If you are one of them who drives BMW with N43 and/or N53 series petrol engines, the most likely you have experienced rough run, misfires and never-ending stories with injectors, spark plugs and ignition coils replacements.
In our blog, we reveal most popular and well-hidden cause of these problems. We also provide cost-effective and long lasting solution.
We recommend to start with article who describes sentence:
The most woe of N43/N53 series engines: uneven operation – is well known to all interested, enthusiasts and repairers.
Yes, sometimes spark plugs, ignition coils and injectors are ones to blame. But one tricky cause is hiding, and nobody mentions of it. What it could be? Read more..
To each BMW enthusiast, we offer Online diagnostics for N43/N53 engines.
What does it mean?
Most popular reasons of rough run.
How to handle the situation, when N43/N53 has started to shiver.
In this entry: step-by-step diagnostics of, possibly, one of the most complicated engine management system of all times. Each of stages is kept as short as possible, references to previous posts for much more detailed information will regarding each knot/ theme be inserted.
NOXEM 129 | 130
Unfortunately, quite often the diagnostics, performed by “specialists”, is limited by reading the error messages and replacing all components, indicated in the error messages.
Entries relating NOx system – NOx catalytic converter and NOx sensor:
Unfortunately none from available diagnostic programs don’t gives a clear view, in which mode does N43 and N53 performs on current moment AND which modes are allowed. For this reason we have to use several indirect evidences and parameters.
First impression – information, in which mode the engine (N43/N53) operates you can find using INPA. Read more..
More about basic operating principles of NOx catalytic converter you can read in N53 series engine after-sales training material or in any description of non-BMW engine, which performs in Stratified charge mode.
Here I will pay attention to observations from “real life”, which quite essentially differs from official newsletters. Read more..
I get more and more questions regarding the topic of NOx catalytic converter. Some askers wont to change the exhaust, removing this catalytic converter; some are interested in the normal performance of the engine is possible without NOx catalytic converter.
MSD80 records this message, if the mathematically counted parameter of sulfur “poisoning” is significantly higher than the norm, and the regeneration or catalytic converter is not performed/not possible. Causes for such situation could be:..
Error message 30E9 is specific, and it could be registered only in error message memory of MSD80 control unit for N43/N53 engines. Only these engines have NOx system with NOx catalytic converter included in it.
Why the error message 30E9 is registered? Read more…
Problems: increased fuel consumption, uneven running, increased CO/HC (the car is not able to pass TI).
Few times per second MSD80 sends command or data request to NOx sensor. One hundred times per second NOx sensor “answers” to MSD80: execute required commands or sends measured data.
When fuel consumption grows, most probably, the rough run of engine has also started…
The NOx sensor is comparatively quite expensive spare part, it’s price is around 450 .. 500 EUR, but work-life: very limited.
How to evaluate the performance of NOx sensor?
Also, F10/11 till LCI version is equipped with N53B30 series engines.
Depending on power class, they are installed on 523i, 528i, and 530i.
The connection of NOx sensor to MSD87 is modified – it is significantly different from the solution for E series.
All information about specific problems of N43/N53
Each quarter the team of Bimmerprofs receives data regarding hundreds of N43/N53 engines. Several tenths of them are inspected on the spot, regarding others, the INPA data and the outline of the situation and problems from their owners are received.
Possibly, it will be the most shocking entry. At least for me. But, as only during this week already three BMW owners had this exact problem, I decided to inform all owners of cars with N43 and N53 series engines.
In this entry, I will tell you a bit more about control of the exhaust gases for these complicated engines – what nuances have to be taken in the account to pass the Technical Inspection and exhaust gas test successfully.
Not without a reason, BMW AG in their instruction how to perform their engine exhaust test highlights the specifics of N43/N53 engines.
In this entry I will compile recommendations, which have to be taken into the account, buying the car with N series engine.
How to get N43/N53 to perform as new?
Entering these error codes in Google search engine, the output is 20 .. 30 thousands of entries. And no wonder, because…
This entry will be dedicated to the topic:
how important is for all N43/N53 (sub) systems to work perfectly. This time we put the accent on “all systems” because there are no unimportant systems!
It is clear, that the engine with direct injection has problems with carbon residues in the intake manifold because the fuel (as for “usual” engines) does not clean’s it.
