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This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 04-09-2014, 02:12 PM   #21
WDE46
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Maybe it's just me, but I do feel a noticeable difference, especially on hot days. On colder days, you can't tell any difference, but on hot days, sitting in traffic with the AC on or even just cruising, there's definetly power loss, not hugely noticeable but it's there.



Not sure if it's worth the difference between premium/regular, but I run 91 only because it's recommended, by the people who designed the thing.

Hotter intake temperatures are the reason. 87 might be perfect when your intake temp is only 75F because it's freezing outside. In the summer it might be 130F or more in traffic. Hotter intake temps may make the engine retard timing for 87.


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Old 04-09-2014, 02:21 PM   #22
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There is a way around all of this, but like anything you will have upfront costs which need to be factored in to your long term MPG goal.

One way to successfully run 87 octane fuel in your Bimmer would be to use a water-methanol injection system. There are many benefits to using water-methanol injection, namely higher octane with better fuel economy.

BMW: http://www.snowperformance.net/bmw-gasoline-all-models

FAQ: http://www.snowperformance.net/faqs_...?type=gasoline


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Old 04-09-2014, 02:46 PM   #23
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my car only runs 93 octane since 2003
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Old 04-09-2014, 03:24 PM   #24
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It has nothing to do with using an "inferior" fuel. Forget regular/midgrade/premium designations. Engines are designed with a certain compression ratio that fit with a certain octane level. The m54 engine was designed for fuel of 91 octane or greater, period.

The same logic applies to why you put 87 octane in a Honda Civic. The engine was designed for it.
and that's why God gave us knock sensors and adjustable timing.
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Old 04-09-2014, 04:39 PM   #25
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Let me at least apologize for coming off like an a$$. However we have this same conversation every couple weeks and it always ends in a huge argument. You could have easily searched and found dozens of these threads to get your answers and you would find that they all get locked in the end. Its just a topic that no one will ever agree on so of course they always get ugly.


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I am going to install M3 fender grill on my 323ci.
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This 323 would most likely handle and drive better than a stock e46 m3.
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Old 04-09-2014, 07:49 PM   #26
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This topic has been beat to death. The only reason to not run 91 or better is if you are cheap or broke and in either case you're driving the wrong car. Who really cares OP, so you've run cheap gas with no issues. Why don't you go ahead and put cheap oil in it too while you're at it. All you're really saying by starting this thread is that you're cheap. You may as well be a troll too because if you put your (flame suit on) then you knew where this thread would go so thanks for opening up a can of worms.

Mods please close this thread because we all know this is a ridiculous topic.


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They don't sell 91 octane here, what about me? My choices are either 85,87, or 89.
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Old 04-09-2014, 08:25 PM   #27
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a difference of 30 cents per gallon, at 10k miles a year, with an average of 25 MPG yields $120 a year in extra fuel cost for going with premium over regular, or $10 a month. I do understand that saving money is important but this one is hard to justify. It isn't a matter of breaking anything, I would just always want the most out of my car and considering the cost of general maintenance that we have to do, i don't think $10 a month is a dealbreaker.
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Old 04-09-2014, 10:05 PM   #28
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a difference of 30 cents per gallon, at 10k miles a year, with an average of 25 MPG yields $120 a year in extra fuel cost for going with premium over regular, or $10 a month. I do understand that saving money is important but this one is hard to justify. It isn't a matter of breaking anything, I would just always want the most out of my car and considering the cost of general maintenance that we have to do, i don't think $10 a month is a dealbreaker.

Considering when I was driving to work every day, I'd be filling up three times a week, it made a pretty big difference. And you're lucky if premium is only 30 cents more. Looking today, premium was 50 cents more than regular at the station I usually fill up at. Regular was 3.35, so that's a 15% increase. $10 a month would be a day of parking saved, or a day eating lunch out. It's those little things that add up.



