BMW 335i (E92) is a great looking car and the design has held up very well over the years, but of course technology moves on. In this video, I modernize my 10 year old BMW by installing wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto that works with the original iDrive controller and the steering wheel controls! It works great and allows you to have modern maps, steering music, videos and podcasts and all of the features CarPlay offers! I was impressed with how fast this unit connects and how good the audio is coming out of this device. This set up will work on all BMW CiC head units listed below. If you have the older style screen/controller, your steps may vary and you have to get the correct version of the add on device. CiC (Same as in this video): 1-Series E81/E82/E87/E88 09/08 – 03/14 1-Series F20/F21 09/11 – 03/13 3-Series E90/E91/E92/E93 09/08 – 10/13 3-Series F30/F31/F34/F80 02/12 – 11/12 5-Series E60/E61 11/08 – 05/10 5-Series F07/F10 03/10 – 09/12 6-Series E63/E64 11/08 – 07/10 6-Series F06/F12/F13 12/10 – 03/13 7-Series F01-03 11/08 – 07/13 X1 E84 10/2009 – 06/2015 X3 F25 10/2010 – 04/2013 X5 E70 10/2009 – 06/2013 X6 E71 10/2009 – 08/2014 Z4 E89 04/2009 – present MINI CIC 10/2009 – 04/2013 If you don’t have buttons around your iDrive controller, you most likely have the CCC headunit: CCC (older BMWs): 1-Series E81/E82/E87/E88 06/2004 – 09/2008 3-Series E90/E91/E92/E93 03/2005 – 09/2008 5-Series E60/E61 12/2003 – 11/2008 6-Series E63/E64 12/2003 – 11/2008 X5 Series E70 03/2007 – 10/2009 X6 Series E72 05/2008 – 10/2009
One of the easiest DIY projects you can do on your car is swapping the cabin air filter. It’s very inexpensive to do yourself and doesn’t require more than a very simple socket set. On this BMW 335i, you would save about $100 by not going to the dealer and doing this at home. In the video, I show you where the filter is located, how to remove it, swap it for a new one and reinstall the plastic bracket back on the car.
The battery on my BMW 335i has been failing for months now and I finally got around to replacing, coding and registering it. It’s not a very difficult job and shouldn’t take more than an hour of your time. You will also save at least a few hundred dollars compared to taking it to a dealer or even a local shop. Shop around for batteries as I found this great battery for $100 cheaper than local parts stores or even online! I show the process of removing the battery, choosing the right battery for your car, installing the battery, coding a change if the type of battery is different or the capacity is different and even registering it to tell the car that it’s new.
I’m the SimpleCarGuy and in this video I remove this old hacked up stock exhaust and install a brand-new stainless-steel cat back kit making my BMW 335i sound like a sports car again! This old stuff was straight piped after the resonator and sounded awful at higher speed, so let’s get rid of it, install the new shiny stuff and see how it sounds after!
With everything out of the box, we can see what comes in this kit and also see the quality of the bends, welds and craftsmanship. I must say that I am very impressed with the quality here and CANNOT wait to hear what it sounds like once installed. Stick around and you won’t be disappointed! Of course before we can install this exhaust, we have to remove the old stuff. To be safe, I put the car on 4 jack stands and couple extra ones in the middle to help me support the exhaust and provide extra safety. If you’d like to see this process in detail, check out the video in the top right corner.
Also, while here let’s not forget to plug up that vacuum line that’s not longer needed.
And there you have it guys, it is not fully installed and ready for the road. So, how difficult was this to install? I hope I captured the difficulty level in the video and it did take me almost 2 hours, but I would say if you are mechanically inclined, it is not impossible to do this safely in your own garage like I did. It looks as good as I expected installed on the car. Finally, let’s go for a drive and check out how it sounds.
