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      11-27-2012, 01:14 PM   #1
Konig Ludwig
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So is the N55 a much more reliable motor than the N54?

I know this has probably been beaten to death, but would like to know first hand impressions.
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      11-27-2012, 02:14 PM   #2
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There's no such thing as an "impression" when it comes to reliability, just statistics.

Since anyone on an internet forum would be making up results out of thin air, or based on claims like consumer reports, etc, it's not worth having a discussion.

If you asked a BMW quality engineer, I'm going to take a guess and say yes, the N55 is more reliable. Why? Because they sat there for 4 years and analyzed all the failures on the N54 and redesigned it to improve the quality (go Six Sigma!).
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      11-27-2012, 08:45 PM   #3
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And probably inadvertently broke a few things while they were at it.

That's partly why we have another new motor on the way.
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      11-27-2012, 08:57 PM   #4
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I saw one N55 car at work that killed a head and crank, then seized solid.

Other then that, they are pretty good, as long as you do in between oil changes, you'll be fine.
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      11-27-2012, 09:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SamE30 View Post
I saw one N55 car at work that killed a head and crank, then seized solid.

Other then that, they are pretty good, as long as you do in between oil changes, you'll be fine.
Sorry ... in between the standard 24k km regularly scheduled oil changes???
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      11-27-2012, 09:53 PM   #6
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never had one issue with both my N54's.
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      11-27-2012, 10:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SamE30
I saw one N55 car at work that killed a head and crank, then seized solid.

Other then that, they are pretty good, as long as you do in between oil changes, you'll be fine.
That's more than likely an outlier than the norm.
Regular 15k changes wouldn't be factory standard otherwise... It costs them more to replace an engine than change the oil.
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      11-27-2012, 10:42 PM   #8
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As far as what I have read and understood, the HPFP failure issues were associated with the N54 engines. Not sure if N55s have seen the same issue.
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      11-27-2012, 10:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tojo_m View Post
As far as what I have read and understood, the HPFP failure issues were associated with the N54 engines. Not sure if N55s have seen the same issue.
The HPFP got redesigned for all F30s, and post-March 2012 E92/E93 cars. So, some N55 cars do have the old design. In other words, you can't correlate HPFP with just all N55 vs. N54 cars.
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      12-19-2012, 07:51 PM   #10
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Both engines are good IMO. The main difference is the exhaust. The new N55 engine has one exhaust pipe the feeds from all 6 cylinder (for less fuel consumption) while the N54 had 2 pipes, one feeding from cylinders 1, 2, and 3 and another pipe feeding from cylinders 4, 5, and 6.
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      12-19-2012, 09:44 PM   #11
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Well there were 2 turbos in the N54 so you kind of needed 2 pipes no?
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      01-22-2013, 09:56 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shivaswrath View Post
Well there were 2 turbos in the N54 so you kind of needed 2 pipes no?
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      01-22-2013, 10:02 PM   #13
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The N55 is only as reliable as the one BMW built for you. And how well you take care of it.

Overall the N54 is a more complicated design. It also has some higher end components such as the piezo injectors and true dual turbos. N55 is what most would consider a cost reduced version of the N54.
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      01-23-2013, 09:32 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by claykin View Post
The N55 is only as reliable as the one BMW built for you. And how well you take care of it.

Overall the N54 is a more complicated design. It also has some higher end components such as the piezo injectors and true dual turbos. N55 is what most would consider a cost reduced version of the N54.
that is so true...

I took my car in for service this morning, to replace the fabled Rusty Seat Frames and deal with some minor squeaks.

The Loaner F30 328xi they gave me, mind you with 10 miles on the odo, threw an alert after driving for 5 miles that the engine oil pressure is too low...BRAND NEW 328xi and already has issues.

I'm unsure I'll own another BMW after this one, given how hit or miss their build quality has been thus far...they loaned me a E90 328i, with 11k on the odo, nary an issue. The steering feel is pretty nice too....
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      01-23-2013, 10:46 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shivaswrath View Post
that is so true...

I took my car in for service this morning, to replace the fabled Rusty Seat Frames and deal with some minor squeaks.

