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Old 11-09-2012, 07:18 AM
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timfitz63 timfitz63 is offline
MT = Doppler Shifting
Location: Lorena & San Antonio, TX
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 928
Mein Auto: 2007 X3 (MT)
Originally Posted by BigglesTAP View Post
During this time of gas shortage in the North East the only gas my wife can get, after being in line for 2 hrs of course, is 87 Oct and she is worried.

We are looking at Octane booster additive but it only puts it up 1 point.

I have been running my X3 for a while on 87 with no outwardly ill effects but then again I don't drive far or hard.

She drives 15m each way daily. I've told her to drive like her grandma.

I understand from other threads that the octane is important for high compression cars as the lower octane may ignite early causing misfire and over the long term, which hopefully it wont be, carbon build up.
It's not clear from your post whether we're talking about the turbocharged MINI or normally-aspirated MINI, but my answer is probably going to apply to both:

While the Owner's Manual recommends premium (91+ octane) unleaded (certainly for the turbocharged version), the Manual also states that you can run the car on lower octane fuel. I suspect that latter statement in the Manual is intended more for situations like you're in now, and not regular use.

Your advice to your wife is probably the best way to handle it: drive moderately, avoid high engine RPM's, and if you hear knocking and pinging from the engine, back off on the throttle. Once you get some premium unleaded back in the tank, you can go back to 'spirited' driving.

I don't think octane booster is necessary, and I've been told regular use of those kinds of things isn't particularly good for the catalytic converter.

X3 w/6-speed & Sport Package:
A sports sedan disguised as an SUV...
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