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View Full Version : Do you use 87 Octane in your X3?


jliu34740
05-06-2005, 01:04 AM
If so, what's your experience in terms of power output and mileage change? is there a noticeable difference? Is it a worthy trade off? This is for both 2.5 and 3.0 engines.

Bart001
05-06-2005, 05:18 AM
This topic hits the boards every few weeks. Personally, when the manufactuerer (and every independent shop I've ever used) recommends premium fuel, I think it's silly to try to save $3.00 / tank by using regular (or $1.50 / tank with mid-grade) at current prices here where I am in the U.S. (This is based on a 20 cents per gallon differential for premium fuel, and 10 cents for mid-grade.)

Another common response is, "If you cannot afford the $3.00 per tank you shouldn't be buying a $38,000 car. "

Nick325xiT 5spd
05-06-2005, 06:57 AM
And the final point is that it will decrease your power and your fuel efficiency so much that you'll be lucky to come out even.

adventurelarry
05-06-2005, 07:50 AM
I use 87 based upon a number of recommendations from people who work for BMW North America or BMW dealerships.

I did a 1000 mile comparison using 93 and 87. I did this based upon feedback on previous posts on this topic, so I thought I would test it myself.
93 = 20.7 mpg
87 = 21.2 mpg

I drive the same route everyday so I believe it was a fair comparison.
As far as loss of output, I did not notice any difference. I am not an expert driver, so perhaps someone that is would notice.

I waited until the X3 had 5000 miles on the odometer before I did the test. The weather conditions were similar during the test.

--Larry

LmtdSlip
05-06-2005, 08:09 AM
What does the owners manual recommend?

Thats what I would use.

Nick325xiT 5spd
05-06-2005, 08:13 AM
http://www.dynospotracing.com/images/octane.jpg

Rob V
05-06-2005, 08:17 AM
I use 87 based upon a number of recommendations from people who work for BMW North America or BMW dealerships.

I did a 1000 mile comparison using 93 and 87. I did this based upon feedback on previous posts on this topic, so I thought I would test it myself.
93 = 20.7 mpg
87 = 21.2 mpg

--Larry

If that's the case then why even offer different grades of gas?

Nick325xiT 5spd
05-06-2005, 08:19 AM
If that's the case then why even offer different grades of gas?
Because high strung engines will run poorly and may fail on low octane. It has a tendency to pre-detonate (ignite before the spark), which can burn up the engine. Most modern engines have SOME ability to cope with this, but it costs a lot of power.

adventurelarry
05-06-2005, 08:23 AM
If that's the case then why even offer different grades of gas?

I am not saying you do not get more power, or slightly better mileage. I am saying that for my driving I found I got better mileage using the 87. I would be happy to repeat the experiment. I am also saying that for my driving style I did not notice a difference in power. Thats just me, and I am certain that others would have different experiences depending where one drives, and how one drives.

Caesar
05-06-2005, 08:26 AM
I am not saying you do not get more power, or slightly better mileage. I am saying that for my driving I found I got better mileage using the 87. I would be happy to repeat the experiment. I am also saying that for my driving style I did not notice a difference in power. Thats just me, and I am certain that others would have different experiences depending where one drives, and how one drives.

That difference in mileage isn't statistically significant.

You basically got the same mileage with 87 and 93 -- not really better mileage with 87.

So the reason to buy 87 would be its cheaper -- not due to better mileage.

adventurelarry
05-06-2005, 08:29 AM
That difference in mileage isn't statistically significant.

You basically got the same mileage with 87 and 93 -- not really better mileage with 87.

So the reason to buy 87 would be its cheaper -- not due to better mileage.


Correct, though I prefer the term less expensive :) It sounds better than cheaper.

Since I have not noticed a large difference in mileage, and I have not noticed a difference in power for my driving style, I use the less expensive gas.

Nick325xiT 5spd
05-06-2005, 08:31 AM
Correct, though I prefer the term less expensive :) It sounds better than cheaper.

Since I have not noticed a large difference in mileage, and I have not noticed a difference in power for my driving style, I use the less expensive gas.
Just don't ever buy anything with a turbo, or, say, an M3. :eek:

adventurelarry
05-06-2005, 08:36 AM
Just don't ever buy anything with a turbo, or, say, an M3. :eek:

I had the same experience in my 850csi.

Of course that was a number of years ago, almost 10??? Time flies.

Nick325xiT 5spd
05-06-2005, 08:39 AM
That wasn't a very high strung engine. Hell, the 2.5L I6 then specced 87 octane.

Bart001
05-06-2005, 09:41 AM
I use 87 based upon a number of recommendations from people who work for BMW North America or BMW dealerships.