Several themes will be merged in this post, but it’s necessary, to explain the principles of performance of the engine management system.
Let’s start with several interesting issues regarding coding of injectors.
As already mentioned in other entries, modern engines are performing the measurements of mechanical efficiency in idle. Measurements are done, taking into account short-term speed changes of the flywheel.
While driving (small/medium/large load), for N series engines, the average fuel mixture of each bank is controlled by wide-band probe – average fuel mixture is maintained precisely: according to the value required. But this probe doesn’t see the fuel mixture of each cylinder, which “belongs” to it.
This time – more about the Stratified charge, because data of cylinder-individual correction in Homogeneous mixture mode, unfortunately, are not available. Accordingly – in case of any problems, we have to investigate, how the engine behaves in Stratified charge mode.
INPA used the same loader both for N43 and N53 series engines. Thereby – if the N43 series engine is diagnosed, some questions regarding menu, where the performance of injectors/cylinders is displayed, arise.
Many people are asking – why the misfire algorithm tests for different software releases were performed? Why it is so important?
DISA is used also in other/previous BMW engines, not only N43/N53, so here we will mention only nuances, which are topical exactly for these engines.
For N series petrol engines, electronic accelerator pedal, and electrical throttle are used. Nothing revolutionary new, so I will pay attention only to some nuances.
When the weather becomes warm, more and more BMW drivers are enjoying driving pleasure, offered by BMW. More and more I receive e-mails – there is suspicion, that the engine doesn’t develop max torque/power. What to do in this situation?
Since long ago, BMW uses engine management systems of both brands – Siemens and Bosch.
What concerns petrol engines (4/6 cylinder versions), initially Jetronic/Motronic solutions from Bosch were used…
Performing diagnostics of several N46/N55 series engines (with Bosch management units), the problem, which perfectly fits in the theme of this entry, became clear.
What to do, when the good idea fails?
Try to fix it, solve it? Yes of course. How does Siemens (the BMW AG partner) succeeded with solving the Rough run problem for MSD80? Very poor.
Never ending story about N52/N53/N54 and family of 4 cylinder N series petrol engines and troubles with even running.. I believe, each owner of car with any engine mentioned has seen names mentioned above in error message descriptions! There is a legend, that the engine of this series running smooth – it’s mission impossible.
As mentioned in previous posts, the MSD80 is much more complicated engine control unit than one before (also MSV70/MSV80), and it makes sense, that such complicated unit has it’s flaws (more about it – read here), and also software updates are required.
MSD80 is a very complicated engine management system. Times, when the engine management system was performing specific, easy to understand algorithms, are gone for good. The engine control units of present moment are specialized, high performance computers, which performs several tenths of tasks at the same time.
Already for a longer while I had an idea to upgrade the software for my N53B30 U0. I was discouraged by thought, that the engine already has chip-tuning performed (for this current version, the benefit could be quite impressive: around + 50 hp, around + 40 Nm – it’s worth it, because the result is almost identical at the most powerful version of engine).
BMW engine diagnostics cases:
This time – about the situation, which becomes “popular” in warm weather. The engine shivers, idle is very unstable, error messages regarding fuel trim (lean mixture) are possible, also misfires appear.
Why exactly in warm weather?
A symptom of the problem: permanent vibration in idle and also driving, decreased power of the engine.
In the same time: without any problems, the engine is able to maintain Stoichiometric mixture, indications (voltage) of control probes – correct.
This entry is a part of N46 engine repair. I put this problem separately, because this case clearly shows, how important is to perform quality diagnostics. Only after correct diagnostics, the repair can follow.
Today’s case – quite complicated defect. Additionally, the diagnostics had to be done remotely – it’s always more complicated than when all parameters can be inspected in person.
Several months ago a BMW owner, who has a car with an N52B30 engine, contacted with me. The performance of the engine was unsatisfactory – uneven. Irregular performance was observed – unstable idle, and also persistent vibration.
Many have heard about HPFP (high-pressure fuel pump) recalls in the beginnings of N43/N53, also for vehicles, which are in use now, error messages regarding fuel pressure are very often. Unfortunately due to faulty diagnostics, very often HPFP is mistakingly identified as faulty fuel supply element.
