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Discussion Starter #1
Hey Guys,

E60 owner here and relatively new to BMW (only had this car for 6 months now).

My car is a very low mileage (47,000km) 2007 530xi and I love it, but I always wanted a BMW v8....so this 2011 550i with 117,000km shows up for sale and it piqued my interest:

https://www.kijiji.ca/v-cars-trucks/mississauga-peel-region/2011-bmw-550-navigation-6speed-manual-rare-tv-dvd/1328616549?enableSearchNavigationFlag=true

But...I read all the threads about N63 being a horrible engine. Should I just stop right here and be happy with my E60? :p
 

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Hey Fellow Torontonian!

I have a 12 550i that's been good to me. When I made the purchase two years ago I too saw the many stories. I figured the people with the worst experience are the loudest. Maybe mine being a '12 is better than a '11? I still keep track of the cars listed for sale on kijiji and autotrader. There are many 11 550 but very rarely do you find a 12. It's possible that the potentially more problem-free 2012s are held onto.

Also look at spec sheets. I was very particular and wanted ceramic controls, HUD, and Sport Package. F10s in Canada, if it has the sport appearance package, will most likely have the dynamic handling package which IMO is a must for the otherwise boat-like handling. Took a while to find mine but now I'm really happy!

Just last month I got a set of 20 inch Vossen and Michelin PSS tires. The tires made the car handle sooooo much better. I do recommend the upgrade if you get the car.
 

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In before 16 pages of repetitive comments and 500 links to N63 nightmares.

Mine is a 13 550i and has been great and I drive it hard daily but I maintain it well.

I think Canadian BMWs are Euro spec just as they are in Japan. Not sure if that has anything to do with it but I’ve asked BMW here every year for the past five years since ownership whether there are issues/recalls I need to be aware of due to the noise I’m hearing on here all the time and they confirm every time nothing for the N63 and all is well.

So I’m preparing expectations for something to go wrong and will live with that but odd that I only hear it on the boards which are obviously mostly North American cars.

At any rate only you can decide if that 550 is for you but I will say be prepared for a downgrade in traditional BMW handling feel. Get IAS since any F10 needs it and a stiffer suspension to get you through your days of driving.


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I have an 2011 550i xDrive. Past cars: 135i, M5, 335d. The F10 550i is becoming my favorite from the list. Every high performance BMW has its quirks. All my past BMWs did, especially the 335d. However, they are all still great cars and BMW fixed a lot of the issues with recalls, warranty repairs, lawsuits, etc.
The only complain if you drive a lot would be the oil consumption. Mine takes a qt every ~1100 miles. I am not complaining because my M5 took 1 qt every 650 miles!

I tuned it and it is a fast "nice looking car:. I have no regrets because I saved $25k and got something performing close to a stock F10 M5, with just a tune. It's been over 1 year of ownership.
 

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Hey Guys,

E60 owner here and relatively new to BMW (only had this car for 6 months now).

My car is a very low mileage (47,000km) 2007 530xi and I love it, but I always wanted a BMW v8....so this 2011 550i with 117,000km shows up for sale and it piqued my interest:

https://www.kijiji.ca/v-cars-trucks/mississauga-peel-region/2011-bmw-550-navigation-6speed-manual-rare-tv-dvd/1328616549?enableSearchNavigationFlag=true

But...I read all the threads about N63 being a horrible engine. Should I just stop right here and be happy with my E60? :p
If a 2011 - 2013 550 is your other choice beside keeping your E60, then yes, keep your e60.
 

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At this point, if you can find a 2011 550i that doesn't have a long rap sheet from repeated trips to the dealer, buying it is probably no more dangerous than buying any other 7 year old BMW. I'd be willing to be that the cars that have problems have had them by now. As long as it hasn't been a frequent offender and it's had the recall and TSB's performed.......it may be worth the gamble. You should still plan on it using oil and any 7 year old BMW is a crapshoot, but it's a hell of a lot of car for the money when you are buying that old. I'd watch out for one that has multiple trips to the dealer and more so if they are recent, but like anything, a few lemons in the bunch doesn't mean that they all are. Only final comment is that you aren't allowed to complain about how much it costs if things go south.
 

