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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wanted to find how is the long term reliability of turbo's on 3 series . I know they are expensive to fix.

Has anyone had their turbos gone out :cry:
 

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I wanted to find how is the long term reliability of turbo's on 3 series . I know they are expensive to fix.

Has anyone had their turbos gone out :cry:
Have heard of warranty problems in early N54's, but nothing really '09 or later.

If they receive good lube, turbos generally last a very long time.
 

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Have heard of warranty problems in early N54's, but nothing really '09 or later.

If they receive good lube, turbos generally last a very long time.
+1
Turbo failure reports in this forum VERY RARE. Keep oil in the car!
(CALWATER: 24 posts to the next level!...champagne on the ice!)
 

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Better with Butter
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Terry of JB3/JB4 fame had mentioned that even under the high-boost conditions he and many of his customers see, they've seen very few turbo failures.
In fact, he mentioned it on Bimmerfest somewhere: the problems seem to crop up only when the owner thrashes the motor when it still hadn't warmed up.
 

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Personally, when it comes to reliability issues, ignore the hearsay and go with data.


And, I've seen zero evidence that the N54/N55 are likely to experience turbo failures.

Its a non-issue. In fact, beyond the HPFP issue, I don't think there is a shred of difference in the reliability for the 328i and 335i.
 

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The turbos are made by Mitsubishi. They have decades of experience with them in Evo's and other cars. I have more faith in them than many of the other parts under the hood.
 

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Looks like I'll be the lone dissenter so far. I briefly owned a 2008 335, which had the repeated problems with the turbos. After taking it in 3 or 4 times, they replaced the turbos. But by this time I was so wary of the car that I sold it and got a 2011 328, via European Delivery.

The impression I got and information I read (about the turbos) was that my local shop was seeing more of them come in with problems. They say it would have been a $3,000 repair job to replace them if I'd had to pay for it.

So anyway, I'm one who experienced failed turbos. It wasn't fun. Too bad, for me. The 335 was amazing to drive. Amazing.
 

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Here's how to make your turbos last a long time

1) More frequent oil changes. I'd recommend every 5000-7500 miles, depending on driving conditions.
2) Don't demand much torque from your engine until the oil is fully warm- at least 180 deg oil temp.
3) After hard driving or extended high-speed driving, especially on a hot day, let your car idle for a minute (or drive very slowly for a couple minutes) before shut down. This allows the bearing to cool down, which will prevent coking of the oil.

Do those and your turbos will last 100% longer.
 

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Here's how to make your turbos last a long time

1) More frequent oil changes. I'd recommend every 5000-7500 miles, depending on driving conditions.
2) Don't demand much torque from your engine until the oil is fully warm- at least 180 deg oil temp.
3) After hard driving or extended high-speed driving, especially on a hot day, let your car idle for a minute (or drive very slowly for a couple minutes) before shut down. This allows the bearing to cool down, which will prevent coking of the oil.

Do those and your turbos will last 100% longer.
1)While I second that, there is no data that shows early oil changes will do anything. It gives me peace of mind.
2)Seconded. The engine and turbos need to properly warm up before going full out on them.
3)This is a complete waste of gas. While I recommend a cool down period, the water pumps to the turbos continue to run even when you shut off the engine.
 

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Here's how to make your turbos last a long time

1) More frequent oil changes. I'd recommend every 5000-7500 miles, depending on driving conditions.
2) Don't demand much torque from your engine until the oil is fully warm- at least 180 deg oil temp.
3) After hard driving or extended high-speed driving, especially on a hot day, let your car idle for a minute (or drive very slowly for a couple minutes) before shut down. This allows the bearing to cool down, which will prevent coking of the oil.

Do those and your turbos will last 100% longer.
..........

That item 3) was very important when, in 1989, I had a Mazda MX-6GT - and it was mentioned in the owner's manual as an important caution to observe. Likewise, with a 1993 Mazda RX-7 twin turbo. Nowadays, with the more sophisticated electronic control systems available, and a water pump which runs independent of the engine in the E90, there is no need to worry. Item 2) applies to all cars. Do not place high demand on an engine which is not properly warmed up. Item 1) remains the subject of much debate on this distinguished forum. It rates right up there with the Great National Debate on the reduction of the deficit.:)
 

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1)While I second that, there is no data that shows early oil changes will do anything. It gives me peace of mind.
2)Seconded. The engine and turbos need to properly warm up before going full out on them.
3)This is a complete waste of gas. While I recommend a cool down period, the water pumps to the turbos continue to run even when you shut off the engine.
1) Turbo engines in general, and this one in particular, expose the oil to greater temperatures and pressures, and are also less tolerant of worn or dirty oil. So, they wear the oil faster, and are less tolerant of that wear. The N54 also runs unusually hot oil temperatures. It should not have the same change intervals as NA engines- especially an already long 15k. The only reason I recommend as long as 5-7.5k is because the N54 holds so much oil.

