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European Delivery
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  #1  
Old 02-16-2005, 12:25 AM
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icemanjs4 icemanjs4 is offline
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stupid gas question in europe

I just want to make sure I don't do anything stupid while in Europe. Are the pumps marked UNLEADED in clear words? Or do they call it something else? How do they post the octane ratings? I just want to make sure I don't end up putting diesel in, or low grade 87 octane fuel either.

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 02-16-2005, 12:39 AM
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Octane ratings are different (do a search here to find out about the differences - there have been numerous threads about this), but the fuel quality is the same as in the US.

AFAIK, you can only buy unleaded fuel throughout most of Europe - at least that is the case in Scandinavia. I have only seen leaded fuel for sale in Russia, and other Eastern European countries. The pumps are clearly marked so that you don't end up putting diesel in your tank. You will likely find 95E, 98E and perhaps even 99E or 100E. The "E" means unleaded.

I only use 98E in my BMW (as they recommend), even though it does cost about $5.50 a gallon.

Usually, diesel pumps have a black handle on the nozzle, unleaded pumps have green handles. And you can often tell that you are at a diesel pump because there will be diesel spilled all over the ground that does not evaporate like gasoline does.

Good luck and enjoy your trip.


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Old 02-16-2005, 05:01 AM
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Wink Get used to this wallet smoldering expense fill up



Thats 70 euros = $93.10us and 14 mpg @ 100 mph avg OOOUCH!
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Old 02-16-2005, 05:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick 520iAT
Octane ratings are different (do a search here to find out about the differences - there have been numerous threads about this), but the fuel quality is the same as in the US.

AFAIK, you can only buy unleaded fuel throughout most of Europe - at least that is the case in Scandinavia. I have only seen leaded fuel for sale in Russia, and other Eastern European countries. The pumps are clearly marked so that you don't end up putting diesel in your tank. You will likely find 95E, 98E and perhaps even 99E or 100E. The "E" means unleaded.

I only use 98E in my BMW (as they recommend), even though it does cost about $5.50 a gallon.

Usually, diesel pumps have a black handle on the nozzle, unleaded pumps have green handles. And you can often tell that you are at a diesel pump because there will be diesel spilled all over the ground that does not evaporate like gasoline does.

Good luck and enjoy your trip.


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  #5  
Old 02-16-2005, 06:26 AM
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If you do find a leaded gas pump the handle will be red. I saw a few at some gas stations in the UK while I lived there. They were not very common, and usually there was only one pump in the station.

On the continent I never saw a leaded pump. Oh...your engine will sing when running 98 RON (93~94 Octane) fuel
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Old 02-16-2005, 06:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desertnate
If you do find a leaded gas pump the handle will be red. I saw a few at some gas stations in the UK while I lived there. They were not very common, and usually there was only one pump in the station.

On the continent I never saw a leaded pump. Oh...your engine will sing when running 98 RON (93~94 Octane) fuel
And the nozzles are a different size--leaded is bigger, so it won't fit.

(when I did ED 15 years ago, and unleaded was just being phased in, I got a leaded-unleaded "converter"--i.e., so the nozzle would fit. At that point, they put on the cat. converter at the VPC, not in Germany.)
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  #7  
Old 02-16-2005, 07:42 AM
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I just bought 60 liters today (98E) at 1.09 EUR/liter.

That would be $78 USD.


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  #8  
Old 02-16-2005, 02:36 PM
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Unleaded is called "bleifrei" and clearly marked. You'd have to be pretty lame to put the wrong gas in. I did see leaded in Germany last year, there's still a lot of old tractors around in the country.
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Old 02-17-2005, 04:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tanning machine
And the nozzles are a different size--leaded is bigger, so it won't fit.
Are you sure about that? I came across a leaded fuel nozzle in Sweden a few years ago that fit. Fortunately, I noticed the pump had a strange octane number and asked before I started pumping.
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  #10  
Old 02-17-2005, 06:27 AM
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Originally Posted by johnf
Are you sure about that? I came across a leaded fuel nozzle in Sweden a few years ago that fit. Fortunately, I noticed the pump had a strange octane number and asked before I started pumping.
Maybe times have changed. Certainly in the US the nozzles were a different size--for the precise reason that they didn't want people putting leaded fuel in unleaded cars (not because of stupidity, but because leaded was cheaper when unleaded was introduced). I had thought the same system applied in Europe as well. Maybe the filler holes have gotten bigger recently, because the issue isn't much of one any more.