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I don't think you can plan on a 2012 engine or even a 2013 being better than a 2011 because they are all the same 400hp engine. 2014 introduced the N63TU with 445hp and there were a lot of differences. The problem arose because BMW took the risk of plowing into unchartered territory with a twin turbocharged V8 with its inherently difficult packaging job in getting everything to fit under the low profile hood. BMW chose to go with a "hot-V" design in order to get all the parts in which no other manufacturer was willing to do and it looks like they paid the price for it with some of the early ones. It's still a risky design even with the later updated versions but we have not seen anywhere near the level of complaints which plagued the early cars and the infamous BMW Customer Care Package (CCP) which followed
 

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The BMW V8's are notorious for oil consumption. Not all of them have the problem, but a lot of them do. Running an engine hot makes them efficient. The excessive heat of these engines seem to be the cause of the oil consumption, usually dried and cracked (rubber) valve stem seals.

But, there was a post somewhere on BF from a V8 owner who solved his problem with an engine flush. Varnish can cause piston rings to get stuck in the retracted position, against the piston instead of pushing against the cylinder wall. When that happens, you end up with low compression and massive oil consumption. There not metal worn away, but the result in the same. Varnished rings is cause by... excessive heat, cheap motor oil, or oil that's been around too long.

I do my own oil changes, even during the free maintenance periods. I measure the volume of the oil I drain out. At 50k miles, my 535i only burns about 750ml in 8k miles. My old service writer, now the service manager, says that's normal... for a six-cylinder.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks guys for all the responses! and helloooo to fellow Torontonian lucaa! :)

Oil consumption I am ok with...I can always keep a bottle in the trunk I suppose.

I don't plan on tuning it, so that should help as well...and I don't drive too hard.

What should I look for (specific to N63) if I see the car in person? Any way to detect if it had the CCP? Or even if the whole engine was replaced?

I also read about some idling tests to look for smoke indicating oil consumption issue?

jjrandorin, why do you say the E60 is better than the F10? It's not that the 11-13 550i is my only choice, but it's near impossible to find any decent car in manual transmission any more - and I *only* drive stick.

Thanks again guys!
 

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My '12 550ix has been somewhat problematic, but not terrible. It has 67k miles and needs a new transfer case. But, that is an xdrive problem, not a V8 problem. The only engine problems so far have been one failed ignition coil, one failed high pressure fuel pump, and failed coolant vent line between cylinder heads.
 

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My '12 550ix has been somewhat problematic, but not terrible. It has 67k miles and needs a new transfer case. But, that is an xdrive problem, not a V8 problem. The only engine problems so far have been one failed ignition coil, one failed high pressure fuel pump, and failed coolant vent line between cylinder heads.


I don’t know if you realize this, but your list of problems is a lot for a car with 67k miles.


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Thanks guys for all the responses! and helloooo to fellow Torontonian lucaa! :)

Oil consumption I am ok with...I can always keep a bottle in the trunk I suppose.

I don't plan on tuning it, so that should help as well...and I don't drive too hard.

What should I look for (specific to N63) if I see the car in person? Any way to detect if it had the CCP? Or even if the whole engine was replaced?

I also read about some idling tests to look for smoke indicating oil consumption issue?

jjrandorin, why do you say the E60 is better than the F10? It's not that the 11-13 550i is my only choice, but it's near impossible to find any decent car in manual transmission any more - and I *only* drive stick.

Thanks again guys!
Not much to see really. You need someone to floor the pedal and you standing behind it to see if exhaust have smoke coming out of it. That only indicates oil burning and really isn't a big deal. Dealerships have competitive $200 oil changes on the v8s, and do no-appointment, free of charge oil top ups. I used to find indys and change oil for around $160 but when you factor the nice waiting lounge and free coffee and free top up, the bmw dealership oil change is a good bang for your buck.

