If you own a BMW, you might frequently ask yourself as you select the fuel grade at the gas pump, “why can’t I just use regular, unleaded fuel for my BMW?” Well, the simple answer is that not all cars are created equally. BMWs in particular are known for their high performance standard, which means typically we as drivers must adhere to a strict maintenance regimen – this includes common practices like oil changes and fuel fill-ups using higher-than-average quality elements.
Using the right type of gasoline that your BMW requires is simply a part of ensuring that your car performs the way it should, in the simplest of terms. Though controversial and not all BMW enthusiasts will agree it’s necessary, the manufacturer recommends using higher-octane fuel such as 91+-octane. There are some benefits and drawbacks of using this high-grade fuel, which will generally be discussed in this article.
The Dangers of Lowering Fuel Standards
Just as BMW vehicles require synthetic oil to optimize vehicle performance and help vehicles measure up to their initial standards, BMWs should be fueled by higher-octane gasoline. Of course, much like a recommended maintenance plan, it is up to the driver’s discretion as to what regimen they adhere to – including the type of gas they select at the pump. Although it’s a little cheaper, regular fuel can cause your BMW to suffer when it comes to engine functioning and overall performance.
One factor that is unique to BMWs is their high-compression engines, which generate higher amounts of heat than the average engine. By using the recommended 91+-octane fuel, your BMW is better able to regulate the engine temperature and keep it in the proper range of effectiveness. When the wrong type of fuel is used, or a fuel that is lower in quality, then your engine may ignite prematurely or encounter damage due to excessive engine temperatures.
How Using the Right Gas Can Benefit Your BMW
The cost of gasoline fluctuates depending on politics, supply and demand, and ultimately the financial state of the country/nation. While cost is a huge deterrent for BMW drivers who require 91+-octane fuel, there are major benefits to keep in mind:
Improved Fuel Efficiency
Due to the nature of its high-compression engine, BMWs will be able to better utilize fuel when the appropriate type is used for processes of ignition and combustion. This optimizes fuel efficiency by using less gas more effectively.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: using 91+-octane fuel provides your BMW with the power it needs and is capable of. If the proper fuel type isn’t utilized regularly, it can cause diminished power and acceleration ability due to a higher-than-average engine temperature. This is especially true when your BMW is under any additional stress, such as traveling long distances, through mountainous terrain, or transporting heavy items.
Most drivers aren’t aware that every time they put gasoline in their car they’re essentially inserting a cleaning agent into their vehicle. Yes, that’s right, gas has cleaning power! Higher-octane gasoline such as 91+ is comprised of a different set of compounds and chemicals that are designed to prevent and deteriorate buildup from carbon molecules over time. This is especially important for the unique type of engine BMWs house.
More About BMW’s Fuel Suggestion
Using the right type of fuel for your BMW that is designated by the people who put the car together seems like a no-brainer, but when faced with the choice to opt for a cheaper gas, many drivers fail the test. We understand the propensity for higher-octane fuel to cost more in the end, but you’ll be glad you stuck with the manufacturer’s suggestions.
One BMW enthusiast calculated the average difference in gas costs over the course of a year using 91+-octane fuel versus unleaded, regular fuel and the cost per year came out to be about only a $150 difference – well worth the expense considering you’re sparing yourself unnecessary part replacements, avoiding hazardous engine malfunctions, and continually optimizing your engine performance. BMWs aren’t cheap to begin with, so using the right gasoline is an overall small price to pay to guarantee results.
At Germany’s Best, we cater to a wide range of BMW-specific issues for clients from Oakland, CA. The most important task in maintaining your BMW is adhering to your car’s suggested maintenance schedule. If you have questions about your car’s fuel requirements or ongoing maintenance, please feel free to contact one of our helpful BMW specialists today – we’ll help you get on track to keep your car performing its best for years to come.
* BMW E90 318i image credit goes to: DarthArt.