Top Tier Gas - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 22 Old Dec 19th, 2006, 6:08 pm Thread Starter
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Top Tier Gas

When recently reading through the (very long) list of recent BMW Technical Service Bulletins (TSB's), I found one issued in November about gasoline quality and detergent additives. The bottom line seems to be that there are far fewer cleaning additives being added to gas combined with increasing amounts of ethanol which can lead to engine deposits and reduced performance and driveability. BMW, General Motors, Honda, and Toyota combined to spec a "TOP TIER Detergent Gasoline". I'd never heard of this and there is a web site describing the details at www.toptiergas.com . Of particular note is the specification that ethanol concentration must be between 8-10%.
The only current qualified gas vendors are:
QuikTrip
Chevron
Conoco
Phillips
76
Shell
Entec Stations
MFA Oil Company
Kwik Trip/Kwik Star
The Somerset Refinery, Inc.
Chevron-Canada
Aloha Petroleum
Tri-Par Oil Company
Shell-Canada
Texaco
Petro-Canada

I'm not sure if this applies to BMW bikes or not, but suspect that it might.
BMW has issued a small customer bulletin entitled "Beyond Octane- How additives in gasoline are affecting your BMW's performance". (posted below)

Has anyone else hear anything about this?
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post #2 of 22 Old Dec 19th, 2006, 8:50 pm
 
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Yes, the top tier spec has been around for a while. Everything they say in that bulletin is accurate. The ethanol does leave residues on the valves and combustion chamber. If the fuel is not properly fortified with detergents, it will cause pinging, knock if left untreated.

The BMW additive is nothing more than the Techron fuel system cleaner you can get at Wal-Mart for $8 or so. For a real cleaner though, the Redline SI-1 is about as good as it gets. Very concentrated, so only use 4-5 oz. for a fillup on the LT.
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post #3 of 22 Old Dec 19th, 2006, 10:26 pm
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Amoco/ BP stations also advertize that they meet the requirements. I believe this is also true of Sonoco, but I am not certain.

Jay Slomka
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post #4 of 22 Old Dec 20th, 2006, 7:09 am
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I have heard of the top tier gas. The only one I have heard advertising it is Quick Trip. I am sure that BMW would include the motorcycles as well as cars.
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post #5 of 22 Old Dec 20th, 2006, 8:29 am
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Yea...this is real

While all gas is created equal (pipeline), it does not come out of the pump that way. Each major company has their own additive package and some are much better than others. Also, often Premium gets a better set of chemicals than regular does. I would not put gas into any of my vehicles from a source not on this list. Even then I periodically add the Techron (or equivalent) product to the tank at the recommended dosage (periodically means at least after every engine oil change).

My wife's cousin, one of my best friends, works for one of the Top Tier companies as a fuel specialist...and has shown me the pics to prove what bad gasoline does. Using good gas with periodic fuel system cleaner not only eliminates the need for injector cleaning (if applicable), but does a whole bunch of other good things for the machine. Ethanol in the gas does lots of bad things, but is currently polically correct, so I won't say too many bad things about it. Both ethanol and some fuel additives can do really bad things to older engines that don't tolerate alcohols and certain other organics (seal degradation), but the LT engine shouldn't have a problem here.

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post #6 of 22 Old Dec 20th, 2006, 8:30 am
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I wonder why Daimler-Chrysler hasn't jumped on the band wagon....

I've always put absolutely the least expensive gasoline I can find into all of my vehicles for 30 years including several BMWs, Chevy's, Hondas, Mercedes and several BMW and Honda motorcycles and have never had a fuel or emissions related problem. That I KNOW of.

MMMMMmarketing designed to instill fear into obsessive compulsive consumers (like me) that they REALLY need to watch out what they put into that 'ol tank - OR ELSE! Ever notice how much Chevron pushes Techron? My math says it costs $64.00 a gallon at Wally World....

I say be afraid - be VERY afraid.


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post #7 of 22 Old Dec 20th, 2006, 9:49 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonKMiller
I wonder why Daimler-Chrysler hasn't jumped on the band wagon....

I've always put absolutely the least expensive gasoline I can find into all of my vehicles for 30 years including several BMWs, Chevy's, Hondas, Mercedes and several BMW and Honda motorcycles and have never had a fuel or emissions related problem. That I KNOW of.

I say be afraid - be VERY afraid.
Ron:

I thought so too, until I had $650 bill on my 98 Blazer due to fuel system plugging up at 40K...damaged the injectors, pump, and sensors. And it wasn't just Chevy that called it on this one..had several people with that vintage engine tell me the same story. Switched gas brands and added injector cleaner goo at every oil change....and at 125,000 mile trade-in time I never had another problem...nor did I ever do an "injector cleaning."

Performance and impact is probably largely a function of the engine...some can probably burn anything and get away with it. BMW is undoubtedly reducing their risks by calling for higher quality gas. My experience is to drop the extra 5-10 cents a gallon....that $10 a year in the bike is worth the peace of mind to me.

