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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

I am a proud (lucky/unlucky) owner of a car with an n53 engine, here is my story in short;

Bought the car as non runner for few hundred pounds, the car was shuddering and misfiring badly, followed by CEL, and stall. Took it to 2 BMW specialist in the London UK area, parts replaced as follow;

Water pump
HPFP
Rocker cover
6 injectors
6 coils of which 2 are efi brand (not the genuine bosch)
6 genuine bmw (ngk) spark plugs
Engine mounts
Radiator
Big DISA valve
Both Vanos solenoids

To make the story really short, the first mechanic was totally lost, he started to replace the rocker cover as it was indeed leaking, and the fuel pump as the previous owner indeed installed a Chinese knock off and it was throwing error. The parts were in fact replaced with genuine ones, and I can confirm as I can see them installed in my car. However this first mechanic wasn't very confident with diagnostic tools and I decided to take my car away once he suggested to replace the flywheel as a possible cause of misfire, before even trying to put new coils. I paid my bill and took the car away.

Took it to a more reputable bmw specialist, who diagnosed the car in less than 12h, and advised water pump 6 new injectors coils and spark plugs.
When I took the car back, it was still having a rough idle, and in a day cel came back.
After bringing the car back to the mechanic 5 times for the same issue, he told me that now the piston rings on cyl 6 were bad and that oil will go to the combustion chamber causing misfiring, his solution was to use thicker m racing oil (10-60) hoping that this would prevent oil passing through the rings, and for a final solution advised on a new engine.
Only one problem with his theory, the car was not smoking, nor it was drinking oil.

So I decided to take matters into my own hands, took the spark plugs off and 2 of them were black and smelling of fuel. Turns out the mechanic charged me for 6 injectors but only replaced 4, he also charged me for 6 coils but 2 of them are non oem, 2 were old, and 2 was actually damaged and had a current leak along the rubber seal.

Once I replaced the 2 injectors, and only the one damaged coil, the car was running fine, no cel, good idle and better fuel efficiency.

At the same time, there was a rattling noise by the disa, so I took it off and that was falling apart. Replaced that too.

Now the car runs ok, throttle is very reactive on cold, lots of torque even just by lightly pressing the pedal, but it gets very laggish and loose lots of that lovely torque once the engine warms up.

There is a brief moment just when it gets to a decent temperature, where I can push the pedal a bit, and enjoy the horses. I live for that brief moment these days 馃槂

My question to you guys is, what could it be the culprit?

MAF?
VANOS? (Remember the 10-60 oil is still there)
The other DISA?

At present INPA is only reading some codes related to NOX sensor, but I guess that's normal after running with leaky injectors, so I'm giving it a bit of time to clean up.

I have also done adaptations reset.

Thanks if someone fancy helping, I'd really appreciate.

Vale
 

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2013 F11 503d
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Hi Vale,
Well you have been given the run around for sure. Seems you know more about this than the two mechanics! So the problem now is when it warms up you lose some torque, right?
MAF? maybe, a clean wouldnt hurt. Do the MAP and camshaft solenoids too while you have the cleaner out.
Vanos? its not running rough on cold so maybe not. The thicker oil wouldnt stop it working but I would change it back.
Other DISA? Take it off and inspect it anyway.
Try cleaning the EGR? and inspect the connections onto your inlet manifold.
Did you check the gaps on the plugs before fitting them?
Maybe check the flow on the injectors and see if they are balanced.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the detailed reply Tcon

Truth to be told, I drove couple of days with the MAF disconnected, while I could still see a decrease in torque at warm engine, I also noticed that the engine was smoother and there was less vibration under load ( 2.5/4 k rpm)

Day 2 cel came on so I reconnected the MAF and cleared errors.

Another thing I noticed, is that when I accelerate under no load, if I want try keep the rpm to around 1000 without moving the throttle pedal, I see it fluctuating, (not always, sometimes it keeps stable)

Now you mentioned the MAP, and this is definitely something worth trying, as well as cleaning the Solenoids, and you mentioned the EGR.

