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View Full Version : 89 91 or 93 octane? What do you guys use in your 3 series?


330ciPfmcePkg05
01-19-2005, 09:34 PM
I remember a couple years ago 60 minutes did a half hour story on gas stations around the country...approximately 100 were tested by 60 minutes and i believe 89 of them contained the same 89 octone ..unleaded regular in all three tanks...honestly is there really that much difference between the three anyways? and how can u really tell while driving the car that premium drives better than regular?

johnnygraphic
01-19-2005, 09:42 PM
Hmmm...Fishing eh? Try a search first.

LDV330i
01-19-2005, 10:07 PM
I remember a couple years ago 60 minutes did a half hour story on gas stations around the country...approximately 100 were tested by 60 minutes and i believe 89 of them contained the same 89 octone ..unleaded regular in all three tanks...honestly is there really that much difference between the three anyways? and how can u really tell while driving the car that premium drives better than regular? Not only should you be using premium gas (whatever octane that is in you part of the country) but you should choose Top Tier (http://www.toptiergas.com/)gas which meets BMW specs.

allaboutme
01-20-2005, 12:43 AM
Not only should you be using premium gas (whatever octane that is in you part of the country) but you should choose Top Tier (http://www.toptiergas.com/)gas which meets BMW specs.

Not that I agree with the original poster, but I have to question the validity of top tier gasolines. Cars have run fine for years without this top tier status gasoline, so I think it's possible it's all marketing. Unless modern engines require higher grade gasoline or if octane standards have risen or fallen, I think marketers put too much hype into products. It's just strange to live in a society where trust is diminished by marketing and paranoia. But I lack the fortitude to try a lower grade in my car anyway.

Clarke
01-20-2005, 02:05 AM
Get the 93 if available for many reasons(if you search you will find quite a few threads on this). Don't cheap out on this. --btw is NY premium still Gasahol?:thumbdwn:

Artslinger
01-20-2005, 05:56 AM
Whatever you do don't use the lowest grade and no-name brands that market themselves as being cheaper, use a name brand with additives and detergents these gasolines are often more expensive then the low ball brands.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: ::::::::::::

Bob Weber
Carmakers set gas-additive rule


Published December 19, 2004

For some, the term "top tier" probably brings to mind that layer of wedding cake where figures of the bride and groom perch. The automotive reference, however, is important to many more of us than just newlyweds.

In June 2004, BMW, General Motors, Honda and Toyota established a new standard for gasoline performance. They're talking detergent additives. These carmakers say the EPA minimum detergent requirements don't do enough to keep engines clean.

Virtually all gasoline is the same when it comes from refineries. The gasoline is shipped to terminals, where the additives are blended in by the marketers.

The original (minimum) additive performance standards were established by EPA in 1995, but the four carmakers say, "most gasoline marketers have actually reduced the concentration level of detergent additive in their gasoline by up to 50 percent. As a result, the ability of a vehicle to maintain stringent Tier 2 emission standards have been hampered, leading to engine deposits, which can have a big impact on in-use emissions and driver satisfaction."

Gasoline marketers say they regularly check out the competition. "We test other brands, through an independent third party, and have found that some gasolines are substandard [in detergent additives]," said Ann Peebles, a spokeswoman from Shell Oil Products.

In general, carmakers use gasoline with adequate additives when they test the cars for emissions compliance, not only for the original Federal Test Procedure (FTP) but also for periodic in-use tests up to 50,000 miles.

There have been reports that some gasoline retailers have been selling fuels with substantially fewer additives than the EPA requires, but the motoring public has no way of knowing this.

That's why the four carmakers established requirements to assess whether fuels may leave deposits in the engine.

And, they do not apply only to premium gas, but to all grades sold by retailers who opt in to the Top Tier standards.

The carmakers did not seek input from the oil companies before setting their standards. "There are too many players [in the fuel marketing industry]," said GM's Andy Buczynsky. "We wanted to act quickly."

The program requires no certified results. The marketer's vice president or higher simply signs the attestation form. A company is notified that its submission has been received. Though the gasoline marketer may say that its gasolines meets standards established by BMW, GM, Honda and Toyota, it cannot say that the car companies endorse its fuels.

To make sure the gasoline meets its specifications, the car companies will sample fuels and, if there is a pattern of non-compliance, that marketer will be asked to stop saying it meets Top Tier specifications.

Conoco Phillips (which markets under the names Phillips 66, Conoco and 76), ChevronTexaco (the Chevron and Texaco brands) and Shell have opted in. But a refusal to join does not mean a marketer's gasoline is harmful or inadequate.

"We're still looking at it," said Scott Dean, a spokesman for BP Amoco. "Our Ultimate [premium] gasoline already has twice the detergent concentrations as required by the EPA standards. The other grades meet or exceed those [EPA] standards."

"All our fuels are already blended to meet or exceed Top Tier standards," said ExxonMobil spokesman Russ Roberts, adding that he wouldn't comment on whether the oil company plans to join the program.

The standards for Top Tier gasoline were established independently of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers or the American Petroleum Institute, which usually sets industry-wide standards.

API was not happy with the process, which began in the spring of 2004. It "has no position on whether higher detergent concentrations are warranted," said Ed Murphy, director of Downstream and Industrial Operations for the organization. On the need to use Top Tier gasoline, Murphy said: "Be guided by your owner's manual."

For folks in the Midwest, one of the Top Tier standards requires the use of no less than 8 percent ethanol in the base fuel (to which additives are blended in).

But whether you buy Top Tier fuels, it is probably more important to avoid unbranded gasoline in which the additive package is unknown and may vary by batch. Besides none of the automakers requires you to use Top Tier fuels to maintain your warranty.

- - -

Problems of low detergent

Without the proper detergents, engine components can become fouled, resulting in poor performance, stumbling, hesitation and stalling. When this happens, emissions spike, and the check-engine light may come on in 1996 and newer automobiles.

