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BMW X3

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  • fantafanta Posts: 1
    I'm thinking about buying a 2006 X3 3.0 but am worried about poor gas mileage. For anyone who owns a 3.0, what has your experience been for city driving and highway driving? Thanks.
  • The 15K interval is the oil service

    The 30K interval is Inspection I (one)

    The "INSPECTION" in the upper right hand corner is just notifying you what the odometer is counting down to...

    regards,
    kyfdx
    Host-Prices Paid Forums

    Moderator - Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    So, it's confirmed that when the X3 gets the 255hp engine in January, 06, the 6-sp steptronic will also debut at the same time?
  • It is much better with the 6spd manual than the numbers the steptronic owners have mentioned -- my wife has gotten to 25+ on the Interstate. Avg with some city driving is about 10 - 15% less.
  • hi there! i have a 3.0 2005 x3 and i find my city driving gas mileage to be around 19.4mpg. i notice the best city mileage using QT gas. on the highway i have gotten up to 23.5 mpg. i cannot say enough about this car. it is absolutely amazing!
  • We too love our X3 -- if you are achieving this kind of mileage with Steptronic, then that is quite good.

    We always use either Mobil or a Top Tier gasoline (Shell, Chevron, etc.) and of course always use premium and we make certain our tires are inflated near the top of the range suggested in the manual.

    We have 18" wheels -- if that matters (and I don't think it does -- or at least it is only negligible.)
  • If you are buying premium grade gasoline, anything above 87 octane, you're throwing your money away. It is not needed!!!
  • I disagree, sorta. While I'm sure there are folks who can prove it's overall not a big deal, in my case, I can feel the difference. My wife, when she drove the X3 and when gas prices were so high, she used to fill up medium grade and gas mileage slipped from about 20 MPG (blended) to about 18.9 (city/highway stop/go).. I recently started drivign it again to work and put premium, while it's too early to change the overall MPG rate, I can feel the difference while driving..
  • The BMW 3.0 engine REQUIRES PREMIUM, it will temporarily detune itself to minimize or eliminate pre-ignition (at the cost of lower power and higher fuel consumption). Using regular in an engine that requires premium is a false economy -- i.e., using regular in the BMW X3 3.0 will cost more money simply because more fuel is used to create the power and there will be, over time, engine durability issues that even the fancy electronics cannot overcome.

    Using regular ONCE or in an emergency is fine -- but not on a regular (no pun intended) basis.
  • Yes, and I'm sure that you fel the vehicle running better right after the engine oil is changed. Do a real test for mileage and you'll see that there is no differance.
  • There are discussions here there and everywhere (hmm sounds like a song title) about the waste that happens when one uses regular in a car designed for premium.

    Likewise it is a waste to use premium in a car designed for regular. There MIGHT be some benefit in this example simply because the additive package in the premium grade MIGHT be superior. Generally speaking, though, using the grade of fuel from a reputable or "top tier" company is the way to go.

    Neither under nor over what the car is designed for makes much sense and often ends of wasting money, or in the case of using regular in a car designed for premium, harming the engine over time.
  • The difference is that using regular in a car designed for premium costs more.

    I you want to use regular, fine -- but why would you spend more money to use a product that "dumbs down" the engine and ultimately may cause engine problems?
  • I know there has been much written about folks who insist upon using premium gas in a car that clearly specified premium. I think, by now, most of us would agree that putting premium in a car that specified regular DOES waste money.

    And, it is also generally true that ALL modern engines will run on regular gas without exploding or imploding. But there are car engines that due to their design have higher compression and require premium fuel to attain their highest output and to prevent premature wear out.

    I found a short discourse by Click an Clack the Tappet brothers to say it well and with some humor:

    "Dear Tom & Ray,

    Our owner's manual recommends "unleaded premium gasoline with an octane rating of at least 91." It also says, "If unleaded premium is unavailable, unleaded regular gasoline with an octane rating of at least 87 can be used." Whenever I fill up the car (which is most of the time), I follow the manual's recommendation and use premium gas. But when my husband fills her up, he uses regular gasoline even when premium is available. So my question is, am I spending money needlessly on premium gasoline? And why would my car's manufacturer recommend premium gasoline if regular is OK to use? -- [signed] JoAnn

    Tom: You're doing exactly the right thing, JoAnn.

    Ray: Your car has a high-compression engine that's designed to run on premium gas. But since there are places where premium gas is not available, and because premium gasolines can vary in octane, most manufacturers, use a "knock sensor" to protect the engine.

    Tom: The knock sensor detects -- that's right -- "knocking" (also known as "pre-ignition" or "pinging")! Knocking is bad for the engine, and it often results from using lower-than-recommended-octane fuel. So when your cheapskate husband puts regular unleaded in the car, the knock sensor kicks into action and retards the ignition timing to protect the engine.

