BMW N63 Common Problems

The BMW N63 was one of the most advanced V8 engines when it hit the market in 2008. BMW’s new motor for performance sedans and SUVs had various things that made it unique, from its all-aluminum construction, direct injection, and “hot-V” layout which was the first of its kind in a production engine. 

The N63 was a more-than-formidable engine and would go on to power many of BMW’s best performance and luxury vehicles throughout the 2010s. The N63 platform would be found in models such as the 550i, 650i, 750i, X5, X6, and multiple more. 

This high-tech approach both made the N63 a certified powerhouse and led to some of its greatest downfalls. Despite being a very impressive engine technically, the N63 would go on to develop a certain reputation for the frequent maintenance needed and common issues that would develop over time. 

BMW N63 engine bay

Common Issues on the BMW N63

Fuel Injector Failure

One of the largest and most immediate flaws of the N63 platform was the fuel injector issues. These injectors were known to fail early in their lifespans, some owners reporting it within the first 20,000-30,000 miles. 

Failure of the injectors would cause multiple issues, including:

  • Stalling
  • Rough idle
  • Check engine light
  • Misfire
  • Unburnt fuel and soot in the exhaust

These issues can result from other sources such as ignition coils, but in most cases, these symptoms point to at least one of the injectors being in need of replacement. 

Unfortunately, the injectors for this motor are not on the cheaper side. A single OEM injector can run well over $400. 

Timing Chain

BMW is well known for its use of chains over belts in the timing system. While some claim these chains can last for the entire life of the car, the general consensus is that many N63 motors will see timing chain rattle past 100,000 miles. 

As these chains see constant use, they can begin to stretch and deform, which can lead to the chain jumping a tooth and causing the timing to be thrown off. When this happens, the valves may be bent and the engine catastrophically damaged. 

Often this issue can come without warning signs and lead to failure before you even know there’s a problem. 

Luckily, BMW recognized the shortcomings of this motor and released a Customer Care Package in 2014. Vehicles with this package will be covered from some of the engine’s largest issues. From the timing chain, to injectors, to the head gasket, many of the most vulnerable and important components of the engine are covered. The vehicle’s maintenance records should show if the car is covered under the Customer Care Package.

It should be noted that without the Customer Care Package, the repair bill for a timing chain replacement can often be in excess of $15,000. 

Carbon Buildup 

The N63 employs direct injection, which means that it’s more susceptible to carbon buildup in the intake and exhaust valves. When these valves see significant buildup, it can interrupt their ability to open or close properly and cause various problems within the engines such as misfires or rough performance. 

It’s recommended that walnut blasting is carried out on your N63 around every 60,000 miles to protect it from carbon buildup-related issues. 

Leaking Valve Stem Seals

As stated earlier, the N63 was the first production engine to use the hot-V layout. This means that the motor’s turbos are located inside the valley of the engine to try and reduce turbocharger lag. 

However, with these rubber seals being located so close to extreme heat and temperature changes, the material will start to degrade over time and is known to fail early. When this happens, oil can make its way into the combustion chamber and lead to various issues. For one, oil burning within the engine will cause mass amounts of white smoke to puff from the tailpipe. This issue will also cause decreases in performance, excess strain on the engine, and significant oil loss. 

This problem should not be left to grow worse, as excess oil consumption can lead to permanent damage to the engine.

The seals themselves are inexpensive, but since the engine has to be dropped from the vehicle to complete the job, the repair bill will often range between $5,000-$9,000.

Faulty HPFP

While more of a BMW issue than just an N63 issue, failure of the high-pressure fuel pump (HPFP) is an important issue to address. 

The high-pressure fuel pump is responsible for helping the fuel fully atomize for injection. BMW engines have a recorded history of the HPFP failing early and not being able to supply sufficient fuel pressure. 

When dealing with a failed HPFP, you may encounter certain symptoms such as:

  • Vehicle stalling
  • High engine temperatures
  • Jerking acceleration
  • Rough idle
  • Poor gas mileage

2016 Refresh

For those looking at N63-powered cars, it may be best to look at ones from the 2016 model year or newer. Aware of the pressing issues from the early examples of this motor, BMW worked to minimize or fix many of the reliability issues along with this technical refresh.

That’s not to say the newer N63s can’t develop some of these issues, but the chance is significantly less with the updates brought to the motor. 

Is the N63 Worth it?

If you’re looking for a relatively affordable yet potent V8, the BMW N63 checks many of the boxes. However, prospective owners should be aware of the noted issues that these engines experience. 

If you’re willing to sacrifice some cash for preventative repairs and are willing to deal with the potential financial risks, or you’re quite good with automotive DIY, the N63 may just be worth it. For most though, it may be a better idea to avoid it or at least look for a perfectly maintained example. 

BMW Service and Repair in Midvale, Utah

The Euro experts at Alex’s Autohaus in Midvale are your premier choice for BMW service in the Salt Lake Valley. Whether you drive an N63 vehicle or any other Bimmer, our friendly team will ensure your car is taken care of and the issues resolved with the highest caliber of quality work. 

Call or schedule online with us today!

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