Insufficient detergents are a major cause of carbon buildup in the combustion chamber, especially on the intake valves. The porous carbon acts like a sponge, absorbing fuel when the engine is started, a time when more fuel is needed. The cold engine will be hard to start and may run poorly until the carbon can hold no more fuel or until the engine warms up.

Too little detergent also can lead to fuel-injector restrictions or clogging. Restrictions cause poor fuel-spray patterns and thus poor engine performance. Clogging can kill a cylinder.

Carbon buildup in the combustion chamber increases compression. If the compression becomes too high, the engine knocks or pings--especially on regular gasoline.

Plaz
01-20-2005, 09:24 AM
Do you lease or own? If you lease, put in the cheapest gas, if you expect to just turn it in for a newer car in 2, 3, or 4 years anyway... Who cares? I hate to be cynical, but that's what a lot of leasers do... that's why I won't buy a pre-leased vehicle. If you own your car, I probably wouldn't go any lower than 89. I live in CA, so I think our gas is probably better grade than most states (with all of the freakin' taxes and cleaners we have to pay for in our gas) so I don't think 89 is going to hurt my car...

Of course, now that 89 has fallen to below $2/gallon again, I might pony up for 91....

You're wrong on just about every level here IMO.

CA gas is indisputably the crappiest in the nation, and you'll get substandard performance from 89 octane, since the knock sensors will back off the timing to avoid predetonation.

And abusing a car just because it's leased is not only bad "carma," but unethical, IMO. If anything, one should take *better* care of something that doesn't belong to them than something that does.

gojira-san
01-20-2005, 09:33 AM
Do you lease or own? If you lease, put in the cheapest gas, if you expect to just turn it in for a newer car in 2, 3, or 4 years anyway... Who cares?I'd hate to think of what happens if someone runs cheap gas for a while and detonates the engine. BMW might not fix it under warranty if they could prove that person violated the terms of the warranty - in that the person did not use the gas as specified in the owner's manual. For the difference in price over the long haul it is not worth it IMHO.

(Probably just a nit, but I do some consulting work for a law firm so I guess something rubbed off :) )

Terry Kennedy
01-20-2005, 09:35 AM
Not only should you be using premium gas (whatever octane that is in you part of the country) but you should choose Top Tier (http://www.toptiergas.com/)gas which meets BMW specs.What, exactly, is this "Top Tier Gas" web site? It doesn't disclose any affiliations, so some investigation is warranted:

nwhois toptiergas.com
Registrant:
National Products Group (DWZWSDYIHD)
P.O. Box 3475
Tulsa, OK 74101
US

Domain Name: TOPTIERGAS.COM

Administrative Contact:
Denny, Jim (18276434I) ynnedj@aol.com
P.O. Box 3475
Tulsa, OK 74101
US
9188368551

Hmmm. Not too informative. However, let's Google on the phone number. There are a large number of hits, most of which point to a "Quik Trip Corporation", which operates a large number of gas stations in that area. A Google of the Quik Trip web site reveals that Jim Denny is their Vice President of Marketing.

In fact, they have a "Top Tier" gas item on their web page (here) (http://www.quiktrip.com/gasoline/TopTier.asp).

How likely do you think it is that the brands listed on the Top Tier web page are the same ones that Quik Trip carries? And what are the odds that a gasoline retailer is actually conducting the studies needed to actually rate gasoline quality?

The Internet is a wonderful thing, but one has to be cautious about any "facts" which are posted without substantiation or references.

dallasfan824
01-20-2005, 11:23 AM
I'm a marketer. I perfer to think of it as spin or peception.

dallasfan824
01-20-2005, 11:27 AM
Do you lease or own? If you lease, put in the cheapest gas, if you expect to just turn it in for a newer car in 2, 3, or 4 years anyway... Who cares? I hate to be cynical, but that's what a lot of leasers do... that's why I won't buy a pre-leased vehicle. If you own your car, I probably wouldn't go any lower than 89. I live in CA, so I think our gas is probably better grade than most states (with all of the freakin' taxes and cleaners we have to pay for in our gas) so I don't think 89 is going to hurt my car...

Of course, now that 89 has fallen to below $2/gallon again, I might pony up for 91....

I purchased a pre leased vehical and am not worried about what type of gas the previous owner put in. It was a BMW exec, so I assume it was premium. But I doubt that is going to destroy my car.

And in the end, premium is not that much more. If you spend the money to lease such an expensive car, you should put in the correct fuel. Otherise, you are just an idiot.

Artslinger
01-20-2005, 11:45 AM
First off you use premium to get the most out of the 3 series engine; second quality gas contains detergent additives that keep the engine components clean resulting in good long term engine performance.

It’s my opinion that the 3 Series engine is picky when it comes to increased compression because of carbon buildup. Sure this may take 4-6 years to become a problem but if you love cars, after all you picked a BMW 3 Series, show some respect for the car.

dream_machine
01-20-2005, 12:17 PM
I use only Chevron 91 OCt :drive:

dallasfan824
01-20-2005, 01:42 PM
Are you trying to deceive me...? :confused:
LOL

Nick325xiT 5spd
01-20-2005, 01:48 PM
I purchased a pre leased vehical and am not worried about what type of gas the previous owner put in. It was a BMW exec, so I assume it was premium. But I doubt that is going to destroy my car.

And in the end, premium is not that much more. If you spend the money to lease such an expensive car, you should put in the correct fuel. Otherise, you are just an idiot.
LOL

When they say BMW "exec," it could easily have been any factory worker at a BMW plant.

dallasfan824
01-20-2005, 01:50 PM
LOL

When they say BMW "exec," it could easily have been any factory worker at a BMW plant.
Actually, I think they say that to everyone. I really don't think one of them drove the car, but who knows.

