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      01-03-2013, 01:24 AM   #1
excitablered
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Which fuel do you fill in your X1?

So, I live in the Northeast of the US.

I have a X1 xDrive28i.

I want to treat my car well, but I don't want to blow money. My first two tanks, I've filled Plus with 89 octane.

Is that not recommended? On the tank cover itself it says fill Premium, but, bloody hell, I don't have money for that.
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      01-03-2013, 01:54 AM   #2
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using 89 is kinda ok since the OBC would compensate for the lose of performance temporarily.

If you do this in the long run, it would infidelity be problematic, thus cause in engine damage and would void your warranty.

If you didn't have money for gas, why buy a Bimmer in a 1st place?
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      01-03-2013, 02:34 AM   #3
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91 is recommended, but 89 is allowed by BMW on the N20 engine. It won't void your warranty and shouldn't damage anything, you'll just sacrifice performance.
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      01-03-2013, 08:53 AM   #4
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Exclamation

Only 91 or 93 octane
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      01-03-2013, 09:33 AM   #5
Grovsnus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nospam View Post
91 is recommended, but 89 is allowed by BMW on the N20 engine. It won't void your warranty and shouldn't damage anything, you'll just sacrifice performance.
And reduce gas mileage.
When using 89, the engine will adjust to fire the plugs later, to avoid knocking. Because 89 octane fuel doesn't burn faster than 91 octane, it only ignites faster, using 89 leads to less complete fuel burn.
So reduced performance and reduced mileage. But sure, it will run on 89.

In order to not only change the ignition point but also the burn cycle so you get the same mileage out of 89, you need to adjust the stroke depth and compression. This is a mod you do when you buy the car, by walking across the street to the Honda dealer instead of the BMW dealer.
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      01-03-2013, 09:34 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by excitablered View Post
So, I live in the Northeast of the US.

I have a X1 xDrive28i.

I want to treat my car well, but I don't want to blow money. My first two tanks, I've filled Plus with 89 octane.

Is that not recommended? On the tank cover itself it says fill Premium, but, bloody hell, I don't have money for that.
Threads like this have been discussed over and over and over on many BMW/VW/Audi, etc. forums for many years.
ALL BMW engines perform their best and get the best MPGs using higher octane fuel.
Some say 87 is fine others say 89. I say use 91 or higher. I try to ONLY use "Top Tier" Shell 93.
I've even read many posts that say something like,
"Over a 15K mile year using Premium over Mid grade may cost you an additional $600...Big F-ing deal. If you can't aford that, then you should be driving something else...like a Camry."
Not really a quote, BTW. But also not my words.

Anyway, use what BMW recommends and enjoy your X1. That's what I say!
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      01-03-2013, 11:03 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grovsnus View Post
This is a mod you do when you buy the car, by walking across the street to the Honda dealer instead of the BMW dealer.
HAHA,
I gotta get that on a Tshirt!
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      01-03-2013, 11:17 AM   #8
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So just paper napkin math here, let's say you drive 20k miles a year and the cost differential between mid and high octane (US 89 and 91/93) is $0.15/gallon. If you average 23 mpg, you'll spend a shocking $130 a year extra putting 91/93 in. That's less than $11 a month, or thirty six cents a day. If this is too much, you will be better off on the bus.

Of course if you get better mileage and drive fewer miles per year, it's an even smaller amount. Just running numbers on my wife's habits, of 10k miles a year, getting around 17 mpg average and keeping the car three years, we'll spend about $265 total putting higher grade octane in her car before we sell it.
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      01-03-2013, 12:16 PM   #9
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only 91 and higher!
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      01-03-2013, 03:34 PM   #10
excitablered
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Thanks for the responses. Definitely understand I should go with 91 or 93. I should have done the math before complaining about the extra cost, but your comment about "walking across to the Honda dealership", while hilarious, is kind of unnecessary. I just didn't realize I'd have to fill premium when buying a 'premium' car. There's also nothing wrong with trying to save money after making a huge purchase.

Out of curiosity, how much can the type of fuel you use lower your car's performance, in terms of mileage, acceleration, etc.?

Is there anything I should do before switching to a higher octane? Or will it not matter, considering I've only filled up 2 or 3 times?
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      01-03-2013, 03:47 PM   #11
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I use 97 or 98
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      01-03-2013, 04:55 PM   #12
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Always use the highest octane available with forced induction (turbo in this case).

Is this your first vehicle with forced induction? You don't need to do anything to transition. Just fill er up!
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      01-03-2013, 06:48 PM   #13
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Which fuel do you fill in your X1?

I use 89 octane in both my X1 and 1 series 2013. I haven't seen any lost of performance. I had asked the dealer, he said it's not a problem. This is my 6th Bimmer.
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      01-03-2013, 07:22 PM   #14
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I talked to the shop manager and my SA, who is the assistant service manager, at my dealer two different times about gas. They strongly recommended using top tier gas (http://www.toptiergas.com/) and have said they have seen issues with BMWs run on non-branded and other non-top tier branded gas, such as fouled fuel injectors, etc. We normally use Shell V-Power in our BMWs and get great results. The shop manager also told me that minor fouling can be resolved by putting one container of Chevron Techron concentrate fuel injector cleaner with a full tank of gas.
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      01-03-2013, 07:48 PM   #15
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I thought BMW recommends BP fuel - I don't see them on the list
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      01-04-2013, 11:37 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Bread View Post
So just paper napkin math here, let's say you drive 20k miles a year and the cost differential between mid and high octane (US 89 and 91/93) is $0.15/gallon. If you average 23 mpg, you'll spend a shocking $130 a year extra putting 91/93 in. That's less than $11 a month, or thirty six cents a day. If this is too much, you will be better off on the bus.

