanently to regular without harm?
 

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shembri doesn't know crap. he's a bureaucrat. why would i be listening to his advise on fuel selection? it's in his best interest to downplay the importance of premium fuel because it removes a potential roadblock in the buyer's purchase decision. "see how it says 91 octane on the fuel door there? yeah, just ignore that. trust me"

i'll take an engineer's word over shembri every time.
Back to the subject of harsh words on the forum - I think you're being a little hard (not to mention demeaning) on Mr Schembri. I doubt "he doesn't know crap" as it is so eloquently put; he's been around the auto industry a long time and when he speaks he's speaking for smart USA. Were his words taken out of context? Who knows? We all need to lighten up a bit. :)
 

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smartUSA is a distribution licensee. they are not a factory extension, a factory representative, they have nothing to do with design or engineering, etc.

too many people are lulled into the "my dealer says x..." trap. your dealer is full of salesmen, who make money by selling you something. their interests, if not entirely suspect, should be treated with caution.
when i hear from the factory, from the engineers, that it's cool to ignore the big "91 Octane Only" sticker on the gas cap lid, then perhaps i'll sit up and take notice. otherwise, shembri is only fueling the fire of doubt in the everyday person by contradicting every official statement from the factory with his "soundbite".

how much more irresponsible can you be to do something like that? seriously.
 

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Back to the subject of harsh words on the forum - I think you're being a little hard (not to mention demeaning) on Mr Schembri. I doubt "he doesn't know crap" as it is so eloquently put; he's been around the auto industry a long time and when he speaks he's speaking for smart USA. Were his words taken out of context? Who knows? We all need to lighten up a bit. :)
No he's speaking for his dealership not for Smart but as someone that knows cars and understands how they work. With modern fuel injection there are knock sensors etc to protect your motor in case of low quality fuel. The only thing you'll notice is maybe just maybe a small drop in power and run the risk of a bit of pinging and knocking (very bad) if a knock sensor should fail (very unlikely).
 

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I know from my personal experience that: A. Regular gas has been used in my smart from 1500 miles till now, at 6000 miles with no problems. B. My milage has not been effected at all. C. I have not noticed any power loss
 

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I agree.....$1.60 a tank when I fill up every other week is not going to make a difference....I'll stick with it....at almost 50 mpg I spend the extra!
 
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