Dave 330i
01-20-2005, 02:45 PM
sign me up for one who is not picky. I use anything between 91-93 octane. Recently, I've been using Chevron supreme, only because it was no more expensive than the others at 1.91/gallon.

operknockity
01-20-2005, 03:06 PM
sign me up for one who is not picky. I use anything between 91-93 octane. Recently, I've been using Chevron supreme, only because it was no more expensive than the others at 1.91/gallon. That stuff is still in the $2.10 range in SoCal :mad: :mad:

jetstream23
01-20-2005, 03:58 PM
LOL

When they say BMW "exec," it could easily have been any factory worker at a BMW plant.


Jetstream: "Hi, I'm here to have my BMW serviced."

BMW Exec.: "Hello, I'm James, I will be changing your wiper blades today"

Fast Bob
01-20-2005, 05:44 PM
Although these care have the flexibility to run on lesser grades of fuel, to get the maximum performance from your engine, put premium (91 or better) fuel in it. If your driving style is "sporting", it`s worth the extra few cents.

Regards,
Bob

Ace
01-20-2005, 10:27 PM
sunoco 94...

LDV330i
01-21-2005, 04:38 AM
That rocks, Terry! Great investigative work. :thumbup: I think this calls for an email or phone call to Quick Trip, and to Jim Denny himself. Expose them for the morons they are.

LDV330i, don't be embarassed. It's just a simple lesson to be learned here. Don't believe everything you read. All marketing people come out of the same mold. Deception is the game, plain and simple. I am not embarrassed at all. Because of my own professional background I do dismiss comments from people who believe just because something meets a government established standard it is good enough. Government standards are bare MINIMUM requirements not the target a product should aim for. This is a constant battle for me as an architect when I require that my building exceed Buillding Code requirements and I get the knee jerk reaction comment of why would I want my building to be better than what the government requires it to be. What is wrong with wanting something better?:dunno:

ff, have you actually looked at the list of gasolines listed in the Top Tier Gas. How can you say that Chevron or Shell are affiliated with Quik Trip? I know you see everything as a marketing conspiracy but if go to the Chevron web page where they on their own claim to have better detergents (Techron) than other gas or BP's assertion in the article Artslinger posted.. I know I am wasting my time pointing that out because you will also see that as part of the World Wide Marketing Conspiracy, Inc.

Terry Kennedy
01-21-2005, 08:27 AM
I am not embarrassed at all. Because of my own professional background I do dismiss comments from people who believe just because something meets a government established standard it is good enough. Government standards are bare MINIMUM requirements not the target a product should aim for. This is a constant battle for me as an architect when I require that my building exceed Buillding Code requirements and I get the knee jerk reaction comment of why would I want my building to be better than what the government requires it to be. What is wrong with wanting something better?:dunno:Well, the preface to the NEC code book says that the requirements therein are the minimum for safety and may not be sufficient for a functional and practical design. I'd expect the same to be true of the other codes.
ff, have you actually looked at the list of gasolines listed in the Top Tier Gas. How can you say that Chevron or Shell are affiliated with Quik Trip? I know you see everything as a marketing conspiracy but if go to the Chevron web page where they on their own claim to have better detergents (Techron) than other gas or BP's assertion in the article Artslinger posted.. I know I am wasting my time pointing that out because you will also see that as part of the World Wide Marketing Conspiracy, Inc.Let me try to clarify, in this case. The Top Tier Gas web site lists seven brands. The list is in alphabetical order, except that Quik Trip is first and Entec Stations is last. Do you think it is strange that a non-national brand is listed first, particularly when it is found to be the operator of the web site in question?

I'm not disputing that some gas brands are better than others. I do think that the Top Tier Gas website should have disclosed its affiliation with Quik Trip. I also wonder why some other brands that I consider high quality aren't on that list, and am curious to know if it is due to lack of interest on the part of those brands or some other reason. Further, in my opinion any quality certification for gasoline should involve regular testing at each gas station, checking to make sure that (at least) the octane dispensed is what it claims to be; lack of undesirable materials (water, etc.) in the gas; and that the gasoline dispensed is actually the brand it claims to be. I'd add "making sure the pumps are accurate", but they are supposed to be inspected by the government, so that's probably Ok (do any states have unusually long inspection intervals?).

jetstream23
01-21-2005, 11:09 AM
Other than this Top Tier gas, is there some other "objective" source that could tell us what the best gasolines are? If I compare a 91 or 93 from Company x versus y and z....how do I know which may be best?

swchang
01-21-2005, 05:42 PM
I also wonder why some other brands that I consider high quality aren't on that list, and am curious to know if it is due to lack of interest on the part of those brands or some other reason.

But a refusal to join does not mean a marketer's gasoline is harmful or inadequate.

"We're still looking at it," said Scott Dean, a spokesman for BP Amoco. "Our Ultimate [premium] gasoline already has twice the detergent concentrations as required by the EPA standards. The other grades meet or exceed those [EPA] standards."

"All our fuels are already blended to meet or exceed Top Tier standards," said ExxonMobil spokesman Russ Roberts, adding that he wouldn't comment on whether the oil company plans to join the program.

Further, in my opinion any quality certification for gasoline should involve regular testing at each gas station, checking to make sure that (at least) the octane dispensed is what it claims to be; lack of undesirable materials (water, etc.) in the gas; and that the gasoline dispensed is actually the brand it claims to be.

To make sure the gasoline meets its specifications, the car companies will sample fuels and, if there is a pattern of non-compliance, that marketer will be asked to stop saying it meets Top Tier specifications..

Orient330Ci
01-22-2005, 03:57 PM
I use Shell V-Power.
With a name like that, you can tell it's going to make you go faster.

If not Shell, it's Mobil 93.

LDV330i
01-23-2005, 07:01 AM
Other than this Top Tier gas, is there some other "objective" source that could tell us what the best gasolines are? If I compare a 91 or 93 from Company x versus y and z....how do I know which may be best? I think you will be hard pressed to find an independent study because any specific brand of gasoline with the same octane rating will vary by location. Here in TX the majority of premiun grade gasolines have a 93 octane rating. We also do not get oxygenated gas in wintertime (except El Paso). Here in Houston and in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metro areas we get Reformulated Gasoline year round.

