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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 05-26-2010, 06:54 AM
Blackwolf454 Blackwolf454 is offline
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Can I put Mid-grade Gasoline into

My 2001 BMW Sport Wagon 325I. Will it give me less power if I do that. Or will it mess up fuel economy. Thanks for your help
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  #2  
Old 05-26-2010, 06:58 AM
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Yes in answer to all of the above.

Really, though? You're looking to save yourself the cost of a cup of coffee at Starbucks once a week? If you're looking to do that, then putting mid-grade in your premium sport wagon is probably not the best way to do it.
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  #3  
Old 05-26-2010, 07:13 AM
drrpm drrpm is offline
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Try it and see if you can tell the difference. I used 89 octane in my E36 325 IS for years
and it was fine. I did notice a difference if I used 87 octane.
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Old 05-26-2010, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by drrpm View Post
Try it and see if you can tell the difference. I used 89 octane in my E36 325 IS for years
and it was fine. I did notice a difference if I used 87 octane.
...and what are you using now in your '05?
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Old 05-26-2010, 07:20 AM
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OK, noobs, listen up....it`s been documented here (many times) that both performance and fuel economy will suffer when you reduce fuel quality, so you`re not saving *anything* in the long run, and your car is not running up to it`s full potential. If you`re too cheap to put the proper fuel in it, you should be driving a Kia, not a BMW....
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Old 05-26-2010, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
OK, noobs, listen up....it`s been documented here (many times) that both performance and fuel economy will suffer when you reduce fuel quality, so you`re not saving *anything* in the long run, and your car is not running up to it`s full potential. If you`re too cheap to put the proper fuel in it, you should be driving a Kia, not a BMW....
+1 wiki it up
http://www.bimmerfest.com/wiki/index...46#Fuel_System
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Old 05-26-2010, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by thumper_330 View Post
Yes in answer to all of the above.

Really, though? You're looking to save yourself the cost of a cup of coffee at Starbucks once a week? If you're looking to do that, then putting mid-grade in your premium sport wagon is probably not the best way to do it.
I like coffee.
what would be the best way?
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  #8  
Old 05-26-2010, 08:42 AM
Blackwolf454 Blackwolf454 is offline
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Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
OK, noobs, listen up....it`s been documented here (many times) that both performance and fuel economy will suffer when you reduce fuel quality, so you`re not saving *anything* in the long run, and your car is not running up to it`s full potential. If you`re too cheap to put the proper fuel in it, you should be driving a Kia, not a BMW....
I'm not cheap I was just asking if I could so since it could make my car break down I will not to it.
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  #9  
Old 05-26-2010, 08:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackwolf454 View Post
I'm not cheap I was just asking if I could so since it could make my car break down I will not to it.
The idea behind using premium fuel is to prevent predetonation. If the computer detects predetonation it will retard the timing to avoid it. This will result in decrease power and fuel economny but will prevent damage to your car. With that said it wouldn't hurt to give it a try for a little while and see if you notice a difference in performance or fuel economy. Be sure to observe performance and fuel economy with premium before switching to mid-grade so you have a baseline.
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  #10  
Old 05-26-2010, 09:44 AM
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I'm not cheap I was just asking if I could so since it could make my car break down I will not to it.
No one said it will make your car break down.
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Old 05-26-2010, 09:56 AM
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Another reason to have to use lower octane would be if you're stuck in the boondocks and can't find the proper grade. However, unless you're in a really miserable part of the world, it is usually the other way around: the pumps with the cheaper grades run out first.
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  #12  
Old 05-26-2010, 10:01 AM
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I like coffee.
what would be the best way?
Bahahahaha
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Old 05-26-2010, 10:05 AM
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I'm not cheap I was just asking if I could so since it could make my car break down I will not to it.
LOL dude. Where did someone say it could break down your car?
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Old 05-26-2010, 10:08 AM
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Before my software upgrade (which MANDATES 93 octane) I ran an occasional tank or two worth of 87 octane in my car. It ran sluggish, but I couldn't see a significant reduction in fuel economy. Keep in mind, this was when 93 octane was over $5.00 a gallon. Nowadays, I don't even notice the difference in 93 octane prices. In fact, I got it for $2.86 a gallon today at a Chevron!
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  #15  
Old 05-26-2010, 10:14 AM
drrpm drrpm is offline
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Originally Posted by mawana View Post
...and what are you using now in your '05?
I use 91 octane. There are a couple of gas stations in town that sell premium at midgrade or regular prices on certain days of the week so I fill up there.
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  #16  
Old 05-26-2010, 02:58 PM
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The car has a 16.6 gallon gas tank with a 2.1 gallon reserve, so you'll go through 14.5 gallons before your low fuel light goes on. Premium gas is about 10 cents more expensive per gallon than mid grade. So, what you're really talking about here is a (14.5 x 0.10) $1.45 cost differential per tank. Let's say you fill similarly once a week for a 52 week year, you'll save $75.40.