I did a 1000 mile comparison using 93 and 87. I did this based upon feedback on previous posts on this topic, so I thought I would test it myself.
93 = 20.7 mpg
87 = 21.2 mpg

I drive the same route everyday so I believe it was a fair comparison.
As far as loss of output, I did not notice any difference. I am not an expert driver, so perhaps someone that is would notice.

I waited until the X3 had 5000 miles on the odometer before I did the test. The weather conditions were similar during the test.

--Larry

Please expand on the statement that "people who work for BMW NA" have recommended this. I'm not asking you to name names, but please let us know more. In what capacity are they employed by BMW NA? Did you call BMW? Are they friends? Did they say this in a public forum? Same with respect to dealerships.

Thanks!

LmtdSlip
05-06-2005, 10:23 AM
Its not how "high strung" the engine is. It has to do with compression ratios and the engine management system to deal with knock (pre-detonation).

93 octane fuel is more resistant to pre-detonation and thus more suitable for cars with higher compression ratios (read: performance cars) so that they can run properly with less intervention from the engine management system to retard the spark. The spark retardation is the reason for the loss of power when using a lower grade gasoline, not the gasoline itself.

I would use what the owners manual recommends if it were my car.

JG
05-06-2005, 10:46 AM
If so, what's your experience in terms of power output and mileage change? is there a noticeable difference? Is it a worthy trade off? This is for both 2.5 and 3.0 engines.

I use the recommended higher octance. But my service guy did mention that he would step down to intermediate or even low octane in the coldest 3 months in winter.

I didn't think to ask why at the time.

adventurelarry
05-06-2005, 10:53 AM
Please expand on the statement that "people who work for BMW NA" have recommended this. I'm not asking you to name names, but please let us know more. In what capacity are they employed by BMW NA? Did you call BMW? Are they friends? Did they say this in a public forum? Same with respect to dealerships.

Thanks!

It was not in a public forum. It was while I was at a dealership at which I had been friendly with the owner. It was said while some from NJ were visiting the dealership. It was during private conversations.

I am now friendly with the owner of another dealership, and I have never asked him about it. It never occured to me to ask his opinion. Next time I see him I will try and remember.

There was another thread where someone in Canada I believe was surprised that the service person at BMW dealership told him that he did not have to use premium (I am paraphrasing since I do not recall the exact wording)

This was about 8 years ago, so technology has changed. That is why I did my test. So I could see what was working for me.

Rick480
05-06-2005, 11:47 AM
My BMW salesperson specifically said to use gasahol which is prevalent in my area, cheaper than regular and about 89 octane and not worry about needing 91 octane. I ususlly stick with 91 though, unless the difference in price it exhorbitant.

pipo
05-06-2005, 11:51 AM
I too have been experimenting with different octanes. With 93, I have been getting around 21-22mpg lately. With a tank of 89, the mpg went up to 23.5. I am now running a tank of 87 and will let you know the results.

I have not noticed an appreciable loss of power/torque. Even though I would call myself a spirited driver, 0-60 times don't particularly turn me on. I just want to be able to ram the accelerator in the appropriate gear coming out of a turn and feel the kick. And there's still plenty of kick with the 89.

No one I've heard yet has made a convincing case for sticking with the high octane. Retarding timing, unless it harms the engine, becomes a meaningless technical phenomenon, as far as I'm concerned. I'm open to being convinced otherwise, but arguments like "follow the manual's recommendation" are not compelling when the vehicle's chip will effectively compensate for the lower octane fuel without causing any damage.

Saving a few bucks at the pump and increasing mpg at the same time sounds like a win/win to me. :amish:

Desertnate
05-06-2005, 12:01 PM
Every time one of these threads pop up I never cease to be amazed by some of the responses...

My car has always had at least 91 and most of the time 93. I have run 87~89 in my car on 2~3 occasions when my wife accidentaly forgot which car she was driving and put in the wrong fuel.

EVERY time the wrong gas was used, there was an obvious noticable difference in the way the car ran. Idle was quite rough and felt like the car was running cold, at times so rugh it felt like it had a miss, throttle response was poor with even some mild hesitation, and there was a distinct drop in power. I also observed a decline in overall milage. The first time it happened, I nearly took the car into the dealer until I found out about which gas was used. Going back to 93 cured all the problems almost instantly.

I also notice when they break out the reduced emissions winter "cocktail" they use here. Again, performance drops off, idle isn't very smooth and my milage REALLY goes down the toliet.

LmtdSlip
05-06-2005, 01:01 PM
...Retarding timing, unless it harms the engine, becomes a meaningless technical phenomenon, as far as I'm concerned.

As if by magic?

:rofl:

Bart001
05-06-2005, 01:15 PM
I too have been experimenting with different octanes. With 93, I have been getting around 21-22mpg lately. With a tank of 89, the mpg went up to 23.5. I am now running a tank of 87 and will let you know the results.

