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F10 / F11 (2011 - Current)
The new chapter in the highly successful story of the BMW 5 Series Sedan (F10) and wagon (F11)

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  #1  
Old 01-22-2012, 10:28 AM
kckc1016 kckc1016 is offline
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What type of gas do you fill up with?

Just curious to know if any of you guys put below 93 grade in your 5's. I got a 535 and ive put nothing but 93 in them but seems like some have put 87. Any drawbacks to putting regular in?
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  #2  
Old 01-22-2012, 10:30 AM
DerStig DerStig is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kckc1016 View Post
Just curious to know if any of you guys put below 93 grade in your 5's. I got a 535 and ive put nothing but 93 in them but seems like some have put 87. Any drawbacks to putting regular in?
Never, 91 at a minimum.
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  #3  
Old 01-22-2012, 10:34 AM
jimefam jimefam is offline
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Always 93 but occasionally when its running super low I'll throw some VP100 or MS109 in there and drive the hell out of it for a while.
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  #4  
Old 01-22-2012, 10:36 AM
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scuzzlebutt scuzzlebutt is offline
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93 at a minimum
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  #5  
Old 01-22-2012, 10:53 AM
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Always 93.
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  #6  
Old 01-22-2012, 10:59 AM
ihumphrey ihumphrey is offline
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Always 93 unless I am somewhere where it is not available...then 91 or 92
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  #7  
Old 01-22-2012, 11:07 AM
PeterC4 PeterC4 is offline
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If you put in less than the minimum octane level consistently, the check engine light may go on, indicating a fault code has been thrown up....could be P1384 - I've had this happen on my 328 and diagnosed it with by OBD II reader. You will only know this (and what it means) if you have a OBD II reader that can tell you the fault code and re-set it, otherwise the light may just stay on. And it may cost you a trip to the dealer to get it checked out and turned off - and that won't be cheap. Less than minimum octane will ultimately cause engine knock but could affect performance too. Not worth it.
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Last edited by PeterC4; 01-22-2012 at 11:10 AM.
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  #8  
Old 01-22-2012, 11:25 AM
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Needsdecaf Needsdecaf is offline
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I would never put less than 91 in a turbo engine. Fortunately, we have 93 here.
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  #9  
Old 01-22-2012, 11:28 AM
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Needsdecaf Needsdecaf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimefam View Post
Always 93 but occasionally when its running super low I'll throw some VP100 or MS109 in there and drive the hell out of it for a while.
Does the ECU respond well to increased octane? I know that not all engines will advance timing and spark beyond what 93 will allow.

My Volvo R responded VERY well to increased octane levels. Guys would run Torco additive, which worked well but left a reddish film on the tailpipes...which means who knows where else it was leaving a film.

Guys running race gas used to call it "cracktane", lol. The added pull was noticeable.
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  #10  
Old 01-22-2012, 11:31 AM
salamigs salamigs is offline
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Can't get 93 here, so 91 it is. Would not put anything less...
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  #11  
Old 01-22-2012, 11:34 AM
yogi799 yogi799 is offline
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Wow... Our premium is 91, I thought this was good enough... Now, I'm confused hearing so many put 93 in. We only have 93 at very few stations, not to mention the cost...
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  #12  
Old 01-22-2012, 11:35 AM
jimefam jimefam is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Needsdecaf View Post
Does the ECU respond well to increased octane? I know that not all engines will advance timing and spark beyond what 93 will allow.

My Volvo R responded VERY well to increased octane levels. Guys would run Torco additive, which worked well but left a reddish film on the tailpipes...which means who knows where else it was leaving a film.