Well, that’s all I have for you today and I must say I’m very happy with this exhaust. It’s not overly loud, but still produces a deep growl when you want it to. Most importantly for me, my car no longer sounds like it’s missing a muffler and is much more enjoyable to drive at higher speeds. Now that you know how to install an exhaust system, why not check out how I installed wireless CarPlay in this 10 year old BMW?
Removing fenders on the BMW 335i (or any E92) is more difficult than I would expect. The main reason is because some of the bolts are just very difficult to get to. Some of them are in the wheel well, some are inside the fender and some are behind the side skirt. In this video I show you how to access all of those bolts and remove the fender. The passenger side has an additional step as it requires the washer fluid bottle to be removed as well.
In this video I start the journey to finishing my BMW 335i M-Sport by replacing the bumper, fenders and many other little parts like grills, clips, plastics etc. The front end will be painted in the next video, but today we are going through the process of preparing everything yourself as a DIYer.
I have owned a few BMWs from this era and pretty much all of them have had the little clips fall off or break off making it impossible to adjust where the air conditioning is pointing. Luckily, there are a cheap repair kits like this that will take care of this issue in no time. For me, making the car enjoyable and comfortable to use daily is keeps bringing me back to it and these little fixes is what makes a big difference.
After installing the wireless CarPlay on my BMW 335i, the only thing that was missing was the reverse camera. Fortunately, this was a very easy add on thanks to the add-on I had already installed in the camera. This $35 dollar camera functions as you would expect and has great quality for the price. Install took me about 90 minutes total and it’s definitely worth it to make the car a lot more modern. Hope it helps you install yours as well!
Believe it or not, it has been almost 2 years since I got this car and so far I’ve only put on a few thousand miles on it. It’s not because I don’t like driving it or anything like that, but because I got it with a blown engine that tool some time to rebuild. The N55 engine in this BMW 335i was completely destroyed and I learned a ton rebuilding it. It was one of the most fun winter projects I’ve done in a while. I ran into some issues and had to redo a few things, but that’s part of the process. Check out the entire playlist to see it start to finish!
Done Since Rebuild:
Anyway, what has been done since the engine rebuilt? In all honestly, not too much. I have painted the air intake to match the nice engine and make sure no rust or paint chips go into the engine. I replaced, registered and coded the battery to make sure it starts every time and installed Apple CarPlay to make it more modern and enjoyable to drive daily.
What stopping me from driving it all the time:
So, why haven’t I been driving it as much as my BMW Z4 or the i3? Well, the biggest factor for me has been that air conditioning not working. I have attempted to fix it and was not able to find the leak with the bumper and panels in place, so me driving this car has been limited to cold days and evenings.
The second biggest reason has been the front of the car. Not only is the bumper hanging and catches on stuff, but the headlights and the fenders are also in very poor state. As you can see the headlights are glazed and not very clear and the fenders have re-cracked in the location where they have been fixed before.
The next one is fairly minor, but at certain engine load, the car will stutter a little bit on acceleration. I’ve scanned the car already and found a valvetronic code, so I’ll be investigating that as well.
The last biggest annoyance with driving this car has been the exhaust. While I like loud and throaty exhaust and this one sounds almost decent on startup, someone has cut out the mufflers on it and it sounds horrible at higher speed. The drone of the exhaust kills all the fun of driving this car over 45 MPH as it encapsulates the entire cabin.
Plan for the future:
Alright and finally let’s talk about my plan for this BMW! No, I will not be installing the M4 style bumper on this car, but I will be installing this aftermarket M-Sport bumper just like the original OEM. Well, except this one isn’t ripped and hasn’t been repaired a few times in the past. To go with the bumper, I will be replacing the fenders as it was cheaper to buy new aftermarket ones than to fix the original cracked ones. During this process, I will look into the air conditioner again as I could hear it hissing in the general area behind the bumper and it will be the perfect time to find what the issue is. Once I test fit all the parts and make sure everything works well, I’ll take it to a body shop to get painted and hopefully fix the rest of the paint on the car at the same time. After the body shop, I’ll buff out the headlights to make them look new again and try to figure out why the left headlight doesn’t level itself properly making it difficult to drive at night.