    Ray: Retarding the timing prevents the knocking, but it also reduces the engine's power, decreases fuel economy, probably increases the emissions, and may lead to a buildup of residue on the valves. So it's not an ideal situation. It won't hurt the engine if you use regular gas occasionally, but it prevents the engine from performing at the specifications at which it was designed to perform."
  • davidc1davidc1 Posts: 167
    That was great Mark. But I might even add (just guessing) that using premium gas on engines that specify regular could hurt the engine and performance in addition to wasting money since the engine was designed to run on quicker burning fuel.
  • Right you are -- when I was looking for the Tom & Ray bit, I ran across some articles that actually document HARM done to an engine designed to run on regular that was fed a steady diet of premium.

    So, apparently it goes both ways -- use regular in cars so designed and premium in cars so designed.

    Now, however -- I thought someone told me that the Chrysler 330C Hemi required regular (or mid grade).

    And, one of the folks I work with used to have a northstar equipped Cadillac and I am thinking it said "regular."

    My point, even if my details are fuzzy, is to wonder "since it is obviously possible to design cars with "X" horsepower to run on regular, why not just make cars run on 87 or 89 octane as a matter of course. I don't need to use premium to impress the neighbors -- and believe me, if I thought I could get away with running regular in my HIGH COMPRESSION Audi V6, I would.

    And, of course my wife would run regular in her BMW 3.0 I6 if she but could without long term issues as put forth by Tom and Ray above.

    Why not make "all cars" run on a single grade (say the one that is readily available) everywhere?

    It HAS to be (one would hope) more than ego and pride that makes car makers design the car to run on premium.

    Somewhere I read that the reason for an engine to be designed to run on premium is engine efficiency. That is the higher compression ratio afforded by the use of Premium juice also creates greater efficiency. Efficiency is good, no? More would be better, wouldn't it? In other words, why not make all engines require premium and have a several year cutover, just like we did when we went to 100% unleaded. Some economy of scale would certainly ensue, perhaps lowering the price of premium. Hmmmmm?
  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    If the car states that it requires premium, then it probably needs it.....

    It all just comes down to simple physics and some chemistry. To quote from howstuffworks.com:

    "Higher compression ratios produce more power, up to a point. The more you compress the air/fuel mixture, however, the more likely it is to spontaneously burst into flame (before the spark plug ignites it). Higher-octane gasolines prevent this sort of early combustion. That is why high-performance cars generally need high-octane gasoline -- their engines are using higher compression ratios to get more power.......

    "It turns out that heptane handles compression very poorly. Compress it just a little and it ignites spontaneously. Octane handles compression very well -- you can compress it a lot and nothing happens. Eighty-seven-octane gasoline is gasoline that contains 87-percent octane and 13-percent heptane (or some other combination of fuels that has the same performance of the 87/13 combination of octane/heptane). It spontaneously ignites at a given compression level, and can only be used in engines that do not exceed that compression ratio."
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,917
    Check out the What about fuel types & gas mileage? discussion too. Some posts in there can be boiled down to no ping, no problem and read your owner's manual. ;-)

    Steve, Host
  • Hi All,

    I have not posted here for a while, but figured I would comment on some recent topics. I am still very pleased with my 15 month old X3, and it has done everything I could ask for with no ill effects.

    I am running premium gas, and like some others here, had poor results using even mid grade gas (lower mpg and lower performance.) I plan staying with the 91 or better.

    I now have nearly 17,000 miles on my 2004 X3 3.0i 6M. I average a measured 21 MPG in my commute. I average 23+ on highway trips. Trailering knocks my mileage down to 18-19 city or highway. I drive moderately, and save winding it out to the screaming redline for the occasions where I need a big smile to make my day.

    I have noted that the trip computer on my vehicle does not report the correct MPG compared to measuring it the old fashioned way (miles/gallons of gas.) The computer is optimistic by 1-1.5 MPG. I reset it with most tanks, and this does not seem to matter. I know I am getting about 1 MPG less than the display on any given tank. Anyone else actually checked their trip computer against actual mileage?

    Cheers,
    Tom
  • I made a similar post some time ago, but though I would ask again. I was just looking for people's X3 experiences with tires and snow. I find the Pirelli STRs to be just adequate for snow. They are great for everything else, but snow is not their strong point IMO.

    So, has anyone upgraded tires on their X3? Anybody planning on buying dedicated snows and spare rims? Please share your thoughts, experiences, pricing, and sources used.

    Thanks,
    Tom
    2004 X3 3.0i 6M
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