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X3 F25 (2011 - current)
The latest X3 brings some added style and some new features to the BMW SUV family. Talk about the new F25 now!

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  #1  
Old 12-18-2012, 10:21 AM
Carmom Carmom is offline
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Which gas to use in 2013 X328i

Hi - We are proud 1st time BMW owners, of the new X28i. I'm curious as to what gas everyone is putting in and why. So far we've been putting in 91 or higher octane but will probably switch to 89 because of lower cost. Wondering if there are any significant downsides to the 89 ? Very excited about the car and learning all the nuances. Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 12-18-2012, 10:40 AM
ND40oz ND40oz is offline
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Could cause the ecu to need to retarding the timing, resulting in a loss of power and gas mileage. The rated fuel consumption and power numbers are based on 91, but they build in enough leeway to run 89 at the minimum.
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  #3  
Old 12-18-2012, 10:56 AM
Jafeinst Jafeinst is offline
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I have been using 89 consistently for 8 months without any issues or noticeable performance compromises. You could always alternate every other tank between the two.....not a mechanic so not sure whether that does more harm than good?
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  #4  
Old 12-18-2012, 12:11 PM
nhman nhman is offline
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OP, the ECU will adjust the timing to account for lower octane and prevent "pinging". However consider this, the X28i, depending on equipment level, will cost mid 40's to mid 50's. The savings between premium (91 plus) and mid-grade (89) is around 10 cents. Assuming 20 gallons, this would translate to a total savings of $2 dollars per fill-up or simply a cup of coffee. Is it worth it.

I don't own a X3 but I have owned multiple vehicles requiring premium fuel. Go with the manufacturer recommended octane. It will net the best performance and fuel economy.
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  #5  
Old 12-18-2012, 12:38 PM
rambos rambos is offline
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In the X3 manual BMW recommends 91 or 89. I have been using Oct 89 for the past 12 years in BMW cars without any issues. My previous X3 ran for about 8 years with 89 without any issues. I intend to used 89 in my 2013 X3.
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  #6  
Old 12-18-2012, 03:06 PM
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lbjgh lbjgh is offline
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Some fuel brands have Zero ethanol in the 91 whereas 89 can have up to 10%

... I usually put 91 in my 35i... Like nhman said it costs $2 a week for the higher octane. Just my $0.02
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  #7  
Old 12-18-2012, 03:22 PM
nhman nhman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rambos View Post
In the X3 manual BMW recommends 91 or 89. I have been using Oct 89 for the past 12 years in BMW cars without any issues. My previous X3 ran for about 8 years with 89 without any issues. I intend to used 89 in my 2013 X3.
Disclosure, I do not yet own a X3 but have owned several BMW's with the last being a 335i vert (with the N54 engine). Recommended octane was 91 and accepted being 89 but would result in lower performance and fuel economy. The current 2.8i (forget the engine designation) is FI. This usually requires/prefers a higher octane 91-93 for the best results. Also the tier 1 manufacturers put the detergents in the premium fuels not mid-grade.

What is mid-grade (89) but a blend of regular and premium which is done at the pump. I can see making an point based on a significant difference in cost between 89 and 91/93 but the cost, IMO, is negligible. The X3 has a 17.7 gallon tank. Assuming a complete fill-up a week the delta is $1.77, $7.08 over 1 month or $92 over 1 year.

I can understand being fiscally responsible but this shouldn't be a debate.
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  #8  
Old 12-18-2012, 03:50 PM
magahai magahai is offline
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88,89,90,91 no difference ... unless you own a "high performance" vehicle with a high torque ratio ... the difference in combustion is negligible... for confirmation and statistical data ask your BMW dealer/adviser/mechanic.
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Old 12-18-2012, 07:16 PM
ND40oz ND40oz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magahai View Post
88,89,90,91 no difference ... unless you own a "high performance" vehicle with a high torque ratio ... the difference in combustion is negligible... for confirmation and statistical data ask your BMW dealer/adviser/mechanic.
High torque ratio?

The N20 is a high compression, direct injected, forced induction engine, if people want to save a few bucks a week using a fuel that meets the minimum requirements so that the engine doesn't self destruct, go for it. But they test and rate it with 91 octane, that should tell you something about what is actually "recommended."
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  #10  
Old 12-18-2012, 07:24 PM
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+1
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  #11  
Old 12-18-2012, 07:50 PM
tango131 tango131 is offline
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Shell v power 93. Nothing else. As our cars are turbocharged, 93 does make a big difference, even over 91. As was said before, the fill up cost difference is negligible. As you own this 45k plus car, I dont think a few bucks a month will really change things.

Cheers.
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  #12  
Old 12-18-2012, 09:22 PM
glennk glennk is offline
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I guess lease vs purchase also could be a factor.

In speaking to a local Service Advisor, if BMW could prove habitual and intentional use of non-recommended fuels, they'd void coverage for the HPFP, engine and the like. Unfortunately due to variations of fuel quality at individual stations and providers, that is all but impossible. So, BMW usually doesn't question.

