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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
The E9X is the 4th evolution of the BMW 3 series including a highly tuned twin turbo 335i variant pushing out 300hp and 300 ft. lbs. of torque. BMW continues to show that it sets the bar for true driving performance! -- View the E9X Wiki

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  #1  
Old 08-06-2013, 09:00 AM
Augster Augster is offline
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Question Is the N54 engine really something to avoid?

I am contemplating a 2008 335i, and hence it has the N54 motor. It has 105k on the odometer.

Someone on E90Fanatics posted to avoid the N54 engine due to the turbos/wastegates and that BMW has extended the warranty on these components to 10 years/120,000 miles.

Is this really a concern that I should adhere to?

I've read about the HPFP issue, but at least BMW seems to also be covering under the 10 year/120,000 warranty extension.

Anything else I should be concerned with this car?
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  #2  
Old 08-06-2013, 09:08 AM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Augster View Post
I am contemplating a 2008 335i, and hence it has the N54 motor. It has 105k on the odometer.

Someone on E90Fanatics posted to avoid the N54 engine due to the turbos/wastegates and that BMW has extended the warranty on these components to 10 years/120,000 miles.

Is this really a concern that I should adhere to?

I've read about the HPFP issue, but at least BMW seems to also be covering under the 10 year/120,000 warranty extension.

Anything else I should be concerned with this car?

There's no point in hiding it....N54 maintenance will be expensive with age. But if you're mechanically inclined, it's the one to have. Just keep this in mind: 460 hp & ft lb torque. Unending grip.

A number of mods required to achieve, it's a man's world.
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  #3  
Old 08-06-2013, 09:09 AM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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Oh, and HPFP issues have been resolved. A software adjust. Unbelievably simple.
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  #4  
Old 08-06-2013, 09:11 AM
Augster Augster is offline
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"My old man is a television repairman, he's got this ultimate set of tools. I can fix it." --Jeff Spicoli

Nah, I have no fear of maintenance!

I have a built '91 300ZX Twin Turbo so I already have my "man-card"
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  #5  
Old 08-06-2013, 09:12 AM
Augster Augster is offline
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Originally Posted by CALWATERBOY View Post
Oh, and HPFP issues have been resolved. A software adjust. Unbelievably simple.
Is this a dealer fix or can the every-man do it himself?
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  #6  
Old 08-06-2013, 09:23 AM
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bear-avhistory bear-avhistory is offline
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Some things require a special tool but you can buy them for a lot less than BMW will charge for labor. If you are good there is nothing you can't fix on the car as long as you have the time to do it. Turbo swap can run to 12 hours.

The real decider is how much power do you want. All things being equal the N54 will always out power the N55. The Coupe is an N54 & the Convert an N55. The Coupe is faster.
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Last edited by bear-avhistory; 08-06-2013 at 09:27 AM.
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  #7  
Old 08-06-2013, 09:25 AM
Augster Augster is offline
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Originally Posted by bear-avhistory View Post
If you are good there is nothing you can't fix on the car as long as you have the time to do it. Turbo swap can run to 12 hours.
So long as I don't have to pull the motor to replace the turbo's, like I did with my 300Z, then it's all good!
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  #8  
Old 08-06-2013, 09:27 AM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Augster View Post
Is this a dealer fix or can the every-man do it himself?

There was a recall - check w/BMW about any car of interest. No charge item.

As part of the recall, they also replace the HPFP so that already damaged units are not left in the field.
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  #9  
Old 08-06-2013, 09:38 AM
jburke4689 jburke4689 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Augster View Post
I am contemplating a 2008 335i, and hence it has the N54 motor. It has 105k on the odometer.

Someone on E90Fanatics posted to avoid the N54 engine due to the turbos/wastegates and that BMW has extended the warranty on these components to 10 years/120,000 miles.

Is this really a concern that I should adhere to?

I've read about the HPFP issue, but at least BMW seems to also be covering under the 10 year/120,000 warranty extension.

