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130i/N52B30 common issues?

Posted: Sun May 18, 2014 4:36 pm
by LeonR
I did try searching but could not find anything related to the 130i specifically i'm afraid.

Basically is the N52B30 (I assume this is the correct engine) prone to any of the chain problems that I read about with some of the other engines?

Mileage generally does not worry me too much, aslong as the car has been looked after (which is hard to tell unfortunately!), so i'm trying to gauge what the likely problems could be on a higher mileage 130i, for example burning oil? Strange noises to listen for etc?

Is there any way of seeing if the ECU has logged errors at any point? (using the built in controls that is!)


Also, does the 130i have a LSD? Does the timing chain need to be replaced at any point? Any major milestone services to watch out for? (obviously on most older cars it's the cam belt change).

Sorry about the questions, i'm just finalizing my checklist so that i'm confident in making a decision basically!

Thanks!!

Re: 130i/N52B30 common issues?

Posted: Sun May 18, 2014 4:43 pm
by marco_polo
The N52 is a cracker, we rarely hear of any issues - and that's basically what most forums are about. We get the odd vanos solenoid issue (resolved by cleaning / replacing) and coil pack probelm, but they're usually regarded as being pretty bulletproof.

No Lim Slipper sadly.

No need to replace the chain according to BMW.

No milestone services like previous generation Service II's.

:D

Re: 130i/N52B30 common issues?

Posted: Sun May 18, 2014 4:51 pm
by nickfrog
Quite right and that's what attracted me to that engine. I struggled to find a low mileage 130i unsurprisingly as they stopped selling it a while ago so I had to go for a 125i Coupe and remap it back (same engine) which was only discontinued 6 months ago or so. It is a brilliant engine, in many ways unmatched by the 4-pot turbo, including BS economy claims. Recently achieved 39mpg from Brighton to Dover without particularly trying.

Re: 130i/N52B30 common issues?

Posted: Sun May 18, 2014 5:14 pm
by barneyrubble
Vanos solenoids and hydraulic lifters are the two specific the the n52. I've had both done. The lifters are just a tapping noise - as far as I'm aware none have actually failed and caused issues.

Vanos solenoids just cause a hesitation at about 1500 rpm in my case, had them replaced under warranty.

There's no real weak points on this engine and it just sounds so fantastic.......especially with the performance exhaust.

Mines done 44k now - thought about swapping it earlier in the year but I honestly couldn't come up with anything that would be better for me for less than 25k

Re: 130i/N52B30 common issues?

Posted: Sun May 18, 2014 7:38 pm
by Littlejohno43
Miles wise check the general condition of the car and open the oil filler cap and look in you will soon see of its had regular oil changes.

Sent from my GT-I9505 using Tapatalk

Re: 130i/N52B30 common issues?

Posted: Sun May 18, 2014 7:53 pm
by LeonR
To be honest it sounds great!!

Thanks for the prompt responses, i'm starting to feel reassured that I should not be in for any costly shocks assuming it's had good maintenance previously!

Out of interest and a little off topic I see that the N52B30 seems to vary from 218hp to 272hp according to wikipedia, is it literally the ECU map that's dictating the power in this case? Seems a little crazy that a 3L would be put in to some cars and not used to it's full potential?

Re: 130i/N52B30 common issues?

Posted: Sun May 18, 2014 8:27 pm
by marco_polo
Just a map here in the UK, no other differences. :)

A 125i will remap to 130i levels, even the 125i brakes can be converted for minimal expense.

Re: 130i/N52B30 common issues?

Posted: Mon May 19, 2014 3:23 pm
by GoldenBunip
107k on mine, still goes like mad. Before me it was just standard BMW servicing.

No LSD, but has an artificial one. I.E it will dab the brakes automatically on the side slipping too much compared to the other to act as a LSD, works surprisingly well if not as well as a proper LSD.

Just press the DTS button once to allow it to spin the rears with this artificial LSD active Without it on the car prevent all rear slippage. Pressing it for 4 secs turns off all traction control and so the car just spins up one wheel easily.

Re: 130i/N52B30 common issues?

Posted: Mon May 19, 2014 8:33 pm
by LeonR
Yeh I guess if one wheel starts to spin the brake can be applied to that wheel which will cause the opposite wheel to spin a little faster, makes sense!

What is a typical clutch life on the 130i? This is assuming the previous owners have driven it properly of course!

Re: 130i/N52B30 common issues?

Posted: Mon May 19, 2014 9:34 pm
by marco_polo
We very rarely hear of anyone having to change their clutch, on any engine version.

Wear depends on usage rather than mileage, I'd guess at 150k as a very rough guestimate?

Re: 130i/N52B30 common issues?

Posted: Mon May 19, 2014 9:39 pm
by swanny71
103k miles on mine, engine (and rest of the car) is still absolutely top notch.
Goes like stink, sounds wonderful, uses literally no oil, is averaging over 32 mpg and apart from a DSC fault has only required routine servicing, tyres, a windscreen and 1 set of discs and pads.
Brilliant car!

Re: 130i/N52B30 common issues?

Posted: Mon May 19, 2014 9:55 pm
by LeonR
Good stuff!

The clutch life sounds amazing to be honest, I think I managed 100k~ on my Integra Type R (owned it since 45k) and I thought that was good going!!

I also checked a few basic service items and some of them are half the cost of Honda parts! I was quite surprised!

Re: 130i/N52B30 common issues?

Posted: Mon May 19, 2014 10:47 pm
by LeonR
Actually, I forgot to ask if people run these on super unleaded? (high compression?)

Re: 130i/N52B30 common issues?

Posted: Tue May 20, 2014 7:35 am
by barneyrubble
I run mine on normal 95 because I'm tight

Re: 130i/N52B30 common issues?

Posted: Tue May 20, 2014 7:50 am
by nickfrog
I run mine on either, doesn't seem to make much difference.
I am just hoping you're not going to miss how involving the DC2/DC5 is...