So I guess at this point might be worth taking the intake manifold out, taking apart all the components and clean them well, this way I will also easily access the small DISA.

I changed the plugs last week with brand new ones, but I'll check the gaps since I want to take them off to still look for possible overfueling or uneven combustion.

Would you check the flow of the injectors through the rough running page on INPA or would you use a different diagnosis page?

Thanks again
 

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I think taking the manifold off and checking and cleaning as you go will eliminate a lot of things in one go. Might be worth changing the inlet manifold gaskets and injector seals while your there as they are not expensive and clean the throttle body too. This will require an adaptation when done. INPA I believe is very good at checking the condition of the injectors so I would go with that for now.
You have plenty of work ahead of you but it will be worth it when you get to the solution. Happy hunting 馃攷
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks!

Will keep you posted.

Happy to help if anyone is having similar issues.

Ciao
 

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Hello there.
Are all your coils now from the same manufacturer?
Mixing coils can give you all sorts of headaches (I've had two N53 330i's) so if nothing else, get them all the same.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Very valid point! I currently tun with 4 bosch and 2 efi. So I now order 2 more bosch from euro carparts, will collect this evening.

If you don't mind me asking what sort of issues have you experienced with different coils, and what brand they were?

Thanks
 

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Very valid point! I currently tun with 4 bosch and 2 efi. So I now order 2 more bosch from euro carparts, will collect this evening.

If you don't mind me asking what sort of issues have you experienced with different coils, and what brand they were?

Thanks
I won't give you chapter and verse on my first 330i ( you'd loose the will to live), but after changing almost everything else in the engine, BMW were still getting error codes along with misfiring.
It then transpired I had a mixture of bosch (2) and delphi (4) coils and BMW GB discovered a service bulletin stating that coils should not be mixed.
Bosch coils replaced with delphi and behold - finally no more issues !
I'm not saying this will solve your issue, but it's (relatively) cheap to resolve and ticks off one more possible area of concern.
Stick with it, as they are fantastic engines once sorted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
To be honest at the moment the car is running pretty ok. I'm mostly searching for the lost power, I love this engine, and I love e90 (is my second e90), couldn't be happier with what I've got!

After my brutal experience with mechanics I think the main problem of the n53 and many other complex engines is the total lack of knowledge of most so called mechanics. Sometimes I wonder how some of them managed to get so far with their business, especially the last one I visited.

I am positive that N53 is an engineering jewel with a great power ratio, just needs to be looked after well.

Thanks for the help guys, and for making me feel welcome.

Will update the post soon...
 

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To be honest at the moment the car is running pretty ok. I'm mostly searching for the lost power, I love this engine, and I love e90 (is my second e90), couldn't be happier with what I've got!

After my brutal experience with mechanics I think the main problem of the n53 and many other complex engines is the total lack of knowledge of most so called mechanics. Sometimes I wonder how some of them managed to get so far with their business, especially the last one I visited.

I am positive that N53 is an engineering jewel with a great power ratio, just needs to be looked after well.

Thanks for the help guys, and for making me feel welcome.

Will update the post soon...
Most bmw techs just look at a screen, a true mechanic wud dive in head 1st, & i did say most not all
 

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1st thing have you been back to the garage that charged you for all them parts and only fitted a few of them as it鈥檚 a lot of money and dishonest

You should put some pictures up as proof and name them so others don鈥檛 get ripped off by them again

We see things like this all the time




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 
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I'd suspect VANOS solenoids or...the VANOS filters, which could be blocked and impeding oil flow to the VANOS. Do a google search, there's a 'how to' change the filters and they're not mega pricey. Part No. 11 in this diagram:

 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Most bmw techs just look at a screen, a true mechanic wud dive in head 1st, & i did say most not all
they don't even know how to use diagnostic tools, believe me they use it merely to read errors!