Of course if you get better mileage and drive fewer miles per year, it's an even smaller amount. Just running numbers on my wife's habits, of 10k miles a year, getting around 17 mpg average and keeping the car three years, we'll spend about $265 total putting higher grade octane in her car before we sell it.
Dayum, I like your math much better than mine. I suck at math.
But I refigured it based on today's local prices and 15K per year and 21MPG(lots of in town driving)...so this is a worse case scenario.
87...$3.30
93...$3.60
714 gals

difference of $214.20 per year or $00.01428 per mile
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      01-04-2013, 11:48 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HBWT View Post
Dayum, I like your math much better than mine. I suck at math.
But I refigured it based on today's local prices and 15K per year and 21MPG(lots of in town driving)...so this is a worse case scenario.
87...$3.30
93...$3.60
714 gals

difference of $214.20 per year or $00.01428 per mile
Yeah, I just used the difference in 89 and 91/93 octane, since 87 will almost certainly ding performance and mileage more than the potential savings.

Interesting that this conversation hasn't led to the inevitable discussion of carbon buildup on these engines. Our 2008 N54 was getting to where it needed to be cleaned at 43k miles when we sold it and it was always run on top tier fuels, either 91 in CA or 93 in TX. The N55 and N20 will suffer from the same thing, and since direct injection bypasses the intake valves, no amount of Techron or other fuel additive will help. SeaFoam into the intake or physical cleaning is the only option. We leased this car, in the hope that BMW will follow Toyota/Subaru and others approach with adding a set of supplemental port injectors back into DI designs.
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      01-04-2013, 12:58 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Bread View Post
Yeah, I just used the difference in 89 and 91/93 octane, since 87 will almost certainly ding performance and mileage more than the potential savings.

Interesting that this conversation hasn't led to the inevitable discussion of carbon buildup on these engines. Our 2008 N54 was getting to where it needed to be cleaned at 43k miles when we sold it and it was always run on top tier fuels, either 91 in CA or 93 in TX. The N55 and N20 will suffer from the same thing, and since direct injection bypasses the intake valves, no amount of Techron or other fuel additive will help. SeaFoam into the intake or physical cleaning is the only option. We leased this car, in the hope that BMW will follow Toyota/Subaru and others approach with adding a set of supplemental port injectors back into DI designs.
I was under the assumption that most manufacturers were already doing this. I mean this problem has been around for at least 5 years. And with so many CPO vehicles being sold and a sure fire way to defeat the problem, how can BMW ignore this issue and afford to allow it to continue.
I find it disturbing that BMW would choose to "follow" when they've always been a leader...or so most any German Engineer would have one believe.
FWIW, Audiworld has had few if any reports of CBU with their 2.0T. Most reports of CBU have been with the 3.2 V6 and V8 engines.
I'd like to see a BMW engine schematic to see if any kind of intake port injection has been engineered into our cars.
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      01-04-2013, 02:51 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by HBWT View Post
I was under the assumption that most manufacturers were already doing this. I mean this problem has been around for at least 5 years. And with so many CPO vehicles being sold and a sure fire way to defeat the problem, how can BMW ignore this issue and afford to allow it to continue.
I find it disturbing that BMW would choose to "follow" when they've always been a leader...or so most any German Engineer would have one believe.
FWIW, Audiworld has had few if any reports of CBU with their 2.0T. Most reports of CBU have been with the 3.2 V6 and V8 engines.
I'd like to see a BMW engine schematic to see if any kind of intake port injection has been engineered into our cars.
Not trying to further derail this thread, if you want to discuss further, let's start another thread. To be fair, we'd probably get better traffic in the F30 forum, where the engines are shared with the E84.

But to your point, BMW has seldom led in engine technology. They use what's proven and seldom lead the way. Mechanical fuel injection was started in masse by MB, GM largely started the electronic FI movement. DI came from the Japanese as did the combined DI/Port setup, which Audi is just now starting to implement on engines we don't get in the US yet, BMW and MB have mentioned that the next generation of motors will utilize this setup, but all current petrol engines are currently DI only.

Carbon buildup is an issue on any DI only engine, including the 2.0t, both the TSI and TFSI motors. But it's certainly less of an issue than the 4.2L RS4/R8 motor saw. You can clean the intake side of any engine to restore flow, but without fuel movement over the intake valves/ports, this will continue to be an issue.
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      01-04-2013, 03:14 PM   #20
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Even if you buy brand name TopTier gas, weird stuff can still happen.
There was a discussion (referenced below) on the X3 forum a few months ago relating to BP refinery problems in the Chicagoland area.
http://x3.xbimmers.com/forums/showth...ight=bp+costco
http://www.bpresponse.com/go/site/5207/
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      01-04-2013, 03:24 PM   #21
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Here's a question y'all might want to contemplate.
Ask your dealer what octane gas they put in their BMW loaners, or what octane gas they use to fill your tank on initial delivery (assuming you got a full tank on delivery).
Asked that question myself and the number is not 91 or 93.
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      01-04-2013, 03:35 PM   #22
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And even if the gas as delivered was top quality, that does not mean that it will be that way when pumped into your tank.
You don't want to be the last car to fill before the tank is (near) empty, and you don't want to be the first to fill after a tanker refill, when the sludge that's usually sitting at the bottom of the station tank is swirled up and going into the fuel. This is especially true for ethanol-mixed fuel.
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