And, heck, you may not see The Amazing Race in Germany, but one pair of contestants on the show managed to put gasoline in their diesel truck. So I'm sure stupidity is possible if you're really eager to F up your car.
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  #11  
Old 02-17-2005, 08:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tanning machine
And, heck, you may not see The Amazing Race in Germany, but one pair of contestants on the show managed to put gasoline in their diesel truck. So I'm sure stupidity is possible if you're really eager to F up your car.
Ever so often, I see a diesel at the dealer having its tank emptied of the wrong flavor fuel. It is probably not too hard to make that mistake.

I gather it is harder to make further upstream. I once talked with one of the guys delivering fuel to my usual filling station. He says each of the station's tanks is tagged with what it should receive which has to match what he selects from his truck or else it won't pump. His pumping system also shuts down and squawks if it detects any water. This was added because of some past difficulties. For example, the transfer station once gave him a load of gas that turned out to be about a third water. Fortunately, the mistake was quickly discovered because cars don't go very far on that mixture!

Last edited by johnf; 02-17-2005 at 08:58 AM.
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  #12  
Old 02-18-2005, 01:13 PM
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Another silly gas question

Pardon my ineptness, but I was just curious if the delivery center delivers your car with a full tank or if it's just a partial tank. I'd assume and hope they did the former but ya never know! Also, when shipping do they ship the cars with fuel in the tank or is all of that fuel siphoned out for transport as it's probably safer? Should you try and use as much of it as you can so as to avoid paying for excess gas you'll never get to use? Just a couple silly questions. Thanks and I apologize if my questions seem way too obvious! LOL!

bmills
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  #13  
Old 02-18-2005, 01:20 PM
andy_thomas andy_thomas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woody underwood
Unleaded is called "bleifrei" and clearly marked. You'd have to be pretty lame to put the wrong gas in. I did see leaded in Germany last year, there's still a lot of old tractors around in the country.
"Sans plomb" in France; "senza piombo" (or benzine verde) in Italy. Continental Europe doesn't (yet) all speak the same language .

As John and others have intimated, unleaded is the norm and US drivers unaccustomed to mass availability of diesel will have to be more mindful of not filling up with diesel by mistake. Also I believe 91 RON (which broadly equates to 87 AKI) is not commonly available any more; you might possibly find it on the forecourts in some Eastern European countries but I think 95 RON is rapidly becoming the standard standard, if you see what I mean.
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  #14  
Old 02-18-2005, 04:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmills313
Pardon my ineptness, but I was just curious if the delivery center delivers your car with a full tank or if it's just a partial tank. I'd assume and hope they did the former but ya never know! Also, when shipping do they ship the cars with fuel in the tank or is all of that fuel siphoned out for transport as it's probably safer? Should you try and use as much of it as you can so as to avoid paying for excess gas you'll never get to use? Just a couple silly questions. Thanks and I apologize if my questions seem way too obvious! LOL!

bmills
My car had an almost full tank when I picked it up in Germany....it had exactly the same amount in it that I left in it when it was re-delivered, which wasn't much (I was hoping the dealer would fill it for me upon pick-up here in KC, but they got smart I guess)
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Old 02-18-2005, 08:05 PM
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Do the German pumps have pay at the pump with credit card? If not, I assume they accept credit cards inside?
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  #16  
Old 02-18-2005, 08:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woody underwood
My car had an almost full tank when I picked it up in Germany....it had exactly the same amount in it that I left in it when it was re-delivered, which wasn't much (I was hoping the dealer would fill it for me upon pick-up here in KC, but they got smart I guess)
Thanks for the info, Woody. I guess I'll return it as close to empty as possible and hope that I get a little gift from the dealer in the form of a full tank when I take US delivery We can all dream...

BTW, I used to live in Overland Park, KS. Wish I could drive my new 330ci on some of those twisty roads off the beaten path in rural Missouri! But, alas... Cheers!

bmills
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  #17  
Old 02-19-2005, 12:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StahlGrauM3
Do the German pumps have pay at the pump with credit card? If not, I assume they accept credit cards inside?
Some of the stations have pumps that accept cards. It has been a long time since I needed to use one so I don't remember if they took a credit card or just a bank card (eurocheque card).

