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Gas requirement


Does a 2004 bmw 325i require premium gas? If not what is the lowest grade recommended?

Doesn’t your owner’s manual cover this? Does it say premium gas is required, premium gas is recommended, or regular gas is fine? It should be one of those three choices.

Hopefully someone who reads this will have the owner’s manual for your car.

All I can say is:

my e46 (2004) BMW is far less tolerant of different fuels than my two e36 (1997) BMWs. The older ones will burn anything, smoothly retarding their timing to match the fuel, and running just fine. They have a bit less ‘pep’ on lower octane, but they run just fine.

My wife’s 2004 330 requires premium, (minimum 91 octane) and it is really unhappy with anything less. It surges as though the timing swings widely in response to detected pings, rather than adjusting its timing in increments and ‘learning’ what kind of gasoline it has.

I don’t know, but I would assume so. Performance would be decreased with regular gas.

Test for yourself, much like Manolito, you can tell by performance differences.

With low octane fuel, On a long up grade ( 9 mile hill in Albuquerque, or approaching continental divide, or driving north from Phoenix to Flag. ),

  • accelerate - .

Do you hear it pinging ? a little cackle/rattle ? ( even for just a bit, if it adjusts itself ) - UP the octane. Engine damage will occur if you continue to use wrong octane here. ( I blew a hole through the top of a piston by bull-headedly not buying the high octane. “I can’t afford it.” Hah!..I can’t afford NOT to. )
If not, the low grade is ok.

If no pre-ignition is detected, test between the two grades for miles per gallon/tank and acceleration rate. Many times an engine which MAY run ok on low octane will run much better on high octane.

I agree, open the glove box and find the owner’s manual(it came with one, right?). This should say 91 required(don’t run anything but), recommended(should run high octane, but will reduce performance and mileage if you use the lower octane), or it’ll say 87 is required.

Do you realize just how gawd-awful many people reply “I don’t have one” when told to research these answers in their owner’s manuals ?
Many used car buyers say “I didn’t get one” ( Well go get one )
Man, I’d like to slap those who say “I threw it out, it takes up too much space.”

To the best of my knowledge all late model BMWs require premium fuel.

Check your gas filler door and see if tells you what the minimum and recommended octane ratings are.

According to, this is a premium fuel car. I know it is not the best source, but better than the wild guesses. Especially when I heard that using low octane gas in these BMW’s may cause expensive engine damage.