Oxygenated fuel is conventional gasoline that has been blended with an oxygenate to achieve a certain concentration of oxygen in the fuel by weight. Oxygenated fuel is required by the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 for areas that do not meet the federal carbon monoxide standards.


RFG is a new formulation of gasoline that has lower amounts of certain chemical compounds that contribute to the formation of ozone and air toxins. It does not evaporate as readily as conventional gasoline during the summer months. It also contains oxygenates, which increase the combustion efficiency of gasoline and reduce carbon monoxide emissions. The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 require RFG to contain oxygenates and have a minimum oxygen content of 2.0 percent oxygen by weight.

LDV330i
01-23-2005, 07:12 AM
and how can u really tell while driving the car that premium drives better than regular? If you put regular gasoline in a motor designed to run on premium gas (ie. BMW) you will notice an decrease in horsepower. Your may also note pinging under heavy loads if the engine management software cannot make the appropriate adjustments.

Moderato
01-23-2005, 07:14 AM
I put 93 octane in my 330i everytime I fill up.

Nick325xiT 5spd
01-23-2005, 07:14 AM
If you put regular gasoline in a motor designed to run on premium gas (ie. BMW) you will notice an decrease in horsepower. Your may also note pinging under heavy loads if the engine management software cannot make the appropriate adjustments.
And if your engine is really highly tuned, it might explode.

Plaz
01-23-2005, 07:18 AM
And if your engine is really highly tuned, it might explode.

http://www.cisred.com/CongresoCali/imagenes/explosion_%20nuclear.jpg

:rofl:

Dave 330i
01-23-2005, 07:28 AM
Not that I agree with the original poster, but I have to question the validity of top tier gasolines. Cars have run fine for years without this top tier status gasoline, so I think it's possible it's all marketing. Unless modern engines require higher grade gasoline or if octane standards have risen or fallen, I think marketers put too much hype into products. It's just strange to live in a society where trust is diminished by marketing and paranoia. But I lack the fortitude to try a lower grade in my car anyway.
:stupid:
I use any gas that says 91-93 octane. I have not had any bad experience in my 40 years of driving and I am not about to change my philosophy. If it works, don't fix it. That's one less concern I have in life.

cwsqbm
01-23-2005, 09:10 AM
:stupid:
I use any gas that says 91-93 octane. I have not had any bad experience in my 40 years of driving and I am not about to change my philosophy. If it works, don't fix it. That's one less concern I have in life.

Years ago I used to have problems with bad gas from certain stations in my area, but once the EPA forced them all to replace their leaky underground tanks, I haven't had any issues from anywhere. I run premium, but I'm not too picky from where. Usually its Shell because they are the cheapest in my neighborhood, undercutting a no-name brand across the street.

Artslinger
01-23-2005, 10:55 AM
So everyone agrees to disagree.

Kris10
09-25-2005, 06:54 PM
Hi everyone,
Im new here on this website. I have a question. I have a 2004 325ci and I just came from Germany, where I bought the car new. I just got stationed here in TX, and ever since I came here (about 3 wks now), my car has been stalling every morning. I called the BMW dealer near me, and he says its b/c of the fuel in this area and he recommended I drop down to mid-grade fuel instead of premium. What the heck is this about? Will this cause long-term problems for a short-term fix? Also, another dealer said fuel is different in different parts of the world and that the dealer has to reprogram the ECU. The dealer near me said he's never heard of that and to just use a lower octane gas. I dont wanna hurt my car. What do you guys know about this?

LDV330i
09-25-2005, 08:56 PM
Kris 10, That is the craziest recommendation I have heard and your dealer does not know what is he talking about. I picked up my car in Germany and drove for 2 weeks in Germany, Italy, and France. When I got back I just fed it 93 octane gas, which is what BMW specifically recommends. My car has not gone for wanting European gas. Make sure you are using only well know brands such as Shell, Texaco, Chevron, et.

Your car probably needs to be taken into the dealer (hopefully not the one that gave you poor advice) and needs to run a diagnostic to read any error codes.

Kris10
09-26-2005, 04:47 PM
I know it sounds weird. My dad thinks so too. Well, I just dropped the car off at the dealer. Since it only stalls in the morning, they kept it overnight and will start it in the morning. Unfortunately, the dealer that told me to lower the octane is the only dealer around here. He had an ad from a newspaper hanging up and told me to read it. It talked about how gas is different in different parts of the country and the ad said to lower the octane. The BMW dealer told me the gas from here to Dallas is crappy and he said the car will adapt on its own to the lower octane. He said that he's had this problem alot in the area and when I go somewhere else, use Premium, just not around here. He said he gets this all the time, not just on BMW's, but his Cadillacs and other cars. They will look at it to make sure there is nothing else wrong, he said, but if he tells me to lower the octane, Ill have to at least try it to see if it works. I just hope it doesnt hurt my car in the long run, but he said it wont. Oh, and as soon as I got here, one of my co-workers, who has a 2002 325i told me that my car would stall over here b/c of the gas. I thought she was crazy, afterall, my car is only a little over a year old, but as soon as I filled the tank w/ the gas from here, it stalled the next morning.

Spunklair
09-27-2005, 01:47 AM
Over here I use Shell V-Power, which replaced 98-octane super unleaded - never had a problem. According to my manual, 98-octane is reccomended for the '99 320i, 323i and 328i.....

Burrogs
09-27-2005, 06:11 AM
I always use 93 octane, but I buy from 7-11 so I can get a slurpee too! I gotta fill up too sometimes :thumbup:

Kris10
10-03-2005, 07:50 PM
Well, the dealer said I need a new fuel pressure regulator. The car is only 1 year old. Amazing.. you spend all that money and! Anyway, hopefully this will fix it. Ill continue using V power from Shell. Im glad I brought it in anyway and I didnt just listen to the dealer when he told me to change the octane on the fuel.

