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BMW 328i: Regular or Premium Fuel?

So, my son bought the 2000 BMW 328i- I am keeping it for him until he deals with the speeding tickets... anyway... I filled the tank with regular gas- according to the owner's manual, premium is recommended, but the motor will run on regular fuel, albeit with less horsepower and worse fuel economy. Should I keep running it on regular? Or put in premium at the next fill-up? My buddy, Larry the BMW Lover, said "You won't notice the power difference or mileage difference-- so save money, and use regular gas." What do you think? Regular? Or premium?


  • edited April 2011
    according to the owner's manual, premium is recommended,

    Recommended means just that. No damage will result using regular. You will get some reduction in power and mileage. You also will likely save a little in fuel cost as well. Considering your son's history, I would suggest regular, it might slow him down just a little. ?

  • edited April 2011
    With the increase of fuel prices premium still remains $0.20 - $0.25 more than regular. Interestingly at $2.00/gallon the same was true.

    So currently its about 5% more for premium fuel than regular. Check your MPG closely as it may drop that much. Mine definitely does drop that much in my premium required car and the power loss in noticable. However the motor (Subaru WRX) is more a sling shot powerband than a flatter one like a BMW.

    Check your MPG over a full tank with regular.
  • edited April 2011
    Andrew_j worded it well.

    If your BMW currently averages 20mpg, and a switch to regular drops the mileage by more than 1mpg, then using regular is costing you more money!

    Is that what you want?
  • edited April 2011
    Is it possible the access your mileage down to that amount of deviation? I mean if you could even tell you were off by 1 mpg would it be possible that there was another reason (besides the fuel type) that cost you 1 mpg? I don't feel that this car or customer is capable of determining their mileage with such accuracy, I am sure many feel they can though.

    If a customer came in and complained of his mileage being off by 1 mpg I would be looking for the "tin foil hat" to send him home with (he could keep the hat).My first question would be "how could you possibly measure this small amount of change"?
  • edited April 2011
    I think the point is that he's probably not saving money by using regular anyway.

    Personally, I think his son should be part of the decision. And, under the circumstances, his son should be paying for the gas.
  • edited April 2011

    There might be a small savings overall IF the OP doesn't do rabbit starts and keeps the speed down. But then why own a BMW...
  • edited April 2011
    It probably depends a lot on your driving conditions.

    The only sure way to see if regular is thriftier for YOU is to just do it.
  • edited April 2011
    He doesn't. He's driving it for his son until his son "deals with the speeding tickets". That's why I think the son should decide what grade gas he wants in the tank and should be paying for it.
  • edited April 2011
    Premium car.
    premium fuel.

    don't like it?
    don't drive it.
  • edited April 2011
This discussion has been closed.