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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
The E9X is the 4th evolution of the BMW 3 series including a highly tuned twin turbo 335i variant pushing out 300hp and 300 ft. lbs. of torque. BMW continues to show that it sets the bar for true driving performance! -- View the E9X Wiki

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  #1  
Old 06-16-2013, 02:45 PM
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Top Tier gas has magical powers?

I was buying Sunoco because it was convenient and less expensive... And it's the gas of NASCAR! So it has to be good right? Car begins to lack acceleration, less than impressive performance... Wife comments that her car (328xit) has the same issues... She runs a couple of tanks of Exxon through, car drives great... I follow her lead (even though its a few pennies a gallon more) and within two tanks, improvement is easily noticeable... Faster acceleration, gas mileage goes down slightly (due to lead-footedness?) but fun factor goes up... So, long story short, it's Exxon / Top Tier for me... Anyone else experience this sorcery?
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  #2  
Old 06-16-2013, 02:54 PM
anE934fun anE934fun is offline
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Originally Posted by Salvator View Post
I was buying Sunoco because it was convenient and less expensive... And it's the gas of NASCAR! So it has to be good right? Car begins to lack acceleration, less than impressive performance... Wife comments that her car (328xit) has the same issues... She runs a couple of tanks of Exxon through, car drives great... I follow her lead (even though its a few pennies a gallon more) and within two tanks, improvement is easily noticeable... Faster acceleration, gas mileage goes down slightly (due to lead-footedness?) but fun factor goes up... So, long story short, it's Exxon / Top Tier for me... Anyone else experience this sorcery?
For someone who has been a member of the 'Fest as long as you have, I am surprised you missed out on all of the Top Tier gas threads. The Cliff-Notes version is that Top Tier gas has a preferred detergent package that is missing from the non-Top Tier gas. N52 engines can benefit from the Top Tier detergent as your experience has shown.

Which is why BMW has made the recommendation to use Top Tier gasoline.
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Old 06-16-2013, 02:59 PM
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No, i didn't miss out... Just assumed it was marketing hoopla... As it turns out, my experience shows otherwise... Thought i'd share my experience to help "testify" to others!
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Old 06-16-2013, 04:02 PM
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Good enough for Nascar means good enough for your tractor - big old pushrod V8's - they will probably run on 75 octane!
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Old 06-16-2013, 04:48 PM
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Good enough for Nascar means good enough for your tractor - big old pushrod V8's - they will probably run on 75 octane!
True... I'm wondering if our local Sunoco purveyors were substituting 91 octane for the good stuff (93/94) and making extra profit... Our Lexus SUV (V8) is unfazed by Sunoco, leading credence to your assertion...
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Old 06-16-2013, 05:07 PM
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True... I'm wondering if our local Sunoco purveyors were substituting 91 octane for the good stuff (93/94) and making extra profit... Our Lexus SUV (V8) is unfazed by Sunoco, leading credence to your assertion...
When I was going to school I worked part time pumping gas at a Mobil station and witnessed the station owner dumping low octane gas in high octane tanks or mixing low and high.I use only BP or Shell and these station owners are some shady characters,you never know what you are getting these days.I see the states "weights and measures" at some stations and wonder how often the octane is checked and by whom.
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Old 06-16-2013, 05:18 PM
roadkillrob roadkillrob is online now
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i lucked out the other day, went to the Shell station and say fill it with 93 please the the kid says oh it is your lucky day, we ran out of regular, so we are selling premium for the same price as regular - nice, since mid grade is actually a combination of regular and premium (there is not a mid grade tank in the ground, it just pulls from both regular and premium), if they run out of regular they only have premium! Wish that happened more often, 30 cents off like 15 gallons!
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Old 06-16-2013, 05:34 PM
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Maybe we need to carry one of these with us when whttp://www.shatox.com/images/octanemeter.jpge buy gas
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Old 06-16-2013, 06:24 PM
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IMHO Gas is gas, plus an additive package added at the tank fill by the truck driver. All companies must meet EPA standards for gas. Some have more.

Top Tier gas must be certified for all stations for all grades across the US. Sunoco has not / is not certified to meet those standards. It does not mean Sunoco "does not have a preferred additive package."

Same for BP/Amoco. BP is not Top Tier, but features their 'Invigotate' additive package.

Same for Coscto Signature Premium, which has "five times the EPA detergent requirement." Costco is also not Top Tier.

