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Old 05-17-2009, 05:40 PM   #1
toofast4u88
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Check Engine Light from low grade gas???

I just went to test drive a 2000 323ci and the engine light was on. The owner said that he put regular in it and that the check engine goes away as soon as you put premium in it. He also said it happens if he does this to his other bimmers. Does this actually happen? The car was in great shape otherwise, but I wouldnt buy a car with check engine light on.
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Old 05-17-2009, 05:43 PM   #2
///eP
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oh yeah, that happens, my brother 'borrowed' my e36 m3 and returned it filled up on regular, ALL the check lights came on, i had to siphon the gas out of the car, and put ultra 94 back into it.
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Old 05-17-2009, 06:11 PM   #3
5thseries
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why would he put regular fuel into the car firstly..... thats a fail, and the check engine light shouldnt come on.. you should hear a clunk sound coming from the engine, once the high grade fuel runs threw, it will go away automatically

atleast 89 octane+...
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Old 05-17-2009, 06:24 PM   #4
toofast4u88
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Will the check engine light go away as soon as premium is put in? I thought these lights had to be reset using a computer.
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Old 05-18-2009, 08:41 AM   #5
Trouble65
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Originally Posted by 5thseries View Post
why would he put regular fuel into the car firstly..... thats a fail, and the check engine light shouldnt come on.. you should hear a clunk sound coming from the engine, once the high grade fuel runs threw, it will go away automatically

atleast 89 octane+...
Huh? Not trying to be rude however you have no clue what you are talking about. If you fill up a 2.5Ltr or higher displacement engine from BMW with 89Octane your check engine light will come up because your knock sensor is telling your computer that the engine is knocking due to cheap fuel. Your computer retards the timing giving you less power and you will not hear any knocking coming from your engine, unless you have a faulty knock sensor. If you do have a faulty knock sensor and you keep pushing your car you will eventually put a hole through your piston(s)

Having said that once you fill up with higher octane fuel your CHK Engine light will go out.
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Old 05-18-2009, 11:27 AM   #6
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I'd suggest, make the guys put sunoco 94 in it, and prove it to you, that the it turns off. be at the pump as he's running on fumes, and see what happens.
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Old 05-18-2009, 11:50 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Trouble65 View Post
Huh? Not trying to be rude however you have no clue what you are talking about. If you fill up a 2.5Ltr or higher displacement engine from BMW with 89Octane your check engine light will come up because your knock sensor is telling your computer that the engine is knocking due to cheap fuel. Your computer retards the timing giving you less power and you will not hear any knocking coming from your engine, unless you have a faulty knock sensor. If you do have a faulty knock sensor and you keep pushing your car you will eventually put a hole through your piston(s)

Having said that once you fill up with higher octane fuel your CHK Engine light will go out.
hate to break it to you, 89 doesn t knock, 87 does.
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Old 05-18-2009, 02:02 PM   #8
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Make sure he wasn't putting 87 in it regularly...although he would probably lie to you.
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Old 06-28-2010, 07:10 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Trouble65 View Post
Huh? Not trying to be rude however you have no clue what you are talking about. If you fill up a 2.5Ltr or higher displacement engine from BMW with 89Octane your check engine light will come up because your knock sensor is telling your computer that the engine is knocking due to cheap fuel. Your computer retards the timing giving you less power and you will not hear any knocking coming from your engine, unless you have a faulty knock sensor. If you do have a faulty knock sensor and you keep pushing your car you will eventually put a hole through your piston(s)

Having said that once you fill up with higher octane fuel your CHK Engine light will go out.

Please explain how an engine running with retard timing will eventually put a hole through the piston(s).
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Old 06-28-2010, 08:16 PM   #10
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Shouldn’t a modern engine with all parameters working properly adjust for octane regardless?
My e39 ran like shit until I replaced all the o2’s now it rips the tires 1st 2nd and 3rd no CEL came on at all. The cpu. Shouldn’t throw a code until something is failing or failed.
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Old 06-28-2010, 10:44 PM   #11
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Shouldn’t a modern engine with all parameters working properly adjust for octane regardless?
My e39 ran like shit until I replaced all the o2’s now it rips the tires 1st 2nd and 3rd no CEL came on at all. The cpu. Shouldn’t throw a code until something is failing or failed.
That's my thinking too but it doesnt mean Im right. I think that when there's detonation due to low octane, a modern engine would make adjustment like retard the timing to avoid engine damage. So that's why I asked the gent why would an engine with retard timing would damage a piston, much less put a whole thru it.

Need someone who knows the facts to chime in.
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Old 06-28-2010, 11:38 PM   #12
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Try and find a car where the owner is not a moron... the fact that he says he does it to his other bimmers shows he's pretty clueless about them, why the hell would you put in regular where it clearly states you need premium. Alarm bells are ringing..

Borrow a scanner or find some way to figure out why the CEL is on. A pre purchase inspection would do it.
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Old 06-29-2010, 04:20 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by toofast4u88 View Post
I just went to test drive a 2000 323ci and the engine light was on. The owner said that he put regular in it and that the check engine goes away as soon as you put premium in it. He also said it happens if he does this to his other bimmers. Does this actually happen? The car was in great shape otherwise, but I wouldnt buy a car with check engine light on.
I would not buy a car from someone who is so cheap that he does not use the required fuel in his car. What else did he cheap out on?
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Old 06-29-2010, 11:31 AM   #14
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I would not buy a car from someone who is so cheap that he does not use the required fuel in his car. What else did he cheap out on?
Agreed. Clearly shows a lack of regard to vehicle requirements and specs. God knows how often he changed the oil on his cars if he's too cheap to spend an extra $3 on a tank of fuel.
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Old 06-29-2010, 01:43 PM   #15
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I use 87 in my E30, but I run 91 every 3rd tank just to get the junk out. My engine light always comes on Should I run 89 always instead of the 87?
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