From my perspective (having owned turbocharged cars on and off for the last 12 years), I believe Premium is best served for these high performance engines. Not only from a quality standpoint, but also for fuel economy and performance.
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  #13  
Old 12-19-2012, 08:08 AM
Carmom Carmom is offline
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Thanks for all the informative responses. I think I will use premium gas, and only from major manufacturers like Exxon, Shell, and particularly BP(since the manual recommends them). It will cost a bit more than 89 but its worth it to keep the car with its recommended fuel. I will also pay more attention when I fill up now to see if there are stations that don't use ethanol, which will be more expensive. I guess the goal is to use as much pure gas as possible, E10 or less. Thanks again !
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  #14  
Old 12-19-2012, 08:30 AM
MINI+BMWtek MINI+BMWtek is offline
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you can use any gasoline you want but ecu will adjust parameter map values not to damage engine with lower octane but performance suffer and more failure of fuel system comp. if non top tier petrol is use
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Old 12-19-2012, 02:53 PM
slambmw slambmw is offline
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I use the 91 as the price difference is not significant. If you're a gas card loyalty points holder, you receive a significantly larger bonus with the higher octane than the mid-grade.
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  #16  
Old 12-19-2012, 03:01 PM
Carmom Carmom is offline
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Good point about the gas card. Which one do you recommend and how much are the savings ? Thanks !
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  #17  
Old 12-19-2012, 06:02 PM
slambmw slambmw is offline
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Each region has different loyalty programs, but if you stay with the larger firms ie. Shell, Exxon etc. they have additional benefits coupled with some credit cards for points or air miles.
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  #18  
Old 12-19-2012, 06:44 PM
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MMME30W MMME30W is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmom View Post
Thanks for all the informative responses. I think I will use premium gas, and only from major manufacturers like Exxon, Shell, and particularly BP(since the manual recommends them). It will cost a bit more than 89 but its worth it to keep the car with its recommended fuel. I will also pay more attention when I fill up now to see if there are stations that don't use ethanol, which will be more expensive. I guess the goal is to use as much pure gas as possible, E10 or less. Thanks again !
Hi Carmom -

One more idea - try to see if Costco Kirkland Signature Premium is available in your area. Never a bad idea as they typically are busy stations (means fresh gas) and high fuel flow (means clean filters). And the savings is a bonus.

Other good options are Shell V Power 93 or Chevron with Techroline.
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Old 12-19-2012, 06:45 PM
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MMME30W MMME30W is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magahai View Post
88,89,90,91 no difference ... unless you own a "high performance" vehicle with a high torque ratio ... the difference in combustion is negligible... for confirmation and statistical data ask your BMW dealer/adviser/mechanic.
Hi, can you elaborate on this?
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  #20  
Old 12-19-2012, 11:52 PM
glennk glennk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slambmw View Post
Each region has different loyalty programs, but if you stay with the larger firms ie. Shell, Exxon etc. they have additional benefits coupled with some credit cards for points or air miles.
Exxon just changed their incentive program. Six cents cash back if you buy 45 gallons of gas or more.
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  #21  
Old 12-20-2012, 04:31 AM
noka noka is offline
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BMW manual also recommends "Top Tier" fuel retailers if there are any signs of problems, since they use more detergents with supposedly fewer fuel system problems. However, I wonder how you really know what you're getting from the tanks (even after they are certified) or how often they're checked for compliance. You hear about some retailers having all the same gas because it is purchased all from the same suppliers. In MA, I've been using Irving gas in all my cars for the last several years with no problems whatsoever. They give $0.10/gal discount at the pump after each 100 gal purchased and are typically $0.20 or so below Mobil, Exxon, Shell (3 of the Top Tier). So, I'm not really sure what I'll be using.
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Last edited by noka; 12-20-2012 at 04:33 AM.
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  #22  
Old 12-21-2012, 06:12 AM
slambmw slambmw is offline
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There are less than 50 Oil Refineries to service the entire US. Due to high costs approx. $10B+ each and huge environmental concerns, the last plant was built in the early 1070s. So most gas stations would definitely be from the same plants, but are they being mixed consistently the same?

I'm not sure if Servicing can actually know about similar grade gas, but spending $50K+ to save possibly a few hundred each year to be sure is not a huge risk.

You bought this car for your enjoyment, to buy cheap gas seems unreasonable given the possible risks involved. I personally choose from quality or reputable stations for this extra insurance and piece of mind.
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  #23  
Old 12-21-2012, 07:50 AM
noka noka is offline
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Originally Posted by slambmw View Post
There are less than 50 Oil Refineries to service the entire US. Due to high costs approx. $10B+ each and huge environmental concerns, the last plant was built in the early 1070s. So most gas stations would definitely be from the same plants, but are they being mixed consistently the same?

I'm not sure if Servicing can actually know about similar grade gas, but spending $50K+ to save possibly a few hundred each year to be sure is not a huge risk.

You bought this car for your enjoyment, to buy cheap gas seems unreasonable given the possible risks involved. I personally choose from quality or reputable stations for this extra insurance and piece of mind.
I'm not sure if BMW service could determine the difference between Top Tier and other gas but they probably can determine when gas is bad (e.g. severely contaminated, water, etc). I for one have no problem purchasing more expensive gas if I'm actually getting what I pay for. It's just that you don't really know and with some corporate greed/corruption, you have to wonder if you are being hoodwinked.
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