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      02-04-2011, 06:09 AM   #1
FieldingMellish
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Which 330i engine?

Following on form my other thread about swapping my 320D (177) for a 330i, am I right in saying the 330i engine was updated in late 2007? Should I be looking for one of those updated models, or stick with the older version of the engine?

I think I read somewhere that the earlier one was less prone to faults?
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      02-04-2011, 06:14 AM   #2
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Yes the earlier one is said to be more reliable.
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      02-04-2011, 06:19 AM   #3
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I think the earlier one sounds better too, somehow.
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      02-04-2011, 06:30 AM   #4
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I have the later engine - though my car is pre-facelift, so until I went to see the car and looked at the CO2 figure on the V5 I didn't realise it was the later engine. Mine had a coil fail a year ago, before I owned the car (replaced under warranty) and another fail recently just out of warranty, it has only done 22k miles. It seems people on here suggest the high pressure injection is prone to issues as well.

On the plus side it is very economical for the type of engine - I got 41.5 mpg from a 100mile trip yesterday (driving like a saint, admittedly, but amazing for a 3 litre auto estate).

On the minus side I have been underwhelmed by the engine note, which I thought was a given with a NA BMW petrol 6. It is nice, but a bit too quiet, I would prefer some more induction noise when accelerating hard. I have friends with 130's and 335's and various other similar cars and they all seem to be more vocal. I may try a K&N filter, I don't want to modify it (high mileage daily driver).

Otherwise, another aspect of the Efficient Dynamics package that comes with the later engine is electric steering that feels pretty lifeless and is prone to issues with the lock - mine has refused to start a few times with the amber light so I'm bricking it that one day it will be the dreaded red light... Expensive to sort, apparently. I assume the older hydraulic steering is more reliable.
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      02-04-2011, 06:42 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALF_E90 View Post
I have the later engine - though my car is pre-facelift, so until I went to see the car and looked at the CO2 figure on the V5 I didn't realise it was the later engine. Mine had a coil fail a year ago, before I owned the car (replaced under warranty) and another fail recently just out of warranty, it has only done 22k miles. It seems people on here suggest the high pressure injection is prone to issues as well.

On the plus side it is very economical for the type of engine - I got 41.5 mpg from a 100mile trip yesterday (driving like a saint, admittedly, but amazing for a 3 litre auto estate).

On the minus side I have been underwhelmed by the engine note, which I thought was a given with a NA BMW petrol 6. It is nice, but a bit too quiet, I would prefer some more induction noise when accelerating hard. I have friends with 130's and 335's and various other similar cars and they all seem to be more vocal. I may try a K&N filter, I don't want to modify it (high mileage daily driver).

Otherwise, another aspect of the Efficient Dynamics package that comes with the later engine is electric steering that feels pretty lifeless and is prone to issues with the lock - mine has refused to start a few times with the amber light so I'm bricking it that one day it will be the dreaded red light... Expensive to sort, apparently. I assume the older hydraulic steering is more reliable.

Thanks, that's very useful info.

Yes, I am hoping to get away form the electric steering also. I have it on my 320D, and on pre-Efficient Dynamics 320d models I found the old hydraulic steering very heavy, but for a petrol I think I will want the old steering. The electric is nice and light but has less 'feel' to it.

Edit: Oh, and it'll be great to see the back of that annoying 'Auto Start/Stop' system.
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      02-04-2011, 05:49 PM   #6
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The electric steering is awful in my opinion. I spent some time with a 330d that had it and found it far too light. I think that there was a 250 steering option that firmed it up though?

Engine choice depends on what you want to spend....

If the newer one is in your budget then go for it. Otherwise the 258hp one is still a real gem.

I suspect that the older one is also pretty bomb proof.
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      02-05-2011, 10:01 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FieldingMellish View Post
Following on form my other thread about swapping my 320D (177) for a 330i, am I right in saying the 330i engine was updated in late 2007? Should I be looking for one of those updated models, or stick with the older version of the engine?
The 330i N53 direct injection engine was introduced around Sept 2007. 272hp and 236lbs torque.
The previous N52 engine was Valvetronic and had been around certainly since 2004 in various stage of tune.
I know for sure that the E92 330i, introduced in late 2006, had for the first time the uprated N52 engine producing 272hp and 232lbs torque. Previous versions of this engine (E90 and E46) had produced 258hp and 221lbs.

I had a June 2007 E92 330i, pre-ED, and the engine sound was just about perfect, even more so after a remap. The determined noise as it raced from 5000 to 7000 was to die for. I have heard a lot of comments saying that the N53 engine does not sound so good.

