BMW N57 Engine Problems: Symptoms and Repair Cost

BMW N57 Engine Problems: Symptoms and Repair Cost

Often on the web, one hears of N57 engine damage. The so-called N57 engine has been installed since 2008 in various versions in some models, such as the BMW E90 and BMW F10. It refers to an inline-six-cylinder diesel engine, which was manufactured in different variants.

This engine is generally considered reliable, but it also has individual weak points. Furthermore, this variant of the engine fell into disrepute after being involved in an emissions scandal, requiring the affected cars to be recalled.

BMW N57 Engine Problems: Signs That Shouldn't Be Ignored


The known engine damages are initially reported as an uneven engine run, typically starting at high speeds above 62 mph.

If not stopped promptly after this warning sign, the engine begins to make noise. A squeaking or creaking is often described, causing an additional error message.

Since the N57 engines do not provide many further apparent signs of impending engine damage, particular attention should be paid to the general precursors of engine damage.

Especially in diesel engines, oil consumption proves to be a vital indicator of engine damage. A consumption of 0.13 gallons per 600 miles is considered normal, but if it then rises to up to 0.53 gallons per 600 miles, this implies damage. Also, any value above the 0.26-gallon mark should be at least concerning.

One must always pay attention to noises in the engine compartment as well. A knocking or rattling is often observed here. In this case, there may be misfires or a stretched timing chain.

Engine Damage BMW N57 - What Now?

If the occurred damage is the known oil pump damage, the diagnosis varies. If the engine has been shut off immediately upon damage, it may be salvageable with some luck.

The main point of criticism is whether chips are found in the oil or intake. If not, the defective components are replaced during an engine overhaul, and the engine should be ready to start soon.

Engine Overhaul N57


An engine overhaul represents the most affordable solution in the event of engine damage. Due to potential further damages, it is not always sensible to carry out a repair. Whether this is the case has to be individually assessed.

A repair may cost between $5,000 and $10,000.

Should chips be found, the diagnosis looks poor. In this case, it is difficult to clear the entire system of all chips, causing costs to rise sharply. Plus, one cannot be completely sure that all chips have been removed, which can lead to further engine damage.

BMW N57 Engine Replacement

Workshops often offer engine replacement as a solution if chips have already entered the intake.

With authorized workshops, a price range of $6,000 to $14,000 is quoted. Substantially lower prices can be found online, although the quality is often not as easily assessable.

Due to this, choosing this option carries risks, and often a middle way is chosen. This consists of obtaining an offer from an independent workshop.

Selling BMW with Engine Damage


As can be seen from the cost of replacement engines, selling the engine with damage may seem attractive at first glance. However, the price range is almost exclusively dependent on mileage and the condition of your car.

Since most vehicles with the N57 engine (N57D30A, N57D30B, N57D30C or also Alpina N57D30B) are still relatively new and not in intensive use, this option is usually not a good solution.

BMW N57 Engine Most Common Damages and Repair Costs

Defective Oil Pump 


The most frequently observed damage is a faulty oil pump. Since this ensures the entire lubrication in the engine, the failure has devastating consequences. The lubrication of the bearing shells, in which the crankshaft rotates, is its primary task. If you are not familiar with the engine structure, you can read more about the workings of an engine.

Without oil, the said friction destroys these parts. By this point, the electronics should already display a significant error and put the engine into emergency operation. In this case, the engine no longer revs up, and the car does not move properly. Costs depend on whether engine overhaul or a replacement engine is chosen.

Defective Turbocharger 


Another often observed damage is a broken turbocharger. A report of a broken turbocharger blade can also shut down the entire engine. As already mentioned, this can mean significant damage. The chips from the broken blade enter the combustion chamber via the intake and act like sandpaper on the cylinder walls.

As soon as these have worn away the tracks, it amounts to a complete engine failure. In this case, the compression decreases, and the engine produces no more power.

In the case of a turbocharger defect, engine overhaul is the best solution, provided that no chips have spread in the engine. In this case, replacing the turbocharger alone will make the car roadworthy again.

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