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2009 BMW E60 530i (N53)
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all. I am after some help and advice on my car if possible. I've had it for almost a year now and I've noticed a few things recently that I feel I might need to get sorted. But, I'm not 100% sure and didn't want to just throw money at it until I got some advice.

The main things I've noticed are as follows:

- Increased heat from engine/exhaust
- Very rich smell of petrol from exhaust
- Occasional juddering when turning engine on

My main concerns are that it may be a bad catalytic converter and possible injector issues. I am thinking that possibly the cat and injectors will need replacing?

The car has done approximately 80k miles and as far as I know the cat/injectors have not been changed yet. If these should be changed I didn't know what would be most important as I don't really want to be hit with one massive bill (would be better to split it into 2 jobs). Also, wondering if there’s a better way to try and identify what might need doing.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.
 

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I’m no expert but I wouldn’t have though your injectors would go bad after 80k Miles.

Is it using more fuel than normal?

The cat, I think, is a passive device so on its own I can’t see how it would create a rich fuel mixture, unless maybe it’s blocked or they’ve failed; but again at 80k miles the cats should be ok, I would have hoped anyway.

It’s probably worth having diagnostics run on the car and the exhaust gases analysed.

I had a similar problem (not on a BMW though) and it was caused by a bad O2 sensor. Admittedly the O2 readings could be skewed by a bad cat though.

The injectors can be recon’d for about £80 if needed; I did it on my 525 at about 116k Miles ; did I notice a difference? Nope.

The cats on these (I think they have two, one for cylinders 1-3 and one for 4-6) are part of the exhaust manifolds so will probably be quite expensive.

But rather than throw money at unneeded replacement parts I’d be having a diagnostics check run first.

HTH.



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O2 sensors, cam sensors and vanos are all common problems which can lead to the symptoms described. However I'd suggest you start simple and change the plugs.
 

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2009 BMW E60 530i (N53)
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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the response!

So I’ve been trying to monitor the petrol consumption and it doesn’t seem to be incredibly bad. Being a 3.0 litre and me only doing shorter journeys it does use more fuel in general, obviously. But maybe not excessively. I can get around 50ish miles per quarter of a tank (not sure if that’s average or not?) and I average about 20mpg overall.

Other bits I’ve read have said about cats being bad at closer to 100k so didn’t think it should be this. But the injectors do sound to be the likely culprits...

If getting them reconditioned is a waste would it then be worth getting a diagnosis and changing them if something flags up? I’m due an MOT soon so wondering if it’s worth just coinciding that?
 

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You'd be suprised how long they can get left for. For the sake of £40 and an hour's work they are worth doing. The other thing you might find is the cam cover gasket has gone and there is oil in the plug wells. I did my 2009 525i LCI (80K on the clock) recently and its made a noticeable difference. Everything is a lot smoother and it picks up better than it did previously. I recommend you use the OEM NGKs but the Bosch equivalents are nearly as good. You will need a 12 point slim-line socket with a long extension bar.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
You'd be suprised how long they can get left for. For the sake of £40 and an hour's work they are worth doing. The other thing you might find is the cam cover gasket has gone and there is oil in the plug wells. I did my 2009 525i LCI (80K on the clock) recently and its made a noticeable difference. Everything is a lot smoother and it picks up better than it did previously. I recommend you use the OEM NGKs but the Bosch equivalents are nearly as good. You will need a 12 point slim-line socket with a long extension bar.
Thanks for the info mate. I reckon I might give it a go then. You think it’s about an hours work then? I’ve seen videos of how to change them and because of the effort I thought it might be worth changing the coils at the same time? Or is it not worth buying them?

So should I just replace the spark plugs or would I need to change cam cover gasket too?

Thanks for your responses ?
 

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Only need to do the cover gasket if its leaking. Its a PiTA on the N53 engines as the fuel injection system has to come apart to get the cover off.

Coils ought to be ok unless you have historical errors in the diags reporting "combustion failure" (IIRC).
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Only need to do the cover gasket if its leaking. Its a PiTA on the N53 engines as the fuel injection system has to come apart to get the cover off.

Coils ought to be ok unless you have historical errors in the diags reporting "combustion failure" (IIRC).
Gotcha. Hopefully it’s not leaking. How would I be able to tell if it was actually leaking then?

When I had the diagnostic check done last I don’t recall any errors of that nature so should be ok hopefully. This is what’s bugging me a bit though, the fact that I’ve seen no error messages but do feel like something isn’t right.

Might just give the plugs a go like you said and see what happens! ??
 

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Discussion Starter #13
If the coils caps are covered in oil when you pull them out then the gasket is leaking. If they are dry then it isn't.
Cool thanks for confirming. I’ve ordered some NGK plugs so I’ll change these and see where to go from there.

I’ll check the coils at the same time to check for any leakage.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
If the coils caps are covered in oil when you pull them out then the gasket is leaking. If they are dry then it isn't.
Cool thanks for confirming. I’ve ordered some NGK plugs so I’ll change these and see where to go from there.

I’ll check the coils at the same time to check for any leakage.
Hope you don’t mind me reposting in my older post but I was hoping to get some more information. I pulled the coils and they did not appear to be oily so this was good.

I changed all 6 spark plugs and 2 of them appeared to be very black and when I removed them I got a strong smell of petrol. I have attached a picture of the 6 plugs in line. Would these 2 suggest that those injectors need replacing??
 

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Run a few dosed of injector cleaner through first before you get into the replacement cycle. You might find those two plugs were marginal and everything clears up with the new ones. If not, inspect those two again in a couple of weeks time. If they come out black again then get the injectors tested.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Run a few dosed of injector cleaner through first before you get into the replacement cycle. You might find those two plugs were marginal and everything clears up with the new ones. If not, inspect those two again in a couple of weeks time. If they come out black again then get the injectors tested.
Yeah I was thinking to do something like this. I usually run through some Redex when I fill up my tank so I’ll do this a couple more times and then pull them plugs in a few weeks and see what they look like.

If I do this and they’re still black and smelling of petrol then would it be best to change those injectors then?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Run a few dosed of injector cleaner through first before you get into the replacement cycle. You might find those two plugs were marginal and everything clears up with the new ones. If not, inspect those two again in a couple of weeks time. If they come out black again then get the injectors tested.
Do you know how much it would cost to get the injectors tested? My local indy said they wouldn’t be able to as these are ‘high pressure’ injectors?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Hi. Hope it's ok to post back on such an old post but I wanted to see if I could get some more information on this.

So it's been almost a year since I originally posted this and the car is still running ok. It does still seem to run rich and I can always smell petrol if I get out of the car if it's parked and still running. Also, I've noticed that if I give it a bit of welly a few times on the way home then when I park up and get out there's a slight burning smell almost. And the exhaust at the back makes a ticking noise?

Could anyone shed any light on this?

(And also, would anyone know how/where I could get my injectors tested if needed?)


Run a few dosed of injector cleaner through first before you get into the replacement cycle. You might find those two plugs were marginal and everything clears up with the new ones. If not, inspect those two again in a couple of weeks time. If they come out black again then get the injectors tested.
Do you know how much it would cost to get the injectors tested? My local indy said they wouldn’t be able to as these are ‘high pressure’ injectors?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Hi all. Sorry to dig out an old post again, but I'm still having the same issues. Where would be best to go to get my injectors tested or replaced? Thanks in advance.
 
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