This theme applies not only to engines of series N43/N53, but also other petrol engines of BMW, which are equipped with VANOS.
In this entry – about one quite common situation, related to the VANOS. The current problem has quite often seen both for N43/52/53 series engines with MSV/MSD Siemens management system and N42/46 series engines with ME/MEV management system. Also, M series engines are “familiar” with this problem.
The oil pressure for N43/N53 series engines is controlled by oil pressure sensor, which is located after the valve (solenoid). The valve is managed via DME by PWM and defines necessary oil pressure, accordingly to engine temperature, RPM, load.
In simple cases, MSV/MSD engine management units identify damaged Lambda probes, using self-diagnostics, marking the relevant errors. Unfortunately quite often there are no error messages, but still the engine has problems with maintaining the fuel.
The defect, mentioned in this entry, is quite rare. But in my practice are several cases with exactly this defect. It is very hard to identify this current defect…
This post best describes N43/N53 series engines – their complicated engine management, specific nuances in management performance and diagnostics.
The patient: N53B30.
A few months ago during the longer driving session, uneven performance of the engine was observed. Inspection of misfire counters with the ELM327 adapter was detected, that there are increased count or misfires in cylinder No.6.
One car with N43 engine got lucky – it happened to get to qualified mechanic. It turned out, that valve seals had lost flexibility, exhaust valves were swimming in oil. Oil in large amounts was found also in exhaust.
After engine repair (replacement of valve seals, prophylactic maintenance of engine head, new seals for exhaust).. Read more..
This time the story about classic of BMW engines.
Yesterday I took the opportunity to join an interesting case: E39 with M54B25 engine and, accordingly, MS43 Siemens control unit.
I/K/P BUS (9600 bps), D BUS (9600/115.000 bps), BSD (Bit-serial Data Interface) (1200 bps), Lin-bus (9600/19200/20000 bps), DWA-bus (9600 bps)…
Today I had the chance to be present in quite interesting case, where several mechanics were not able to find the cause of problem.
People, who want to drive BMW, but at the same time – don’t like to spend a lot of money on fuel, usually choose petrol engines and then install the LPG equipment.
By request of the buyer, I checked BMW E87.
When meeting the seller on an agreed place, a pleasant lady showed the car. The car is small but roomy. The reason for selling – she has to drive a lot, more economical vehicle ie required.
Today I inspected 1-er E87, which was bought only by the photo. The new owner just visited one of the largest car sale platforms, chose the car, which was put for sale (it was from abroad) and…
Entries relating adaptations:
In this entry you will find information about short-term fuel trims and long-term fuel trims. Description applies not only to N43/N53 engines, but to all progressive BMW engines.
It’s already a while after first entry about LTFT and LTFT, I got many questions, which I answered personally. Below is a compilation of frequently asked questions – nuances, which deserve more detailed outline.
Adaptations of flywheel is the basic for all adaptations. Probably, the most important of all adaptations. This article applies to MSD80 (MSV70, MSV80 will be the same), other management systems can have differences.
What does it means – to perform adaptations?
To perform adaptations: to create an initial maps for all management systems (long-term fuel trim map, ignition map, etc.) and coefficients (multipliers for cold engine fuel corrections, etc.).
If the engine performs as intended by the manufacturer, repair specialist don’t have to worry, how the adaptations are created. This is the only way, how to understand the total vacuum of information regarding creation of adaptations for MSD80.
The theory in practice:
What is Lambda?
Lambda (AFR) is characterizing relationship of air/fuel ratio. For example…
The oxygen sensors (Lambda probes) perform the control of exhaust gases and are one of the most important parts of petrol engine. The modern BMW engines use 3 or 4 oxygen sensors.
For check up of exhaust gases oxygen sensors are used. Long time ago is was zirconium narrow band Lambda sensors (in the beginning – without heating, after – with additional heating, which allows probes to be ready more quicker and also ensures more accurate data)..
This time about nuance, which seems confusing to many. I received several e-mails with questions regarding the situation, described above, so I will try to explain it.
In many ways, N43/N53 series engine is a leader of BMW technologies.
It’s control system MSD80/81 can work in several operation modes..
The summer is here, and also overheating problems of the engines also. In this entry – basics of cooling for all most popular BMW engines.
