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BMW X3

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Comments

  • imgdocimgdoc Posts: 30
    I will not use regular again. I tried once and the poor bimmer had such a hard time starting the next morning. I almost gave up. It took about 5-6 times cranking with pausing after each attempt. I did not think it will be that bad. That's the only time this happened so I am pretty sure it is the regular gas.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,271
    from a 400 mile NY to MA road trip where the X3 performed brilliantly. 24.5 mpg according to the car's trip computer I kept it between 65 & 70 mph on cruise control). It swallowed 2 days worth of gear for my wife, myself, & our 20 month old son with ease.

    We just took my wife's 65,000 mile X3 2.5 on a somewhat longer trip and it averaged 24.9(manually calculated; the OBC figure is @5% optimistic) at an average speed of around 80 mph. That number was obtained with two adults, two 13 year old boys, and a cargo hold stuffed full of luggage. It is an extremely pleasant cruiser, but the handling is still sharp enough that I can embarrass more than a few performance cars when the road turns twisty.

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

  • Recently purchased cpo 2006 X3 with 25k miles, salesperson advised 89 (midgrade) octane minimum. "...anything less will burn up the catalytic converter..." was his quote. Eliminating all other variables (performance, fuel economy, economics, recommended vs. required, etc.) - my question is this and only this: Would fulltime use of sub-89 octane do any damage to the catalytic converter? Yes or no.
    I'm most interested because this vehicle is still under factory warranty.
    I will still take all other factors into account when I make my octane decision at the pump. I just don't want to make that decision based on a salesperson's claim without further evidence. If climate makes a difference - this vehicle is driven in Florida. Thanks for your responses.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,390
    if you read the owner's manual it says 91 octane + which is high test.

    What color combo did you get? How much did you pay? What was the asking price?

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,271
    Using 89 octane fuel instead of 91 octane will save you something like 15-20 cents per day. Use what BMW's engineers call for-91 octane-and don't worry about it.

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

  • so nobody has heard if 87 octane burns up the catalytic converter?
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,390
    So with 15,207 miles on the odometer my wife took her Montego Blue '07 X3 3.0si in for its first service. This was only the second time the truck has been back to the dealership since we took delivery on 7/31/07. Besides an oil & filter change, they replaced all 3 wiper blades and topped off her coolant (which was low, causing the idiot light on the dash to illuminate).

    I know the "free" service is built into the price of the car, but it is a really nice thing. Coupled with the long service intervals (if I owned it I would change the oil every 7500, flush the coolant & brake fluid every 2 years, the tranny fluid every 3 years... Just like they used to before "free" maintenance) makes these cars great to lease.

    Now besides the free service, the best part about taking the X3 in to the dealer was the loaner car provided :shades: . My wife was instructed to call me immediately and let me know what the loaner car was. Low and behold it was an '08 335xiA. After dinner I promptly volunteered to install our 21 month old son's car seat (which was to be followed by a short test drive). This car is scary fast. I came away from my extended test drive (from our place in Westchester, NY up to my best friend's place in Norwalk, CT) blown away by the N52's performance. You can pass any car at any time with a quick stab of the gas pedal (half way). On one ramp that goes from an eastbound highway (I-287) to a northbound highway (I-95), I floored the gas pedal while merging and blew past 2 tractor trailers. I looked down and noticed I was going over 100 mph. Like I said, scary. But what a ride!

    There's a saying among car guys: "You can never have too much power." The N52 doesn't have too much power, but it has enough.

    I don't drive like a lunatic. I take twisty roads at a nice clip when they're empty. I usually double the speed of exit ramps. If I'm running late for something and have to get there, I make up for the lost time. Most days I loaf my way home at around 60 mph with the cruise control set (especially now since gas is $4.57 a gallon). a twin turbo 135i or 335i would turn me into a complete hooligan. I'd probably have to see if I could pre-purchase speeding tickets in bulk from Westchester County, New York State, and The City of New York. Just give me a stick and a sport suspension on a 128i or 328i and I'd do just fine.