Don't get me wrong, nothing wrong with going with Top Tier gas for your bimmer. Absent a brand preference, I always suggest busy stations (fresh gas) with good fuel flow (clean filters). I use Shell 93, Chevron Premium or Coscto Premium, generally.
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:12 AM
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Good enough for Nascar means good enough for your tractor - big old pushrod V8's - they will probably run on 75 octane!
You need to add 200mph+ tractors.
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  #11  
Old 06-17-2013, 02:09 PM
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What I find ironic is that Exxon used to not be top Tier, but now it is. Sunoco used to be top tier, now it's not. I guess it all depends on how much you want to pay for the marketing, which it basically is. I used Exxon before it was top tier because I knew from lab tests it was one of the better fuels out there. I'm sure some companies feel the fees they pay for the marketing is worth it and others have decided it's a waste of $. BP isn't top tier, yet it's recommended by BMW. I know from tests it's one of the best fuels you can buy.

Just because a fuel isn't top tier doesn't mean it doesn't have 2x, 5x, 10x the epa minimum detergents and just because a fuel has 5x the epa guidelines doesn't mean it's better than a fuel with 2x epa guidelines. And just because it's top tier doesn't mean the station owner isn't dumping waste oil in thier tank. On and on there's just so many variables.

That said, a fuel with limited detergents wouldn't make your car lose hp in the short term, only too low or too high octane would do that and I doubt that happened just because I've reviewed hundreds of tests from all kinds of brands and all kinds of stations and have never seen a single test showing lower that posted octane #. There's just too many inspections and the consequences are too severe for anyone to take the chance.

I once bought premium from a station about 30 miles from a town of any size and it spit and sputtered until I was able to get back to the city and get some good gas. More likely I was one of few to buy premium in the middle of nowhere and got some severly outdated fuel. That's more likely than someone intentionally adding something to save $. Also, sometimes we just believe if we pay more it has to be better.
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  #12  
Old 06-17-2013, 03:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Salvator View Post
I was buying Sunoco because it was convenient and less expensive... And it's the gas of NASCAR! So it has to be good right? Car begins to lack acceleration, less than impressive performance... Wife comments that her car (328xit) has the same issues... She runs a couple of tanks of Exxon through, car drives great... I follow her lead (even though its a few pennies a gallon more) and within two tanks, improvement is easily noticeable... Faster acceleration, gas mileage goes down slightly (due to lead-footedness?) but fun factor goes up... So, long story short, it's Exxon / Top Tier for me... Anyone else experience this sorcery?

The magic of top tier gasoline is that a group of gasoline companies can get together, declare themselves to be better than every other company, and then get educated drivers to believe them!
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Old 06-17-2013, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Salvator View Post
I was buying Sunoco because it was convenient and less expensive... And it's the gas of NASCAR! So it has to be good right? Car begins to lack acceleration, less than impressive performance... Wife comments that her car (328xit) has the same issues... She runs a couple of tanks of Exxon through, car drives great... I follow her lead (even though its a few pennies a gallon more) and within two tanks, improvement is easily noticeable... Faster acceleration, gas mileage goes down slightly (due to lead-footedness?) but fun factor goes up... So, long story short, it's Exxon / Top Tier for me... Anyone else experience this sorcery?

Was it the same Sunoco station every time?

Exxon you say.

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Old 06-17-2013, 05:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Salvator View Post
I was buying Sunoco because it was convenient and less expensive... And it's the gas of NASCAR! So it has to be good right? Car begins to lack acceleration, less than impressive performance... Wife comments that her car (328xit) has the same issues... She runs a couple of tanks of Exxon through, car drives great... I follow her lead (even though its a few pennies a gallon more) and within two tanks, improvement is easily noticeable... Faster acceleration, gas mileage goes down slightly (due to lead-footedness?) but fun factor goes up... So, long story short, it's Exxon / Top Tier for me... Anyone else experience this sorcery?
I haven't noticed, even in mountain driving with periodical fill-ups with 89 octane...but then again I've got the "bullet proof" IL6 engine.

I posted this link some time ago:

http://www.toptiergas.com/

Exxon is certainly listed, but not Sunoco. You may be onto something!
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Old 06-18-2013, 01:00 PM
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Sunoco Canada does make it....

About six months ago I'm commuting home in my C5 Corvette- and the instrument message center says, pull over- no fuel- situaton critiacal. Just a few miles prior to that I had checked the guage, and it had read 3/8 full.

That evening I searched every thread on all the Corvette forums, and found that if you use cheap gas, this will happen to your car, and to fix it, get some Techron, or run a tank of Top Tier through it. I knew of a Shell Station close to my home so i did that early the next day. About 2 miles from the station where I filled I topped it off at, the needle awoke, and all has been fine ever since. I will run a 20 oz. bottle of Techron through every oil change which is about 5,000 miles. All my best wrenches swear by it!

Good to know that Exxon has made the list, but I'm not sure if we have any left in the Boston area.

Last time I saw the top tier list, Sunoco Canada made the list but not Sunoco. Shell is the only one we can get! Top Tier used to be Known as the BMW Standard.

