BMW N52/N54 Headbolt and Exhaust Cam Wear TSB

N52/N54 Overlook

If you are reading this you maybe wondering what is a N52 or N54? These are motor designations that fall in certain BMW models. N52 is a naturally aspirated Inline-6 engine. N54 is a twin turbo charged Inline-6 engine.

N52 Equipped BMWs

  • 2006+
  • 325i, 328i, 330i
  • 128i
  • Z4
  • X3
  • X5
  • 528i, 530i

N54 Equipped BMWs

  • 2007+
  • 335i, 335is,
  • 135i, 1 ///M
  • Z4
  • 535i

Now that you know if your car is equipped with one of these motors. We will delve into some of the issues that may or may not occur during your ownership.

Check Engine Light is On

Your check engine light pops on one day while driving. You have the codes ran at the dealer, local shop, part store. You are told you have a 2A82 Vanos Intake, 2A87 Vanos Exhaust faults. Sounds like gibberish doesn’t it? These two faults can cause your BMW to run poorly. They can cause rough starts, rough idles, and run down on power. BMW has released a Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) for these faults. A TSB is not a recall, but a recommend repair on a known issue.

Some shops will tell you right away that both Vanos units must be replaced! This is not the case!! The first step we do is pull both units out and clean them from oil sludge. Most of the time this should take care of your Check Engine Light.

My Engine Light is Flashing On and Off

If you have had both Vanos units cleaned and your engine has come back on a few days later flashing at you from time to time. You most likely have the same fault again 2A87 Vanos Exhaust. This time we won’t have good news unfortunately. You most likely have excessive exhaust camshaft wear like the pictures below. If you are having your Check Engine Light come on. Have us take a look at it. We can tell you what is going on with your N52/N54 motor and give you an estimate on what it will take to resolve the issue.

My BMW Leaking Oil

You’ve noticed some oil spots in your garage or on your driveway. Wondering where it is coming from exactly? Give us a call! We can pin point where it is coming from. N52s have aluminum cylinder sleeves and magnesium blocks. These cars have aluminum head bolts. And unfortunately they like to pop due to being stressed and hot and cold effects. BMW has also over torqued these bolts from the factory. We don’t torque them to factory specs so this issue won’t happen again.

If you have an oil leak coming from your N52 motor it is a good chance a headbolt has let go and the rest are soon to follow. We can diagnosis the issue and give you an estimate on the repair. This N52 motor pictured below is currently getting its headbolts replaced. 


Give us a call or shoot us an email to schedule an appointment! We have BMW Master technicians that can help diagnosis your N52/N54 and all BMW models.