3) There is no temperature sensor on the turbo- only overall coolant temp sensor. Therefore, the pump will only run after shutdown if overall coolant temp is high, and then only for a short time- possibly insufficient for a hot turbo. Furthermore, the liquid-cooling circuit mostly just prevents exhaust heat from entering the oil cavity, and is limited in its ability to cool the oil directly. The coolant is MUCH cooler than the exhaust, but only a couple dozen degrees cooler than the oil, so it mostly just limits heat-gain of the oil, rather than cooling it off significantly.



The oil is right at the heart of the turbo, which the water is more at the peripherary, so it retains a lot of heat. Look at how close the bearing is to the turbine, and how the shaft allows a short, uncooled conduction path from the turbine directly to the oil in this bearing.

So, liquid cooling dramatically reduces the need for a turbo cool down, but it doesn't eliminate it. Even having the coolant circulate for 30 seconds after shut down (which it'll only do sometimes) isn't enough to pull all the heat out of a hot turbine housing, shaft and exhaust manifold.

In my day to day driving, I just take it easy for a minute or two before shut down, and then switch off shortly after stopping. If I've been on-boost within a minute or two before stopping, or having been cruising on the freeway, I'll let it idle for a minute- especially on a hot day. This not only allows oil to cool down the heart of the turbo, but also allows relatively cooler exhaust to cool down the hot side of the turbo, removing some of the heat that would otherwise conduct in after shut down.

In an uncooled turbo, I'd recommend a minute of idle after normal driving, and several after hard driving. With a cooled turbo, I recommend none after easy driving, or as much as a minute after harder driving.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I do warm up the car before driving and wait couple of minutes before I shut down the car. As for my driving its a combination of city and highway.
 

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1) Turbo engines in general, and this one in particular, expose the oil to greater temperatures and pressures, and are also less tolerant of worn or dirty oil. So, they wear the oil faster, and are less tolerant of that wear. The N54 also runs unusually hot oil temperatures. It should not have the same change intervals as NA engines- especially an already long 15k. The only reason I recommend as long as 5-7.5k is because the N54 holds so much oil.

3) There is no temperature sensor on the turbo- only overall coolant temp sensor. Therefore, the pump will only run after shutdown if overall coolant temp is high, and then only for a short time- possibly insufficient for a hot turbo. Furthermore, the liquid-cooling circuit mostly just prevents exhaust heat from entering the oil cavity, and is limited in its ability to cool the oil directly. The coolant is MUCH cooler than the exhaust, but only a couple dozen degrees cooler than the oil, so it mostly just limits heat-gain of the oil, rather than cooling it off significantly.



The oil is right at the heart of the turbo, which the water is more at the peripherary, so it retains a lot of heat. Look at how close the bearing is to the turbine, and how the shaft allows a short, uncooled conduction path from the turbine directly to the oil in this bearing.

So, liquid cooling dramatically reduces the need for a turbo cool down, but it doesn't eliminate it. Even having the coolant circulate for 30 seconds after shut down (which it'll only do sometimes) isn't enough to pull all the heat out of a hot turbine housing, shaft and exhaust manifold.

In my day to day driving, I just take it easy for a minute or two before shut down, and then switch off shortly after stopping. If I've been on-boost within a minute or two before stopping, or having been cruising on the freeway, I'll let it idle for a minute- especially on a hot day. This not only allows oil to cool down the heart of the turbo, but also allows relatively cooler exhaust to cool down the hot side of the turbo, removing some of the heat that would otherwise conduct in after shut down.

In an uncooled turbo, I'd recommend a minute of idle after normal driving, and several after hard driving. With a cooled turbo, I recommend none after easy driving, or as much as a minute after harder driving.
Interesting. I recall that he 335s had an overheating "problem" early on. Oil temp? I forget the details.
 

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Originally, only coupes or sport package models had oil coolers. If driven hard for 10-15 minutes, oil would overheat. I hauled ass up a mountain and got my oil temp up to 300 in freezing weather...then I got an oil cooler.

These cars are very demanding of their oil.


WorldSmart- no need to warm the car up...just give it 15 seconds or so to allow the oil to circulate, and then drive off very gently until the temp gauge starts to move (120 on my 07), and don't flog it until 180.

No need to wait a couple minutes upon shut down unless you've been driving the piss out of it, OR if oil temp is really high (e.g. I would be reluctant to turn it off if oil temp was above 250)
 

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Did anyone mention WASTEGATE.
 

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My turbos went kaput @ 42k. Replaced under warranty :thumbup:
 

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reliability of turbos

As an owner of an early build 2008, I agree with the above. My car is on turbos number 5 and 6. The early turbos had weak actuator arms and failed. After several modifications, the newer turbos are much more reliable, and failures are now rare.
 
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