BMW X3 (F25) Owners Manual: Fuel

BMW X3 (F25) Owners Manual / Mobility / Fuel

Vehicle features and options

This chapter describes all standard, country-specific and optional features offered with the series. It also describes features that are not necessarily available in your car, e. g., due to the selected options or country versions. This also applies to safety-related functions and systems. The respectively applicable country provisions must be observed when using the respective features and systems.

Fuel recommendation


General fuel quality

Even fuels that conform to the specifications can be of low quality. This may cause engine problems, for instance poor engine startup behavior, poor handling and/or poor performance. Switch gas stations or use a brand name fuel with a higher octane rating.


For the best fuel efficiency, the gasoline should be sulfur-free or very low in sulfur content.

Fuels that are marked on the gas pump as containing metal must not be used.

Refuel only with unleaded gasoline without metallic additives.

Do not refuel with any leaded gasoline or gasoline with metallic additives, e. g. manganese or iron, as this can cause permanent damage to the catalytic converter and other components.

Fuels with a maximum ethanol content of 10 %, i. e., E10, may be used for refueling.

Ethanol should satisfy the following quality standards:

US: ASTM 4806-xx
CAN: CGSB-3.511-xx
xx: comply with the current standard in each case.

Do not use a fuel with a higher percentage of ethanol

Do not use a fuel with a higher ethanol percentage than recommended or one with other types of alcohol, e.g. M5 to M100; otherwise this could damage the engine and fuel supply system.

Recommended fuel grade BMW recommends AKI 91.

Minimum fuel grade BMW recommends AKI 89.

Minimum fuel grade

Do not use any gasoline below the minimum fuel grade as this may impair engine performance.

If you use gasoline with this minimum AKI Rating, the engine may produce knocking sounds when starting at high outside temperatures.

This has no effect on the engine life.

Fuel quality

The use of poor-quality fuels may result in harmful engine deposits or damage. Additionally, problems relating to drivability, starting and stalling, especially under certain environmental conditions such as high ambient temperature and high altitude, may occur.

If drivability problems are encountered, we recommend switching to a high quality gasoline brand and a higher octane grade - AKI number - for a few tank fills. To avoid harmful engine deposits, it is highly recommended to purchase gasoline from Top Tier retailers.

Failure to comply with these recommendations may result in the need for unscheduled maintenance.


Low-Sulfur Diesel The engine of your BMW is designed for diesel with low sulfur content:
Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel ASTM D 975-xx.
xx: comply with the current standard in each case.

Use only Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel.

The fraction of biodiesel in the fuel must not exceed 5 %, referred to as B5. Do not use gasoline. If you do fill the tank with the wrong fuel, e.g., gasoline, do not start the engine as this may damage the engine.

After adding the wrong fuel, contact your service center or Roadside Assistance.

If the fuel pump nozzle does not fit in the filler pipe of your BMW, please check to ensure that you are refueling at a diesel fuel pump that is equipped with a diesel fuel pump nozzle.

In the event the Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel fuel cannot be fully inserted into the fuel filler neck, please contact BMW Roadside Assistance for instructions on how to add fuel.

For additional information regarding Roadside Assistance, refer to Owner's Manual for Navigation, Entertainment and Communication.

Winter diesel To ensure that the diesel engine remains operational in the winter, use winter diesel.

It is available at gas stations during winter months.

The fuel filter heating system, included as a standard feature, prevents disruption of the fuel supply while driving.

Do not add any diesel additives

Do not add additives, including gasoline; otherwise, engine damage may occur.

BMW Advanced Diesel

The concept

BMW Advanced Diesel reduces nitrogen oxides in the diesel emissions by injecting diesel exhaust fluid reducing agent into the exhaust system. A chemical reaction takes place inside the catalytic converter that minimizes nitrogen oxides.

The vehicle has a tank that can be refilled.

To be able to start the engine as usual, there must be an adequate reducing agent.

Reducing agent is added by the service center.

Warming up the system In order to warm the engine up to its operating temperature after a cold start, the Steptronic transmission may subsequently shift up to the next higher gear.

Displays in the instrument cluster

Reserve indication This display in the instrument cluster provides information about the distance that can still be driven with the current reserve level.

