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YekinKebo YekinKebo is offline
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Default First BMW/E60 N54 Questions. - 09-08-2021, 10:10 PM

I purchased my first BMW last week at the BMW dealership in Dallas. It's a 2010 535i in Space Grey Metallic with the M Sport Package. The paint and interior are immaculate, and the car currently has 74k miles. I am excited!

Its service records indicated the HPFP was replaced a couple years ago. I drove home to Houston that day and the next morning I heard what I thought was the infamous wastegate rattle. A trip to BMW of Houston confirmed this. Luckily, the car comes with the Autonation 90-day warranty so the car is currently in the shop for new turbos, on the house. (sweeeet!) In addition, I was offered a 2 year, 25K warranty from BMW of Dallas and I took of advantage of that.

So my question is, other than the HPFP, wastegates, and dirty intakes and considering I have the extended warranty, is there anything else I should be careful of with on this purchase?VidMate Mobdro

Last edited by YekinKebo; 09-12-2021 at 01:36 AM..
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dmckmc dmckmc is offline
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Default 09-09-2021, 04:22 AM

The Definitive Guide To The BMW N54 Engine - Common Faults, Failures, Repairs

BMW N54 Common Problems:

Water pump and thermostat failure

Carbon buildup - mainly on the intake valves

High-Pressure Fuel Pump (HPFP) failure

Fuel injector failure

Oil filter housing gasket leak

Serpentine belt shredding

Valve cover cracking and valve cover gasket leaks

Oil pan gasket leaks

Turbo rattle and turbo failure

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zach1328 zach1328 is offline
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Car: 535i
Default 09-09-2021, 04:59 PM

The above is a solid article, and there are a few other blogs with detailed posts on N54 issues.

I'd say outside of what's listed above a few other areas that can be problematic include:

Cooling system in general - Radiator, expansion tank, and coolant hoses sometimes crack and develop leaks.

Vanos solenoids - usually less of a "problem" and more of a maintenance item. In total, we have 3 N54's in the family. Two around the 120k mile mark and one at ~65k miles. All on original solenoids. However, it's not uncommon to see VANOS problems at 100k+ miles. More common on engines with longer oil change intervals as solenoids can get gunked up.

O2 sensors - Less a problem and more an age related maintenance item. Some start going bad around the 10-12 year and 100-120k mile mark. Had to replace 2 on my 335i around 110k miles and then did the other two when I blew the stock turbos.

Other miscellaneous problems pop up from time to time. Boost leaks, cracked charge ***** (not common on stock boost but should be upgraded at 16-17+psi), LPFP/sensor issues, other sensors like cam and crank, main seal leaks, etc. All less common, but we are talking about 11-14 year old engines in the 135/335/535. Age can be just as tough as mileage when it comes to seals, gaskets, plastics, and those types of engine parts.

Anyways, don't let any of this concern you. It's not like ALL of these problems are going to happen nor are they going to happen at the same time or anything crazy. However, the N54 did have its flaws even when newer and now they're getting to be fairly old engines.

A lot of the more expensive problems like HPFP and injectors are resolved by now. Very rare to see failures on newer index 11 or 12 injectors and the newer fuel pumps are good. OE turbos were never truly addressed, but having them replaced now should buy at least 6-10+ years if you're staying stock or modest mods/boost. You may want to upgrade turbos before then anyways.

Congrats on the purchase! Sounds like you got a clean, low mileage example so hopefully it holds up well for you. You'll run into some problems along the way but the older E chassis and N54 engines are an absolute joy to own and are worth every penny, IMO.

2007 335i - JB4 + MHD BEF, RB Twos Plus, PI + Stage 3 LPFP, 100% E85, BMS DCI, VRSF **, VRSF 7.5" FMIC, VRSF CP w/ TiAL BOV, MMP inlets, VRSF aluminum outlets, XHP Stage 3, TC Kline SA, M3 F/R control arms
2008 535i
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