I have not noticed an appreciable loss of power/torque. Even though I would call myself a spirited driver, 0-60 times don't particularly turn me on. I just want to be able to ram the accelerator in the appropriate gear coming out of a turn and feel the kick. And there's still plenty of kick with the 89.

No one I've heard yet has made a convincing case for sticking with the high octane. Retarding timing, unless it harms the engine, becomes a meaningless technical phenomenon, as far as I'm concerned. I'm open to being convinced otherwise, but arguments like "follow the manual's recommendation" are not compelling when the vehicle's chip will effectively compensate for the lower octane fuel without causing any damage.

Saving a few bucks at the pump and increasing mpg at the same time sounds like a win/win to me. :amish:

No "convincing case," eh? Here's how I look at it. It's like a court case. Who has the burden of proof? The manufacturer says to use premium. It's not like BMW sells fuel and makes more money if owners buy premium. I would need a "convincing case" in order to go against the manufacturer's recommendations. I've not seen a convincing case.

I too am surprised every time I read these threads that people who own $35,000 - $85,000 cars are so gung-ho about saving $3.00 per tank and "experimenting" contrary to the manufacturers' recommendations. More surprising is the mistrust of the manufacturers' recommendations. It's almost as people say if BMW recommends it, they are compelled to do something different. Do people think that there's a conspiracy theory between BMW and the Saudi's and Venezuelans?

Most of the arguments are accompanied by quasi-technical statements. "The vehicle's chip will compensate . . . . " The people making such statements 95% of the time are not trained in the engineering in general, much less being very familiar with the actual systems. Yet they will rely on their own (lack of) engineering knowledge, rather than relying on the manufacturer's recommendations. I really don't get it at all. But, if you own the car, you're entitled to feed it whatever you want! :thumbup:

adventurelarry
05-06-2005, 01:25 PM
No "convincing case," eh? Here's how I look at it. It's like a court case. Who has the burden of proof? The manufacturer says to use premium. It's not like BMW sells fuel and makes more money if owners buy premium. I would need a "convincing case" in order to go against the manufacturer's recommendations. I've not seen a convincing case.

I too am surprised every time I read these threads that people who own $35,000 - $85,000 cars are so gung-ho about saving $3.00 per tank and "experimenting" contrary to the manufacturers' recommendations. More surprising is the mistrust of the manufacturers' recommendations. It's almost as people say if BMW recommends it, they are compelled to do something different. Do people think that there's a conspiracy theory between BMW and the Saudi's and Venezuelans?

Most of the arguments are accompanied by quasi-technical statements. "The vehicle's chip will compensate . . . . " The people making such statements 95% of the time are not trained in the engineering in general, much less being very familiar with the actual systems. Yet they will rely on their own (lack of) engineering knowledge, rather than relying on the manufacturer's recommendations. I really don't get it at all. But, if you own the car, you're entitled to feed it whatever you want! :thumbup:

Here is a question I have based upon this. I keep reading where people are getting there oil changed well before the manufacturers recomendation. Is that not the same thing? Going against the manufacturers recomendation? I fully admit that I have no enginering knowledge, which is why I rely on others, and I do appreciate everyone thoughts on this, and other issues.

If this was coffee, well, I can back up most any argument on everything from brewing methods to grind to roast, etc.

For me it is not a conspiracy theory. I am going with two things. 1) People who work for BMW (or a dealership) have told me one thing (which, granted goes against what the manual says.......hhhhmm perhaps they are trying to force me to buy a new car)
:dunno: and 2) what my experience with my car has shown me.

Desertnate
05-06-2005, 01:29 PM
Here is a question I have based upon this. I keep reading where people are getting there oil changed well before the manufacturers recomendation. Is that not the same thing? Going against the manufacturers recomendation? I fully admit that I have no enginering knowledge, which is why I rely on others, and I do appreciate everyone thoughts on this, and other issues.

For me it is not a conspiracy theory. I am going with two things. 1) People who work for BMW (or a dealership) have told me one thing (which, granted goes against what the manual says.......hhhhmm perhaps they are trying to force me to buy a new car)
:dunno: and 2) what my experience with my car has shown me.

When you change you oil more often you are exceeding the standards set out by the manufacturer and it can only help.

By puting a lower grade fuel in your car you are falling below the minimum standards set out by the manufacuturer.

To me, there is a big difference between going above the standards and falling below them :dunno:

Nick325xiT 5spd
05-06-2005, 01:31 PM
Here is a question I have based upon this. I keep reading where people are getting there oil changed well before the manufacturers recomendation. Is that not the same thing? Going against the manufacturers recomendation? I fully admit that I have no enginering knowledge, which is why I rely on others, and I do appreciate everyone thoughts on this, and other issues.

