N52 engine reliability?

N52 engine reliability?

Author
Discussion

Ecosseven

Original Poster:

1,603 posts

183 months

Wednesday 11th January 2012
quotequote all
Afternoon all,

I’m thinking about getting an early manual Z4 sdrive 23i. I understand that this car comes with the earlier N52 series engine rather than the later N54 unit.

Are there any issues that I need to be aware of with regards to this engine? Does it use much oil?

The car will be used as a daily driver and cover around 15000 miles a year.

Thanks and all the best.

Moar

5,465 posts

133 months

Wednesday 11th January 2012
quotequote all
Best out of the 52 53 54.

I love it, it's so much more reliable than the 53. SOunds great,revs great and is just plain great.

No common issues that I know of and there have been no issues in 60k here.

Whats also useful is that the yanks get it over there aswell, so there is so much information about this engine, but no common as such issues.

Rabbo

525 posts

167 months

Wednesday 11th January 2012
quotequote all
Moar said:
No common issues that I know of and there have been no issues in 60k here.
Apart from the well-documented HVA noise issue?

I've taken this 'issue' with a pinch of salt myself, since there is no evidence that it causes premature engine failure... yet!

piper

273 posts

234 months

Wednesday 11th January 2012
quotequote all
Ecosseven said:
Afternoon all,

I’m thinking about getting an early manual Z4 sdrive 23i. I understand that this car comes with the earlier N52 series engine rather than the later N54 unit.

Are there any issues that I need to be aware of with regards to this engine? Does it use much oil?

The car will be used as a daily driver and cover around 15000 miles a year.

Thanks and all the best.
The N52 in my opinion is the more advanced engine than the N54, for example it has a lighter magnesium-aluminium block and valvetronic which is missing on the forced induction N54 engine. But most important is the fact that the N52 engine is a port injection engine and NOT A DIRECT INJECTION ENGINE which all seem to have carbon build up problems in the inlet tracts. This carbon build up ultimately effects performance and efficiency over time and the claimed new figures become diminished as mileage increases. Also N52 does not use the HPFP which has been problematic on the N54.


Edited by piper on Wednesday 11th January 19:03

abarber

1,617 posts

207 months

Wednesday 11th January 2012
quotequote all
Great engine, no issues, lovely soundtrack and great mpg for my early E90 330i, four years in.

Lovely mag block six. What's not to love?

Moar

5,465 posts

133 months

Wednesday 11th January 2012
quotequote all
Rabbo said:
Apart from the well-documented HVA noise issue?

I've taken this 'issue' with a pinch of salt myself, since there is no evidence that it causes premature engine failure... yet!
Ah yes, they fixed this was fixed by the time it reached my car.

navier_stokes

948 posts

165 months

Wednesday 11th January 2012
quotequote all
Moar said:
Ah yes, they fixed this was fixed by the time it reached my car.
I don't this has ever been "fixed", but having said that, like has been previously mentioned I don't think it's an actual issue other than the sound it makes. I don't believe it does any long term damage.

Many people have had "fixes" and replacements, but the noise comes back from time to time.

Generally it's more of an issue on cars that make short town journeys - these engines need a good thrash every now and again to keep them healthy.

Other than this, I think they're pretty much bullet proof (touch wood!). The 23 isn't the N52's highest state of tune either so that should help wink

Moar

5,465 posts

133 months

Wednesday 11th January 2012
quotequote all
navier_stokes said:
I don't this has ever been "fixed", but having said that, like has been previously mentioned I don't think it's an actual issue other than the sound it makes. I don't believe it does any long term damage.

Many people have had "fixes" and replacements, but the noise comes back from time to time.

Generally it's more of an issue on cars that make short town journeys - these engines need a good thrash every now and again to keep them healthy.

Other than this, I think they're pretty much bullet proof (touch wood!). The 23 isn't the N52's highest state of tune either so that should help wink
I don't even know what we're on about.

Are we on about the noisy lifters?

If so, then these were sorted out by BMW...

navier_stokes

948 posts

165 months

Wednesday 11th January 2012
quotequote all
Moar said:
navier_stokes said:
I don't this has ever been "fixed", but having said that, like has been previously mentioned I don't think it's an actual issue other than the sound it makes. I don't believe it does any long term damage.

Many people have had "fixes" and replacements, but the noise comes back from time to time.

Generally it's more of an issue on cars that make short town journeys - these engines need a good thrash every now and again to keep them healthy.

Other than this, I think they're pretty much bullet proof (touch wood!). The 23 isn't the N52's highest state of tune either so that should help wink
I don't even know what we're on about.

Are we on about the noisy lifters?

