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The sixth generation BMW 3 Series Sedan F30/F31/F34 and the first first generation 4 Series Coupe F32/F33/F36. Get the latest 3 and 4 series pricing from our ordering and pricing guide sticky thread.

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  #151  
Old 07-06-2019, 08:12 AM
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quackbury quackbury is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sevalley View Post
I thought it was ridiculous that BMW would require us to only fill gas from two providers, and if this is true, this should be stated as a severe limitation when purchasing their new cars. .
What does your owner's manual say? The manuals for our 2018 and 2017 - and all other BMW gassers as far back as I can remember - state TOP TIER. Does your owner's manual say TOP TIER? Or list specific brands? (BMW recommended BP for my 2014 535, and Shell for everything since).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Autoputzer View Post
It meets EPA minimum requirements, but that's it.

Here's the good stuff...

https://www.toptiergas.com/licensed-brands/
As Autoputzer notes, gas is gas; it's the additive package that matters. From the link:
  • All gasoline grades must be treated with an approved TOP TIERô Detergent Gasoline additive at the correct concentration.
  • The TOP TIERô logo must be prominently displayed.
  • TOP TIERô licensed retailers agree to not use organometallic additives (such as MMT or Ferrocine).

When you buy the cheap stuff at Jose's Gas, Lotto, Bait and Drive-Through Beer Mart, it's lacking the additive package Shell and Chevron has - that'w why it's cheaper. But you can get a tank of "bad" gas at even a Top Tier station. One potential problem is water in the tank. A couple years back, a high volume Boston-area station had a problem wor a couple weeks. They wound up destroying the motors in a whole bunch of Audi's and Mercedes.

A second potential problem is if the wrong grade gets pumped into the wrong tank. Gas is delivered by truck drivers. Truck drivers are humans. Humans make mistakes. It doesn't appear to happen often, but I've read of instances where Regular got pumped into the Premium tank.

A third potential problem is buying premium at a station without a lot of traffic, where the gas may have been sitting in the underground tank for a pretty long time, picking up moisture and contaminants. My personal rule of thumb is to only buy gas at high volume stations. If I am out in East Bumfrick Maine, with my needle bouncing off empty, I'll put enough petrol in the tank to get me to civilization, then top off at a high volume Shell so the additives and detergents can work their magic.

Here is the link to AAA's study on the subject:

https://www.consumerreports.org/car-...h-extra-price/
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  #152  
Old 07-06-2019, 01:43 PM
SteveinArizona SteveinArizona is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quackbury View Post
What does your owner's manual say? The manuals for our 2018 and 2017 - and all other BMW gassers as far back as I can remember - state TOP TIER. Does your owner's manual say TOP TIER? Or list specific brands? (BMW recommended BP for my 2014 535, and Shell for everything since).



As Autoputzer notes, gas is gas; it's the additive package that matters. From the link:
  • All gasoline grades must be treated with an approved TOP TIERô Detergent Gasoline additive at the correct concentration.
  • The TOP TIERô logo must be prominently displayed.
  • TOP TIERô licensed retailers agree to not use organometallic additives (such as MMT or Ferrocine).

When you buy the cheap stuff at Jose's Gas, Lotto, Bait and Drive-Through Beer Mart, it's lacking the additive package Shell and Chevron has - that'w why it's cheaper. But you can get a tank of "bad" gas at even a Top Tier station. One potential problem is water in the tank. A couple years back, a high volume Boston-area station had a problem wor a couple weeks. They wound up destroying the motors in a whole bunch of Audi's and Mercedes.

A second potential problem is if the wrong grade gets pumped into the wrong tank. Gas is delivered by truck drivers. Truck drivers are humans. Humans make mistakes. It doesn't appear to happen often, but I've read of instances where Regular got pumped into the Premium tank.

A third potential problem is buying premium at a station without a lot of traffic, where the gas may have been sitting in the underground tank for a pretty long time, picking up moisture and contaminants. My personal rule of thumb is to only buy gas at high volume stations. If I am out in East Bumfrick Maine, with my needle bouncing off empty, I'll put enough petrol in the tank to get me to civilization, then top off at a high volume Shell so the additives and detergents can work their magic.

Here is the link to AAA's study on the subject:

https://www.consumerreports.org/car-...h-extra-price/
Good points and why it is good to fill up at COSTCO. It seems they are refilling their underground tanks twice a day or more. First thing in the morning is also good before COSTCO opens. No line and the gasoline should be slightly denser.
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  #153  
Old 07-06-2019, 02:03 PM
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laser laser is offline
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QT "QuickTrip" is Top Tier ..... if Simpsonville, SC is not too far out of your way to save a few bucks ........
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  #154  
Old 07-08-2019, 06:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quackbury View Post
What does your owner's manual say? The manuals for our 2018 and 2017 - and all other BMW gassers as far back as I can remember - state TOP TIER. Does your owner's manual say TOP TIER? Or list specific brands? (BMW recommended BP for my 2014 535, and Shell for everything since)
As a point of reference, the manual in my 2016 435 only states using at least 91 octane. There is no reference to using companies who comply with the Top Tier fuel standards.

