How necessary is it to use premium grade gas in a MINI Cooper base model (not an ‘S’ or larger model)? What are the potential problems from using regular gas? Thanks.
Pretty sure all the Mini’s specify premium fuel. Look in your manual or it probably says premium only on or near the gas cap. Potential problem of not using premium would be detonation that could put a hole in a piston or otherwise destroy your engine. The difference in gas price certainly isn’t worth risking your engine. It’s only a couple bucks difference per tank, which is nothing compared to what it costs to fill a tank these days.
The difference as others here will no doubt tell you is whether premium gasoline is “recommended” or “required” by your Cooper’s manual.
If premium gasoline is required, it means just what it says.
An attempt to save money at the gas pump will cost you much more in the long run.
On the other hand, if premium is “recommended,” it’s up to you to see whether the performance is affected and make your own determination.
Here we go again. I guess that “Search” button above is for other people.
Since I’m one of the “other people…”
You might also remember that using regular fuel in a car designed to use premium may result in higher fuel cost since you will get less mileage in a car designed for premium if you use regular.
How can you justify saving $2 per fill up compared to using 91+ octane?
The car can run on regular. However it is not optimal for the engine nor performance. Will you see the negative effects during your ownership? Who knows…
I just bought a 2007 Mini Cooper base model. The following is direct from the manual regarding fuel. What appears to be a requirement at first, really turns out to be a recommendation. Someday when the “honeymoon’s” over, I may experiment with regular to see if I notice a difference. The car’s pretty miserly on gas so, for now, I’ve been using premium and it runs great.
“Required fuel - Super Premium gasoline/AKI 91.
This gasoline is highly recommended. However, you may also use gasoline with less AKI. The minimum AKI Rating is 87. If you use gasoline with this minimum AKI Rating, the engine may produce knocking souunds when starting at high outside temperatures. This has no effect on the engine life. Do not use any gasoline below the specified minimum fuel grade. Otherwise the engine could be damaged.”
The fuel tank is barely more than 10 gallons, you aren’t saving much by using 87 octane, $2 at MOST
Just to amplfy, you will save $64 for every 10,000 miles you drive. I think the savings are insignificant. No one knows your Mini beter than BMW. If they require premium, then use it.
The secretary in my department bought a Mini Cooper and she always uses premium gasoline. She claims that with the mileage she gets on the Mini, the overall gasoline cost is less than the Ford Probe she did have that ran on regular.
The manual says the engine will make “a knocking noise” if 87 octane is used. Despite what BMW says about the “knocking noise” not being harmful to the engine, I still wouldn’t want to hear it in my $20k+ car. Heck, if my $500 car was making that noise, I would do whatever it takes to prevent that noise from happening because it makes me cringe, knowing what the engine is going through, even if it means paying $2 more per tank of gas. Also, the lost performance and MPG will negate your savings at the pump. I mention performance because the MINI Cooper is not an economy car, it is a specialty car made by BMW intended to be a corner cutter and head turner, which happens to be small and light enough to get pretty decent gas mileage. Economy cars do not have high performance engines which require high octane fuel. BMW does not make an economy car. They emphasize driving experience.