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post #8 of 22 Old Dec 20th, 2006, 9:59 am
 
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I too use cheap gas (Costco, Safeway) from regional refineries/distributors in the cars, but I hit it with the SI-1 cleaning additive every 3000 miles or so to mop up the mess. Had the intake plenum off of the G35 during a performance upgrade and the valves looked fine. A little brownish, but no evidence of caked or carbonized residue. On the LT though, it gets 50+ MPG, so I don't see any reason not to use the best gas available to prevent any nasties.
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post #9 of 22 Old Dec 20th, 2006, 10:48 am
 
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I make gasoline ever day & always buy the cheapest cause I know It's all marketing bull&^#@.
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post #10 of 22 Old Dec 20th, 2006, 12:24 pm
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My injectors were pulled around 90K miles when some other work was done. There were visibly dirty, and I had noticed the bike stumbling on occasion. The injectors were cleaned, and I ran several doses of fuel system cleaner over the next few tanks. The bike runs much better now.

But adding 20 cents a gallon for as many miles as I ride a year adds up to $100-150 per year. An occasional tank of Techron gas and a bottle of fuel system cleaner is still much cheaper.

Ken
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Some people see the gas tank as half empty. Some see it as half full. All I care is that I know where the next tankful is coming from...
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post #11 of 22 Old Dec 20th, 2006, 2:20 pm
 
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Top Tier

I've heard about this, so I try to use TT gas. Incidentaly , here in S.E. Wisconsin, It's all 10% corn and the price will be about the same at a typical intersection with two-three stations, so it really doesn't cost more.
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post #12 of 22 Old Dec 20th, 2006, 6:57 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big_E
I make gasoline ever day & always buy the cheapest cause I know It's all marketing bull&^#@.
There you go guys - from an expert in da bidness.

I thought the whole thing just wreaked of marketing as soon as I saw the "specifications" they concocted. Very clever ploy though, I have to admit.

You also have to notice how BMW's "white paper" had an absolutely shameless ad at the end for their fuel injector cleaner: re-branded Chevron Techron. I did not bother to call a BMW dealer to see how much it is - but even at Wally World prices it works out to $64.00 a gallon. I think Techron is a good product and has it's uses, but they are simply trying to get us to be good little consumers and use it on a regular basis, even if we don't need it.

Think I'll run out and get some of the better - duh, excuse me - I mean TOP TIER gas tomorrow.


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post #13 of 22 Old Dec 20th, 2006, 8:12 pm
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Finally.

A reason why the slave cylinders fail, we didn't use top-tier fluid.

Saw a "news show" on local TV about using spices for cooking. The episode took place in a spice specialty store. At the end, they suggested buying new spices every 6 months, because spices degrade over time.

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post #14 of 22 Old Dec 20th, 2006, 8:32 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BecketMa
Finally.

A reason why the slave cylinders fail, we didn't use top-tier fluid.

Saw a "news show" on local TV about using spices for cooking. The episode took place in a spice specialty store. At the end, they suggested buying new spices every 6 months, because spices degrade over time.

Bob
Actually - that's true!

My wife is a Certified Personal Chef. She buys fresh spices in quantity - especially whole tri-color and tellicherry ($$$) peppercorns - by the gallon container. After only 12 months, even keeping them in an air tight container they loose a lot of flavor. Has something to do with the oils - of COURSE!

Hmmm, maybe tossing some of that tellicherry in with the clutch fluid...

Well, at the very least Grif would think it tastes better.


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post #15 of 22 Old Dec 20th, 2006, 8:53 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duane_in_Florida
Ron:

I thought so too, until I had $650 bill on my 98 Blazer due to fuel system plugging up at 40K...damaged the injectors, pump, and sensors. And it wasn't just Chevy that called it on this one..had several people with that vintage engine tell me the same story. Switched gas brands and added injector cleaner goo at every oil change....and at 125,000 mile trade-in time I never had another problem...nor did I ever do an "injector cleaning."

Performance and impact is probably largely a function of the engine...some can probably burn anything and get away with it. BMW is undoubtedly reducing their risks by calling for higher quality gas. My experience is to drop the extra 5-10 cents a gallon....that $10 a year in the bike is worth the peace of mind to me.
Which engine did you have? I've got an '88 Silverado Dually with a 454 and 170K miles on the original injectors and sensors, did replace a pump a while back. Ticking time bomb probably but hey, I made the last payment 15 years ago! I will admit to having tossed in some Techron every 30K miles or so right before an oil change just 'cause I am a sucker....