For me it is not a conspiracy theory. I am going with two things. 1) People who work for BMW (or a dealership) have told me one thing (which, granted goes against what the manual says.......hhhhmm perhaps they are trying to force me to buy a new car)
:dunno: and 2) what my experience with my car has shown me.
The octane requirements of a car go up with temperature, humidity and air pressure. This is why you can only buy low octane fuel up in the Rockies, for example.

The difference between changing the oil more often, and using lower octane fuel is very simple: The former is a preventative measure that MAY make your engine last longer, the latter is a cost-saving measure that can kill your engine. The engine control unit can compensate for a lot, but at the very least, don't run 87 if it's scorching hot out. It's not as severe an issue with the normal BMW engines, but if you ran, say, a WRX STi on 87 octane, the engine probably would fail in relatively short order.

adventurelarry
05-06-2005, 01:44 PM
Well, that makes sense. Things to think about.

Thanks

SpeedFreak!
05-06-2005, 02:56 PM
Sorry, but I just had to add my 2 cents worth. I also work for BMW. I can tell you that anyone from BMW telling you to use a lower grade gas is an idiot. Oops... did I just say that? I have had lengthy conversation with the Germans who build these incredible cars and if they knew anyone from the world of BMW was telling you such crap they would be using every German swear word within reach to express their disgust. I have often wondered why unqualified people give unqualified opinions regarding matters such as this... I came to only one conclusion. Many people are appeasers... they tell you what they think you want to hear in order to make you happy. Kind of like they want to be your hero... or something corny like that.
There are several post in this thread that make excellent points regarding this matter. The bottom line is this:
When you don't follow the guidelines set by the manufacture you are doing several things, but most importantly you...
1.) Cause the engine to run richer
2.) Effect the emissions (makes it more dirty... for all you green folks)
3.) Cuts back on power (depending on the conditions this can be subtle or extreme)
4.) Forces the engine to work a lot harder then it should have to... increasing the overall wear and tear... which will likely shorten the life of your beloved BMW :confused:

Get the point? One more thing... because the car is compensating for your penny pinching ways, it is unlikely that you will "notice" a difference while driving normal (in other words, not racing.) In fact, if you do hear a difference, feel a difference... its probably to late. It is likely that you have already started causing damage.
I'm sorry for the rant. I've read post like these before and have refrained from commenting. I guess this time, I just couldn't help myself.

Rob V
05-06-2005, 03:00 PM
Nice!

pipo
05-06-2005, 07:13 PM
As if by magic?

:rofl:

Do you have a point to make?

MMME30W
05-06-2005, 07:22 PM
: popcorn:


(Nice post SF by the way... :thumbup: )

pipo
05-06-2005, 09:57 PM
Finally, some direct answers from Nick and SpeedFreak to the questions we had. AdventureLarry (if I may speak for him to this extent) and I are not technically knowledgeable and simply want to know why we should or should not use lower octane fuel when it's cheaper, has resulted in improved mpg, and, according to some, won't hurt the car. If the answer is, it could harm your car due to the engine working harder and increased wear and tear; burn more gas; cause more emissions, then so be it. But for some reason, no one came out and said it clearly for the technical retards -- as opposed to timing retards -- among us (and here I won't presume to include AdventureLarry in the same boat as me unless he provides the coffee). :drink:

But it also appears, if I've read the posts correctly, that the plain jane BMW engines such as the 2.5 are less prone to possible damage than the higher compression performance engines. So here's a question: Is there always going to be increased wear and tear on the engine with lower octane fuel, even if only slightly increased, or is it only under stressed conditions (e.g., high temperature, high humidity) that there's any concern about damage?

SpeedFreak!
05-07-2005, 03:16 AM
Thank you for the kind words. In the lower displacement, lower compression motors... like the 2.5... it would be easier to cheat without immediate and serious side effects if the conditions and climate permit it. For example, the fellow with the 2.5 X3 that claims better gas mileage out of the lower grade sounds like a guy that drives rather gently. (I must say that in an uncontrolled situation... his foot was likely the cause of the better mileage. There is a subconscious desire to justify the overall desired effect of the test... whether he was aware of it or not... I say this because true controlled test results yielded the opposite result) Some one like that would get a much softer side effect... then some one like me who drives my BMW the way it was intended to be driven... to the limit.
My point is simple... there is obviously an impact curve. If your at the bottom (entry level 2.5, pansy driver)... the difference would be more minimal over the initial 50k miles... but I would hate to be the guy buying the car from you. Ask yourself the question... What kind of gas did you use? Do you want to say 87 or 91(93)... remember you have to tell the truth... its the BMW code. I know you may not care about the next guy... but I do, and a lot of people in here do as well. Is it worth the few bucks?
Pipo... I wish there was a simpler answer... and I'm sorry if this was more then you asked for. The fact is that it's bad to cheat... any damage is bad damage... are the pennies really worth it?

adventurelarry
05-07-2005, 08:39 AM
Thanks for the information SF (I will ignore the pansy driver comment, since the rest of your post seems accurate) and I also thnk that PIPO pretty much got my thoughts dead on.

