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BMW 3-Series: Premium Fuel for Premium Car?

birdrulesbirdrules Posts: 8
edited March 23 in BMW
Interesting article in NYTimes with quote from BMW spokeman that using regular grade does no harm to the engine.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/03/automobiles/03OCTANE.htm

Considering that savings would add up over long term, may be the way to go. Just curious what the experience is of bimmer drivers with using regular gas and whether any issues have surfaced.

Comments

  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    The article is factually correct. However, you get reduced performance and imo less than optimum gas mileage as the engine was designed for premium fuel.

    So you offset a per tank savings of what, $3.00?, with the fact your car is performing at sub-par levels with respect to the use of premium fuel, which is what the article also says. So why even bother to get a car that requires premium fuel.

    Once there was an issue at the pumpt and I put mid-grade fuel into the Bimmer, I honestly couldn't tell the difference in this specific situation. YMMV though.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,674
    Do the math. If you drive 15,000 miles per year and average 25 mpg using regular instead of what BMW recommends will save you all of $10 per month. If that's going to wreck your automotive budget a BMW probably shouldn't be on your short list

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,279
    Buying a race horse and then cutting off one of its legs to save a few bucks makes no sense to me unless the person really just "bought a badge" and doesn't care how the car drives, only how it looks :confuse:

    I once put up a (joke) business model wherein I would buy up 1964 Ford Falcons and put fiberglass BMW bodies on them, for people who wanted to look good but didn't have any interest in the actual driving characteristics or awesome performance possibilities of the car.

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  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,674
    I once put up a (joke) business model wherein I would buy up 1964 Ford Falcons and put fiberglass BMW bodies on them, for people who wanted to look good but didn't have any interest in the actual driving characteristics or awesome performance possibilities of the car.

    Or, as a friend of mine puts it, a few people buy BMWs to drive, but most buy them to wear... :(

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,279
    The article suggests that using 87 octane would only drop the performance of a premium-fuel engine by a loss of 2% of its horsepower.

    That however, was determined by a test done by Hyundai on one of its engines, which I don't think is a fair comparison to a "tweaked" engine like a BMW or a Porsche.

    If I had a Hyundai sedan, I'd probably switch to 87 octane, too.

    I think people who put 87 octane in a Porsche should have their cars confiscated. I'm not much for big government, but in this case the authorities have to intervene :P

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  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,674
    I think people who put 87 octane in a Porsche should have their cars confiscated

    They should also be sentenced to drive a Kia Rio for the rest of their natural life.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,279
    I'm just not getting this. What am I missing?

    A person spends $50K on a optioned-up BMW and then decides to run 87 instead of 91, for a savings of $300 a year?

    This suggests (to me) that this person is way overextended in life style.

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  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,674
    I'm just not getting this. What am I missing?

    Nothing; I hear that question all the time?

    A person spends $50K on a optioned-up BMW and then decides to run 87 instead of 91, for a savings of $300 a year?

    It's rarely even that much- it's usually less than $200.

    This suggests (to me) that this person is way overextended in life style.

    Haven't you heard? It's easier to look rich than actually BE rich.

    And don't get me started on the dimwits who take their M3 or 911 to those quicky lube type shops...

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 29,850
    In my experience, it has nothing to do with the actual ability to pay for premium.. Mostly, I see it from older owners.. and, more likely if they paid cash for their car..

    Maybe it's just depression era thinking... I don't know.. My uncle got a Lexus at age 71... cash buyer... w/no money issues... and, it was a constant conversation about octane requirements... I was glad when he sold it.. :)

    regards,
    kyfdx

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,279
    Yes depression-era thinking, while fairly rare given the small number of depression-era survivors still driving (they'd be 75 years and older at LEAST), certainly would account for that mind-set. I've witnessed it myself. I know one old guy who is really very well off but he won't talk on the phone for more than 30 seconds because he doesn't want to "run up the bill". Of course, he's on a flat-rate plan but there's no explaining.

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  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 29,850
    Hmmm.... maybe some of those habits are passed down to the children? That opens it up to a lot more people..

    Just like 3000 mile oil changes... ;)

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,279
    I haven't noticed the germ of "thrift" being passed on to younger generations of America :P

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  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 2,687
    "I haven't noticed the germ of "thrift" being passed on to younger generations of America."

    It appears that I have done (half) my job as my daughter is quite thrifty with her money. A saver, and a smart shopper at age 12. Like her father...

    My son? Why save? If I need money, Mommy gives it to me!

    And I prefer the term, "cheap" when applied to me! :blush:

    '13 Jaguar XF, '11 BMW 535xi, '02 Lexus RX300

This discussion has been closed.