Last post on Jun 19, 2013 at 2:41 PM
You are in the BMW X3 & X5
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BMW X3, SUV
#2864 of 4187 Re: Just Lease an 2006 X3 [markcincinnati]
Sep 18, 2006 (1:06 pm)
Can we used 87 or 89 fuel or only 91 grade.
Premium is "recommended" not "required." If you use fuel with a lower octane rating, you MAY see a small decline in performance. Manufacturers test with higher octane fuel (and "recommend" but do not "require" it's use) because it permits them to report higher horsepower, higher torque, and faster acceleration numbers.
Check out post #55 in the "Acura TSX: Real world mileage" thread which has a link to a Washington Post article. Here's a short excerpt:
"Automotive experts say using regular gas in most vehicles does no damage and makes no discernible difference in performance. Cars made in the past 15 years have such highly refined computer controls that the engine will adjust to the grade of octane in the gasoline, even in cars sold as requiring premium gasoline. Some drivers -- in some cars under some driving conditions -- may notice a drop in horsepower, but for most people behind the wheel, it wouldn't be enough to notice, the experts say.
"It's not going to hurt anything," said Peter Gregori, service manager for EuroMotorcars, a Mercedes-Benz dealer in Bethesda. In fact, Gregori has been using regular gas in one of his own Mercedes cars for two years, and "it's perfect," he said -- even though Mercedes-Benz says owners should use only premium.
"I get better mileage with the regular than I do with the high-test, in this particular model that I have," Gregori said. Among cars that come in for service, Gregori said, he can't tell which have been sipping premium."
#2865 of 4187 Re: Just Lease an 2006 X3 [jrynn]
Sep 18, 2006 (5:13 pm)
The BMW 3.0 engine CAN accept either regular or mid grade.
The engine, however, does REQUIRE Premium for optimum:
power, mileage and longentivity.
It is a false economy to use non Premium. It is wasteful to use Premium in a car that is designed to run on 87 or 89 octane.
The BMW engine NEEDS 91 octane due in large part to its high compression ratio. The engine management computer cannot lower the compression ratio -- it simply attempts to prevent pinging (pre ignition). The cost of doing this is less power, poorer mileage and over time shorter engine life.
Given that some customers might actually prefer to only put regular in their new Bimmers, BMW would (were it true) do itself a favor by simply saying "use regular."
Over a 50K period, I would suspect that BMW would have more unhappy customers due to the power, performance, mileage and longentivity signs if it did that.
A service manager willing to say use regular or use premium can be found and quoted easily.
The manufacturer has engineered and built the engines to run as they are intended on 91 or higher octane.
Our BMW service manager is adamant about using Premium and syn oil that passes certain regulations. FWIW.
The use of anything less than premium is wasteful.
#2866 of 4187 Recommended v. Required Fuel
Sep 19, 2006 (11:14 am)
BMW's engineers and lawyers obviously don't share your concern, Mark.
The 2006 X3 Driver's Reference Guide is very clear that the use of premium unleaded fuel is "recommended" not "required."
If 87/89 octane gas trashes engines, then BMW is going to be on the hook for a lot of expensive engine replacements under warranty for failing to warn owners not to use it.
It's a point BMW's engineers and lawyers are highly unlikely to have overlooked. For cris'sake, the 2006 X3 owners' manual even includes warnings like this: "Do not remove the covers [of the LED's], and never stare into the unfiltered light for several hours, as irritation of the retina could result."
Which do you suppose is more likely to happen in the real world: owners are going to (intentionally or accidentally) fill up with 87 or 89 octane or owners are going to uncover the LED's on the dashboard and stare into them for 'several hours.'?
You're certainly entitled to your opinion, Mark, but I believe that BMW's engineers and lawyers know their product better than you do.
Bottom line: THEY don't require the use of premium unleaded fuel.
#2867 of 4187 Re: Recommended v. Required Fuel [jrynn]
Sep 19, 2006 (1:33 pm)
Of course it says recommended, since it actually CAN run on non premium fuel.
The "case" re engineering/design, at least, for using premium in cars, such as these that are designed to run on premium has been made here (all over) at edmunds. Some of the posts appear to have been authored by folks who understand the chemistry (and physics) involved far better than most folks.
These engines are not designed to run on regular unleaded. This is not an opinion. We may quibble over the terms used which may be used specifically because a lawyer said "recommended" was technically more appropriate since the car's computer system CAN adjust to the lower octane [and the expected use of regular is temporary.]
We do not do folks a service by even hinting let alone suggesting they use anything less than Premium Fuel (in these BMW's under discussion, i.e.)
If you are reading this and the give and take on the subject here -- I urge you to fully vet the subject before you subject your engine to regular fuel on a chronic basis.
Don't listen to me, don't listen to jrynn, research this.
The preponderance of evidence will lead you to conclude, "you CAN use less than Premium" and the engine will not blow up or become damaged to the extent that only piles of 100 dollar bills can correct it. You will also discover that the engines have been engineered to perform as designed (including, power, economy and longentivity) when using Premium. The words that are in the articles on the subject most often seem to be "false economy," when it comes to the question "can I or should I use regular or mid grade in a car that recommends Premium?"
#2868 of 4187 Premium vs. mid-grade or 87
Sep 19, 2006 (4:11 pm)
Bottom line is that we're talking about what, a $.20 per gallon difference. Most X3s sticker into the $40K range. Is the extra few dollars per fill up going to break you? Maybe you should consider a Honda CRV. They run on regular.