CJarman
10-10-2005, 07:50 PM
That stuff is still in the $2.10 range in SoCal :mad: :mad:

Don't complain... Regular unleaded is still $2.89 here in NC. Premium is over $3.00/gallon! Rip-off city! :bawling:

CJarman

tehkao
10-10-2005, 09:04 PM
I use 87 octane, once in a while I use 91.

I wish I can afford 93, I don't make that much money and can't afford to spend that much on gas.

operknockity
10-10-2005, 09:51 PM
That stuff is still in the $2.10 range in SoCal :mad: :mad:Don't complain... Regular unleaded is still $2.89 here in NC. Premium is over $3.00/gallon! Rip-off city! :bawling:

CJarman
Well duhhhhhhhhh!!!!! That was back in January of this year. 9 months ago. Long before all the natural (and some whould say some unnatural) disasters. Early last week 91 was just under $3 and falling ever so slowly. This week it's back over $3.

I actually got to save a bit 'cause the rental POS I've had for the last 46 days got fed a steady diet of the abso-friggin-lutely cheapest stuff that can still be called gas. Now the sticker shock sets in as my baby is back and it only gets the premo stuff!

FenPhen
10-10-2005, 10:42 PM
I use 87 octane, once in a while I use 91.

I wish I can afford 93, I don't make that much money and can't afford to spend that much on gas.I don't think you can get 93 in California. :dunno:

And the difference between 87 and 91 is usually 20 cents per gallon, or $3 per 15 gallons. Compare that to the $45 you'd already pay for 15 gallons of the cheap stuff. Over the course of a year, if you put on 10,000 miles at 20 mpg, the price difference would be a whopping $100. You could save $100 by not going out at all for one weekend. :dunno: Give your car what it wants.

Spunklair
10-11-2005, 11:06 AM
Here we can't buy lower than 95-octane, it's the normal unleaded (can't buy leaded anymore either), and even so it costs $7.56 a gallon...the V-Power costs a little over $8 a gallon...count yourselves lucky!!

LDV330i
10-11-2005, 11:35 AM
Here we can't buy lower than 95-octane, it's the normal unleaded (can't buy leaded anymore either), and even so it costs $7.56 a gallon...the V-Power costs a little over $8 a gallon...count yourselves lucky!!As the saying goes your Octane is not the same our Octane. :D

The formulas are different for arriving at octane posted on European pumps and the one posted on the US pumps.

This from Wikepedia:



In most countries (including all of Europe (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Europe) and Australia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australia)) the "headline" octane that would be shown on the pump is the RON, but in the United States (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States) and some other countries the headline number is the average of the RON and the MON, sometimes called the Anti-Knock Index (AKI), Road Octane Number (RdON), Pump Octane Number (PON), or (R+M)/2. Because of the 10 point difference noted above, this means that the octane in the United States will be about 4 to 5 points lower than the same fuel elsewhere: 87 octane fuel, the "normal" gasoline in the US (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States) and Canada (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canada), would be 91 in Europe.

300B
10-11-2005, 01:46 PM
I use 87 octane, once in a while I use 91.

I wish I can afford 93, I don't make that much money and can't afford to spend that much on gas.

You can "afford" a BMW 330i with a ZHP package but you can't afford to put an extra couple of bucks every fill up for premium? LOL :rofl:

You are easily losing 20 or more horsepower by running 87 octane in your paticular car :tsk: .

tehkao
10-11-2005, 02:16 PM
Really? You lose that much horsepower?

Anyways, I drive at least 60 miles a day. Which means I need to fill up once every 4 days. 365/4 = 91 fillups a year. At 15 gallons * 20 cents extra for 91 = 3 dollars. 3 * 91 = around 270...hmm which is still not that bad.

Ok maybe I should start using 91.... :)

operknockity
10-11-2005, 02:58 PM
Really? You lose that much horsepower?

Anyways, I drive at least 60 miles a day. Which means I need to fill up once every 4 days. 365/4 = 91 fillups a year. At 15 gallons * 20 cents extra for 91 = 3 dollars. 3 * 91 = around 270...hmm which is still not that bad.

Ok maybe I should start using 91.... :) Or maybe give up the german-luxo-sport-barge and buy a car meant to run on low octane fuel.

Double Vanos
10-11-2005, 07:39 PM
I have and will always fill up my 3 with 93 octane i have too much love for it to put anything less in it. Even when the price of premium hit $3.30/gallon I still filled up with premium while everyone else was scrambling around town for regular gas,I have too much luv for this german toy of mine. :drive:

Double Vanos
10-11-2005, 07:42 PM
I use 87 octane, once in a while I use 91.

I wish I can afford 93, I don't make that much money and can't afford to spend that much on gas.


What!!! You gotta be kidding, maybe you should of bought a less expensive car. Its a Bimmer treat it like one.

swchang
10-11-2005, 07:45 PM
I have and will always fill up my 3 with 93 octane i have too much love for it to put anything less in it. Even when the price of premium hit $3.30/gallon I still filled up with premium while everyone else was scrambling around town for regular gas,I have too much luv for this german toy of mine. :drive:

Why stop there? Go for 100 octane. And why not? Add some octane booster.

Double Vanos
10-11-2005, 07:48 PM
Why stop there? Go for 100 octane. And why not? Add some octane booster.


I think that would be a little excessive. :tsk:

FenPhen
10-11-2005, 11:32 PM
Even when the price of premium hit $3.30/gallon I still filled up with premium while everyone else was scrambling around town for regular gas,I have too much luv for this german toy of mine.Think of it this way though: the premium you pay for premium is the same regardless of the actual cost of gas. It's been about 20 cents/gallon difference for as long as I can remember, meaning if it cost you $3 more per tank 10 years ago, it will cost you $3 more per tank today. Nothing changes in the cost to use premium fuel when gas prices go up. :thumbup:

TLudwig
10-12-2005, 06:07 AM
Just when you think that people can't get any more ignorant, you see posts like those above who are using regular gas to save money. You'd expect more from a BMW forum, but I guess you'd be wrong.

Let's break down the math here.