If this reduced expense is "worth" the performance degradation, then by all means go for it. I think in general though if $1.45 a week was moving the needle for you you probably shouldn't be driving a BMW. You should be driving a car that is saving you thousands of dollars a year.
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Old 05-26-2010, 03:00 PM
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The car has a 16.6 gallon gas tank with a 2.1 gallon reserve, so you'll go through 14.5 gallons before your low fuel light goes on. Premium gas is about 10 cents more expensive per gallon than mid grade. So, what you're really talking about here is a (14.5 x 0.10) $1.45 cost differential per tank. Let's say you fill similarly once a week for a 52 week year, you'll save $75.40.

If this reduced expense is "worth" the performance degradation, then by all means go for it. I think in general though if $1.45 a week was moving the needle for you you probably shouldn't be driving a BMW. You should be driving a car that is saving you thousands of dollars a year.
Crap. That doesn't even cover the tips, let alone my coffee at Starbucks.
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  #18  
Old 05-26-2010, 03:11 PM
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Not to divert significantly, but more important to many people is the alcohol content of most gas being sold. Alcohol will increase octane but is more corrosive and degrading to fuel system components. According to a friend who is testing most of the commercially sold fuels around here, BP/Amoco Premium has the least amount of alcohol.
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Old 05-26-2010, 03:57 PM
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BP/Amoco Premium has the least amount of alcohol.
But the most Gulf sea water.
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Old 05-26-2010, 04:09 PM
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But the most Gulf sea water.
bwahahahaha...
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  #21  
Old 05-26-2010, 06:05 PM
jcourcoul jcourcoul is offline
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But the most Gulf sea water.


That was nasty.....
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Old 05-26-2010, 07:36 PM
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My friends family owns a gas station and while I was talking to him today he said Plus/mid grade gas is 2/3 regular and 1/3 premium. He said it's the biggest ripoff ever.
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  #23  
Old 05-27-2010, 12:16 AM
mujjuman mujjuman is offline
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some people spend more per day on starbucks coffee than 93 oct gas

actually 93 up here is almost 30 cents more expensive than 87... but still thats negligible amount of extra money to spend to make your engine run its best.
unless you REALLY need the extra toll money or that double cheeseburger or something, just get the 93octane. i dont mean to offend, i'm just sayin. i've been there.
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Old 05-27-2010, 03:11 AM
dan1104 dan1104 is offline
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Just out of interest what is the grade of "premium" fuel in the US? It's 98 octane here is Australia and 91 is the lowest you can get.

I always use 98. I'll use 95 if i really have to.
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Old 05-27-2010, 04:05 AM
mujjuman mujjuman is offline
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Originally Posted by dan1104 View Post
Just out of interest what is the grade of "premium" fuel in the US? It's 98 octane here is Australia and 91 is the lowest you can get.

I always use 98. I'll use 95 if i really have to.
Its calculated differently around the world I think, but in New York State we typically have
87, 89, 91 (less common) and 93. Some states like Cali (I think) have 87, 89, and 91 only. And others (I think Colorado? or places that are waaay up in the mountains) have much lower octane fuel like 85 for regular.

Generally, US seems to have lower numbers regarding octane content than the rest of the world, but its because of the way it is calculated. Our 93 is probably the same as your 98.
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