BMW X3. Reserve indication

  • Lamp white: refill with reduction agent at the next opportunity.
  • Lamp yellow: not enough reduction agent present. The remaining range is displayed in the instrument cluster. Immediately refill with reduction agent.

Diesel exhaust fluid on minimum

BMW X3. Diesel exhaust fluid on minimum

  • The remaining range is displayed in the instrument cluster: refill with reduction agent. The engine will continue to run as long as it is not switched off and all other operating conditions are satisfied; sufficient fuel, e.g.

Engine does not start

Do not continue driving to the limit of the remaining travel distance. Otherwise, you will not be able to restart the engine after switching it off. In certain cases, this could cause safety to be impaired.

Filling with an incorrect fluid A Check Control message is displayed when an incorrect fluid is added.

After adding the incorrect fluid, contact your service center.

System defect A Check Control message is displayed when there is a system defect.

Have the diesel exhaust fluid replenished

The reducing agent is added by the service center within the context of regular maintenance.

It may be necessary to have the fluid replenished several times under particular circumstances, e.g., if the vehicle is driven in a particularly sporty style or if it is driven at high altitudes.

The reducing agent must be replenished as soon as the reserve display appears in the instrument cluster to avoid not being able to restart the engine.

Diesel exhaust fluid at low temperatures Due to its physical properties, it is possible that the reducing agent may also need to be replenished between regular maintenance appointments if it is exposed to temperatures under + 23 ºF/- 5 ºC. In this case, add reducing agent only immediately before driving off.

The need to replenish it is indicated by the Reserve display in the instrument cluster.

At temperatures below + 12 ºF/- 11 ºC, the filling level cannot be measured in some cases.

After adding reducing agent, the Reserve Display is displayed only until the fill level can be measured again.

Replenishing Diesel exhaust fluid yourself in exceptional cases

You can replenish reducing agent yourself in exceptional cases, e.g., to get to the service center.

Avoid contact with Diesel exhaust fluid

Do not come into contact with the reducing agent. Otherwise, skin or eye irritations may result.

Handling Diesel exhaust fluid

When working with reducing agent in closed spaces, ensure good ventilation. When the bottle or container is opened, acrid smelling fumes may eslide.

Keeping Diesel exhaust fluid out of reach of children

Keep reducing agent out of reach of children.

Avoid contact with surfaces

Avoid contact of reduction agent with surfaces of the vehicle; otherwise, damage could occur.

Suitable Diesel exhaust fluid

  • Preferred: BMW Diesel Exhaust Fluid. With this bottle and its special adapter, Diesel exhaust fluid can be replenished simply and safely.
  • Alternative: NOx reduction agent AUS 32 Diesel exhaust fluid can be purchased at your service center.

Refill quantity When the Reserve display starts, add at least 3 bottles of reducing agent.

This corresponds to approx. 1.5 US gal/6 liters.

Tank for reducing agent

BMW X3. Tank for reducing agent

The tank for the reducing agent is located next to the fuel tank.

Adding the reducing agent Add the reducing agent when the ignition is switched on.

1. Open the fuel filler flap.

2. Turn the tank lid counterclockwise and remove.

3. Place the bottle on it and turn it as far as it will go, see arrow.

BMW X3. Adding the reducing agent

4. Press the bottle down, see arrow.

The vehicle tank will be filled.

The tank is full when the fill level in the bottle no longer changes. It is not possible to overfill.

BMW X3. Adding the reducing agent

5. Pull back the bottle, see arrow, and unscrew it.

BMW X3. Adding the reducing agent

6. Replace the tank lid and turn it clockwise.

7. Close the fuel filler flap.

After adding Diesel exhaust fluid


Incorrect fluids

After filling with incorrect fluids, such as antifreeze for washer fluid, do not start the engine, otherwise there is risk of fire.

Contact your service center.

Disposing of bottles

You take your empty Diesel exhaust fluid bottles to your service center for disposal.

Do not dispose of empty bottles with household waste unless this is permitted by local regulations.

Reserve indication

The Reserve display will still appear along with the remaining range after refilling.

Engine can be started.

After several minutes of driving, the Reserve indication goes out.

Diesel exhaust fluid on minimum

After filling, the indication -- is still displayed.

Only after the display goes out can the engine -- be started.

1. Switch on the ignition.

Display -- goes out after approx. 1 minute.

2. Engine can be started.


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