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,271
    My dealer(Swope BMW, Louisville) also provides nice loaners, but-since it's my wife's car- my service advisor gears them to what she likes- hence we've received an X3 3.0 Sport(my son liked the ///M steering wheel and sill guards), an X5 3.0si, and a 528xi. I think I could live with a 328i coupe with a stick and SP, but the same money can get you a very nice E46 M3- maybe even with the Competition Package. My service advisor is also tempting me with his pristine Dakar E36 M3 coupe. If I bought that I'd have more than enough money left over to upgrade the speakers, buy a set of track tires and wheels, and fit the TMS/Conforti Stage II Performance Package. :D

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

  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,068
    The folks who claim to know, would disagree -- you will NOT save any money, per day. You will cost yourself per day, due to the fact that you will use more fuel to achieve the same performance.

    The BMW engine in the X3 is "optimized" for premium.

    It will run sub-optimized (and cost more) if you use regular or mid grade. What we are talking about is a false economy.

    Using gas that is higher in octane than your engine requires is a waste of money. Using gas that is lower in octane than your engine requires makes it cost more to drive than if you used what it has been optimized to run on.
  • "...my question is this and only this: Would fulltime use of sub-89 octane do any damage to the catalytic converter? Yes or no."

    still no info. out there anywhere about catalytic converter damage?

    random comment: my 20+ year old Audi had 4 knock sensors and it optimized itself to run on whatever octane level i chose to put in the tank.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,068
    The 20 year old Audi was set to PROTECT itself from lower octane fuel. It retarded the spark to reduce pre ignition detonation. This simple method, although fundamentally preventing "knock" required more gas when it was low octane to achieve the same performance.

    Today, the same thing happens, more or less -- the ignition is retarded to prevent compression ignition.

    One could imagine that, therefore, there could be a chance that more incompletely burned gas would be forced out the exhaust valve, and out to the exhaust pipe, down to the cat conv. If less completely burned fuel is input to the cat converter, one could argue some premature "damage."

    Someone who actually does know the nuances of this will, hopefully reply. At the current price of gas -- mid grade usually costing 10 cents less per gallon than premium -- and knowing the reduced efficiency of mid grade, why would someone actually want to spend more money for less performance.

    Unless, of course, the real reason BMW requires premium is to maintain the illusion of superiority. I do not know if BMW would require premium to suggest its engines are really more "upscale" than their actual technology would prove, but I seriously doubt it.

    Your 20 year old Audi did optimize itself, sort of, to preven knock -- but you paid a premium in money for not using premium gasoline.

    Waste not, want not.
  • Dears,

    i have two main problems in my X3 2004 car where the dealer in KSA is unable to troubleshoot or pinpoint how, where and all those questions!

    the first problem is the creaking noise which comes from all the doors (or windows) when ever i drive over a non smooth road (which in KSA-Jeddah happens to be most of the roads). the dealer is saying this is an X3 problem and there is no solution, but its so annoying and no one can understand this is a BMW. whenever i lower the noise mostly disappears. so anyone passed through this problem and is there any solution?

    the second problem which caused the dealer to get me a new gear box thinking the problem resides there but it wasn't from the gearbox. the problem is, whenever I'm accelerating (RPM goes above 4) some hard shifting will occur repeatedly (shifting is not the right word i guess, it feels like if 2 cylinders are moving together and there is a teeth in one of the cylinders broken, so there will be a shift whenever the first cylinder reaches that broken teeth). The only thing i was able to pinpoint is that my tires are mix (18in 255 rear & 18in 235 front) whenever i replace the tires with one size all (18in 235 rear & front) the problem will go away; some technicians said it might be the transfer box. if I'm driving in traffic and slow pace, alot of bubbing sound will come from the rear. again anyone passed through any similar problem.

    last problem, my windows used to go down and up by pressing the key once, after i took it for maintenance check, i lost this feature, and the dealer guys are saying i don't have that feature ....so any clue how can i get this feature back.

    thanks for your help
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,271
    the first problem is the creaking noise which comes from all the doors (or windows) when ever i drive over a non smooth road

    BMW of North America has released a couple of service bulletins on the topic. If your local dealer cannot obtain the bulletin you might try lubricating the door seals and window channels with a rubber compatible product such as Vinylex.

    the second problem which caused the dealer to get me a new gear box thinking the problem resides there but it wasn't from the gearbox.