Guys running race gas used to call it "cracktane", lol. The added pull was noticeable.
It does seem to enjoy the race fuel, when the local track opens up I'd like to test and see if it really does add power or if it's a placebo effect but subjectively I'd say it makes a difference.
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  #13  
Old 01-22-2012, 11:44 AM
DerStig DerStig is offline
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I am so nice that even when I get a 328 loaner, I put 93 octane.
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  #14  
Old 01-22-2012, 11:47 AM
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Needsdecaf Needsdecaf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yogi799 View Post
Wow... Our premium is 91, I thought this was good enough... Now, I'm confused hearing so many put 93 in. We only have 93 at very few stations, not to mention the cost...
Many areas in the US (Western mostly) have 3 grades. 87, 89, 91. Other areas, Eastern mostly, have 87, 89, 93.
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  #15  
Old 01-22-2012, 11:58 AM
Kmdcolo Kmdcolo is offline
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Colorado only offers 85, 87, and 91. Ralph Schomp BMW said 87 works fine because of our elevation, but I only run 91.
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  #16  
Old 01-22-2012, 12:21 PM
DerStig DerStig is offline
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If I didn't have 93 octane here, I'd just move.

And no, 87 octane is not okay in these engines!!!!!
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  #17  
Old 01-22-2012, 12:58 PM
Quacker Quacker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kmdcolo View Post
Colorado only offers 85, 87, and 91. Ralph Schomp BMW said 87 works fine because of our elevation, but I only run 91.
Low octane works in a normally aspirated motor at higher altitudes, but not in a turbocharged motor. I'm sure that the car can and will compensate for low octane in that it will not knock, but your performance will suffer.
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Last edited by Quacker; 01-22-2012 at 01:03 PM.
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  #18  
Old 01-22-2012, 01:05 PM
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I use 91 consistently. Higher octane is very rare around here. I always use Shell V-Power as it is the only gasoline available that does not contain ethanol.
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  #19  
Old 01-22-2012, 01:27 PM
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From many previous posts here it seems the car will adjust to lower octane but you won't get the performance you paid for with the BMW.

Maybe more important is to stay with a top tier brand .... http://www.toptiergas.com

From what I've been told by my dealer the worst thing you could do is use a gas with excessive ethanol content.
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  #20  
Old 01-22-2012, 02:34 PM
ihumphrey ihumphrey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobRBob View Post
I use 91 consistently. Higher octane is very rare around here. I always use Shell V-Power as it is the only gasoline available that does not contain ethanol.
Our vpower is 93 here...I thought it had ethanol though, I will have to pay attention at the next fill-up.
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  #21  
Old 01-22-2012, 04:05 PM
miked miked is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobRBob View Post
I use 91 consistently. Higher octane is very rare around here. I always use Shell V-Power as it is the only gasoline available that does not contain ethanol.
Same for me, Shell V-Power 91.
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  #22  
Old 01-22-2012, 04:08 PM
jason60050 jason60050 is offline
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Shell vpower 93 or mobil 93
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  #23  
Old 01-22-2012, 04:46 PM
mrich1353 mrich1353 is offline
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I have one local station with NO ETHANOL 91; if I can't there. by 2nd choice is Shell 93 Octane (has ethanol in my area). Noticed a huge difference in performance with the non-ethanol on my 2010 535I, not quite as much on on the 2011 535I.
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  #24  
Old 01-22-2012, 05:25 PM
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Stealth.Pilot Stealth.Pilot is offline
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I use mostly Shell 93 or BP 93.

I prefer to buy pure gasoline as opposed to the 10% ethanol version, but the only places to buy pure gas are Marinas and they aren't really convenient for filling up.

http://pure-gas.org/
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  #25  
Old 01-22-2012, 05:37 PM
nhs156 nhs156 is offline
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Your manual should be specific about whether 93 is "recommended" or "required" - there's a crucial difference. For the vast majority of cars these days, onboard electronics are programmed to compensate for lower octane fuel, technically making 93 octane obsolete for all but the highest end of sports cars. Various tests by car mags and consumer organizations have confirmed that lower octane fuel has no/neglible adverse effects (performance, wear, emissions or mpg) on the vast majority of new cars.

That said, I could've sworn I felt a slight performance difference when using 89 and 91 fuel in my wife's Audi (a 3L supercharged engine with 333hp). It was ever so slight, but I could've sworn I felt a tiny difference. That combined with unfounded doubt in my mind, made me switch back to 93. I figured the marginal incremental cost annually of 89 vs 91 vs 93 didn't warrant the lower grade fuel. I only use 93 in the M5, but would be comfortable with lower octane fuel in a non-M BMW if BMW only "recommends" 93.
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