However, there is no doubt the N53 is cleaner, at least one tax band lower from a C02 point of view, and more economical, but probably not as bullet proof as the N52.
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      02-06-2011, 02:44 AM   #8
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I have recently purchased an approved used 2008 e92 330i and would like to which version of the engine I have. How do I find out?

I bought the car assuming it was the later version as it is a July 2008 car. But on my insurance it says "330i M- Sport 258"

Please help me clarify.
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      02-06-2011, 04:26 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rahul View Post
I have recently purchased an approved used 2008 e92 330i and would like to which version of the engine I have. How do I find out?

I bought the car assuming it was the later version as it is a July 2008 car. But on my insurance it says "330i M- Sport 258"

Please help me clarify.

E92 always had the more powerful engine I believe.
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      02-06-2011, 07:44 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicko44 View Post
The 330i N53 direct injection engine was introduced around Sept 2007. 272hp and 236lbs torque.
The previous N52 engine was Valvetronic and had been around certainly since 2004 in various stage of tune.
I know for sure that the E92 330i, introduced in late 2006, had for the first time the uprated N52 engine producing 272hp and 232lbs torque. Previous versions of this engine (E90 and E46) had produced 258hp and 221lbs.

I had a June 2007 E92 330i, pre-ED, and the engine sound was just about perfect, even more so after a remap. The determined noise as it raced from 5000 to 7000 was to die for. I have heard a lot of comments saying that the N53 engine does not sound so good.

However, there is no doubt the N53 is cleaner, at least one tax band lower from a C02 point of view, and more economical, but probably not as bullet proof as the N52.


The N52 was never fitted to E46. It started life in the E90 and filtered through the range. Later cars, sept 2006 had the N52K which has a black engine cover like the N53 has.
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      02-06-2011, 07:45 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rahul View Post
I have recently purchased an approved used 2008 e92 330i and would like to which version of the engine I have. How do I find out?

I bought the car assuming it was the later version as it is a July 2008 car. But on my insurance it says "330i M- Sport 258"

Please help me clarify.
On the B post o/s. It will say N53B30 if its a later car.
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      02-06-2011, 09:17 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rahul View Post
I have recently purchased an approved used 2008 e92 330i and would like to which version of the engine I have. How do I find out?

I bought the car assuming it was the later version as it is a July 2008 car. But on my insurance it says "330i M- Sport 258"

Please help me clarify.
But who told the insurers what engine you have?

If they're wrong its your fault. I think your 2008 will be the N53 for sure.
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      02-06-2011, 09:19 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FieldingMellish View Post
Following on form my other thread about swapping my 320D (177) for a 330i, am I right in saying the 330i engine was updated in late 2007? Should I be looking for one of those updated models, or stick with the older version of the engine?

I think I read somewhere that the earlier one was less prone to faults?
Hello stranger!

My 06 330i had the 258bhp N52. Great engine, great sound and completely trouble free in 60k+
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      02-06-2011, 10:08 AM   #14
FieldingMellish
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doughboy View Post
Hello stranger!

My 06 330i had the 258bhp N52. Great engine, great sound and completely trouble free in 60k+
Hello, Doughboy.

Yes, I'll probably go for the older engine. Let's face it, either one will be a huge jump compared to my (still enjoyable, still impressive) 177bhp 320D.
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      02-22-2011, 12:44 PM   #15
FieldingMellish
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Reviewing what's been said here, and reading aout possible problems with later model 330i engines, looks like I shoul ddefinitely try to get an N52 engine?

Is there any way to tell from teh AUC listings whether a given car, produced in say September 2007, has the N52 or the N53?

Finally, is the 'uprated' N52, as found in 330i coupes, ok?
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      02-23-2011, 04:37 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonnySi View Post
The N52 was never fitted to E46. It started life in the E90 and filtered through the range. Later cars, sept 2006 had the N52K which has a black engine cover like the N53 has.
Is the N52k direct injection, or is it just a slightly more powerful version of the N52? Does the N52k suffer any of the problems of the N53?

How can I tell from a BMW AUC listing which engine a particular car has?
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      02-23-2011, 04:57 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FieldingMellish View Post
How can I tell from a BMW AUC listing which engine a particular car has?
Don't know the answers to your other questions but usually the tell-tale sign on the AUC site of which engine is in which car is either the stated mpg or co2 (but bear in mind some monkey typing it in could be wrong!!!). If there's a tax band jump between the two ask them what cost the tax disc displays.
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      02-23-2011, 03:11 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NFS View Post
The electric steering is awful in my opinion. I spent some time with a 330d that had it and found it far too light. I think that there was a 250 steering option that firmed it up though?
Servotronic?
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