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Old 04-20-2012, 11:04 AM
 
Location: Bright lights Baked Ziti
491 posts, read 1,280,667 times
Reputation: 480

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I have an 02 BMW 325i with 46xxx miles and am the orignial owner. The car's manual states 91 octane, therefore I always put premium gas to make things easy.
My question is everytime I fill with Shell premium and for that matter BP premium gas, the SES light comes on and won't go off until I put something else such as Valero or Spirit premium gas in my town.

Note: First thing I checked was the gas cap if it's tight and it's tight.
The car runs fine and smooth, no shaking or anything, just the SES light turning on. Gas mileage is decent as when the car was new.


I've always put Shell premium gas in the same gas station since the car was new and it was never a problem until last year. This has been happening for about a year and want to get to the bottom of it.

Well, the easy solution is to stay away from the two said gas stations. It's not just my local station, it happens on the highway too when I fill up with the same brand gas of Shell/BP.

The fuel filter and O2 sensors are original. So, why is it OK with some brand and not Shell/BP, and like I said it was never a problem before with these two brands. Could it be the new Nitrogen enriched formuala of Shell, but what about BP? Any ideas?
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Old 04-20-2012, 11:14 AM
 
Location: FLG/PHX/MKE
7,289 posts, read 12,865,601 times
Reputation: 11529
What code or codes is/are set?
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Old 04-20-2012, 02:35 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
9,918 posts, read 19,678,662 times
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If it's consistent at different significantly farther away (like a few hundred miles or so) stations of the same brand, then seems like it's something in the additive mix that would be doing it. That's the only thing different between different brands of gas. If you were getting "bad gas" you should have the same problem from multiple brands at home because all the raw gas is going to come probably from the same terminal regardless of brand. The stuff they put in, like Shell's nitrogen stuff that you mentioned, is added while the tanker truck is filled or even in some cases only once it gets to the station itself while the underground tanks are being filled. (That allows the same tanker to deliver to different brand stations.)

How long have you ever gone before getting the other kind of gas? Depending upon how thoroughly you've tested this, another possibility is that whatever code it's throwing is momentary and it's just coincidence that it resets when it's time to fill up again. But that wouldn't necessarily explain why if you kept filling up with Valero it would never happen, if that is indeed the case.

Here's an interesting bit I found with a search. What is BP Invigorate? - Tampa Bay sports car | Examiner.com Sounds like BP and Shell's additives are similar and this guy suggests they can cause problems in some cases, although I didn't really read it all, just skimming.
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Old 04-20-2012, 04:23 PM
 
4,762 posts, read 10,224,033 times
Reputation: 7792
You know it also might not be the gas itself, but how full they are filling the tank!

Too full and that can block you car's gas tank evaporative emissions system.

It could be just a difference in the pump nozzles filling up the tank more at one station than the other.

Try filling it 3/4 full at the gas stations in question and see if that triggers the check engine light.

Also don't top off the tank.
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Old 04-20-2012, 04:50 PM
 
Location: H-town, TX.
3,398 posts, read 5,460,110 times
Reputation: 2104
Quote:
Originally Posted by 43north87west View Post
What code or codes is/are set?
That.

No need to guess.

Unless you have a loaded parts cannon to fire randomly at this...
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Old 04-20-2012, 10:17 PM
 
Location: Bright lights Baked Ziti
491 posts, read 1,280,667 times
Reputation: 480
Quote:
Originally Posted by greg42 View Post
If it's consistent at different significantly farther away (like a few hundred miles or so) stations of the same brand, then seems like it's something in the additive mix that would be doing it. That's the only thing different between different brands of gas. If you were getting "bad gas" you should have the same problem from multiple brands at home because all the raw gas is going to come probably from the same terminal regardless of brand. The stuff they put in, like Shell's nitrogen stuff that you mentioned, is added while the tanker truck is filled or even in some cases only once it gets to the station itself while the underground tanks are being filled. (That allows the same tanker to deliver to different brand stations.)

How long have you ever gone before getting the other kind of gas? Depending upon how thoroughly you've tested this, another possibility is that whatever code it's throwing is momentary and it's just coincidence that it resets when it's time to fill up again. But that wouldn't necessarily explain why if you kept filling up with Valero it would never happen, if that is indeed the case.

Here's an interesting bit I found with a search. What is BP Invigorate? - Tampa Bay sports car | Examiner.com Sounds like BP and Shell's additives are similar and this guy suggests they can cause problems in some cases, although I didn't really read it all, just skimming.
I've tried different combinations at 1/4 tank, 1/2/ tank when filling with the local shell and the SES light goes on, then fill it up with Valero or Spirit on the next filling when the tank is at 1/4 tank left and it would go away.
I've tried it when near empty (the near empty signal lights up) with shell then it activates the SES light.

Basically, if I use Valero or Spirit or even Sunoco gas on filling, no problems. I could theoretically just keep filling with these brands, it's just when I go on a long drive, I sometimes don't have a choice but to fill with shell or BP, and the SES light would come on.

I haven't had the codes read.
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Old 04-20-2012, 10:56 PM
 
Location: Bright lights Baked Ziti
491 posts, read 1,280,667 times
Reputation: 480
Greg42,
I just read your link, and it's an interesting article. You might be on to something about the detergents. The air to fuel ratio are probably throwing off the SES. After reading that article, I don't know if I trust Shell or BP.

Another thing to note is that during this period of on/off SES, the car has passed the state emmission test.
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Old 04-20-2012, 11:42 PM
 
33,134 posts, read 39,067,107 times
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Is there a BMW club in your area? if so can you contact them to see if any one else is having a similar problem and whats their take on the problem, or a BMW forum might be a good place to pose the problem in a topic..
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Old 04-21-2012, 07:13 AM
 
4,248 posts, read 10,227,025 times
Reputation: 3109
When you filled the tank up with Shell gas, could you hear the nitrogen working?
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Old 04-22-2012, 05:21 PM
 
774 posts, read 1,982,904 times
Reputation: 729
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tappan Zee View Post
I have an 02 BMW 325i with 46xxx miles and am the orignial owner. The car's manual states 91 octane, therefore I always put premium gas to make things easy.
My question is everytime I fill with Shell premium and for that matter BP premium gas, the SES light comes on and won't go off until I put something else such as Valero or Spirit premium gas in my town.

Note: First thing I checked was the gas cap if it's tight and it's tight.
The car runs fine and smooth, no shaking or anything, just the SES light turning on. Gas mileage is decent as when the car was new.


I've always put Shell premium gas in the same gas station since the car was new and it was never a problem until last year. This has been happening for about a year and want to get to the bottom of it.

Well, the easy solution is to stay away from the two said gas stations. It's not just my local station, it happens on the highway too when I fill up with the same brand gas of Shell/BP.

The fuel filter and O2 sensors are original. So, why is it OK with some brand and not Shell/BP, and like I said it was never a problem before with these two brands. Could it be the new Nitrogen enriched formuala of Shell, but what about BP? Any ideas?
I've never gotten a SES (check engine light) in my Tacoma but it does not run well on Shell gas. I'm typically down close to 10% in mileage and the truck just runs poorly. We had the same issue with a 2000 Celica GTS on Shell premium. It never ran well on the stuff. I never put any time into figuring out why. I just stopped using Shell and the problem was gone.
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