So, based upon the feedback, it sounds like I should switch to 91 or 93. Ok, I will do so. That is why I like boards like these, you can learn (assuming you are open too it)

--Larry

And PIPO, if you are ever in the area, I will be happy to roast and brew you some excellent single origin coffee. (OK SF, you also) :thumbup:

SpeedFreak!
05-07-2005, 10:55 AM
(I will ignore the pansy driver comment, since the rest of your post seems accurate)


LOL... :rofl: Hey Larry... please KNOW that was tongue in cheek. I was just poking a little fun at your ability to be so controlled. :p Seriously, I would have never made that comment if I thought that it could be insulting. OK? :angel:

adventurelarry
05-07-2005, 11:20 AM
LOL... :rofl: Hey Larry... please KNOW that was tongue in cheek. I was just poking a little fun at your ability to be so controlled. :p Seriously, I would have never made that comment if I thought that it could be insulting. OK? :angel:


My wife gets mad cause I am so controlled.

That is one of the problems with internet communication, you cannot see expressions.

We cool :cool: and I will still be happy to have that cup of coffee with you. Gotta go, need to put some 93 in the tank

seriously

pipo
05-07-2005, 04:06 PM
Hey Larry, I'll definitely take you up on that cup of coffee one of these days -- thanks. By the way, I was so busy getting lost in the octane wars :ouch: that I didn't notice until now that you have basically the same X3 as me (except for model year). Did you also get the beige leather with birch trim? Love that Flamenco Red!

Since I tend to keep my cars for well over 100,000 miles, it sounds like I have all the more reason to run the 91+ octane, especially since I don't tend to be light on the throttle. And I thoroughly agree with SpeedFreak about taking proper care of our vehicles, for ourselves as well as future owners. It just creates good karma, and it shows respect for the vehicle from which we derive so much pleasure. :angel2: I get upset when I hear lessees talking about abusing their cars since they'll be turning them in shortly.

SpeedFreak, the more detailed the response the better; I appreciate learning more about what makes our babies go. Slightly OT, doesn't it bother you to see people driving bimmers at half the speed they're capable of? Why bother? They should be driving Lexi. It's kinda like the rich octogenarian with the young trophy wife; he thinks it's good for his image but he can't even start to get the performance out of her that she deserves. :whip: Nothing against the old guy; just buy something you can handle!

Bart001
05-07-2005, 04:16 PM
Slightly OT, doesn't it bother you to see people driving bimmers at half the speed they're capable of? Why bother? They should be driving Lexi. It's kinda like the rich octogenarian with the young trophy wife; he thinks it's good for his image but he can't even start to get the performance out of her that she deserves.

It's called driving safely and it's also called disdain for speeding tickets. Especially here in Massachusetts, speeding tickets effect insurance rates for years, with no opportunity for 'driving school' to work off points. I've already got a few points and don't plan on getting more before I work these off. They end up costing me a LOT of money, given the number of vehicles I own.

pipo
05-07-2005, 04:29 PM
It's called driving safely and it's also called disdain for speeding tickets. Especially here in Massachusetts, speeding tickets effect insurance rates for years, with no opportunity for 'driving school' to work off points. I've already got a few points and don't plan on getting more before I work these off. They end up costing me a LOT of money, given the number of vehicles I own.

Are you one of those old, rich guys? :bawling:

pipo
05-07-2005, 04:34 PM
Here's an informative post from one of the other boards:

"Virtually all gasoline engines octane needs increase with usage due to carbon build-up and other factors.

Because of this, the octane requirements for engines is not for what the new engine requires, but what is likely to meet it's needs over the projected life of an engine, e.g., if an engine is listed as requiring 91 octane, it is highly unlikely it needs this when it is new.

In the old days, one could take advantage of this as one could tell if the octane was too low due to detonation/pinging, i.e., no pinging, no problem, use the lower octane.

Nowadays the engine retards the timing when faced with too low of an ocatane rating, reducing performance, but avoiding potential engine damage. But this "advance" also makes it difficult to determine if one is wasting money on needless octane ratings. It would be great if there was a way to monitor the knock detector.

Out of curiosity I am thinking of geting a CarChip to monitor engine timing, and see if I can identify any retarding of the timing when one swithes to a tank of lower octane gasoline. Alternatively, I wonder if the effect could be seen using one of those freestanding "G Meters" which measure acceleration... I would not be suprised if, on an very low mileage vehicle, Regular might not provide the same performance as Premium."