1. Say you drive on average 15k miles per year.

2. Assume that you're getting 22 miles per gallon in mixed city/highway driving. I'm not sure what everyone else's average is, but that's mine and I generally drive like a bat out of hell.

3. Premium gas is, on average, approximately 20 cents ($0.20) per gallon more than regular gas. The total price is irrelevant because we're simply computing the extra cost of using premium over regular.

Running these numbers: (15,000 mi. per year)/(22 mpg)*($0.20 per gallon) = $136.36 per year.

Maybe you drive more than this per year. Maybe you get worse gas mileage. Round this up to $150.

Pardon my bluntness, but anyone here who bought a car costing $35k or more and is now using regular gas to save $150 per year is a flaming idiot. If $150 means that much to you, you have no business being in a BMW. You supposedly bought your BMW for its performance characteristics, but now you're putting in gas that will cause it to under-perform? And if you're just that cheap, why don't you go buy a Honda Civic? :dunno:

operknockity
10-12-2005, 08:02 AM
Just when you think that people can't get any more ignorant, you see posts like those above who are using regular gas to save money. You'd expect more from a BMW forum, but I guess you'd be wrong.
[...snip...]
Pardon my bluntness, but anyone here who bought a car costing $35k or more and is now using regular gas to save $150 per year is a flaming idiot. If $150 means that much to you, you have no business being in a BMW. You supposedly bought your BMW for its performance characteristics, but now you're putting in gas that will cause it to under-perform? And if you're just that cheap, why don't you go buy a Honda Civic? :dunno:
If you go back and search the archives here, other auto message boards, and back to the Usenet News days, you'll see that this discussion has been taking place almost forever. I expect that this same argument will be taking place well in to the future when we will have the "banana peels vs beer cans are better in my Mr Fusion" debates for our flying Deloreans.

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

LDV330i
10-12-2005, 11:13 AM
Just when you think that people can't get any more ignorant, you see posts like those above who are using regular gas to save money. You'd expect more from a BMW forum, but I guess you'd be wrong.

These are the same people that when they have to pay for their oil change will probably buy Pep Boys store brand mineral oil for a $1 a quart. In their mind they cannot justifiy paying $5 a quart for synthetic oil. Oil is oil afterall.:loco:

tehkao
10-12-2005, 12:11 PM
It's not a question of cheapness, it's more of an issue of not trusting the big oil companies. I guess I don't 100% believe that there is really 20 cents worth of added cost in the 91 oil compared to the 87. What if it actually only costs 5 cents extra for oil companies to make 91 oil? Then they are cheating us out of 15 cents per gallon.

I'm also one of those people who can't notice the difference in performance between 87 or 91, but then again, I rarely drive pedal to the metal.

I guess I've always had this kind of mistrust when companies sell different "levels" of a certain product, like you know, crispy chips or extra crispy chips, where they charge you like 50% more for the extra cripsy one, when in reality they're almost the same thing.

FenPhen
10-12-2005, 08:23 PM
I'm also one of those people who can't notice the difference in performance between 87 or 91, but then again, I rarely drive pedal to the metal.

I guess I've always had this kind of mistrust when companies sell different "levels" of a certain product, like you know, crispy chips or extra crispy chips, where they charge you like 50% more for the extra cripsy one, when in reality they're almost the same thing.So... why didn't you get a 325i? Or a Civic? :dunno:

Bob Clevenger
10-13-2005, 01:28 AM
So... why didn't you get a 325i? Or a Civic? :dunno:
Perhaps because he appreciates the capability of the ZHP package even if he seldom (note: 'seldom' not 'never') uses it.
I rarely use all the potential of my S54 coupe, but I know it's there if I want it --- and I really DO appreciate it. The same way I appreciate my two Martin guitars, even though I still can't play them well.
All that aside, I agree that at the current price of gasoline, an additional $0.20/gallon is negligible.

FenPhen
10-13-2005, 08:42 PM
Perhaps because he appreciates the capability of the ZHP package even if he seldom (note: 'seldom' not 'never') uses it.
I rarely use all the potential of my S54 coupe, but I know it's there if I want it --- and I really DO appreciate it. The same way I appreciate my two Martin guitars, even though I still can't play them well.That's my point. :) (See the second paragraph I quoted in my previous post.)

tehkao
10-13-2005, 11:50 PM
Ok I started using premium gas. Are you guys happy now? :)

I want this car to last for 10 years. I guess I should start treating it right.

Lanc3r
10-13-2005, 11:56 PM
Ok I started using premium gas. Are you guys happy now? :)

I want this car to last for 10 years. I guess I should start treating it right.


:thumbup:

Good job. The best way to save money with driving is to plan your trips efficently.Sitting in traffic gives 0 mpg. Trips because you forgot something easily cost more than saving on gasoline grades.

LDV330i
10-14-2005, 06:01 AM
Ok I started using premium gas. Are you guys happy now? :)

I want this car to last for 10 years. I guess I should start treating it right.You are doing exactly what BMW asks you to do. :thumbup: (Unless you think that BMW engineers are in collusion with the big oil companies to sell more premium gas).

TLudwig
10-14-2005, 11:08 AM
Ok I started using premium gas. Are you guys happy now? :)

I want this car to last for 10 years. I guess I should start treating it right.

Tehkao, I apologize if my previous post came across as insulting your (or anyone else's) intelligence. I just get a little worked up because it seems that today's culture is so short-sighted when it comes to money.

:beerchug:

Miles_1
10-14-2005, 12:17 PM
First of all, higher octane gas isn't "better" it only combusts slower than lower octane fuels.

Just throwing in my $.02...back when I was driving a Porsche this topic came up on a regular basis. Finally someone asked the question to the president of Porsche of North America in a Q&A session at a conference about 3 years ago. Question from the floor: "Since we can't find 93 octane here in California can the Carrera run on a lower octane gas, like 91 octane, other than the recommended 93?" President's answer: "All modern Porsches have a sophisticated engine management system which detects any ping and will adjust the timing accordingly with little if any noticable degredation of performance. I feel confident that the average driver, unless on the track could determine whether a car is running 87, 91 or 93 octane as we recommend."

