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When it comes to owning a BMW, there are several factors to consider, including fuel efficiency, performance, and maintenance. One common question that often arises is, “Can BMW take 87 gas?” In this article, we will delve into the truth behind this popular fuel myth and provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision about fueling your BMW.

Understanding Fuel Grades: Unleaded Gasoline Explained

Before we dive into the specifics of whether a BMW can take 87 gas, let’s first understand the concept of fuel grades. Unleaded gasoline is available in different octane ratings, which indicate the fuel’s ability to resist knocking or pinging during combustion. The octane rating is displayed on the pump and commonly ranges from 87 to 93, with 87 being the most readily available and affordable option.

Octane Ratings: The Science Behind the Numbers

The octane rating measures a fuel’s resistance to pre-ignition or knocking. Higher octane fuels have a greater resistance to knocking, which is important for high-performance engines that operate at higher compression ratios. However, it is important to note that higher octane fuel does not necessarily result in better performance unless your vehicle specifically requires it.

BMW and Fuel Recommendations

BMW, like many other automobile manufacturers, provides fuel recommendations for each model they produce. These recommendations are based on extensive research and testing to optimize performance and efficiency. It is crucial to adhere to the manufacturer’s guidelines to ensure your BMW operates at its best. Now, let’s address the burning question: can BMW take 87 gas?

Can BMW Take 87 Gas?

Contrary to popular belief, most modern BMW models are designed to run efficiently on regular unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 87. BMW engines are engineered to deliver exceptional performance while maintaining fuel economy, and the majority of their vehicles are not designed to require higher-octane fuel.

It is important to consult your owner’s manual or check with a certified BMW dealer to confirm the specific fuel requirements for your model. While 87 octane is suitable for most BMW vehicles, some high-performance models or older models may require premium fuel for optimal performance. It is always better to err on the side of caution and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.

FAQs about BMW and Fuel Grade

  1. Does using higher octane fuel improve performance in a BMW?

    • While some high-performance BMW models may benefit from using higher octane fuel, most models will not experience any noticeable performance improvements. Stick to the fuel grade recommended in your owner’s manual to avoid unnecessary expenses.
  2. Will using lower octane fuel damage my BMW’s engine?

    • Using a lower octane fuel than recommended may cause knocking or pinging, which can potentially lead to engine damage. However, if your BMW is designed to run on 87 gas, it should not cause any harm to your engine.
  3. Can I mix different octane fuels in my BMW?

    • It is generally not recommended to mix different octane fuels. Consistently using the fuel grade specified by the manufacturer is the best practice for maintaining your BMW’s performance and longevity.
  4. Why do some BMW models require premium fuel?

    • Certain BMW models, particularly those with high-performance engines or forced induction systems, may require premium fuel due to their specific design and higher compression ratios. Premium fuel helps prevent knocking in these specialized engines.
  5. Does using higher octane fuel increase fuel efficiency?

    • In most cases, using higher octane fuel does not significantly improve fuel efficiency in BMW vehicles designed to run on regular unleaded gasoline. Stick to the manufacturer’s recommendations to achieve the best balance between performance and fuel economy.
  6. Can using the wrong fuel damage the warranty on my BMW?

    • Using an incorrect fuel grade can potentially void your warranty if it leads to engine damage. Always follow the fuel recommendations outlined in your owner’s manual to maintain your warranty coverage.


In conclusion, the myth that BMWs can only run on premium fuel is just that—a myth. While some BMW models may require premium fuel for optimal performance, the majority of BMW vehicles are designed to run efficiently on regular unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 87. However, it is crucial to consult your owner’s manual or speak with a certified BMW dealer to confirm the specific fuel requirements for your model.

Remember, following the manufacturer’s recommendations for fuel grade is essential to maintain the performance, efficiency, and longevity of your BMW. Whether it’s a high-performance model or a daily driver, using the appropriate fuel grade will ensure your BMW continues to deliver the driving experience you expect.