SpeedFreak!
05-07-2005, 04:53 PM
SpeedFreak, the more detailed the response the better; I appreciate learning more about what makes our babies go. Slightly OT, doesn't it bother you to see people driving bimmers at half the speed they're capable of? Why bother? They should be driving Lexi. It's kinda like the rich octogenarian with the young trophy wife; he thinks it's good for his image but he can't even start to get the performance out of her that she deserves. :whip: Nothing against the old guy; just buy something you can handle!

Sorry... totally Off Topic...
Hey Larry, thanks for the kind offer... I'm trying to schedule a trip for your area later this year... I would be delighted to take you up on the cup of coffee. Have you ever heard of the Black Widow? Bad Ass Coffee Shop came up with this one... oh boy, it's a doozy!

LOL... PIPO... very funny! I do see a number of people driving these machines that I will never understand. When discussing the performance of our brand, people often say things like "It's not like there's anywhere to really drive these cars the way they were intended..." which of course I have to disagree with. I too hate speeding tickets and I also hate it when people put other people in harms way... like around traffic and such. BUT... there are many "places" in So Cal to go "play" without putting others at risk. As for the tickets... yeah, they suck. Get a good detector... good lawyer... I have great "Copdar" senses, too. So I can usually feel them. When they hit... I see it as my donation to the roads I love so much. LOL. :thumbup:

adventurelarry
05-07-2005, 05:22 PM
It's kinda like the rich octogenarian with the young trophy wife; he thinks it's good for his image but he can't even start to get the performance out of her that she deserves. :whip: Nothing against the old guy; just buy something you can handle!

Oddly enough, I was in Florida last week and my wifes grandfather asked me to drive his car to dinner. It is a Buick. I had to focus to stay in the lanes. The car felt like it was floating. I kept thinking how much better he might drive if he had a car with better handling. At 94 it is amazing that he can still drive at all.

Bart001
05-07-2005, 05:59 PM
Are you one of those old, rich guys? :bawling:

Are you one of those nuts that cuts off people, passing on the right, trying to drive 90 mph on the Mass. Pike during commuting hours?

If not, I'm never on the road when you are.

Or maybe you're one of those young guys with no family so you can afford the tickets and the insurance surcharges? I'd rather put the money towards something productive.

For the rest of you, its very tough to talk a cop out of a speeding ticket in this state, and harder to talk a judge out of one. The insurance system is totally non-competitive (state sets the rates, and very few companies will write policies here), and nothing but time will remove points from your driving record.

dtsnhls30
05-08-2005, 07:41 AM
Right, so someone mentioned in an earlier post to use what is recommended in the owners manual. I stand by this.

While I'm too lazy to go dig up the owners manual just now, one of the reasons we bought the X3 as opposed to an X5 was the fuel grade requirements.

87 was sufficient for the X3. I recall checking this in the documentation as well as with the service department first. I won't argue the benefits of using higher-grade fuel, depending on the style of driving, environment, etc.

But rather, the more 'high strung' engines require it. So, no option to use 87. In our case, driving to the market, picking up kids, etc. don't really warrant the higher grade (for performance benefits, if any).

Maybe I'll go dig up the manual..

Bart001
05-08-2005, 08:58 AM
http://www.bmwusa.com/vehicles/X3/25i/techdata.htm

"Fuel Grade -- Unleaded Premium"

I'm pretty sure that BMW manuals and specs frequently don't use the (R+M)/2 method of stating octane value that is common in the US. That can be confusing at times.

Caesar
05-08-2005, 10:13 AM
Right, so someone mentioned in an earlier post to use what is recommended in the owners manual. I stand by this.

While I'm too lazy to go dig up the owners manual just now, one of the reasons we bought the X3 as opposed to an X5 was the fuel grade requirements.

87 was sufficient for the X3. I recall checking this in the documentation as well as with the service department first. I won't argue the benefits of using higher-grade fuel, depending on the style of driving, environment, etc.

But rather, the more 'high strung' engines require it. So, no option to use 87. In our case, driving to the market, picking up kids, etc. don't really warrant the higher grade (for performance benefits, if any).

Maybe I'll go dig up the manual..

The manual recommends 91 octane minimum. It also says it on the inside of the little door for filling up the gas tank.

x3man
05-08-2005, 11:14 AM
It's called driving safely and it's also called disdain for speeding tickets. Especially here in Massachusetts, speeding tickets effect insurance rates for years, with no opportunity for 'driving school' to work off points. I've already got a few points and don't plan on getting more before I work these off. They end up costing me a LOT of money, given the number of vehicles I own.