Once the car is looking better, it will be time to make it sound great also. For that reason, I have bought this complete exhaust system that I will be installing myself. I CANNOT wait to get this installed and hear what it sounds like! This is stainless steel construction with no welding required and should make a huge difference for drivability and comfort.
A few other minor common issues on these cars I will have to fix are the broken cup holders and the seat belt extender, which are both very easy to replace.
So, there you have it guys, the truth is that I have been saving up to get the parts I needed and wanted so that I can finally finish the transformation. I can’t wait to get working on this and I’m hoping to have everything done in the next couple of months. If you’d like to follow this car from the start, check out my previous videos, subscribe if you’d like to see what happens next and I hope to see you in the next one!
So, you’re looking at a BMW with the N54 engine but you’ve heard that this may not be the most reliable engine in the BMW line up. Hi guys and welcome back to the SimpleCarGuy channel. Today, we will talk about the history, common problems, issues solved over time, how reliable the engine is 15 years later as well as my personal experience.
The reason I’m making this video is because I owned a BMW 335i e92 with the N54 engine for about 4 years from 2013 to 2017 and I wanted to catch myself up and see how the reliability has been since I sold my car! This is also part of a small series where I’m looking into engines I own or have owned and creating reliability reports like this video. BMW N55 video is coming up soon, so subscribe to see it and hit that like button to support the channel!
BMW N54 is one of the best straight six engines every made by BMW for a few very good reasons. Not only was it the first mass produced BMW turbocharged engine, but it also came with a forged crankshaft and connecting rods leaving HUGE tuning potential. Even though the stock engine made 302 HP, it’s not very difficult to get it up to 500hp or even much, much more. So, how can this reward winning engine [show which awards] have issues? Well, while the actual engine has had some amazing innovations and engineering, a lot of the accessories and auxiliary components are not as well designed. Of course, when looking at a used BMW with the N54 engine, it doesn’t help that a lot of them have been tuned and driven hard! [HUGE tuning potential and people love it, but also abuse it] So, let’s take a look at some common problems you can expect on a BMW N54 engine
Even though there were 3 different power figures for this engine, mechanically its basically the same engine. I’ll go over the difference between the standard N54B30 and the N54B30TO that was used in the 1 Series M Coupe and Z4 sDrive35is.
Let’s start with the stand N54B30 engine. The biggest and most common issue that has haunted the BMW N54 engine since the start is the HPFP going bad and preventing the engine from starting, sometimes stuttering, misfiring or running well in general. It was such a big issue that BMW has extended the warranty on these to 10 years and 120,000 miles in the United States. The good part here is that most of the cars have already had the pump replaced with a revised version while under warranty.
- Water Pump
Another big common problem on the N54 engine is the electric water pump that uses some plastic parts. These fail unexpectedly and usually at the worst time! I’ve had 2 OEM water pumps fail on me when I had the car. I got the yellow triangle saying that the engine is running hot and within 2 minutes a red triangle with a message saying to drive moderately and to shut off the engine as it has overheating. Unlike the HPFP, there is no extended warranty or anything like that and unfortunately, the pump is very difficult to get to. I paid around a $1000 each time it failed in Chicago. The pump is about $400 and labor is at least that much again.
- Fuel Injectors leaking, Ignition Coils
These engines also suffer from leaky injectors. BMW N54 uses direct injection and these must be very precise for the engine to run correctly. Unfortunately, when they start leaking which can cause many different problems including hard to start engine once warmed up, rough idle and misfires as well as terrible fuel economy among other issues. Of course, some of these symptoms can be caused by a bad spark plug or coil and I would definitely recommend replacing those before touching the injectors as each injector is about $250.