Otherwise, I have always paid for fuel using Eurocard/Mastercard and have yet to find a station that did not accept that during business hours. While a lot of Germany still pays with good old fashioned cash, filling stations have always been very good about accepting credit cards, I presume, to win the custom of business travellers with company cards.
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Old 02-19-2005, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StahlGrauM3
Do the German pumps have pay at the pump with credit card? If not, I assume they accept credit cards inside?
I posted this info before but here it is again: Tried to use my BP card in Germany, but evidently European credit cards have more characters than we do in the US (That's a fact). Your US debit cards will work, your credit cards might not. Count the characters on your cards and you'll see what I mean...the EU uses 16 numbers. Most of the big stations do have pay at pump, they had it 15 years ago before it was common here.
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Old 02-19-2005, 03:43 PM
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Mastercard is probably still the most widely accepted credit card in Germany as it was first allied with and then absorbed the indigenous Eurocard. I didn't realize you could use American gas station cards in Germany: everyone I know uses Mastercard or Visa. Is or was that a U.S. military thing?

U.S. debit cards usually work in Europe but not always. If you can, I would take several.

Last edited by johnf; 02-19-2005 at 03:47 PM.
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Old 02-20-2005, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by johnf
Mastercard is probably still the most widely accepted credit card in Germany as it was first allied with and then absorbed the indigenous Eurocard. I didn't realize you could use American gas station cards in Germany: everyone I know uses Mastercard or Visa. Is or was that a U.S. military thing?

U.S. debit cards usually work in Europe but not always. If you can, I would take several.
Did you see my post about the number of characters on the cards? That's the key. All US cards are going to 16 numbers in the next year or two. My experiences had nothing to do with the military, I worked for a private printing company (Who paid for my gas he he)
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Old 02-21-2005, 01:35 AM
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I did read your post. I have been told that the U.S. armed forces in Germany had (still have?) special arrangements to buy fuel at certain filling stations tax free. (Lucky them!) I didn't know if people used vouchers or oil company credit cards or what.

Oil company credit cards are largely unknown in Germany and I have yet to see one advertised. It will be interesting to see if the local subsidiaries will start accepting those issued by their American sisters once the cards go 16 digit. Perhaps that will lead to local oil company cards although at the moment people seem content with cash, Eurocheque card or Mastercard/Visa.

Last edited by johnf; 02-21-2005 at 02:36 AM.
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  #22  
Old 02-21-2005, 05:15 AM
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I did a bit more checking. Oil company credit cards (Tankkarte) do exist in Germany but the first three I looked at from Aral, DEA and Shell are intended for businesses with a fleet of vehicles. Nevertheless, this may improve the prospects of using an American card in Europe once they change to 16 digits.

In the meantime, it looks like I will have to acquire a few more BMWs in order to get one.
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  #23  
Old 02-21-2005, 06:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnf
I did a bit more checking. Oil company credit cards (Tankkarte) do exist in Germany but the first three I looked at from Aral, DEA and Shell are intended for businesses with a fleet of vehicles. Nevertheless, this may improve the prospects of using an American card in Europe once they change to 16 digits.

In the meantime, it looks like I will have to acquire a few more BMWs in order to get one.
Had no trouble using Shell Mastercard.(in the Shell Station)
vern
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Old 02-21-2005, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by vern
Had no trouble using Shell Mastercard.(in the Shell Station)
Was it run through the system as a Mastercard transaction?

I have a U.S. Citibank card that Citibank treats as a bank debit card when I withdraw cash from a German Citibank ATM, but as a Mastercard if one of their tellers gives me cash out of the till. They don't charge me a cash advance fee, however, if a German Citibank branch gives me the money.

It is kind of weird that they treat the same card so differently if I walk another 10 meters into their bank.

Last edited by johnf; 02-21-2005 at 09:04 AM.
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Old 02-21-2005, 10:51 AM
vern vern is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnf
Was it run through the system as a Mastercard transaction?

I have a U.S. Citibank card that Citibank treats as a bank debit card when I withdraw cash from a German Citibank ATM, but as a Mastercard if one of their tellers gives me cash out of the till. They don't charge me a cash advance fee, however, if a German Citibank branch gives me the money.

It is kind of weird that they treat the same card so differently if I walk another 10 meters into their bank.
Hard to say because its a SHELL MASTERCARD
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