If so, then these were sorted out by BMW...
Since when? BMW have issued several service information bulletins regarding "fixes" for them, but I've seen numerous reports of these not fixing the issue. I've seen cases where BMW have replaced whole heads under warranty only for it to come back. Having said this, I don't see it as an issue, just an engine characteristic wink

edition

948 posts

156 months

Thursday 12th January 2012
quotequote all
Great engine!! Love mine in the 130.

Ecosseven

Original Poster:

1,603 posts

183 months

Friday 16th March 2012
quotequote all
Thanks for the replies. Do these engines use much oil?

Sump

5,465 posts

133 months

Friday 16th March 2012
quotequote all
No.

texasjohn

3,687 posts

197 months

Friday 16th March 2012
quotequote all
My experience was a couple of hundred ml of oil in 10000 miles

ghibbett

1,744 posts

151 months

Saturday 17th March 2012
quotequote all
^^^ My 130i was the same.

Brilliant, brilliant engine.

robbo32

9 posts

146 months

Monday 19th March 2012
quotequote all
Great engine & I've come from a 3.6 litre 997 porsche carrera to the Z4 with this engine.
It's a peach & I've used no oil in 10,500 miles.
Also a remap on this engine really makes it sing nicely & makes the throttle response much sharper.

rm163603

594 posts

214 months

Wednesday 21st March 2012
quotequote all
I've got s 130 with over 50K on the clock, it uses literally no measurable amount of oil.

I've never had any lifter noises on mine but I do mainly long journeys.

As others have said there seems to be very few problems with them.

Mine has the performance exhaust and intake and it really is a very nice engine, sounds great, plenty of torque, a nice zingy top end and great throttle response.

it can also be surprisingly economical.

siwebster

379 posts

159 months

Wednesday 21st March 2012
quotequote all
robbo32 said:
Great engine & I've come from a 3.6 litre 997 porsche carrera to the Z4 with this engine.
It's a peach & I've used no oil in 10,500 miles.
Also a remap on this engine really makes it sing nicely & makes the throttle response much sharper.
rm163603 said:
I've got s 130 with over 50K on the clock, it uses literally no measurable amount of oil.

I've never had any lifter noises on mine but I do mainly long journeys.

As others have said there seems to be very few problems with them.

Mine has the performance exhaust and intake and it really is a very nice engine, sounds great, plenty of torque, a nice zingy top end and great throttle response.

it can also be surprisingly economical.
I'm looking at a few mild upgrades to my e90 330 too, what difference have your upgrades made, many noticeable gains?

My aim was to try and squeeze an extra 40hp to round it up to a nice 300 smile but without spending a fortune and without ruining how it is now...

V8A*ndy

3,681 posts

157 months

Thursday 22nd March 2012
quotequote all
23i is the 2.5....

Go for a 30i if you can. I owned a 23i and although a manual version is pretty quick the 30i is just so much better....

Ended up with with a 35iS but that's a different experience altogether.

rm163603

594 posts

214 months

Thursday 22nd March 2012
quotequote all
siwebster said:
robbo32 said:
Great engine & I've come from a 3.6 litre 997 porsche carrera to the Z4 with this engine.
It's a peach & I've used no oil in 10,500 miles.
Also a remap on this engine really makes it sing nicely & makes the throttle response much sharper.
rm163603 said:
I've got s 130 with over 50K on the clock, it uses literally no measurable amount of oil.

I've never had any lifter noises on mine but I do mainly long journeys.

As others have said there seems to be very few problems with them.

Mine has the performance exhaust and intake and it really is a very nice engine, sounds great, plenty of torque, a nice zingy top end and great throttle response.

it can also be surprisingly economical.
I'm looking at a few mild upgrades to my e90 330 too, what difference have your upgrades made, many noticeable gains?

My aim was to try and squeeze an extra 40hp to round it up to a nice 300 smile but without spending a fortune and without ruining how it is now...
I don't think the bolt on BMW Performance parts add much more power to be honest but they make it sound a bit nicer! It's slightly less refined and more raw if that makes sense.

I think the intake makes a little difference to the low end. Looking at the power curve compared to others I've seen for the 130 mine has a bit more torque around 2500. It had about 260lb/ft when stock is supposed to be in the 230s. (usual caveats apply with dyno figures!)

I also had my car remapped which made the biggest (if still small) increase. Before the remap it made 261hp and after 280.

To get to 300hp you'd probably need a new exhaust manifold and cams etc which is quite extreme.

Swervin_Mervin

3,541 posts

204 months

Thursday 22nd March 2012
quotequote all
abarber said:
Great engine, no issues, lovely soundtrack and great mpg for my early E90 330i, four years in.

Lovely mag block six. What's not to love?
Ooh, I didn't know the early E90 330s had the N52. smile