The Loaner F30 328xi they gave me, mind you with 10 miles on the odo, threw an alert after driving for 5 miles that the engine oil pressure is too low...BRAND NEW 328xi and already has issues.

I'm unsure I'll own another BMW after this one, given how hit or miss their build quality has been thus far...they loaned me a E90 328i, with 11k on the odo, nary an issue. The steering feel is pretty nice too....
So you had an issue on a First year new model car but not an issue on a car in it's 6th year of the build cycle(e90).....
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      01-23-2013, 11:18 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justinnum1 View Post
So you had an issue on a First year new model car but not an issue on a car in it's 6th year of the build cycle(e90).....
it's a 2013, so technically a second year build.

There's NO excuse for an engine issue like low oil pressure on a new car - even if the sensor is faulty because it was below freezing and the oil hadn't warmed up, if the warning WAS correct, I would've grenaded the engine. That's pathetic.
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      01-23-2013, 12:49 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shivaswrath View Post
it's a 2013, so technically a second year build.

There's NO excuse for an engine issue like low oil pressure on a new car - even if the sensor is faulty because it was below freezing and the oil hadn't warmed up, if the warning WAS correct, I would've grenaded the engine. That's pathetic.
Actually, Xdrive cars first started as 2013 model years. and the N20 has been around for a while now.

Regardless, there are always going to be a few bad apples.

Any other car manufacturer has similar issues. Not every car is going to be perfect.
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      01-26-2013, 11:44 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Konig Ludwig View Post
I know this has probably been beaten to death, but would like to know first hand impressions.
To me its more like what are you willing to put up with?

HPFP faliures on these cars or driving around a P car with intermediate shaft that is a ticking time bomb and ready to grenade at any given moment without notice, wich by the way a crate motor from Porsche is 19k.

Yeah Id take the HPFP problems 2-3 hours at the dealer and youre on your way

Honestly no one knows yet if n55 is better. So far so good, but it has its own share of small issues.
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      01-26-2013, 01:01 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justinnum1 View Post
Actually, Xdrive cars first started as 2013 model years. and the N20 has been around for a while now.

Regardless, there are always going to be a few bad apples.

Any other car manufacturer has similar issues. Not every car is going to be perfect.
I don't doubt it, but it's still comical/ironic that I take my car in for issues, get a loaner, and the loaner has issues.

So far, knock on wood, I've only had surface/cosmetic type issues with my 335i - engine has been strong (so far only consumed a quart of oil in 7500 miles), suspension has been awesome (after the upgrade), brakes haven't squealed, and I've enjoyed 28-30 mpg.

I just wonder what troubles are coming down the pike...or if I'm in the clear. Was one reason why I got the 100k warranty, once I started having problems, I wanted some peace of mind.
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      02-02-2013, 08:14 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by claykin View Post
The N55 is only as reliable as the one BMW built for you. And how well you take care of it.

Overall the N54 is a more complicated design. It also has some higher end components such as the piezo injectors and true dual turbos. N55 is what most would consider a cost reduced version of the N54.
The N54 also uses forged pistons, not cast ones, among some other things I can't recall this late at night. If you were going to go nuts out and tune your car significantly, I'd pick an N54 engine over the N55.

OP -If you're just a daily driver with ambition, it's not going to matter to you.
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      08-03-2013, 10:13 PM   #21
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N55 Data Sheet

Overall I would recommend reading the data sheet for the engine to determine the differences yourself and make your own call. I will try to attach a copy. When discussing reliability it appears that the connecting rods to the pistons have been redesigned to better distribute the load placed on them. The VANOS oil passages in the engine are less complex, the oil management of the engine has had multiple overhauls compared to the n54 with changes to the crankcase and oil pan, and oil pump. It mentions that the HPFP is still the same design as the N54, and covers the difference in the fuel injectors from the Piezo-electric ones to Bosch.

Overall I would be willing to bet that the N55 would be more reliable as mentioned earlier for the simple fact that they took data from the N54 and improved upon many systems. I can't say whether or not the change in forged parts will affect reliability when tuned. Seeing as the engine is currently having issues reaching 400hp due to the twin scroll turbo limitations I doubt you will ever run into power levels that would make these parts a necessity. That is speculation tho. Only time will really tell
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