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      06-07-2015, 12:19 AM   #1
bimmerlover_1983
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What is the average life of a 128i engine

Hey Guys,

I have been driving my 2009 128i for sometime and the odometer now reads 99000 miles. I am soon to hit the 100,000 miles mark and now I have started to wonder whether i should continue to drive the baby till the time the engine doesn't break up or should I trade her for a newer model (trade value + some $$)?

Does anyone have an idea about the life of 128i engine? How long can the car last in terms of miles if I keep it in really good condition (regular oil changes, general wear and tear maintenance etc)?

Thanks in advance!
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      06-07-2015, 05:14 AM   #2
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I'm at 160,000 miles on a N51. Zero engine troubles. 90% hwy miles.

My engine maintenance intervals are:
BMW OEM oil/Mann filter - 7,500 miles
Mann air filter - 30,000 miles
Bosch spark plugs - 60,000 miles
Serpentine belt - 60,000 miles
BMW Coolant - 2 yrs and every water pump replacement
Water pump & tstat replacement - 120,000 miles (as preventive maintenance)

i plan on:
replacing upper and lower radiator hoses at next coolant change,
replacing coils at 180,000 mile spark plug change.

Last edited by Pkaia524; 06-07-2015 at 03:22 PM.
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      06-07-2015, 10:18 AM   #3
bimmerlover_1983
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Thanks for letting me know, looks like you have a great car and I will continue to take good care of my car as well.
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      06-07-2015, 12:26 PM   #4
Olgeezer1
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With the good maintenance schedule you guys are discussing I would expect a very long life from the N51/N52 engine, and remember, you can't really replace this car. Last of the classic BMW's- N/A straight 6, hydraulic steering etc.
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      06-07-2015, 12:58 PM   #5
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With any car, good maintenance and good driving habit make the car last longer. I am at 33K miles on my 2012 128i, and I plan to keep it up to 150K+
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      06-07-2015, 03:31 PM   #6
The Wind Breezes
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Probably several hundred thousand miles.
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      06-07-2015, 08:37 PM   #7
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Why not keep it? Drive the engine dead, and then buy another used engine, and drive that one dead too.

Unless you're tired of the car of course.
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      06-07-2015, 08:43 PM   #8
Lucky1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShocknAwe
Why not keep it? Drive the engine dead, and then buy another used engine, and drive that one dead too.

Unless you're tired of the car of course.
I like the cut of your jib
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      06-07-2015, 10:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pkaia524 View Post
I'm at 160,000 miles on a N51. Zero engine troubles. 90% hwy miles.

My engine maintenance intervals are:
BMW OEM oil/Mann filter - 7,500 miles
Mann air filter - 30,000 miles
Bosch spark plugs - 60,000 miles
Serpentine belt - 60,000 miles
BMW Coolant - 2 yrs and every water pump replacement
Water pump & tstat replacement - 120,000 miles (as preventive maintenance)

i plan on:
replacing upper and lower radiator hoses at next coolant change,
replacing coils at 180,000 mile spark plug change.

Just curious have you done any mods to the car?
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Originally Posted by BTM View Post
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      06-08-2015, 12:15 AM   #10
Slow128i
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShocknAwe View Post
Why not keep it? Drive the engine dead, and then buy another used engine, and drive that one dead too.

Unless you're tired of the car of course.


For your last comment... I am wondering is that even possible? Ive put on 15 000 MILES in 5ish months and im nowhere close to getting bored.... and none of these miles are because work is far...
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      06-08-2015, 12:18 PM   #11
matmanx1
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I'd love to go high miles on my 1'er also but in the 5 weeks I have owned it I've spent $1300 in maintenance and repairs so mine is starting to feel like "death by a thousand cuts".

$360 was for a new battery and oil change. The other $900 + was for replacement of the valve cover gasket and oil filter housing gasket and related items. Service adviser told me there was a lot of oil on the engine so it was hard to tell but I may actually have a third leak at the oil pan gasket. And this is on a car with just 65,000 miles on it.