Bringing the fob to any dealership and they will tell you on the spot of CCP has been done. I did mine when I owned it but didn't notice much change. I suppose getting new ignition coils is good for the car but day to day driving nothing changed.

I keep a bottle in the trunk. Before you make long trips of 1k kms or more do a top up and you'll be fine. I'm planning a trip to Nova Scotia in the next 30 days and will be driving my 550i. Can't imagine doing it in anything else. The F10 have very good seat that have straight backrest and head rest. Unlike most other cars where the headrest protrudes forward and pushes the head down.

For oil consumption, when I drive mildly, rarely going above 3k RPM with the stock goodyear eagle tires, it needs a quart in 2-3k kms. Now with the Michelin PSS I do 7k RPM runs with the paddle shifter. And the oil goes down about the same. So I wouldn't worry too much about the way you drive.
 

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Thanks guys for all the responses! and helloooo to fellow Torontonian lucaa! :)

Oil consumption I am ok with...I can always keep a bottle in the trunk I suppose.

I don't plan on tuning it, so that should help as well...and I don't drive too hard.

What should I look for (specific to N63) if I see the car in person? Any way to detect if it had the CCP? Or even if the whole engine was replaced?

I also read about some idling tests to look for smoke indicating oil consumption issue?

jjrandorin, why do you say the E60 is better than the F10? It's not that the 11-13 550i is my only choice, but it's near impossible to find any decent car in manual transmission any more - and I *only* drive stick.

Thanks again guys!
Because of the multi page thread on the N63 engine. Some have had good luck with it. MANY MANY MANY have not. Not only would I not buy a 2011-2013 550, I would not keep one if someone gave it to me. Of course thats my opinion, and I realize that you are going to get some people here saying "but mine is fine!".

I have read waaaay too many incidents of trouble to actually buy that model BMW.. and I love bmws.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks again guys for the input. I think I'm going to pass on that 550i then :(

My E60 is pretty awesome anyhow :)

For future reference...what is relatively reliable and: manual transmission, v8 (love the sound), seats 4-5 in comfort (preferably sedan, but coupe is ok if has usable back seats), BMW or other makes as well.
 

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Thanks again guys for the input. I think I'm going to pass on that 550i then :(

My E60 is pretty awesome anyhow :)

For future reference...what is relatively reliable and: manual transmission, v8 (love the sound), seats 4-5 in comfort (preferably sedan, but coupe is ok if has usable back seats), BMW or other makes as well.
Why are you so dead set on a V8? Outside of a different type of sound, you should look for a fully loaded 535. You stated you wouldn't drive the car hard anyway, so a 535 should more then suffice and the engine is a world more reliable then the 550.
 

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Why are you so dead set on a V8? Outside of a different type of sound, you should look for a fully loaded 535. You stated you wouldn't drive the car hard anyway, so a 535 should more then suffice and the engine is a world more reliable then the 550.


In addition, the 550i doesn’t sound like a traditional American V8 - assuming that is what OP is referring to.


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Have you tried driving an F10 with an auto yet? I realize it's not the same experience as a manual, but the auto is pretty responsive in Sport+. Otherwise, have you considered a cars outside the brand, like a Caddy CTS V manual?

P.S. If it were me, I'd probably stick with your existing low mile/km E60 530 manual which I presume is in nice shape
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks Zugdud. I've had about 20 cars since I got my license at 16 and they have all been manuals. I'm afraid i wouldn't know how to drive an auto! I actually have a thread on the E60 forums about all the benefits of manual, so they will have to pry it out of my cold, dead hands before I switch :)

Yeah, CTS-V was on my short list as well, but I'm not a fan of the looks. I even had a Cayenne manual on my list, but I'm not a big SUV fan and I heard it's a glorified VW.

I think I just needed to get it out of my system about a new car...you're right, my E60 is awesome and in great shape! I should just spend more time loving it and stop ogling over F10's and other cars...hahaha.
 
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