I suspect our BMWs run very similar "sophicated" engine management system and will run just fine on all octanes...optimal on 93 I'm sure but can we really tell? Now detergents are another story, I've heard from many reputable sources that the best gas is Chevron with Techroline (or whatever they call it) which helps keep the fuel injectors cleaner.

TLudwig
10-14-2005, 12:22 PM
First of all, higher octane gas isn't "better" it only combusts slower than lower octane fuels.

...and at lower temperatures.

Miles_1
10-14-2005, 12:23 PM
First of all, higher octane gas isn't "better" it only combusts slower than lower octane fuels.

Just throwing in my $.02...back when I was driving a Porsche this topic came up on a regular basis. Finally someone asked the question to the president of Porsche of North America in a Q&A session at a conference about 3 years ago. Question from the floor: "Since we can't find 93 octane here in California can the Carrera run on a lower octane gas, like 91 octane, other than the recommended 93?" President's answer: "All modern Porsches have a sophisticated engine management system which detects any ping and will adjust the timing accordingly with little if any noticable degredation of performance. I feel confident that the average driver, unless on the track could.....

That should be "couldn't."

jsc
10-14-2005, 04:01 PM
First of all, higher octane gas isn't "better" it only combusts slower than lower octane fuels.

Just throwing in my $.02...back when I was driving a Porsche this topic came up on a regular basis. Finally someone asked the question to the president of Porsche of North America in a Q&A session at a conference about 3 years ago. Question from the floor: "Since we can't find 93 octane here in California can the Carrera run on a lower octane gas, like 91 octane, other than the recommended 93?" President's answer: "All modern Porsches have a sophisticated engine management system which detects any ping and will adjust the timing accordingly with little if any noticable degredation of performance. I feel confident that the average driver, unless on the track could determine whether a car is running 87, 91 or 93 octane as we recommend."

I suspect our BMWs run very similar "sophicated" engine management system and will run just fine on all octanes...optimal on 93 I'm sure but can we really tell? Now detergents are another story, I've heard from many reputable sources that the best gas is Chevron with Techroline (or whatever they call it) which helps keep the fuel injectors cleaner.
Within the normal operating range of the E46 engine, a change from 91 octane to 87 octane will cause a retardation of the spark by about 6 degrees when the engine is under load (one degree of spark advance requires 0.5 to 0.8 increase in the AKI number, according to the Chevron document here: http://www.thejagboard.com/motor_gas.pdf ). Spark retardation away from the optimum also leads to higher fuel consumption.

A rule of thumb is that 1 degree of spark retardation will lead to 1% loss of power. Applying this rule and another rule of thumb that 3% of power is lost for every 1000ft of altitude, using 87 instead of 91 will make the car feel as though it is being driven at an altitude 2,000ft higher than you are actually at.

In practice, depending on how you drive and when the ignition is retarded, you may find that it costs as much to use 87 instead of 91 as the fuel economy suffers with the retarded spark. This is besides the 6% (~14 BHP in a ZHP) not being available when you want it.

Artslinger
10-14-2005, 04:33 PM
Within the normal operating range of the E46 engine, a change from 91 octane to 87 octane will cause a retardation of the spark by about 6 degrees when the engine is under load (one degree of spark advance requires 0.5 to 0.8 increase in the AKI number, according to the Chevron document here: http://www.thejagboard.com/motor_gas.pdf ). Spark retardation away from the optimum also leads to higher fuel consumption.

A rule of thumb is that 1 degree of spark retardation will lead to 1% loss of power. Applying this rule and another rule of thumb that 3% of power is lost for every 1000ft of altitude, using 87 instead of 91 will make the car feel as though it is being driven at an altitude 2,000ft higher than you are actually at.

In practice, depending on how you drive and when the ignition is retarded, you may find that it costs as much to use 87 instead of 91 as the fuel economy suffers with the retarded spark. This is besides the 6% (~14 BHP in a ZHP) not being available when you want it.


Good post. :thumbup:

elester12
10-15-2005, 08:47 PM
I was on my way home from a long trip and almost out of gas. The Exxon gas station I stopped at had run out of the lowest and high grade. I had no gas left in my car so I filled it up with the mid grade. About 20 miles later my check engine light came on. My tech buddy at BMW plugged the DIS machine up... Knock sensors retarded the engine timing. Now, my car is a well maintained car... I bend over and pay out the @$$ for every service at BMW. I dont know how some of you get away with putting low grade gas in your car.

look people, if you have a BMW and you cant afford the high grade... you shouldnt be driving a BMW. When I lived in Germany.. i think our high-grade was their low grade. I think i used 96 or 97 oct.

FenPhen
10-15-2005, 09:06 PM
I was on my way home from a long trip and almost out of gas. The Exxon gas station I stopped at had run out of the lowest and high grade. I had no gas left in my car so I filled it up with the mid grade. About 20 miles later my check engine light came on. My tech buddy at BMW plugged the DIS machine up... Knock sensors retarded the engine timing.My guess to why your check-engine light lit while other people here are blissfully using regular ( :thumbdwn: ) is because you introduced a slug of lower-grade gas from that empty tank. If you had blended the lower-grade into a half tank of premium, your engine probably wouldn't have objected as much.

That being said, more evidence that these engines like premium.

Player
10-18-2005, 06:14 PM
Shell V-Power 99oct.

woody underwood
10-18-2005, 07:21 PM
I've always bought the highest octane available and have compared fuel mileage a few times using lower octane...economically, higher octane always wins.

bunteh
01-04-2006, 05:31 PM
i know this is an old post, but
wtf? 91 octane is premium???

our regular unleaded is 91, then we have premium which is 95, and then special premium which is 98 octane, (and what i use) they have recently introduced 100 octane at shell.

and people say australia is backwards! our regular is your premium!!