Valentine One
http://www.valentine1.com

Need I say more?

pipo
05-08-2005, 01:55 PM
Are you one of those nuts that cuts off people, passing on the right, trying to drive 90 mph on the Mass. Pike during commuting hours?

If not, I'm never on the road when you are.

Or maybe you're one of those young guys with no family so you can afford the tickets and the insurance surcharges? I'd rather put the money towards something productive.

For the rest of you, its very tough to talk a cop out of a speeding ticket in this state, and harder to talk a judge out of one. The insurance system is totally non-competitive (state sets the rates, and very few companies will write policies here), and nothing but time will remove points from your driving record.

Well, Bart, just keep driving your BMW like my great-grandmother, and everything will be OK. :nono: Sorry, friend, I'm just yanking your chain. Hope you're chuckling, or even chortling...

SpeedFreak had it right, you have to pick your times and spots. In our area, there are plenty of sparsely populated back roads -- paved and unpaved -- that are tailor made for fast driving. Every now and then I get a pedestrian wagging their finger at me (or worse), but I always try to slow down to very moderate speeds when somone is walking on the road. Otherwise, in populated areas and on major highways, I tend to set the cruise control to within ten of the limit and relax.

I have been stopped four times in the last three years for speeding, received three tickets, and had them all either thrown out or downgraded to a non-moving violation. Around here, as long as you're a "good citizen," you can generally talk your way into something less painful than a violation with points.

So while I may be a nut :banana: , I'm not one of those Mass Pike nuts :loco: who are apparently near and dear to your heart.

tonymey
05-09-2005, 02:17 PM
This is out of the German Technical Data for the X3.

Die Bensinmotoren sind for die Kraftstoffqualitat ROZ 98 ausgelegt. Ein Betrieb bis ROZ 91 ist mit geringerer Leistungsabgabe und erhohtem Verbrauch moglich.

From my best German (not much) I understand this to say:

The gas engine is build to use 93 octane (ROZ 98 in germany). If using up to 87 octane (ROZ 91) the engine efficiency and will be reduce and your gas mileage will decline.

My question here is where is the middle line. I use ROZ 95 here which is 90 octane. The way I read this is as long as I stay above 91 ROZ (87 octane) I'm good to go....


And no ! I'm not being cheap,, just adding to this wonderful discussion :confused:

Nick325xiT 5spd
05-09-2005, 02:19 PM
No, 95 RON fuel still costs you power. Just not as much. Remember that Jetta dyno I posted for 89 octane?

Desertnate
05-09-2005, 03:40 PM
No, 95 RON fuel still costs you power. Just not as much. Remember that Jetta dyno I posted for 89 octane?

95RON is not all that bad. While in the UK, 95RON was all I could get . Overall, it ran pretty good. Not as good as when I found a tank of 98RON over in France/Germany/Belgium, but not bad.

Now the US 87 octane crud is another story I have already posted in this thread...

pipo
05-10-2005, 07:31 PM
Here's a Car And Driver article that someone posted on another board.

http://www.caranddriver.com/article.asp?section_id=4&article_id=3604&page_number=1

pipo
05-11-2005, 02:57 PM
Ok, here's some simple math in answer to the question, how much money will I save by using 89 octane instead of 93 octane? Let's assume that you're driving 20,000 miles yearly, that the price differential between 93 and 89 is 10 cents, and that you're getting 20 miles per gallon. Let's also assume that your gas mileage stays the same with the lower octane fuel, which may or may not be the case. If it decreases, as many have stated, the savings at the pump would be correspondingly lower.

20,000 divided by 20 is 1000 gallons used yearly. At 10 cents per gallon less, you are saving -- are you ready for this -- a whopping $100 per year! Even if your total miles or gas mileage are higher or lower, we're talking chump change, basically. Just to make the point ad absurdum, even if you drove 40,000 miles and only got 10 miles to the gallon, you'd be saving $400.

So if only as an insurance policy against possible engine damage or carbon build-up, isn't the extra $100 worth it? [chair]

SpeedFreak!
05-14-2005, 07:18 PM
Ok, here's some simple math in answer to the question, how much money will I save by using 89 octane instead of 93 octane? Let's assume that you're driving 20,000 miles yearly, that the price differential between 93 and 89 is 10 cents, and that you're getting 20 miles per gallon. Let's also assume that your gas mileage stays the same with the lower octane fuel, which may or may not be the case. If it decreases, as many have stated, the savings at the pump would be correspondingly lower.

20,000 divided by 20 is 1000 gallons used yearly. At 10 cents per gallon less, you are saving -- are you ready for this -- a whopping $100 per year! Even if your total miles or gas mileage are higher or lower, we're talking chump change, basically. Just to make the point ad absurdum, even if you drove 40,000 miles and only got 10 miles to the gallon, you'd be saving $400.

