Common problems with BMW N63 engines

BMW N63 engine problems

BMW N63 engine was the world’s first production car engine to utilize a “hot-vee” layout, with the turbochargers situated inside the “V” of the engine. What’s more, it is BMW’s first turbocharged V8 engine. This engine replaced the naturally aspirated BMW N62 engine.

The N63 may be a powerful and high-performance engine, but it also comes with several issues that interested buyers should know about. But what are the common problems with the BMW N63 engines?

Common problems with the BMW N63 turbocharged V8 engine are fuel injector failure, leaking valve stem seals, excess oil usage, timing chain failure, fast battery drainage, bad spark plugs, and bad ignition coils. The good news is that most of these problems can be fixed. Besides, these issues can also be avoided through regular maintenance and care.

What are the common problems with the BMW N63 engines?

Timing chain problems

The timing chain problem is one of BMW’s major problems. The BMW N63 engine is not an exception as it also has this problem. Nonetheless, this problem is common in 2008 to 2014 N63 engines. Users noted that the timing chain stretches out after some time, leading to additional wear and tear to the valve train and affecting the car’s performance.

Signs of a bad or failing timing chain include rough idle and check engine light coming. If the issue of the timing chain is not addressed in time, the valves may bend and lead to costly repairs.

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Fuel injector failure

One of the first problems that you should be ready to deal with when you acquire a car with the BMW N63 engine is fuel injector failure. Many users reported having this problem as early as 20,000 miles. Besides, fixing this issue is quite costly as you have to factor in labor costs.

Some of the signs of a bad or failing fuel injector are poor acceleration, engine misfires, rough idle, check engine light comes on, and black exhaust pipes. Replace the bad fuel injectors to fix this problem.

Excess oil usage

Another common problem across BMW models is excessive oil usage. This problem is linked to the design of the engine with turbos being the middle of the “V” or the valley of the engine. What’s more, this area is very hot and causes the engine to burn more oil, and it can even cause the gaskets to dry out and leak oil.

In normal situations, 1 qt of oil should be equivalent to 1000 miles, but in this case, 1 qt is equivalent to 600 miles. Nonetheless, BMW owners still love their cars and replenish oil every 4k to 6k miles.

Leaking valve stems                                                                                 

Because of the high heat produced by the exhaust and the turbos in the valley of the engine, the valve stem seals will deteriorate faster causing leaks and huge chunks of white smoke to come out of your exhaust. Some of the signs of leaking valve stems are excess oil usage and white smoke from the exhaust.

To fix this issue, you will have to replace the bad valve stem seals with new ones. This is an easy fix and it shouldn’t cost a lot.

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Fast battery drainage

In an attempt by BMW to attain efficiency, it ended up messing with other parts of the car. Yes, this car has better fuel economy than most of its rivals, but it also drains the battery faster than most of its competitors. BMW made the N63 system to recharge the batteries instead of charging from the turns of the belts. As a result, recharging the battery using this system is not very efficient.

What’s more, the battery is drained quickly as the electronic systems on the car stay on after the car was turned off to keep the cooling system working to cool the turbos that were positioned in the middle of the V in the engine.

Bad spark plugs

Like fuel injectors, spark plugs on BMWs also don’t last long. BMW recommends users replace spark plugs every 30,000 miles. Some of the signs of worn-out or failing spark plugs are engine misfire, old starts, and rough idling.

Bad ignition coils

Ignition coils on BMWs don’t last for long. Therefore, you will have to replace ignition coils on your spark plugs every 45,000 miles. Signs of bad ignition coils are engine misfires, rough idling, and starts. Note that ignition coils should be replaced together with spark plugs.


Is the BMW N63 a reliable engine?

No, the BMW N63 engine is among the least reliable BMW engines ever made. This is because users have reported frequent reliability problems that are never-ending. Besides, this engine is on pace to be one of the least BMW engines ever made. Nevertheless, with proper care and maintenance, this engine will last for a long while.

What BMW models feature the N63 engine?

The BMW N63 turbocharged V8 engine is found in BMW 550i, X5, X6, 650i, and 750i models. These are some of the most powerful, comfortable, and well-performing BMW models on the market. With proper care and maintenance, the N63 will perform exceptionally well and last for a long period.

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How long does the BMW N63 engine last?

Even though the BMW N63 engine comes with multiple issues, this engine can last for a long while if it’s well-maintained. It can clock more than 250,000 miles if the user adheres to BMW’s recommended maintenance service. Nonetheless, some users have reported clocking over 300k miles, which is impressive.

How much power does the BMW N63 engine produce?

The BMW N63 turbocharged V8 engine has a 4.4-liter capacity. This powerful engine produces a maximum of 408 hp and 40 lb-ft of torque. What’s more, this engine can handle more than 25psi. In the BMW 750i xDrive, this engine delivers up to 523 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque.

What is the main difference between the N63 and S63 engines?

The main difference between the N63 and S63 engines is that the S63 was BMW’s Motorsport’s version of the N63 engine. Additionally, unlike the N63, the S63 features twin-scroll turbochargers with a pulse-tuned exhaust manifold that connected both cylinder heads. 


Overall, the BMW N63 turbocharged V8 engine is a nice engine as it’s powerful, reliable, durable, and performs outstandingly. But like most engines, it also comes with a few issues that owners have to deal with. Nonetheless, if this engine is well cared for, most of the issues can be avoided and the engine will easily clock over 250,000 miles.

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Edwin Odipo

Why do you love writing about cars? Cars make our lives easy. You can visit your distant friend, relative or even rush to the grocery store a few miles from your home with a lot of ease. Imagine how life was before the invention of cars?? To me, cars are a blessing that made life more convenient.

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