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post #16 of 22 Old Dec 21st, 2006, 9:28 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonKMiller
Which engine did you have? I've got an '88 Silverado Dually with a 454 and 170K miles on the original injectors and sensors, did replace a pump a while back. Ticking time bomb probably but hey, I made the last payment 15 years ago! I will admit to having tossed in some Techron every 30K miles or so right before an oil change just 'cause I am a sucker....
It was the 4.3 V-6...the 454 is clearly a different animal. However it is mostly a function of the fuel system, not the block. Basically the smaller the spaces and hotter the little bitty parts in it, the more likely things are to crud up and create a problem, and the greater the need for something to keep it clean.

As far as the guys at the refinery...they are indeed correct. All "pipeline" gas is essentially the same. It's what gets added to it when it's pulled from the pipe and put into the tanker for that last leg of the trip that makes a difference. "Generic" gas may add absolutely nothing...even to the premium. The better brands do have additives specifically designed to keep injectors and valves from crudding up. But ironically as our fuel systems have become more picky, the amount of "magic juice" in the gas has gone down. Marketing people have pushed it in that direction. You are partially compensating by adding a bottle to the tank every so often. Also you are lot better off adding it after an oil change. A lot of the active ingredients end up in the crankcase due to the EGR system and continue to hang around after you burn the tank you added it to. With an oil change they get dumped, and at $64/gallon you want to hang to this stuff as long as you can. Just for fun figure out what you pay for perfume a gallon. I'm not saying that there's not a huge markup on this stuff...there is..but specialty chemicals can get a lot more expensive than that. What we pay for synthetic oil is most of the way there.

South FL is about the same as Wisconsin. I can get Unocal or Shell gas for about the same price as generic Circle K, so taking a little effort to go to one of those stations is not a big issue for me.

Duane
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post #17 of 22 Old Dec 21st, 2006, 10:43 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duane_in_Florida
Also you are lot better off adding it after an oil change. A lot of the active ingredients end up in the crankcase due to the EGR system and continue to hang around after you burn the tank you added it to.

I don't see how having residual injector cleaner in your crankcase is a GOOD thing!?! I think I would want it out of there. Did I miss something?

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post #18 of 22 Old Dec 21st, 2006, 11:03 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jzeiler
I don't see how having residual injector cleaner in your crankcase is a GOOD thing!?! I think I would want it out of there. Did I miss something?
That is definitely what I read in some specialty car (Porsche) forums. The advice there was to use injector cleaner just BEFORE an oil change, then with the oil change you get rid of the stuff in the crankcase which was "washed out" of the fuel system and combustion chambers.

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post #19 of 22 Old Dec 22nd, 2006, 2:16 pm
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Jeez Ron!

Didn't you tell your wife to add STP to stabilize the oil and make the grinders work more smoothly?

Add TT to every spice that gets fried or baked, in case it gets burned.

Bob
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post #20 of 22 Old Feb 14th, 2007, 11:30 am
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Fuel Additives - Final Word

Quote:
Originally Posted by jzeiler
I don't see how having residual injector cleaner in your crankcase is a GOOD thing!?! I think I would want it out of there. Did I miss something?
Sorry for a very late reply, but I never went back to look after Christmas to see if the thread kept going.

Anyways, the following is a condensed version of a summary I got from a friend who designs fuel additives for a living and has been for a very long time:

There are two different basic products out there - an "all-in-one system cleaner" and a "fuel system cleaner." Generally the former is the silver bottle stuff and the latter the black bottle stuff, but there also is about a 2 to 1 price difference that sets them apart. The former includes a friction modifier, the latter does not.

Either product enters the crankcase around the rings (not EGR). For those of you that are sure you set your rings really tight on breakin....there is still enough room for heavy organic molecules to get by them.

A simple fuel system cleaner should be added one tank before the oil change, as was indicated above in this thread. The detergents from this product enter the crackcase and actually serve as detergent to wash it out in an oil change.

The all-in-one cleaner should be added after an oil change. The friction modifier hangs around in the oil and helps keep the piston action smoother. Improvements in both fuel economy and emissions have been document with use of this type of product.

Overdose testing with both products has shown that you have OD it by a huge factor to create a problem.

The bottom line was that using either product is of value. The all-in-one has more overall benefits, but it is somewhat a matter of preference.

Duane
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post #21 of 22 Old Feb 20th, 2007, 6:29 pm Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duane_in_Florida
There are two different basic products out there - an "all-in-one system cleaner" and a "fuel system cleaner." Generally the former is the silver bottle stuff and the latter the black bottle stuff, but there also is about a 2 to 1 price difference that sets them apart. The former includes a friction modifier, the latter does not.
.
So is Redline SI-1 an "all-in-one" or a "fuel system cleaner"?

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post #22 of 22 Old Feb 24th, 2007, 5:58 am
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Top Tier Gas

I've always used the Costco or Sam's "special" gas. BUT, I've always added Techron every 3k, and never had any fuel-related issues.

Now, how about some top tier diesel?!

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Some really OLD friggin' White dude who couldn't have possibly known what he was talking about!) WARNING: Official HATE speech!
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