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Old 06-18-2013, 01:42 PM
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I have to say folks, I've not had the same luck. Each time I go to Shell, Sunoco, or Exxon and fill on their highest rated gas I notice a huge drop in performance. At least .0001 time off my 0-60, .001 off my top speed, and 85 points off my IQ level.
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Old 06-18-2013, 07:22 PM
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More for the "sceptics" on the gasoline detergent issue. This...a technical bulletin from 'bp' including info on BMW's standards for intake valve "crap" buildup testing...

http://www.fuelcertification.com/doc..._Additives.pdf

Unfortunately, the EPA developed "minimum standards" for detergent content in gasoline in order in insure "flexibility" to gasoline producers.

This is somewhat typical of federal agencies in my experience. Of course, if your product is "suspected" of not meeting the minimum standards that the feds established they'll haunt you as to why you didn't "exceed" them? Well, gee...why did you "compromise" when you made the rule in the first place?
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Old 06-18-2013, 09:47 PM
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FWIW, I primarily use BP in all of our cars and have not had any performance issues. My local BMW dealer has a BP station across the street where they have some sort of an arrangement with the owner and fill up all of their cars there. I started using the same station so BMW could not blame fuel for any issues that might come up like they used to do with previous BMWs we owned. I've not had any issues since using BP.
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Old 06-18-2013, 10:01 PM
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I have to say folks, I've not had the same luck. Each time I go to Shell, Sunoco, or Exxon and fill on their highest rated gas I notice a huge drop in performance. At least .0001 time off my 0-60, .001 off my top speed, and 85 points off my IQ level.
That is why you should stick with Chevron gas. My gasser BMWs (even the ex-E93) have never tasted anything but Chevron premium. The only downside to CA gas is the 91 proof 'premium'.
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Old 06-19-2013, 12:26 AM
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In my neck of the woods there is only Shell V-Power Nitro+ at the top end...use it in my 335i and Volvo S60 T5...there is quite a difference in oomph between this and the cheaper lower RON juice.

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Old 06-19-2013, 04:46 AM
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I never used non Top-Tier fuel. I have only put Shell V-Power in my E92 and in the last 10,000 miles I've starting using BMW Group Fuel System Cleaner Plus every 5,000 miles. Beats me if it does any good, but Mike Miller recommended it, so I do it.
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Old 06-19-2013, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by CALWATERBOY View Post
Was it the same Sunoco station every time?

Exxon you say.

Mostly the same Sunoco (near my office) and occasionally another one further away... However my wife noticed the same issue in her car, and she never went to the Sunoco by my office, only the further away one...

I've been going to the same Exxon now consistently... There is another one near my office, I cold try that one a couple of tank fulls just to see if it makes a difference.

BTW, the performance increase is quite noticeable... Even the power drop off when shifting with the A/C on seems less Abrupt... Anyway, YMMV, i just thought i'd share that it made a difference for me!
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Old 06-20-2013, 09:16 AM
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You have to use something to get the deposits down...

I had to replace my oil pressure sender on the top of my small block engine- 5.7L that is. In order to do that you pull the intake plenum. Now despite always using 93 octane, the Techron, and Shell premium every fourth tankful, the inside of the intake horn was a mess!! It was like black coal stalagtites about an 1/8 to 1/4 long in all of the tubes of the horn. I'd imagine that would slow the flow of fuel a bit. Not easy to remove...the carbon that is.

The trade off I guess is that if you use too much fuel cleaning solvents, it starts to break down your oil viscosity, and that would be worse I would think.

Like the Doc always says.... everything in moderation!

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Old 06-20-2013, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by anE934fun View Post
That is why you should stick with Chevron gas. My gasser BMWs (even the ex-E93) have never tasted anything but Chevron premium. The only downside to CA gas is the 91 proof 'premium'.
So here is a question. What if Chevron was not available in your area. What would you do then? Drive 25-50 miles to the nearest Chevron or would you use a "lesser" brand?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin128 View Post
In my neck of the woods there is only Shell V-Power Nitro+ at the top end...use it in my 335i and Volvo S60 T5...there is quite a difference in oomph between this and the cheaper lower RON juice.

Same goes to you...what if Shell was not around. What if it was Sunoco who is not top tier rated?
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Old 06-20-2013, 12:07 PM
anE934fun anE934fun is offline
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So here is a question. What if Chevron was not available in your area. What would you do then? Drive 25-50 miles to the nearest Chevron or would you use a "lesser" brand?
Plan A would be to devise a reason to take a trip to where the Chevron station was located (dinner date for example; arrive early and fill the tank). If Plan A couldn't happen I would see if I could buy a bottle of Techron gas treatment and add it to the lesser brand. If I had to drive almost as far to buy a bottle of Techron, I would drive the remaining distance to the Chevron station and avoid the lesser brand. Ounce of prevention vs. a pound of cure and what-not.
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