In several entries, the term “closed loop system” is mentioned. Now it’s time to explain bit more about this notion.
There are a lot of different opinions regarding coding and registering the change of the battery, but it’s impossible to find exact and correct information.
BMW AG in after-sales material mention, that thermal management of N series is directed by DME.
There are several work modes.
In the first part of the entry of Thermal management I already mentioned, that the cooling system of modern N series engines has following (powerful) tools…
Several days ago, one of my friends asked me to check, what happened with the AC of his car. AC didn’t work, IHKA blew quite warm air, independently of temperature set (obviously – the compressor don’t work).
Problem – increased fuel consumption – is quite common. In this entry I will try to gather all possible reasons, special accent putting on possible defects of petrol engines.
At first, we have to distinguish between two fundamentally different scenarios…
In this entry – a little about CO catalytic converters and exhaust gases.
Typical content of perfectly performing petrol engine…
The exhaust systems of N43/N53 series engines are equipped with 2 or 4 catalytic converters:
1 or 2 CO catalytic converters (1 piece for N43 series engines, 2 pieces for N53 series engines) and
In case, someone decides to register the injectors… Or – if the engine has unexplained problems with long-term trims (they last very long, are not able to be finished; the engine has permanent vibration even with completed long-term trims etc.; MSD80 has no error message records).
Vehicle self diagnostics is developed to facilitate the finding of defects in vehicle electronics systems. Each module of system continuously controls the sensors, actuators, working ability of different modules, in case of problems the system records error messages and/or modifies the operation algorithm..
When first electronic management units for the engine management were introduced (for example, Jetronic), they were analog, without any possibility of self-diagnostics.
How to interpret misfire counters data.
This entry is dedicated to the topic – how to work with Rough run data, how this information can help us in our work.
True though, harsh reality will introduce its corrections. I planned to describe both ISTA and INPA, but…
Valvetronic is, most probably, the most hated hub of the BMW engine. In the same time, it’s “last hope” of the engine repair specialists – if they are not able to find the cause of the problem, most probably, Valvetronic will be the one to blame.
Every repair of Valvetronic is time-consuming and expensive, so the question – what symptoms are characteristic exactly to the defects of Valvetronic – is very important.
Sometimes we hear allegation – what can be changed in an internal combustion engine for several tenths of years? Everything is the same!
Actually, there are a lot of changes.
And finally – one more argument, which doesn’t talk in favor of HVA.
In this entry we will look at possible defects of Valvetronic components due to wear, and what effects these defects have on the valve lift.
We assume, that BMW AG has manufactured perfect details, and they are damaged exactly due to wear.
To make it easier to recognize the defects, I made a diagram – Valvetronic, Generation 2.
The speed of wear marks details, more subject to wear. Accordingly – if the signs of wear cannot be found on details, marked with red (inner circle), there is no reason to believe, that there will be significant wear of details…
In several forums and blogs, I’ve seen a “copy/paste style” recital about the problem, which is characteristic to Valvetronic of Generation 1.
WWW. What Went Wrong:
My experience with BMW N series engines (MSV/MSD series management units) shows, that at least in 80 .. 90% cases the replacement of the injectors is unjustified.
After such (unnecessary) replacement is two possible scenarios:…
Many people are opposing – it’s not possible, that authorized dealer of BMW AG can not detect defects for engine, manufactured by BMW AG!
So, for today I’m going to pretend to be a diagnostics specialist from authorized dealer center.
One of the more common problems – air suction of the intake manifold. Although the problem is very common, it’s manifestations are different and sometimes they are “hiding”.
Today an interesting diagnostics case appeared. The owner of the car complained, that driving with speed over 70 km/h, sometimes problems with ABS/DSC appear.
In this entry – diagnostic options, available with ISTA D. ISTA D is the main tool of dealer’s service center. Special attention will be paid to compare possibilities of ISTA D with INPA.
Manifestations of defect – uneven running of the engine, misfires.
Checking error message memory, very often you will find error messages regarding fuel trim of bank No.1, CO catalytic converters of bank No.1 and/or trim of Lambda probes…
If the performance of any injector is inappropriate in case of warm engine, it could be easily identifiable, using INPA. For example, using data of cylinder efficiency (../F5/Shift+F6/F3), the amount of correction applied to each cylinder (../F5/Shift+F6/F1), etc.