    The problem is that BMW's all wheel drive system is designed to work with four identical tires. Mixing tires of different diameters can cause the problem you describe. Run the same size tire on all four wheels.

    last problem, my windows used to go down and up by pressing the key once, after i took it for maintenance check, i lost this feature, and the dealer guys are saying i don't have that feature ....so any clue how can i get this feature back.

    The one touch feature can be enabled or disabled by the dealer. It sounds like your dealer does not know very much-if anything-about the X3. Is there another dealer in KSA that you could bring the car to?

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

  • jrynnjrynn Posts: 162
    LEADED gas will wreck your catalytic converter, not typical grades of unleaded gas.

    BMW (and other premium manufacturers) use premium fuel so that when they test (and report) engine performance, they can max out horsepower and torque numbers. That they recommend 91 octane is rather silly, as the typical grades sold at US gas stations are 87/89/93.
  • In California (and I think most of the West Coast) the highest octane you get is 91. :shades:
  • jrynnjrynn Posts: 162
    Then you might want to edit the Wikipedia entry on octane which says:

    "Octane ratings can vary greatly from region to region. For example, the minimum octane rating available in much of the United States is 87 AKI and the highest is 93."

    Exceptions for California (state-wide) and some high-altitude gas stations in other states are noted in the entry. The discussion re California also notes that it's possible to buy 100 octane at some stations and that earlier this decade 92 octane was sold.
  • Can't speak to the Wikipedia entry, which may or may not be correct. All I can do is relate from personal experience that never have I seen 100 octane in CA outside of an FBO at airports. There probably are places you can get 100 octane but I seriously doubt they are your local gas station. Have never seen 92 either, but I suppose it might have been sold somewhere in the state. What you WILL see are 87,89, and 91 octane at CA pumps. :shades:
  • In Chicago we see a variety of different grades of gas depending on what station you are at. BP, Shell, and Mobil all have 93 Octane Premium, while some stations like Speedway and Thornton's have 92 Octane Premium. Most other stations only have 91 Octane Premium.
    I also drove to St. Louis this past weekend and stopped at a Thornton's gas station that had 87, 90, and 92.
  • We're south of Chicago, and just bought an X3 with the sport package and 19-inch wheel upgrade (pick it up next week). The 19-inch wheels come with 3-season performance tires rather than all-season tires.

    Our dealer recommended buying a set of tires/rims for winter. Anyone know of appropriate all-season tires that will fit the BMW 19-inch rims? If possible, we'd love to avoid swapping tires/wheels every winter and spring.

    Sizes are: 235/45R-19 front and 255/40R-19 rear

    Thoughts?
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,606
    If you buy the stock size 17" tires for the X3 (235/55-17?.. something like that), you will probably save enough money over the 19" tires to buy a set of wheels to go along with them.. Plus, I bet 19" winter tires are hard to come by, especially in staggered sizes.. It will be much easier to swap a set of tires/wheels, than to change tires on the current wheels.. Either way, you have to tote 4 tires to the dealer, but with dedicated tire/wheel combinations you don't have to mount/remount each time (and at additional cost).

    Also.. I wouldn't exactly call your current 19" tires, "three season".. Well, I guess that depends where you live... but, once it gets below 40F, those summer performance tires will get hard and slick, even if the weather is dry..

    I'd look for a used set of factory 17" wheels. Check eBay. Should be $500-$600, at most. Then buy 17" winter tires to go on them.

    I've noticed a lot of BMW corporate owned X3s hitting the dealer lots with the 19" wheel/summer tire upgrade.. Those are great, if you are on a 1-year lease... Not so great, once you have to replace those monster tires..

    Good luck
    kyfdx
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