#2869 of 4187 Once more with feeling. . .
Sep 19, 2006 (5:44 pm)
The right grade to buy is the one your particular car was engineered for.
According to Dennis Simanaitis, "Putting premium in a car designed to run on lower octane is a waste of money." Simanaitis is the engineering editor of Road and Track magazine.
Using regular in a car designed for premium, however, is a mistake. "If a car is rated to run on premium, it will still run on 87 or 89, but the engine computer will dial back its performance and you won't get optimum performance or gas mileage," Mr. Simanaitis said.
In that kind of car, "using premium fuel will eliminate knock [without the need to dial back the performance]," he added, "and the engine computer will deliver full performance."
So which grade of gasoline is right for your car? Look in your owner's manual. Unless it says it recommends 91 octane but that 87 is OK too, it really means it was engineered and manufactured with premium gas in mind.
Sometimes, engines are designed to run without issue on 87 and will improve their performance with 91 and 93. When gas is $3.00 for regular and $3.20 for premium it MAY be a good choice to use premium for the performance improvements would equal or better the cost differential. When regular is $1.50 and premium is $1.70 the difference, although the same money, may not be worthwhile as a percentage.
I was able to find information that suggested the payback time (in miles) could be calculated. Some "designed to run on regular" and able to adjust to Premium engines will achieve a break even only after 100,000 miles. Some engines will not benefit from octane improvements; and, some engines may even have some degradation of performance if they are fed Premium when they are designed for only Regular.
BMW's current crop of cars are "modern" in their appetites: they are designed to run optimally using 91 octane and can run better (better power and fuel economy) on 93. I suspect that were there a price increase of 10 cents or more for 93 over 91 (usually there is NOT), that it would take a long time to break even on the extra cost of the 93 over the 91. But, on the other hand, the use of 87 octane is reputed to have the opposite effect -- the lowering of cost will be more than offset by the loss of power and MPG's and the increased cost of using Regular in your new BMW effectively defines the phrase "false economy."
I have been able to find, in full disclosure, sources that either state or suggest that MOST cars cannot, indeed, will not benefit from using anything but the lowest grade gas (and/or cheapest price gas.)
The BMW 3.0 engine was designed to run optimally on premium and essentially cost more and deliver less if run on sub premium. If spending more money (in effect) and getting less performance (an oft cited number for the latter was "5%") for the money spent is the goal, well other than the potential for premature engine "issues," go ahead and use regular.
Most cars, apparently, it probably doesn't matter. BMW's don't appear to be in that category however.
I would rather use $.20 cheaper gas. However if your car gets but 14MPG's and you drive 12K per year, the stats seem to suggest less than a $200 PER YEAR difference between regular and premium.
Our X3 was $47K, our service manager/owner is of the "false economy" persuasion.
I guess we drank the Premium Kool Aid.
Check your manual. Check your manual.
You know the rest.
Sep 25, 2006 (7:26 am)
Looks like a x3 loaded and e91 328ix (touring) is similar in price. About 45k.
My quandry is space vs driving. The level of interior fit and finish look similar, panoramic roof is on both, and both are limited in cargo space. Back seat is important, but both are kind of tight.
THe 335i seems to be the IT car of the year and while its nice, I have a new driver in the house and having "supercar" in the driveway might not be so healthy. For me that is. 0-60 in 5 flat will get me in trouble.
The 328 performance on paper is wonderful.
My question is how bad do former e46 or e90 drivers out there really miss there former drivers? My space needs are not that intense but I am currently driving an Audi allroad which I deem to be perfect inside. Great back seat! I'd be back in an audi but the lack of manual transmission except on the a4 avant is bringing me over to BMW.
This upgraded X3 really seems to hit the mark. Personally I liked the black bumper over last years full painting. Considering they only had it for one year confirms my thought that it looked supid. But the new bumper seems to compromise better. The upgraded interior will be huge in my book.
The thought of runflats also is not cool.
But I do love the drive of the 3 series!
Sep 25, 2006 (1:02 pm)
The X3 seems to have a real back seat (for two at least), the 3, almost, but not quite the same, if you asked me.
#2872 of 4187 Re: 3 vs 3 [bargamon]
Sep 25, 2006 (6:30 pm)
The X3 is a nice truck that does an excellent imitation of a sports sedan, but my 1997 E39 was a better driver. If/when we no longer need a truck my wife plans to sell off the X3 and pick up a 1er(if available)or 3er. The X3 was is a perfect fit for our current needs, but once the rally stage gets paved our entire fleet will revert back to RWD, as God and BMW intended.
#2873 of 4187 Configurater is up and running, Build an 07!
Sep 30, 2006 (9:22 am)
This is on the BMWusa site.
This SAV looks darn nice now and is right in line with what is available. The offering of MT is what keeps this at the top of my list.
Last week the 06' lease rates on the configurater made the payments really close to the 07' 530 wagon! I understand why this is, but its really interesting.
My allroad gets turned in next week. It was a great ownership experience! The only natural replacement is the 530ix wagon but it stickers for 13K over what My Audi's cap cost was! And now I don't think it is worth 13k more!
I am looking foward to driving the X3 in its new and improved dressed up interior.
When all is said and done, I have to shift my own gears!