When the weather gets cold, more and more often problems with the performance of cold engine arise. What to do, if the situation turned out to be more complicated.
Replacement of ignition coils for direct injection engines is very usual operation. It goes without saying – as refilling the window washer fluid. The engine is shaking again? Let’s change ignition coils – and done!
In the century, when humans are planning to go to Mars, it doesn’t seems logical, that BMW was not capable to create stable and safe engine ignition system. While using my test stand for ignition coils, I noticed strange nuances in coil’s performance and decided to research this situation in a real engine.
In my work, I stick to the principle, that the replacement of the component should be reasonable. Accordingly – before performing the replacement, it has to be checked, that the current element/knot is damaged.
Petrol engines of N series uses electric water pump. Older ones use pump with 480W power, for newer engines the power of it reaches 700W.
The crankcase ventilation system is used in all nowadays engine. It’s task is to seize the vapours of oil and fuel and drain them to inlet manifold for repeated burning.
Unfortunately the understanding, how exactly this knot works – most often it’s limited with “leveling the pressures”, which is not true. Read more..
For N43/N53 engines, the crankcase ventilation valve is part of the valve cover, which means – in case of the damaged membrane, the valve cover has to be replaced. Price of this spare part is EUR 400 .. 450.
Accordingly, the question “is it possible to replace only the membrane” is very logical.
Has BMW AG developed correct test procedures? Has the N43/N53 series engines learned something?
And now it’s time for topical subject – chip tuning. As this blog is dedicated to petrol engines and even till N54/55 BMW manufactured only atmospheric petrol engines, so now – about chip tuning of atmospheric petrol engines.
Possibly, the mileage of the car is the most important parameter, to which the buyer pays attention when he fas found the preferred car.
Below we will compare three different cars, with a different history. Let’s see, how much does the mileage mean.
Very simple task – as relaxation. Not only users of BMW E60, but also owners of other BMW models are complaining, that the windshield washing is not OK.
Even YouTube videos don’t give a clear view, how the windshield should be washed.
You will say – what value can be found in this entry if the topic is a very simple element – regulator of fuel pressure?
I think you find some surprising information!
This time – very simple topic – checking the engine temperature, using hidden menu.
How to open this hidden section, you can find on YouTube, the procedure will not give any problems.
If MSD detects, that the oil supply system is not able to maintain required pressure (it means, the pressure value does not correspond to a required value longer than time X, or PWM value for time Y is not within required values), MSD turns on the emergency oils supply mode.
Quite often we hear, that N series engines (more often regarding 4 cylinder versions) has long starting time. No other claims. The engine has to be started for a relatively long time, then suddenly it starts as if nothing happened.
INPA is an irreplaceable tool for solving complex problems. INPA allows to read huge amount of data, which are not “seen” by other diagnostic tools. INPA ir irreplaceable, for example, in engine diagnostics.
Identification of vehicle and modules. Read more…
Engine diagnostics. Live data.
Engine diagnostics. Activation blocks.
Engine diagnostics. Adaptations. Test blocks.
Till now I was using one of the newest (stable) INPA versions – 5.0.6, which was using 1.001 loader for MSD80 diagnostics.
Today I got 2.023 loader and decided to test it.
As indicated by BMW AG, N54 engines, which are used in E60/E61, E9X, E88, E82, can have incorrect misfire indications (typically for cylinders of first bank).
Time ago, MS43 was very popular control unit of petrol engines. In this entry I will describe some nuances of diagnostics for MS43.
N43/N53/N54 and other direct injection engines uses not “classical” (coil – electromagnetic), but piezoelectric (material, which changes size, if affected by voltage) injectors. Piezoelectric injectors has been chosen because of instant reaction, which allows to execute multi-point (several injection cycles) injection mode.
While ago I began to take an interest regarding cleaning and diagnostics of piezoelectric injectors.Unfortunately then there was no options available – but now situation has changed.
How to encode a new NOx catalytic converter using ISTA D
How to encode a new NOx sensor using ISTA D
How to activate forced desulphation session of NOx catalytic converter using ISTA D or INPA
clear old adaptations and create new ones.