Does E46 really require 91 fuel?

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It will not have a detrimental effect on the engine. It makes your engine slightly less efficient. I came from the Porsche side a few months back because I needed a car that could be used as a commuter car as well as have
a little sportiness in her. The Porsche had a heavy clutch and a 5 speed, not exactly commuter friendly. The Porsche also had and engine that required 91RON. Difference was, it had no variable timing or knock sensors to prevent knocking and pinging. Starting in 1991 the 944S2/968 series had knock sensors and then eventually variocam timing to allow a lower octane fuel. I studied the BMW alot before buying one and got the same advice from mechanics and experts...87 or 89 will not damage the engine. On a side note...I have been keeping an eye on the efficiency and seem to lose any where from a 1/20 of a mile to 1/40th of a mile per gallon running 87. Over a tankful, that is about 2 miles.

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Devils944S2 wrote:

But not all BMWs are created equal. Is yours also an M3 with the S54 engine? If not then your experience is not applicable.
-Fred W
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He has an auto 325is (an E36 I believe). He also drives in traffic similar to what the OP encounters: the OP should really consider going down for the same reason Devils did.
FloydR
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Floyd Rogers wrote:

Yes, I agree. A 325i(s) with an automatic is a great car for urban traffic. An M3 OTOH is not.
--
-Fred W

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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I don't think an M3 is a very good choice of car for driving under those conditions. Maybe you should consider getting a car better suited to you use?
--
-Fred W

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why it isn't suited, can you elaborate?
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I would like to know that too...I chose a BMW because they were so versatile. I would think that an M3 would be fine for commuting and also great for open roading. If the 944S2 had a tiptronic available, I would still be driving it.

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Devils944S2 wrote:

OK, here are my *opinions* on why an M3 isn't a great commuter car:
The car was designed to run at high rpms and high road speeds. This engine does not devop its power until well above 4k rpm. Even with that, the gearing is fairly tall to allow high (way above legal) speeds and the steering and suspension is taut and firm to handle aggressive cornering. It comes with low profile, high performance wheels and tires that do not handle rough road surfaces (potholes, etc.) very well and due to the large diameter high performance brakes smaller diameter wheels are not an option. And any proper M3 will have a 5 or 6 speed manual transmission either with a foor operated clutch or SMG. I would *never* buy an M3 with an automatic (torque convertor type) transmission. In my opinion BMW should never have sold any in that configuration.
In short, the M3 design is biased toward performance rather than comfort.
OTOH, I consider the standard 3 series and 5 series cars to be a delightful balance between creature comfort and performance in the real world environment that one typically encounters on the commute.
--
-Fred W

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I've been driving in the traffic for the past two months and I dont have any qualms so far. I just let long enough cushion in front of me to keep it in the 3d gear and hit brakes & downshift once 5-6 miles. If you like riding other's car bumpers than I can see how you would hate driving M3 in traffic. :) WRT comfortability, I judge it by my own experience coming off IS300, it's sufficiently comfortable in stock configuration. It isnt M5, but I think M5 would put me to sleep in traffic. ;) BTW, speaking of changing oil. What's the recommened oil change interval for S54, I've seen 7,500 and 12,000 mile intervals? Is It still Castrol 10W60 or we are back to Mobil?
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snipped-for-privacy@ureach.spam-remove.com wrote:

If you can maintain 3rd gear it sounds like you are not driving the car in urban traffic, so your M3 may very well suit your intended driving mission.
WRT oil, buy the BMW oil from the dealer. It *is* the right stuff and as luck would have it, they do not overprice it (Iknow it's hard to beleive...) and it is priced competitively with Mobil1, which is the next best thing. Even though Castrol is the maker of the BMW labeled oil it is not the same stuff as what you can buy with a Castrol label (Syntec).
--
-Fred W

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The key is to keep at least a 1/4 mile distance to the car in front. =)
According to TB's I was able to google up, oil sold as Castrol TWS 10w60 is exactly what dealers use. Are you saying it isn't true? Hasn't BMW switched from Mobil 1 10w30 to Castrol 4 years ago on S54's?
Not overpriced in BMW dealer?? I havent seen anything sold for what it is worth in BMW dealerships. I'd be shocked if oil sold by BWM dealer has less than 15$ overcharge added. Otherwise they would not have been charging 200$ for oil change. BTW, what oil filter is recommended?
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Well, like yesterday, as I was creeping up the metered entrance ramp to I90, had to start from a stop on the (hill) ramp about 10 times (even waiting for two car lengths to open up in front of me.) Like today on I5 as traffic was rolling at around 5-25 mph, forcing me between 1-2-3 gears. An auto 325i would get better mileage, be easier on the nerves and the stupid clutch stop wouldn't break off and have to be replaced.
FloydR 330xi
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Floyd Rogers wrote:

We all have different approaches, of course, but in traffic jams like that (5-25mph) I'd never get out of first gear most of the time - certainly not beyond 2nd. I just love the wide, usable rpm range in each gear - think it is one of the better features of the car. Makes, at least, the occasional traffic jam tolerable.
Frank
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snipped-for-privacy@ureach.spam-remove.com wrote:

Is this a troll? You (supposedly) own the thing. You tell me.
--
-Fred W

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If this clown really thinks driving the M3 will be fun in bumper to bumper (especially on low octane fuel) then let's let him. He will be back soon enough with clutch issues and pinging problems! Not to mention a worn out left foot and a sore neck from all the stop and starts!
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SharkmanBMW wrote:

Now, now... I know that there are a lot of clowns over at Barnum and Bailey's that will be ofended by your remarks. They would not try and put low octane gas in an M3! ;-)
--
-Fred W

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The question really is: is he happy with the current situation? If so, he should continue to drive the M3 (using premium). After all, I used to commute in an NSX, rarely getting above 45mph, and it rides at least as harshly as an M3. Plenty of people commute driving other similar cars, too.
FloydR
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