- Turbochargers/wastegate rattle – people upgrade them for more power
Next issue that’s common on many BMW engines including the N54 is the wastegate rattle. Early on, this isn’t a huge issue as it mostly just makes a rattling noise on start up, it gets worse and worse over time. Eventually, the wastegate flapper starts leaking boost and causing performance issues. If not taken care of at this stage, the ECU will try to compensate for the lack of boost potentially overheating and destroying the turbocharger and maybe even the engine if metal gets into the intake. In addition to the wastegate rattle issue, turbo seals can fail and cause smoke out of the exhaust. These issues are more common on tuned or hard driven cars. Small piece of advice here is to not punch it hard until the engine is fully warmed up and to let the engine idle for a little while after driving hard before shutting off the car. [explain why let it idle][Aftermarket upgrades are very popular.]
- Leaks become more common once getting closer to 100k
If you have watched my BMW N20 engine video [link it], this will sound very familiar. There are a few oil leaks to watch out for and the most common one is the valve cover oil leak. Usually, the plastic valve cover will crack and start leaking. Sometimes the gasket goes bad as well and the entire cover should be replaced. It’s important to get this done quickly as it would be leaking on the exhaust manifold, turbos and the O2 sensors. The oil filter housing gasket is also prone to leaking and should be replaced ASAP as it will leak oil onto the serpentine belt and can cause all kinds of problems. Oil pan leaks are less common, but possible.
The next common issue on these engines is the chargepipe that cracks over time. BMW used a plastic pipe between the intercooler and the intake manifold which runs under boost a lot of times and of course becomes brittle and eventually fails. I’ve had this fail on my N55 [n55] engine as it uses the same design and replaced it with an aftermarket one that works much better. This is an easy and inexpensive fix to a common problem.
- Minor items:
There are of course many other little issues with these engines that you may need to take care of over time, such as the starters going bad out of no where [link N20 video] or VANOS solenoids causing loss of power, engine hesitation, rough idle and decreased fuel economy. I have actually made a video on how to test and clean these if you’re interested and they are a decently simple DIY. Carbon build up is another issue that shows up on many lists, but that’s common on most direct injected engine and not BMW or this engine specific.
As I mentioned earlier, N54B30TO was the more powerful version of the N54 engine making 335HP, but this was achieved mostly by adding a performance power kit tune and some supporting cooling hardware. [list: upgraded fan, radiator hoses, secondary radiator, oil cooler]. So, the engine itself was the same but with just a little more boost. This also means that all problems we have discussed so far are also present on this version of the engine as well.
Best and Worst Years:
Now 15 years after it has been released and after so many problems, should you even be looking at buying one? Luckily, this engine has had somewhat of a cult following lately and is becoming sought after in the tuner’s world. This also means that most people are trying to preserve it and maintain it properly. Additionally, issues like the HPFP and injectors have been resolved from the dealer and mostly done under warranty. Most other issues have been figured out in the aftermarket world with the upgraded turbochargers to get rid of the wastergate rattle and metal chargepipes to prevent boost leaks. One word of advice, avoid getting an already tuned engine if you plan on dailying your ride. [notes on why not]
A quick note on my personal experience with the engine. Over the period of 4 years and about 55,000 miles, I had to replace the spark plugs, ignition coils and 2 water pumps and nothing else. In every video I’ve made about the BMW engines I’ve owned, people tell me I just got lucky and that may be true, but it doesn’t hurt to properly take care of these engines as well.
In conclusion, remember that this is an aging BMW motor that was packed with top-of-the-line technology and most likely driven hard by the last owners, so be ready to spend a little bit of money on maintaining it properly. It’s a wonderful, powerful and still one of the more reliable engines made by BMW with lots of aftermarket support and capability to produce tremendous power! Check out my BMW N20 and N63 engine reliability reports and stay tunes for the N55 video as well. Thank you so much for watching and I’ll see you in the next one!