1st thing have you been back to the garage that charged you for all them parts and only fitted a few of them as it鈥檚 a lot of money and dishonest

You should put some pictures up as proof and name them so others don鈥檛 get ripped off by them again

We see things like this all the time




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
A lawyer is drafting a letter for refund of the multiple bs he did. Last but not least, the car had no air filter, I can't say for certain they removed it, but with an overfueling engine the first thing you should do is check the air filter!

I'd suspect VANOS solenoids or...the VANOS filters, which could be blocked and impeding oil flow to the VANOS. Do a google search, there's a 'how to' change the filters and they're not mega pricey. Part No. 11 in this diagram:

See, another good hint! Didn't even think about that, and if the filter is a bit clogged the thicker oil might make it even worst! Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
I won't give you chapter and verse on my first 330i ( you'd loose the will to live), but after changing almost everything else in the engine, BMW were still getting error codes along with misfiring.
It then transpired I had a mixture of bosch (2) and delphi (4) coils and BMW GB discovered a service bulletin stating that coils should not be mixed.
Bosch coils replaced with delphi and behold - finally no more issues !
I'm not saying this will solve your issue, but it's (relatively) cheap to resolve and ticks off one more possible area of concern.
Stick with it, as they are fantastic engines once sorted.
I now have 6 bosch ignition coils. According to Bimmerprofs they should be the best option for n53.

Haven't noticed much difference but I am happier now that they are all the same. I suspect the different ones were behaving differently once hot. I feel like the engine is a bit more balanced.

Now concerned that the second hand injector I put is leaking a bit as I have a bit of a rough idle and misfiring the first few minutes after starting the engine.

Bmw doesn't currently have injectors in stock, we'll wait and see if they come back next week.
 

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I now have 6 bosch ignition coils. According to Bimmerprofs they should be the best option for n53.

Haven't noticed much difference but I am happier now that they are all the same. I suspect the different ones were behaving differently once hot. I feel like the engine is a bit more balanced.

Now concerned that the second hand injector I put is leaking a bit as I have a bit of a rough idle and misfiring the first few minutes after starting the engine.

Bmw doesn't currently have injectors in stock, we'll wait and see if they come back next week.
Unfortunately, second hand injectors for the N53 never seem to work out well.
Also, if possible, make sure all your injectors are index 11 as these are the most current (and by far the most reliable) ones to have.
 

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Unfortunately, second hand injectors for the N53 never seem to work out well.
Also, if possible, make sure all your injectors are index 11 as these are the most current (and by far the most reliable) ones to have.
I can't believe anyone would ever fit non-matching coils or non-matching injectors - insane. Jim, age 75, 60 years motoring, owned over 30 cars.
 

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I now have 6 bosch ignition coils. According to Bimmerprofs they should be the best option for n53.
The correct coils for your car are Delphi. Part No. 12137559842. They superseded four previous coil part numbers dating back to 2006.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I can't believe anyone would ever fit non-matching coils or non-matching injectors - insane. Jim, age 75, 60 years motoring, owned over 30 cars.
Eheheh you are absolutely right sir,
Although, I now finally have all the same coils, and the injectors are only a different index/version, but they are exactly the same. Maybe index 0 and 11 shouldn't be mixed on the same bank, but there are mixed opinions about that. Correct me if I'm wrong anyone!

The correct coils for your car are Delphi. Part No. 12137559842. They superseded four previous coil part numbers dating back to 2006.
I chosen bosch after reading an article on the Bimmerprofs website about bosch vs Delphi, and after extensive tests it turned out the bosch are more "hard-wearing". Do you think my choice could have compromised the overall performance?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Quick update,

Today loss of power, then after a bit amber engine temperature light,

The previous mechanic put some sort of sluggish sticky shit in the cooling system, could this have blocked the thermostat?
 

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Quick update,

Today loss of power, then after a bit amber engine temperature light,

The previous mechanic put some sort of sluggish sticky shit in the cooling system, could this have blocked the thermostat?
Why did they put anything in the cooling system?
 
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