Anything else I should be concerned with this car?
The wastegates are 8yrs/82K, not 10yrs/120K. For wastegates, you are out of the extended coverage window.
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  #10  
Old 08-06-2013, 11:01 AM
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beden1 beden1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CALWATERBOY View Post
There's no point in hiding it....N54 maintenance will be expensive with age. But if you're mechanically inclined, it's the one to have. Just keep this in mind: 460 hp & ft lb torque. Unending grip.

A number of mods required to achieve, it's a man's world.
Please show evidence that this, is in fact true!
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  #11  
Old 08-06-2013, 11:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beden1 View Post
Please show evidence that this, is in fact true!
Prove what?
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  #12  
Old 08-06-2013, 11:09 AM
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Zooks527 Zooks527 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beden1 View Post
Please show evidence that this, is in fact true!
Well, I think it's fair to say the maintenance on the N54 will be more extensive than the N52. More expensive at a smaller level if you do it yourself, more expensive at a higher point if you pay someone to do it.

You'll need to clean the intake valves (in my case, after seeing the condition at 99k miles, every 50k) at some point. You have two turbochargers and two wastegates that add additional points of failure. You're more susceptible to oil condition issues and shorter oil life due to the heating issues from the turbos. New spark plugs twice as often. And those are just the items off the top of my head.
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  #13  
Old 08-06-2013, 09:18 PM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beden1 View Post
Please show evidence that this, is in fact true!

No can do - don't have data!

However....N52 does not have turbos, a precision assy, very hot, with a number of moving parts.

N54 DOES have turbos. So, right there it may be expected to have maint needs above N52.

And, N54 is famous as a modder's paradise....N52 not so much. Greater wear & tear may be expected, N54 in general.

There. That's the short of it....
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  #14  
Old 08-06-2013, 10:07 PM
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Teemo Panda Teemo Panda is offline
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If you like to do your own DIY and knowledgeable in engine repairs, it would be great to own such a awesome engine!
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  #15  
Old 08-06-2013, 10:25 PM
Augster Augster is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teemo Panda View Post
If you like to do your own DIY and knowledgeable in engine repairs, it would be great to own such a awesome engine!
I do, and I did :o)

New N54 owner as of today!
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  #16  
Old 08-07-2013, 02:23 AM
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Zooks527 Zooks527 is offline
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Welcome to the party, pal!
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  #17  
Old 08-07-2013, 06:25 AM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Augster View Post
Is this a dealer fix or can the every-man do it himself?

Dealer
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  #18  
Old 08-07-2013, 07:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beden1 View Post
Please show evidence that this, is in fact true!
I think the walnut shell blasting, not including or listed as part of any maintenance for cars equipped with this engine (or any of their direct injected engines for that matter), can be more than folks bargained for ever 3-4 years; those unknowledgeable of the problem may spend hundreds trying to get the issues (misfires/mystery codes, etc.) diagnosed.
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  #19  
Old 08-07-2013, 05:51 PM
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Don't buy a BMW if you "fear" a maintenance problem down the line, don't have an extended warranty...don't "do" DIY, or can't afford expensive repairs. OTOH, BMW has taken care some issues in the past:

1. E46 M3, S54 engine (certain build dates between '01 and '03) "Connecting rod bearing failures" causing "total engine failure." BMW "fixed it" and gave an extended warranty. I witnessed such an engine failure at the track...totally taken care of. The S54 was a magnificent engine nevertheless.

2. E92 N54..."HPFP" fuel pump issue (not an engine issue actually). Eventually taken care of by BMW with an extended warranty.

3. E36 (M3) Hmm, hard to find an engine problem, but the cooling system might be suspect at 60+K, head gaskets at 100 - 150K, or the differential at 100K.

As I look back at each BMW 3-series model I can find some "quality quirk" common to the model year...and yes, sometimes expensive to repair (if BMW didn't step up to the plate).

Used BMWs can be expensive to own "out of warranty, or out of BMW NA's graces," no matter what model...unless you're into DIY.
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  #20  
Old 08-08-2013, 11:16 AM
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need4speed need4speed is offline
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The N54 is a great motor. I love driving a car with one. It may be more maintenance intensive or require repairs more often. I don't think I would want to own one out of warranty, unless you can fix it yourself. N4S
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