For me, using Top Tier stations is not all that easy and I have to go out of my way to fill up. There is only one Shell and one BP within at least 20 miles of my home. I won't use BP after several bad experiences with them. All of the other Phillips 66, Shell, and QT stations were convereted to full-on Circle K stations which now use gas they purchase themselves vs. selling fuel from other brands. The rest are local gas station chains with questionable fuel quality or Sams Club.

I'll never go cheap when it comes to fuel. Regardless of whether I'm filling up the family hauler Toyota SUV or my performance-based car, I'll fill up using a good brand and go with the recommended octane from the manufacturer. On my E46 there was a very noticable difference when not going with 91/93. It ran rough, felt down on power, and mileage was noticably lower. On my recently departed GTI, it ran OK on something below 91, but like the E46, power and milage we off. As for my new-to-me 435, I don't intend to test it out.
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  #155  
Old 07-08-2019, 10:09 AM
imtjm imtjm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quackbury View Post
What does your owner's manual say? The manuals for our 2018 and 2017 - and all other BMW gassers as far back as I can remember - state TOP TIER. Does your owner's manual say TOP TIER? Or list specific brands? (BMW recommended BP for my 2014 535, and Shell for everything since).
BMW does not mandate Top Tier or a specific gas station brand. BMW may list a "recommended" brand oil or gas, but that is by no means a requirement which would invalidate warranties or make your car perform worse/better. Remember, BMW gets paid by the brand it "recommends", but it is by no means a requirement.
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  #156  
Old 07-08-2019, 10:53 AM
imtjm imtjm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sevalley View Post
My wife has a 2019 BMW X3, 4 cylinder engine. She used to have an X1 and a 1-series coupe before that. We have filled premium gas at the same Mobil gas station near our house all these years in her cars with no problems until recently. Her X3 experienced performance issues, specifically engine lagging upon acceleration from a dead stop and loss of power. Our BMW Dealer service department ran tests and claimed the X3 has "abnormal pings from knock sensors due to low fuel grade", which was reducing performance. They claimed they extracted and tested the fuel in her tank and found it to be of low quality. When I explained it is 91 octane fuel from Mobil, they said Mobil (and most other gas stations) have lower quality gas, even if octane is 91+. They said ONLY Shell and Chevron, and SOME 76 stations, have high enough quality gas to fuel the new 2019+ BMW engines as the new engines are very efficient and require higher quality fuel. I thought it was ridiculous that BMW would require us to only fill gas from two providers, and if this is true, this should be stated as a severe limitation when purchasing their new cars. We notified BMW corporate, and shockingly they confirmed that the new BMW engines have this limitation and require premium gas from Shell or Chevron to perform correctly. BMW left my wife a voicemail confirming this information and refused to put it in writing or provide any documentation that states this limitation. I informed Mobil/Exxon that BMW corporate has confirmed that their gas is of low quality and can't be used in newer BMW engines. Supposedly they are running tests on the gas at our station and will be contacting BMW to sort it out. This thread is the only post I was able to find online where the quality of gas being put into BMWs was discussed, so I wanted to get some opinions here. If true, BMW needs to publicly state this limitation on their new engines.
I'd like to know how the dealership tested the gas in the car to determine the "quality" of the gas, brand of gas, or actual octane of the gas. Whoever at the dealership said ONLY Shell and Chevron is lying. BMW specifies a recommended AKI and a minimum AKI, because the engines are more than capable of adjusting to the fuel. Now, the engine may not perform as well if you use the minimum AKI value, but will not perform any better than the recommended AKI value. 2019 BMW X3 manual shows AKI 91 and minimum AKI 89. It does not even recommend a specific gas brand in that manual. It does "highly recommend" getting gas from a Top Tier retailer. There's a world of difference between "recommend" and required, so parsing words is important. BMW does not require any particular gas brand...period.

BMW started recommending Shell in 2015, which is also when it started recommending Pennzoil oil, which is not shocking given Shell makes Pennzoil. Shell paid/pays for that honor, although some of that cost is probably wrapped up in the fact Shell/Pennzoil supplies BMW branded oil now too. Same when BP was previously recommended fuel and Castrol recommended oil, considering Castrol is a BP brand.

I hardly doubt anyone at BMW corporate could say BP/Castrol suddenly made/makes crappy, inferior fuel/oil. The only reason they would mention Chevron, is because Chevron makes the BMW branded Techron fuel cleaner. And the only reason they "recommend" Shell is because of their paid/sourced partnership. Once that contract goes away, BMW may suddenly say Exxon/Mobil.

Bottom line, though, is that so long as you used the recommended AKI 91, there's absolutely nothing BMW can do in terms of invalidating warranty, etc. Chances are you may have just gotten bad fuel, something else wrong with the X3, or if you/your wife have a tendency of running tank empty before refueling.
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