High octane fuel on mini cooper?


Asked by Feb 14, 2016 at 07:09 PM about the 2009 MINI Cooper Base

Question type: General

Hello, please could somone advise why BMW
reccomeded high octane fuel for mini coopers?

For context I should note that the manual
recommends high octane or premium fuel, it does
not note the octane level required number wise. I
looked into this further and noted that octane
levels in the US differ quite a bit from that of the
UK where I'm from. It seems  US drivers pay a
premium for octance levels of about 90-95
whereas 95 is about standard in the UK, premium
fuel here is more 95-99.

With that in mind I wonder if its necessary to pay
extra for somthing which may be unnecessary. I
also wondering if they put that in the manual
intended to be used in different countries with
differing grades of fuel, perhaps as a fail safe for
everyone so they all use the best fuel and the cars
break down less?

Also, am I right in thinking higher graded fuel will
be better for my engine longevity? Does it make my
car faster? It feels faster, I think but I'm not sure if
that's a placebo effect. If it does make it faster is it
by any quantifiable amount, ie 1% 10% 30%,

Sorry if I missed somthing obvious, I'm not very
clues up on cars. Thanks in advance for you help.


12 Answers


Callum- well, well, well, yes you certainly did miss something. When you decided to purchase this car, you should have done your homework. You would have discovered that this car has a high compression engine. Besides, we're talking 10 cents per gallon more at the pump. If you couldn't have afforded this, you should not have purchased this car. And , further, you could damage your engine etc, see this thread, http://community.cartalk.com/discussion/2234612/mini-cooper- gas

6 of 6 people found this helpful.

By the way, whenever the owners manual recommends something, it's required.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

I'm not sure how to reply on this so I will put my reply in the answer box: It reccomends premium yes but premium in the US is low to mid 90's, that's just standard in the UK so I wondered if if was necessary. I also wondered if higher grade fuel would make the care faster. I should think there are diminishing returns on higher grade fuel performance wise as you move up though the 90's. Also, thank you for responding Mark I appricate your advice. Callum

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

Thank you Callum-, by the way, if I've been helpful here, please mark one of my answers best answer. Here's the proof of the premium fuel required for you, see this link. Edmund's is highly regarded, and there's been other discussions on the Internet about this subject. If you don't have the proper fuel, it could cause engine pinging, damage, loss of performance. I'm sure that you don't want this over 10 cents per gallon? http://www.edmunds.com/mini/cooper/2009/features-specs/

5 of 5 people found this helpful.

There reason Mini and BMW's require a higher octane level is the compression of the engine, anything over 10:1 requires 91 or more. You can run 87 with no issues. No real power difference like you said with higher octane, but you will get slightly better MPG. But like Mark said, why not uses the correct octane as recommended? That's why those engineer get paid the big $$$ to figure all this out for you.

9 of 9 people found this helpful.
Best Answer Mark helpful

I don't know where or when you guys live, but I would love to find premium fuel at a $.10 price premium! As a Cooper S driver for the past 10 years, I've found that the oil company have realized that people shop regular gas prices, not premium prices, and they are gouging accordingly. Years ago it was maybe $.10 extra for mid- grade, and another $.10 extra for premium. Lately, at least here in the Chicago area, that has grown to around $.40 per step, and I'm paying $.80 per gallon extra (around 1/3 more) for premium fuel! As much as I love the supercharger, it's just not worth it, and my next car will not require premium fuel.

16 of 16 people found this helpful.

For decades the difference has always been 10 cents a step up but recently they have started charging more.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

I got the p0326 error code when running low octane = pinging = bad Bumped the octane up, error code gone, no ping. 2006 mini s

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Just bought a mini. I am ok using premium gas and can afford it but the price difference at our gas stations is .60 a gallon--that is outrageous!

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

GasBuddy can help find better deals, but Premium - Regular difference is at least $0.20 in NJ, and usually much higher


Alright. Here's the best answer. If you put regular gas in a high compression car that requires premium, the anti-knock circuits will retard the timing, giving you less performance. So you may push the accelerator harder to get the same performance, at the cost of lower gas mileage. But if you're planning a long trip at highway speed, you can use regular and will get essentially the same gas mileage.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

I wish it was only a .10 difference ! per grade .... at least here in Texas its about 1/3 more per grade from regular. That's why I got rid of my VW and now drive a Subaru. I'm getting 30 MPG in city on regular ! 2018 Forester.

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