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      03-25-2009, 09:30 AM   #1
dizman7
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Question BMW Recommended fuels?

I know this is in bits and pieces around here but I thought this would be easier.

What are all the fuel company's BMW recommends here in the US? So far I don't have Shell, Cheveron, or Mobil around here in Iowa.

All I've seen so far are a TON of BP's, some Quiktrips, and a LOT of a local chain called "Kum & Go" (I shit you not, that's actually what it's called, I didn't believe it either when I moved out here 3yrs ago).

I think that's about all I have around here, there might be one other small chain too. Oh I did see on Git n' Go once!

I just want to make sure I'm putting the best (out of what I have to choose from) into my car.
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      03-25-2009, 09:39 AM   #2
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They are pretty much all the same, just make sure you buy 93 octane or at least 91 if that's all that's available. Make sure there's not too much ethanol in it either. Try to find a station that is 10% Ethanol or less.
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      03-25-2009, 09:46 AM   #3
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Actually, while all the fuel traveling from refinery, through pipelines to a distributor pick-up point, is the same, as the fuel is loaded on a tanker for delivery, they are not the same. Why? It is because additive packages including detergents, etc., are added and mixed in the tanker.

These additives can be significantly different from brand to brand, and that's why certain manufacturers are rather particular about recommending certain brands of fuel that have passed their certification tests. The approved fuels have been demonstrated to have superior cleaning qualities, which is important for direct and other fuel injection systems in certain engines.

Check the link below for Top Tier gasolines, and BMW is one of the manufacturers that participates in Top Tier certification.

http://www.toptiergas.com/
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      03-25-2009, 09:54 AM   #4
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it sucks that its hard to find 93 octane here... shell/ mobil only has 91...
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      03-25-2009, 10:03 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dizman7 View Post
All I've seen so far are a TON of BP's, some Quiktrips, and a LOT of a local chain called "Kum & Go" (I shit you not, that's actually what it's called, I didn't believe it either when I moved out here 3yrs ago).
I can see that brand in truck stops, where lot lizards roam
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      03-25-2009, 10:18 AM   #6
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QuikTrip is an approved Top Tier/BMW-recommended gasoline.

91 octane isn't going to affect your engine as the EEC will adjust. You might come up short a couple of HP. That's all that's available in many parts of the country including California, where large herds of high performance rolling stock roam.
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      03-25-2009, 10:25 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by montreal red View Post
it sucks that its hard to find 93 octane here... shell/ mobil only has 91...
Although I've never seen it at a gas station, I read on the PetroCan website that they offer Super Premium - which is 94 octane - in Montreal (and in metro BC). Not sure why not in Toronto too but maybe that's an option for you....
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      03-25-2009, 10:28 AM   #8
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I gas up at Cheveron about 95% of the time because it is convenient..... is it "BMW approved" dunno?
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      03-25-2009, 10:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
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I gas up at Cheveron about 95% of the time because it is convenient..... is it "BMW approved" dunno?
How 'bout you click on the site mentioned in post #3.
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      03-25-2009, 10:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bruce.augenstein@comcast. View Post
How 'bout you click on the site mentioned in post #3.
What would I do with out you...
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      03-25-2009, 11:00 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J08M3 View Post
They are pretty much all the same, just make sure you buy 93 octane or at least 91 if that's all that's available. Make sure there's not too much ethanol in it either. Try to find a station that is 10% Ethanol or less.
HA HA HA, 93 Octane, that's a good one! Yeah I "tried" for a month to find that out here, it just doesn't exist here! I gave up. Yet if when I travel 3hrs east to where I'm originally from (in IL, and NO not anywhere near Chicago) to a much smaller metro area I can find not only Shell but it also has 93 Octane! But I only get out there about once every 4 months.

So this post was to find the "best" of all the 91 Octane that is around (and it's zero % ethonal)
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      03-25-2009, 11:01 AM   #12
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BP is good stuff, but they haven't paid for the cert that BMW wants, is my understanding.
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      03-25-2009, 11:17 AM   #13
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I guess I'm lucky where I live.. 93 octane is available everywhere from almost every gas station...
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      03-25-2009, 11:33 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leemik View Post
I guess I'm lucky where I live.. 93 octane is available everywhere from almost every gas station...
Same here, every one has 93 and they are all 10% Ethanol. Sunocco used to have 94 octane, but not anymore.

In my opinion top tier is just a marketing thing. I've ran many different fuels not listed in there in many different cars and it has made ZERO difference.
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      03-25-2009, 11:41 AM   #15
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There is still a BP somewhere around me with 100 octane. I have friends that drive way out of their way to get it, but like others said, 93 is everywhere around here.
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      03-25-2009, 12:03 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J08M3 View Post
Same here, every one has 93 and they are all 10% Ethanol. Sunocco used to have 94 octane, but not anymore.

In my opinion top tier is just a marketing thing. I've ran many different fuels not listed in there in many different cars and it has made ZERO difference.
J08M3, your experience is a single data point, which is statistically meaningless.

No, it is not a "marketing thing," but it is a certification protocol that must be accomplished and provided to the manufacturers that sponsor the Top Tier certification. If you had thoroughly read the link in post #3, you could have read the detailed test protocol that must be demonstrated by a particular brand of fuel.