LDV330i
01-04-2006, 06:20 PM
i know this is an old post, but
wtf? 91 octane is premium???

our regular unleaded is 91, then we have premium which is 95, and then special premium which is 98 octane, (and what i use) they have recently introduced 100 octane at shell.

and people say australia is backwards! our regular is your premium!!This has been discussed before, US vs. the rest of the world octane ratings are different, so you are not comparing apples to apples. USA uses the average of the Motor and Research Octane rating while the rest of the world use straight Research Octane Rating. Therefore US Premium gas (93 octane here in TX) is equal to 97 RON. Premium gas may have a lower octane rating in certain high altitude location or additional state required additive (such as in California).

icemanjs4
01-04-2006, 07:13 PM
Why stop there? Go for 100 octane. And why not? Add some octane booster.

I think what yuo're missing Schwang is that in Texas, you have a choice of 87, 89, or 93. So if DoubleVanos didn't go with 93, he'd be using too low a rating for his gas (89 doesn't cut it for BMW).

rwebbe
01-04-2006, 07:32 PM
About 6 months ago, 5Kmiles ago, I complained of a vibration in steering wheel at idle, It tickles your hands, shakes window when door is open. Had been using Citgo at 7/11 because location was convenient and price OK for 93 Octane. Service writer said try Shell, Chevron or best would be BP. So I have been using BP ever since and am getting super mileage compared to the Citgo as well as tremendous performance. but still have the jittery idle which I hope to have corrected prior to running out of warranty 1st of April. It feels like there are no flex type engine supports, just 2 X 4 lumber. White gas highly touted in old days as best for an engine. Here in Central Florida we have a new bunch of convenient stores by name of Kangaroo who handle the BP product. I just have to have faith they are honest. Filled up today at $2.49 and State label on pump said it had been inspected June '05. This for accuracy I assume. We just have to trust the owners on not filling all tanks with 78. Nuff said. Oh yes, BP did not pay to be listed in Tier group.

LDV330i
01-04-2006, 07:35 PM
Why stop there? Go for 100 octane. And why not? Add some octane booster.As there is a lower limit for which the motor can adjust to prevent detonation, there is also an upper limit beyond which the motor cannot make any adjustments to take advantage of the higher octane. If not we would all be lining up of AvGas 115 (octane)

bunteh
01-04-2006, 08:42 PM
well that explains it then.good work america :thumbup:

jsc
01-05-2006, 07:47 AM
i know this is an old post, but
wtf? 91 octane is premium???

our regular unleaded is 91, then we have premium which is 95, and then special premium which is 98 octane, (and what i use) they have recently introduced 100 octane at shell.

and people say australia is backwards! our regular is your premium!!
Your 91 RON is approximately equivalent to 87 (RON+MON)/2 in North America (different measurement system for fuel grade), 95 RON is similar to 91 (RON+MON)/2, 98 RON similar to 94 (RON+MON)/2.

Your e46 will generally not be able to adjust to gain any benefit to using fuel above 97 RON or 93 (RON+MON)/2, depending on altitude, ambient pressure and temperature.

As an example, I live at an altitude above 1,000m, I can't find any performance, smoothness or economy benefits using fuel above 92 (RON+MON)/2 (similar to 96 RON in Australia).

pony_trekker
01-05-2006, 11:27 AM
You're wrong on just about every level here IMO.

And abusing a car just because it's leased is not only bad "carma," but unethical, IMO. If anything, one should take *better* care of something that doesn't belong to them than something that does.

Kharma works itself out. Well for every person who beats on someone else's property there is someone like me who absolutely fanatical about keeping his leased car in mint condition, but for whom the car broke a lot.

BMRFRAU
01-07-2006, 06:45 AM
I was on my way home from a long trip and almost out of gas. The Exxon gas station I stopped at had run out of the lowest and high grade. I had no gas left in my car so I filled it up with the mid grade. About 20 miles later my check engine light came on. My tech buddy at BMW plugged the DIS machine up... Knock sensors retarded the engine timing. Now, my car is a well maintained car... I bend over and pay out the @$$ for every service at BMW. I dont know how some of you get away with putting low grade gas in your car.

look people, if you have a BMW and you cant afford the high grade... you shouldnt be driving a BMW. When I lived in Germany.. i think our high-grade was their low grade. I think i used 96 or 97 oct.
Off topic here, but do you use BMW of Fairfax for your work, and how are they? My closest dealer is in Sterling, and if you ever read THEIR poor reviews, you'd be afraid to take your car there, too!

Wulff
01-08-2006, 11:46 AM
This thread took so many turns I don't know if anyone really answered his question. The BMW motor is high compression so it will tend to ping if you use a low octain fuel. I am sure there are some gas stations that might put cheap gas in the high octain tanks but I don't think this is the norm. My 'fun' car is a 1987 Monte Carlo SS with a 6-speed and a 406 cid motor (that's 6.6 litre for those that care) I built the motor myself and run 11.0 compression. I use aluminum heads which help keep detonation down. As you might imagine a motor like this is very touchy about fuel quality. I HAVE to run the highest octane fuel I can get. I have found some stations (doesn't seem to matter which brands) will ping but thoses are few and far between for the most part most the stations sell high test in the high test pumps.
Remember the ONLY reason to run high test is to prevent pinging. for the most part the knock sensor will detect the pinging and retard the ignition timing to compensate...
If you run 'cheap' gas it won't "ruin" your motor unless it keeps pinging and you don't do anything (like take your foot off the gas). I have years in this area and I know this is true.
Don't believe that you have to use EVERYTHING that a particlular automaker suggests (esp. when they are the ones that make money on the product) case in point, BMW recommends some kind of BMW sythetic motor oil.. you can't get a better motor oil than Mobil 1 synthetic oil.. this is a fact!

bmmunich
01-08-2006, 11:58 AM
case in point, BMW recommends some kind of BMW sythetic motor oil.. you can't get a better motor oil than Mobil 1 synthetic oil.. this is a fact!

That's interesting, because here in Europe BMW recommends Castrol and state so on just about every catalogue as well as in the user handbook!