So if only as an insurance policy against possible engine damage or carbon build-up, isn't the extra $100 worth it? [chair]


Wow... where was that post 3 pages ago... no, correction, where was it 20+ "fuel grade threads" ago? :D

Caesar
05-14-2005, 08:32 PM
Wow... where was that post 3 pages ago... no, correction, where was it 20+ "fuel grade threads" ago? :D

Except his premise is wrong. The difference is NOT between 89 octane and 93. The difference is between 87 octane and 93 (why would you use 89 - it is either high octane -- 91 and above, or low octaine -- 87; and few states sell 91). There is a $.20 difference in price between 87 and 93 -- not $.10 difference.

I calculated it to roughly $3.00 more per fill up using 93 over 87 octane. 15 gallons to fill up x $.20 = $3.00

If I fill up twice a week -- that's $300.00 /per year extra ($6.00 x 50 weeks). And it is less than twice a week that I fill up.

So for $300.00/year it is worth it to use 93 octane over 87 -- end of story.

No more threads on this.

SpeedFreak!
05-14-2005, 11:43 PM
Except his premise is wrong. The difference is NOT between 89 octane and 93. The difference is between 87 octane and 93 (why would you use 89 - it is either high octane -- 91 and above, or low octaine -- 87; and few states sell 91). There is a $.20 difference in price between 87 and 93 -- not $.10 difference.

I calculated it to roughly $3.00 more per fill up using 93 over 87 octane. 15 gallons to fill up x $.20 = $3.00

If I fill up twice a week -- that's $300.00 /per year extra ($6.00 x 50 weeks). And it is less than twice a week that I fill up.

So for $300.00/year it is worth it to use 93 octane over 87 -- end of story.

No more threads on this.

LOL... :rofl:
OK,ok... so I vote that when a user tries to start one of these threads... this one pops up in a window on their screen flashing to get their attention... please click "agree -or- dissagree" :yikes:

SabreXray
05-15-2005, 01:54 AM
So how many people have said if you can't afford to pay a little extra at the pump (an whole $300 a year at the one count) you shouldn't buy a $35,000+ automobile?

JP

edit: (I know noone wants to hear about my Grand Prix since this a BMW site, but I religiously use the best gas I can find, ROS 98 here in Germany, on a car currently worth $9,000, so whats the issue buying premium gas for a $35,000 - $45,000 car?)

Clarke
05-15-2005, 03:51 AM
-- end of story.

No more threads on this.Yes Sir! But since this is the same thread I'll feel free to post if that's alright with you.Seemingly you do not care about the driving dynamics of the car so make sure you get 165/75 series Pep Boy tires and Monroematic shocks when you need replacements,save lots of money.Fuel yourself with food containing lots of filler and byproducts,save even more!If you do not care about how the car drives why did you buy it,just to have the Badge?

SpeedFreak!
05-15-2005, 12:55 PM
So for $300.00/year it is worth it to use 93 octane over 87 -- end of story.

No more threads on this.

Hey Clarke... :p Caesar was just adjusting the numbers, man... he is still pro premium. Really, its ok. LOL :thumbup:

pipo
05-15-2005, 06:54 PM
Wow... where was that post 3 pages ago... no, correction, where was it 20+ "fuel grade threads" ago? :D

Well, here's the thing. 3 pages ago, I didn't have the knowledge about octane requirements that I do now, thanks to you and others, nor had I gone through the exercise of calculating the real world dollars saved by using lower octane. After reading the posts on this thread, I was inspired to search for threads on this board and other boards to expand my understanding. And I went through the exercise of looking at the dollars involved. All good things, no?

But tell me if you agree: Isn't one of the reasons this board exists to share knowledge and help people make more informed decisions about their mobile machinery? And before someone chimes in and says: "USE THE SEARCH FUNCTION," bear in mind that if this issue and others that come up periodically weren't reposted, to the obvious chagrin of some, a whole group of more passive users of this board, including those who just skim and read, would probably never get the benefit of this shared wisdom.

So rather than being impatient, why don't we all try to provide our opinions and knowledge with the understanding that no one is perfect, and that educating others is one of our higher missions. Remember the mentors who helped you along the way.

SpeedFreak!
05-16-2005, 04:08 PM
Woooo there pipo... just pokin' fun at how often this topic comes up... as noted by the ---> :D

pipo
05-16-2005, 07:59 PM
Woooo there pipo... just pokin' fun at how often this topic comes up... as noted by the ---> :D

Sorry, SpeedFreak, I didn't mean to direct my post at you, as you certainly have been one of the "patient sages." Really my point is generalized, and intended mostly for those who are less patient.

Another side benefit of these repetitive threads is that they can become quite entertaining, as this one did at times. In any case, thanks again for the info.