As another poster said, it is entirely possible that other brands (such as BP/Amoco) would also meet the standard, but they have chosen, for whatever reasons, to not undergo the certification process.

I'm in the aviation business, where the certification process is a required "quality control" methodology that provides assurance certain products meet quality stds. Consider it an "insurance policy" of sorts. It is entirely possible, you will get good performance out of an uncertified product, but you don't have same assurance. In that sense, it is exactly the same as buying insurance.

I look at it this way--if two products are available at the same price, which will I buy, the certified or uncertified? The answer is clear to me.

Moreover, a few tanks of unknown product aren't going to hurt anything. This std. is all about preventing the build-up of deposits over 10s of thousands of miles, and it does make a difference to manufacturers who must back up long-term warranties.
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      03-25-2009, 12:36 PM   #17
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Quote:
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J08M3, your experience is a single data point, which is statistically meaningless.
Please explain how my experience is a single data point?
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      03-25-2009, 12:58 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J08M3 View Post
Please explain how my experience is a single data point?
You are correct for calling me out on using the terminology "single data point" to refer to you. Please excuse my linguistic imprecision.

What I should have said is that your experience is completely unquantified. If you can compile the following information, it can be added to a running database that we can use to analyze trends.

1) What types of fuels did you purchase?

2) How many tanks of each type did you purchase?

3) How many different cars did you drive for all the fuel you have purchased?

4) How many miles did you drive each car?

5) Please calculate all the fuel that you have purchased by type of fuel, mileage on each type of auto, amount of mileage run on each fuel type, and how many miles each car ran each type of fuel.

I'll get back to you after that . . .

In all seriousness, this has been an issue for BMW going back to the 80's. When I purchased my first new BMW ('86 325e), clogged fuel injector problems were a major bane of their existence. BMW recommended adding a bottle Chevron Techroline to every 3 or 4th tank of gas to keep fuel running without deposit build-up.
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      03-25-2009, 01:13 PM   #19
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I read somewhere recently that a swedish study determined that the best approach was to vary the gas source as much as possible. Kinda in the vein of "too much of a good thing can be bad". I'll search for the link.
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      03-25-2009, 01:24 PM   #20
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I read somewhere recently that a swedish study determined that the best approach was to vary the gas source as much as possible. Kinda in the vein of "too much of a good thing can be bad". I'll search for the link.
There may be some validity to that, but for reasons other than too much of a good thing.

For example, let's say you only purchase 93 octane fuel at the same Shell station (Top Tier gas) every time and that station has an undiscovered water or sediment leaks into their premium fuel tanks. That would be a bad thing.

I would say that a good policy is to mix it up with a little of everything. If you fill up with a Top Tier brand every so often, you're probably cleaning up any early build-up of deposits from lower detergent fuels long before they become harmful.
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      03-25-2009, 02:02 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foosh View Post
You are correct for calling me out on using the terminology "single data point" to refer to you. Please excuse my linguistic imprecision.

What I should have said is that your experience is completely unquantified. If you can compile the following information, it can be added to a running database that we can use to analyze trends.

1) What types of fuels did you purchase?

2) How many tanks of each type did you purchase?

3) How many different cars did you drive for all the fuel you have purchased?

4) How many miles did you drive each car?

5) Please calculate all the fuel that you have purchased by type of fuel, mileage on each type of auto, amount of mileage run on each fuel type, and how many miles each car ran each type of fuel.

I'll get back to you after that . . .

In all seriousness, this has been an issue for BMW going back to the 80's. When I purchased my first new BMW ('86 325e), clogged fuel injector problems were a major bane of their existence. BMW recommended adding a bottle Chevron Techroline to every 3 or 4th tank of gas to keep fuel running without deposit build-up.
Sorry man, I haven't nor do I plan on doing a scientific study of this. I'm just speaking out of my experience, which includes many gallons of gas and a number of cars. Aside from numerous other vehicles, my E92 M3 is the fourth BMW I've put many gallons of gas in from numerous different stations, most of which not on that Top Tier list. None have had a single issue with clogged injectors or any other fuel related problems. All of them were filled with 93 octane with 10% Ethanol (cause all gas here has 10%). I can't even remember hearing from anyone an issue of clogged injectors with a new car in at least 10 years. In fact I'm willing to bet you don't even need 91 octane in this car, only downfall is your comp will retard the timing and you'll be missing out on the HP you could've had.
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      03-25-2009, 02:05 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foosh View Post
Actually, while all the fuel traveling from refinery, through pipelines to a distributor pick-up point, is the same, as the fuel is loaded on a tanker for delivery, they are not the same. Why? It is because additive packages including detergents, etc., are added and mixed in the tanker.

These additives can be significantly different from brand to brand, and that's why certain manufacturers are rather particular about recommending certain brands of fuel that have passed their certification tests. The approved fuels have been demonstrated to have superior cleaning qualities, which is important for direct and other fuel injection systems in certain engines.

Check the link below for Top Tier gasolines, and BMW is one of the manufacturers that participates in Top Tier certification.

http://www.toptiergas.com/
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