Needless to say my confidence with BMW and the N52 engine is not at an all time high right now.
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      06-08-2015, 04:27 PM   #12
Pkaia524
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no mods. car is completely stock.
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      06-09-2015, 12:37 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pkaia524 View Post
no mods. car is completely stock.
Same here.
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      06-09-2015, 06:46 AM   #14
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2012 BMW 135i  [5.00]
Longevity of the car is completely reliant on the level of maintanance the owner does. If the car is neglected, it won't last long. If it's well taken care of there is no reason to belive the car, and engine, won't last 200+ thousand miles. If you were the first owner, and maintain the car well, it should last you a very long time.
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      06-09-2015, 07:41 AM   #15
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I was at 160K+ on my m roadster only needed a CPS that the PO had to do, the N/A bmws last for ever. So many e30s with 250K+ miles.
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      06-09-2015, 09:00 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ApexResistance View Post
Longevity of the car is completely reliant on the level of maintanance the owner does. If the car is neglected, it won't last long.
What is this based on? Do you know of a current BMW that didn't last long? And what level of maintenance is required? Over 20 years and 5 BMWs, mine have required almost nothing but standard oil changes up to 60K miles. There's more to do at 60K, but nothing out of the ordinary. The water pump's the only item to watch after that, if you have the N51/N52.
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      06-09-2015, 09:03 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by five_timer View Post
What is this based on? Do you know of a current BMW that didn't last long? And what level of maintenance is required? Over 20 years and 5 BMWs, mine have required almost nothing but standard oil changes up to 60K miles. There's more to do at 60K, but nothing out of the ordinary. The water pump's the only item to watch after that, if you have the N51/N52.
It's based on common sense. Neglect your car, and don't expect it to last long. Period. Cars don't magically run forever. You are reading into what I said.
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      06-09-2015, 10:28 AM   #18
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The water pump on a lot of makes and models are now one of the most important maintenance items. Any pump with a plastic impeller needs to be changed as interval maintenance. These impellers can break causing poor coolant flow to no flow depending on how it breaks. The broken pieces can then flow into passages blocking them causing damage later from hot spots. If prices become lodged in the block or head a new water pump is only part of your problem.
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      06-09-2015, 07:57 PM   #19
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My maintenance interval for fluids are based on Mike Miller's recommendations. its working for me.

as he notes, all the diligent maintenance is performed so you will have great reliability after 100K+. unfortunately many people dont think that far ahead. That's why i only by a preowned with 30K or so miles as i think the owner cant have neglected the car, especially with BMW's "free" maintenance.

and you're right about E30s. i bought mine from the original owner with 158K miles. it was a gem until I converted it to a SpecE30 and cooked a beating (yes, you do need to install an oil pan baffle!). 2nd engine just as strong with 190K on it.
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      06-09-2015, 10:33 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ApexResistance View Post
It's based on common sense. Neglect your car, and don't expect it to last long. Period. Cars don't magically run forever. You are reading into what I said.
I'm not trying to pick apart what you're saying, but it's a given that scheduled maintenance needs to be performed on any car, just like how kids need to be fed to stay alive. And given that required servicing is done, the engine's longevity should fall within a narrow window. Perhaps if one gets beyond 200k miles or so, then the extra diligence to maintenance will show up, but few cars are driven that long. Other fault/ wear items will dominate the decision to retire the car.
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      06-09-2015, 11:47 PM   #21
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2012 BMW 135i  [5.00]
Quote:
Originally Posted by five_timer
Quote:
Originally Posted by ApexResistance View Post
It's based on common sense. Neglect your car, and don't expect it to last long. Period. Cars don't magically run forever. You are reading into what I said.
I'm not trying to pick apart what you're saying, but it's a given that scheduled maintenance needs to be performed on any car, just like how kids need to be fed to stay alive. And given that required servicing is done, the engine's longevity should fall within a narrow window. Perhaps if one gets beyond 200k miles or so, then the extra diligence to maintenance will show up, but few cars are driven that long. Other fault/ wear items will dominate the decision to retire the car.
That's exactly what saying. Stay on top of the maintenance and the engine will last longer than the engines intended life span. I've seen plenty of engines with 500K miles on them due to this kind of maintenance. It's completely plausible.
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      06-14-2015, 11:31 AM   #22
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Not a statistician by any means but how can anyone at present time really answer the original question with any mathematical certainty unless there are N52's that actually start to fail and someone is tracking them. How can we know the average life of a mass production engine if none have come to the "end of life"? And then how would you determine whether they were all maintained equally? I'm sure BMW has some projections based on lab testing but I'd think for us owners at best you could do right now is take a poll of current mileage and infer what the current average minimum lifespan is not taking into account maintenance. I also find it curious that people reference how older BMW inline 6's have proven to be solid but doesn't the N52 have some unique design elements the others didn't such as the magnesium block? Not to mention BMW recommends a different oil weight vs the E46 which makes me conclude there are other differences as well? Is N/A I6 anything more than just a design philosophy / engine orientation or is it equivalent in the BMW world to mean two engines that are I6 are more or less built the same and are therefore comparable 1:1?
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