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Old 04-09-2014, 10:54 PM   #29
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Here's my interesting spin.
My 5th gear isn't working. My trans will be looked at in a week. (A/T btw)
so when driving to work, I use 4th gear as my top gear, and shift manually. I notice a MASSIVE difference in economy between 87 and the 93 that I run now when using 4th as top gear. I went from ~16-17 mpg to ~20-22 mpg. Obviously these numbers are very low because I don't have my fifth currently, so no Overdrive. I have to say I was suprised at the difference. And I was also suprised I could average over 20 mpg without 5th gear. *pats back for restraint*
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Old 04-09-2014, 11:31 PM   #30
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Glad to see that after a week long discussion e46fanatics hasn't changed one bit.


OP, I tried something similar in my passat. The passat is made much much much more cheaply than the e46's and it is based on a mid 90's Audi platform. The entire car is basically made to be replaced every few years thanks to all the plastic components.

VW recommends that the owner puts 91 octane in the tank. Self test in, found no real difference in power loss. A little in mpg but I can't say how much was caused by the fuel and how much by crappy parts engineering

I don't think there is a REQUIREMENT that you must put 91, but if you believe it is right, then go ahead and fill with 91. If not, do the same thing as nova and I and fill with 87 to save a little bit

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Old 04-10-2014, 02:30 AM   #31
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I get move low end power off the line with 91. the previous only ran it on 87 i picked it up it bucked at low rpms now that I'm running 91 and i don't feel bucking at all. 212k and running strongClick image for larger version

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Old 04-10-2014, 07:08 AM   #32
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Almost always 87 in my 323i after 284k miles. At this point, I don't care. The thing still runs great on 87, and it's no faster with 91/93. That said, my M5 never drank anything but the best.
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Old 04-10-2014, 07:55 AM   #33
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I put 93 shell only on all my cars. From my 1990 300zx to my new truck. I dont buy supermarket brand anything when it comes to what i put down my mouth just to save money so why should i do it with my cars.

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Old 04-10-2014, 07:58 AM   #34
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Almost always 87 in my 323i after 284k miles. At this point, I don't care. The thing still runs great on 87, and it's no faster with 91/93. That said, my M5 never drank anything but the best.
i'm glad it's working out and i can't knock it given the mileage, but your assertion about the car being no faster just isn't true. you may not feel it in the butt dyno, or perhaps there are other issues going on rendering octane unimporant in this instance, but there is no denying a car made for 91 octane will produce at least a few more horsepower at 91 than 87. this is more true of cars with FI but still apples here.
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Old 04-10-2014, 08:00 AM   #35
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I put 93 shell only on all my cars. From my 1990 300zx to my new truck. I dont buy supermarket brand anything when it comes to what i put down my mouth just to save money so why should i do it with my cars.

87 isn't necessarily inferior it is simply a slightly different gas. If a car doesn't need it, then there is absolutely zero benefit to using premium.


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Old 04-10-2014, 08:01 AM   #36
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Glad to see that after a week long discussion e46fanatics hasn't changed one bit.


OP, I tried something similar in my passat. The passat is made much much much more cheaply than the e46's and it is based on a mid 90's Audi platform. The entire car is basically made to be replaced every few years thanks to all the plastic components.

VW recommends that the owner puts 91 octane in the tank. Self test in, found no real difference in power loss. A little in mpg but I can't say how much was caused by the fuel and how much by crappy parts engineering

I don't think there is a REQUIREMENT that you must put 91, but if you believe it is right, then go ahead and fill with 91. If not, do the same thing as nova and I and fill with 87 to save a little bit

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placebo works both ways. just because you didn't notice a difference doesn't mean there wasn't one. i am going to guess this was a 1.8t, an engine i have a lot of experience with. there is no doubt whatsoever you will be "missing horsepower" by using 87 in the 1.8t. I am not claiming the car will go boom, but there is a definite power drop.

Personally, i never make the octane argument for engine safety reasons. Almost any car of the last 15 years has protections against damage for lower octane. I just like having access to my car's full potential. This is all contingent on the assumption the car actually calls for 91/93. If it doesn't, you're wasting money.
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Old 04-10-2014, 08:03 AM   #37
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87 isn't necessarily inferior it is simply a slightly different gas. If a car doesn't need it, then there is absolutely zero benefit to using premium.


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Ok. Still will stick to what works for me.
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Old 04-10-2014, 08:53 AM   #38
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87 would


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Old 04-10-2014, 09:19 AM   #39
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Thread has been royally discussed. Closed.
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